Two pithy "damning with faint praise" reviews of this show:

  1. There are shows that are Very Good, and there are shows that are very Good, and this is the latter;
  2. This is a show that I respect and admire more than I like, and one that I like more than I consider great.

It is hard to watch a show like this (which: Natasha Lyonne as Columbo) and not think of Poirot. And so all of my quibbles with the show are grounded in the fact that it is not Poirot, or perhaps more accurately my relative antipathy towards the "howcatchem" genre as compared to the "whodunit."

And yet! It is delightful. The performances are fun (if not occassionally a bit too wink-wink-nudge-nudge); the writing is servicable; the plotting rarely tracks, which is the real problem (the core of why Poirot works is that everyone has a certain level of motive and humanity and rationality, and most of the murders investigated here fall into the category of "I am a sociopathic genius but also a huge dumbass"). There are moments of real beauty (the ending of Exit Stage Death, say, or Benjamin Bratt just rattling off some Blues Traveler). There is a lot to love.

It does remind me, of course, of Glass Onion, both intellectually and subjectively. This is not Great Art: this is comfort food, taken to its logical (and fiscal) extreme. And there's no magic threshold that it crosses, bringing it into the rarified err of art, but it's still a good time.



I've been rich. Easier than being broke, harder than doing just fine.

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