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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Mannix: The Second Season”

(CBS/Paramount. 1968-69. Color. 6 Discs. 25 episodes. 21 hours, 17 minutes. Various directors.) Mike Connors, Gail Fisher. Larry Linville, Robert Reed, Ward Wood, Jack Ging. Theme by Lalo Schifrin.

Welcome back, Joe Mannix! Second season of the long-running detective series begins the “classic years” for the rugged, handsome P.I. in post-Beatnik, pre-yuppie Los Angeles. The first season had Mannix as an employee of Intertect, a high-tech company which solved crimes using giant mainframe computers. (Remember those?) The show struggled in the ratings, so CBS thankfully ditched that concept. Mannix now runs his own office, banters with his secretary, and makes enough money to keep himself in Scotch, cigarettes, and those famous sport jackets. The twist was that the secretary was black (Fisher as “Peggy Fair”), a pretty radical concept for the 1960s. The show’s ratings took off and Mannix and Peggy enjoyed seven more seasons on the air; Fisher won an Emmy and a Golden Globe. (She worked only sporadically after the series ended; after a long period of personal problems, she died in 2000 at age 65 from kidney failure.) Seen in recurring roles as police contacts are future sitcom stars Reed (The Brady Bunch) and Linville (Frank Burns on M*A*S*H). Another fantastic theme by Schifrin (Mission: Impossible). No extras.