Though Quincy began its run as a great mystery show, it all too soon evolved into a vehicle for discussion of the social issues of the day. Unlike Columbo, which maintained a reputation for sticking to good storytelling and suspense, Quincy started using violent incidents as an excuse to comment on gun control, spousal abuse, religious bigotry, etc. While it's important to be aware of societal ills, it's also important to understand that as soon as a storyteller starts "lecturing," the story suffers, and the audience leaves. And when producers, directors, and actors lose sight of the balance needed between telling a story and discussing the issues of the day, their show goes into decline. Trying to merge story and message is like mixing liver and ice cream; it can be done, but who's going to want the product? When Quincy stuck to storytelling, it was entertaining, but when stories took a backseat to "messages," it jumped the shark every time.