From time to time I watch all Columbo episodes from the first one until the last. I'm a huge fan just like all of you guys. Today I was watching Murder, a self portrait. I have to say that before starting this particular episode I always think "oh no... I have to watch that again", and it is not so big pleasure for me. I've read almost evry thread on this forum from the begining and I see that people tend to like that episode a lot. But for me almost everything is annoying in this one. I don't even know where to start. First of all, Barsini himself, I am not American, so maybe I miss something, but is it normal that a guy practicaly lives with 3 women and all these women tolerate each other? The scene when all of them serve a dinner for him (plus the music), at first watching I was sure it was kind of dream of Barsini, but then I realised that it was reality. Realy? All of them serving to one guy and then he blames them? But maybe I am from different society so I don't know. But then we have Columbo investigating. And for the first time he bases his theses on something realy unstable - a dreams. I was surprised by that. And his deduction about "my uncle" in french, sounds like "monockl"... Still for me not a Columbo style of working. All this dreams observations for me seems like something far away from Columbo formula. And again it's the matter of native language (I'm not american nor english), it even bothers me how Barsini pronounces "lieutenant" word. Is it normal pronounciation by the way? :) Regards for all of you :)
I’m a fairly typical American and one wife is plenty. I don’t think Barsini is meant to be typical of any culture, but rather a brilliant artist who breaks social conventions. I believe that he is loosely based on Pablo Picasso. I doubt that Picasso actually had wife, ex-wife and mistress all under the same roof, but he was allegedly a notorious womanizer.
I was never a big fan of this episode either. However, after reading this forum and reading how many people loved it, I saw it through different eyes and found a different appreciation for it. Try to disregard logic and the standard “Columbo” formula and instead enjoy the “dream element”.