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We get it. It's disappointing. You have just finished binging one of the all-time greatest television shows, and you've wisely avoided even attempting to watch Mrs. Columbo. But now, you're stuck as to what to watch next. What could possibly follow up the wonderous perfection that is Peter Falk and his ratty old trenchcoat?
Well, we've got some recommendations for you. And while most of these TV shows may not be up there on that Greatest of All Time list, they'll likely sate that hunger for quirky detective stories that you've got in your heart.
If your favorite part of Columbo is the fact that the villains never quite take him seriously and yet are always bested by his intelligence, Miss Marple should be your next watch. Adapted from Agatha Christie's novels and short stories, Miss Marple is an old lady who lives in a small village and happens to constantly run into (and solve) murders. These are the definition of cozy mysteries, though some may be a little spookier than others.
If you like your detectives bumbling, there is probably no better option than Father Brown. Though the show is very very different from the G.K. Chesterton books they're based off of, it's a very solid mystery series with all of the little period details you'd like to see in your cozy mysteries.
This may be the most obvious recommendation of the bunch, but we'd be remiss if we didn't include it. Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne's Poker Face takes more than a little inspiration from Columbo, with its quirky detective lead and inverted mystery format (we see the murder before the detective ever appears onscreen), which makes it the perfect chaser to Columbo. Like Columbo, Poker Face has a great cast of guest stars (shout out to The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle).
If you like Columbo because of the strange mysteries and the often silly ways that Lieutenant Columbo figures them out, Psych is the next watch for you. Of course, it's worth noting that Psych is a much more comedy-heavy show than Columbo is, but the mysteries are good, the two leads are hilarious, and the show has a deep love for the genre that is hard to match.
Now this may be a suprising pull for many people, as Leverage is not only not a detective show, but also a show about criminals (though they are good at heart). Leverage is on this list because the villains tend to be very similar to the villains in Columbo's world - people who think that their power and wealth will let them get away with hurting others. The team of Leverage, like Columbo, makes sure that doesn't happen.