Comfort Television

Peter Falk as Lieutenant Columbo

At least for the moment, I’ve O-D’ed on my obsessive binging on early morning political talk shows. Starting each day getting more and more anxious about the state of the world and our national politics wasn’t doing wonders for my blood pressure.

So now, when I jump on my exercise bike and start pedaling, I only watch a few minutes of a political talk show.  Ever since I’ve discovered the wonders of a morning dose of comfort television, it doesn’t  take long for me to switch the channel. When I tune in to Hallmark Mysteries and Movies, I can almost always find an old episode of Columbo or Matlock.

            The characters in both shows are wonderfully eccentric and reassuringly consistent. Matlock is the curmudgeonly but lovable tightwad attorney who invariably gets his clients off by uncovering the real murderer. And Lieutenant Columbo, the cigar-smoking rumpled homicide detective, dogs his suspect until he traps him.

It’s nice to step into their fictional worlds where the good guys never fail to get their man (or woman) and justice reigns supreme. And what endearing good guys these two are! I love checking into their worlds and getting some temporary relief from our own. Spending a few minutes with Columbo or Matlock calms me down and puts me into a space where I’m eager to develop characters in my own work.

I have yet to feature any curmudgeonly or cigar-smoking characters in my novels.

But you never know.

Andy Griffith as Matlock

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