Columbo capsalong: Cindy Sherman edition

Columbo: kindly, sage, disheveled, indirect. So interpersonally astute he needs no CSI to solve crimes. He relies on being underestimated, historically a feminine strategy. He’s like the woman behind his own throne, but he’s a man, so he gets to be a detective. And indeed, a lovable one. I always root for him. Except for the episode “Lady in Waiting.” Then I rooted for his antagonist, who murders her brother, instead. I can’t tell if the direction, costume and set design are brilliant or hamhanded—are these the lost works of Cindy Sherman?

CINDY: LA LA LA LA LA… I can’t hear you, oppressor.

Tense breakfast

CINDY: I look childlike, pinched, and small. I am a total fun virgin.

Too much jam is my only pleasure

CINDY: What do you mean, you’re literally above me?

Garden standoff

CINDY: This bed is my gothic prison! The phone is cool though.

My prison phonecall

CINDY: This is my Mr. Hyde face.

Creepy cameo

CINDY: No wait, this is.

Guns, chocolate, gluttony

CINDY: “Huh?” isn’t good enough, brother.

Like a sheep led to slaughter

CINDY: Bang bang, I’m the madwoman in the attic!

Bang bang I shot YOU down

CINDY: I can’t stand this yellow wallpaper!

Skulking along walls

MOMMIE HATTEST: You’re a traitor to your sex!

B*tch slap

CINDY: Watch this caterpillar…

I'm won't be wearing black for long

CINDY: …turn into a sassy butterfly!

Gee My Hair Smells Terrific

COLUMBO: My cigar will protect me.

Bull in a beauty salon

… pause for business takeover…

CINDY: Looks like power has gone to my head.

Belle of the boardroom

CINDY: Sorry, Mommie Hattest, mine is bigger than yours.

Maternal guilt trip

CINDY: Now that I’m successful, you don’t love me anymore?

You can't have it all

LESLIE NIELSEN: Your naked ambition is disgusting. Now get off me.

It's not me, it's you

CINDY: Look at me now. My vices include whiskey, cigarettes and reading. Not to mention busting men’s balls.

Woman of pleasure

COLUMBO: Hello? I hate to rain on your parade, but killing people is wrong, even if it totally transforms your life for the better.

Reality call

CINDY: Sorry Columbo, I’m not just gonna lie back and take it, even from you, Peter Falk.

Like I'd turn this gun on myself

COLUMBO: Deep down I know you’re better than this. I can see your vulnerabilities through your nightgown.

Listening to "reason"

CINDY: Whatever. Cut off my head and millions of women will spring up to take my place. Wait for the sequel, Zombie Fempocalypse. Guess what? You’re not in it.
Gorgon: terrifying female creature

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