Mannix: The Second Season – DVD Review

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Ever encounter the employee who hates living by corporate rules? They despise management, scoff at the customers and neglect the timeclock. They got their own ways of doing things. Why? Because theyre rebels. If they hate the job so much, why dont they become their own boss? Because if they left the steady paycheck, theyd starve to death. During the first season of Mannix, Joe Mannix (Mike Connors) had that attitude while being a drone for Intertect. He loathed taking advice from the computer that dominated the detective agency. Mannix: The Second Season has him become an independent private investigator. Could he survive on the mean streets of Los Angeles without a cyber boss to back him up?

Mannix set up shop at 17 Paseo Verde with his only employee being Peggy Fair (Gail Fisher). Shes a cops widow who doesnt get bullied by potential clients. Peggys perfect for him since shes also no nonsense. Because of his previous work, Mannix has enough referrals to keep from sitting around his office waiting for the phone to ring. Hes not hurting for a payday like Rockford or Duckman. Being untied from the uptight Intertect allowed Mannix to be more involved with his clients. Hes no longer accepting gigs because the clients have enough cash.

“The Silent Cry” is his first freelance case. A deaf woman reads the lips of a man on a payphone. Hes talking about a kidnapping. She comes to Mannix in the hopes that he can figure out who was kidnapped and track down the kidnappers. However this proves to not be a simple snatch and ransom. Theres a chilling moment when the kidnappers come after the deaf witness. “Comes Up Roses” has a guard at an airport cargo warehouse fearing his missing wife has something to do with a violent robbery. Its up to Mannix to locate the spouse before another heist attempt. Theres plenty of gunplay in these episode. “To the Swiftest, Death” slides Mannix behind the wheel of a race car. One his opponents drives off the course and dies during the race. The wife hires Mannix to prove that it was murder and not merely a racing accident.

Harry Dean Stanton pops up in “Who Will Dig the Graves?” “The Need of a Friend” has Mannix revisiting his first case. He had mistakenly sent John Colicos (Battlestar Galactica) to prison for embezzling a million. Mannix wants to help John and figure out who set him up. Mobsters still believe John swiped the cash. Theyre coming after him. Cloris Leachman plays Johns ex-wife. She isnt happy seeing him freed. “All Around the Money Tree” reveals that Mannixs British neighbor isnt a legitimate businessman. Turns out the guy has stolen bills from the banks of England and Scotland. Now his investors want their share of the loot. Its up to Mannix to bust this little ring before he gets busted over the head.

Peggy comes into play on “Last Rites for Miss Emma.” Her new boyfriend takes a bullet during a morphine heist. Mannix pries into the details as a favor to his secretary. He discovers that she should hire him to do background checks on her men before the first date. Mannix also gets his troubled romance moment in “The Solid Gold Web.” His old flame (Sally Kellerman), a newspaper moguls daughter, has run over a mobster after a party. Her father hires Mannix to solve a case without letting on to speed bump mobster moment. Its nice to see Mannix as a lover and not merely a guy who can take a flesh wound.

The producers made a smart move by letting Mannix leave the corporate computerized detective agency. The technology and bureaucracy cluttered up the scripts. His gut was more reliable than a pile of computer cards. Mannix was also a trailblazer since when he became a self-employed private eye, he was solo on the dial. Every other TV mystery solver that season was a cop, lawyer or government agent. When Mannix walked out of Intertect, he gave rise to Cannon, Rockford and Banacek. Mannix: The Second Season reminds us that rugged individuals need to shake off the corporate bonds and call their own shots.
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The Episodes

“The Silent Cry,” ” Comes Up Roses,” ” Pressure Point,” ” To the Swiftest, Death,” “End of the Rainbow,” ” A Copy of Murder,” “Edge of the Knife,” “Who Will Dig the Graves?,” “In Need of a Friend,” “Night Out of Time,” “A View of Nowhere,” “Fear I to Fall,” “Death Run,” “A Pittance of Faith,” “Only Giants Can Play,” “Shadow of a Man,” “The Girl Who Came in with the Tide,” “Death in a Minor Key,” “End Game,” “All Around the Money Tree,” “The Odds Against Donald Jordan,” “Last Rites for Miss Emma,” “The Solid Gold Web,” “Merry Go Round for Murder” and “To Catch a Rabbit.”

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers are top notch. Youll experience the textures of Mannixs sportscoats. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The levels will allow you to experience all the gut shots Mannix suffers while punching his own clock.

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Mannix: The Second Season keeps the hard knocks rolling. Mannix is even more of the Man by not working for the Man. Hes the ultimate TV private eye with his endless appetite for Scotch, steak, women, bullets and trouble.

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CBS DVD presents Mannix: The Second Season. Starring Mike Connors & Gail Fisher. Boxset Contents: 25 episodes on 6 DVDs. Originally Broadcasted:Sept. 28, 1968 – April 12, 1969. Released on DVD: January 6, 2009. Available at Amazon

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