Mannix is Coming! (All things Mannix w/spoilers)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Hank Dearborn, Sep 20, 2007.

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  1. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Screenwriter

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    David,
    The Fugitive did what it did very well, and the show also has a lot of fans on this site, deservedly so. It was certainly innovative in that the reason for tuning in had a lot to do with affinity for the central character.
    It was also certainly about a hero who did a lot of good, even if he was in those situations in the first place because of a fate he did not want, not his own choice. Presumably, when the running stopped, so did the brand of heroism he became known for.
    But, I'm not sure I would classify it as a mystery. It was about suspense and, to a certain extent, action.
    But Mannix draws upon some combination of Sam Spade and James Bond -- the mystery and action were built right into the premise, with this Joe Mannix guy doing what he did by his own choice -- not the least bit reluctantly. That is essential to strong character, in my opinion.
    And, his response to all of that was also unique -- he wasn't either Sam Spade nor James Bond, but something different, ultimately both emotional and more positive even as he was getting beaten up all of the time. That was where the genius came in. He was getting beaten up, shot, drugged, run off of cliffs -- and, not only was he not moody, but he asked for more! And you wound up liking the guy.
    If you watch it enough, and just think about it, it all makes sense -- the way we self-evaluate really does boil down to the good we do on purpose and which also comes at a price. We are the best judges of our own character, and, when it all comes too easy or seems accidental, we don't quite reach the same level of self-evaluation as when we are comfortable that we let ourselves get hurt along the way because we realize that is a part of the process of leading a good life. That also leaves us far more comfortable getting hurt the next time -- which is a much better way to live life than pretty much any other.
    The Fugitive wanted to find the one-armed man. Whatever good he did was as a by-product of his being where he was. Joe got up each day and seemed to welcome whatever came his way -- his sole purpose seemed to be engagement and doing good.
    Beyond that Mannix always had multiple regular and semi-regular characters, even as the show was framed around a single hero. This is structurally important, because most people identify with the hero, but those other regular and semi-regular characters framed the hero for the viewer. Some of the best scenes in Mannix are in the context of what Joe was doing, viewed through the eyes of Peggy.
    This notion of putting yourself into situations where you will likely get hurt due to being completely invested in doing good -- doing it on purpose, being stubborn in pursuit of doing the right thing -- that is the stuff of character. And, we used to be more about character than about owning all sorts of stuff -- just enough more to make a big difference to what we are as a society.
    Character is the only thing that outlasts all manner of situations -- that is why strong characters in TV are so powerful to us, because we see them in situation after situation. They reveal character to us better than any other means.
    If you've followed this site, you know that people get very defensive about their heroes. That makes perfect sense -- and just re-enforces how much they matter to us in the first place -- more than we probably realize.
    Presuming they are not all created equal, we really should pay more attention to them than we do.
    BTW, one reason for all of the writing on this thread was because Mannix was not getting nearly the attention of shows like Rockford, The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible, Hawaii-Five O, etc... It was virtually lost before that Washington Post article in 2007, and its releases even stalled at one point -- and that started me to thinking about why since I know Mannix was very popular in its first run (it was also always touted for the number of countries it was shown in first-run -- over 70)... even as I so wanted to see it all again.
    And so, I can't thank you enough for your wonderful comments about Mannix.
     
  2. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    As posted earlier in this thread, there are certain location shots that are shared by both MANNIX and THE FUGITIVE. That's not all that remarkable as both were shot in and around Los Angeles and environs. But there are also other similarities in the shows, easily notable in the guest stars that did both shows. Again, no surprise, both shows hired the top actors and actresses of the period.
    How about some behind-the-scenes similarities? Well, there's Wilton Schiller and John Meredyth Lucas. These are the guys who took over Season 4 of THE FUGITIVE after Alan Armer left to do THE INVADERS. They are perhaps rightfully "blamed" for the show's lackluster start in its final year, the fourth season. These guys also were at the forefront in MANNIX's first season in writing and directing. That's an interesting pattern. The admitted worst season of THE FUGITIVE, and perhaps a lesser season of MANNIX can find these guys lurking around. (Lucas is also loathed in STAR TREK circles for working there on that show's worst season, the third.)
    [​IMG]
    THE FUGITIVE "Ten Thousand Pieces Of Silver"
    [​IMG]
    MANNIX "The Girl In The Frame"
    [​IMG]
    THE FUGITIVE "The Breaking Of The Habit"
    [​IMG]
    MANNIX "Skid Marks On A Dry Run"
    I find this kind of stuff fascinating.
    Harry
     
  3. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    In fairness, Lucas produced the latter part of Star Trek's second season. The third season producer who raised the ire of so many fans was Fred Freiberger.
     
  4. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    Oops. You're right - and I feel pretty silly about it, being a trekkie from way back.
     
  5. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    Your larger point still makes sense, though. In television, producers have control, and so their sensibilities influence the entire show. If you don't like a producer's work in one show, you may not like it on another. The twist on that theory is that sometimes a producer is a good fit for one show and not so good for another. Freiberger, for example, did very good work on The Wild, Wild West in my opinion. Totally different kind of show from Star Trek, so it may just have been a question of where he belonged. Lucas, in my view, was a better director than writer (in general), and that may not have been the right balance for being a producer in the days when the producer's biggest job was working stories and scripts.
     
  6. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    It's interesting too to note that in the pictures above, the fonts used in the credits of the two shows are similar. Both are squarish block fonts with serifs. Harry
     
  7. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Screenwriter

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    Lee,
    I think that notion of "fit" is also true for actors, and is one of the reasons acting, in my opinion, has become so much less "useful" in recent years, even as it has grown to incredibly good technical levels. Actors (using the gender-inspecific form of the word) seem to disappear into their roles these days, resulting in amazing transformations. The acting, in a technical sense, is superb. But, you don't wind up connected to the resultant characters in the way you did in classic TV, where the tight shooting schedules, absence of continuity in writing and directing, thin and often simple scripts, and necessity of ongoing relationship of character to audience allowed actors to bring all sorts of personal interpretation to their roles. The acting was technically lesser, by the judgement of the acting community anyway. But, the result was so much richer, more personal, somehow. Meaning was being conveyed on the screen that came directly from the actor. This tended to only happen when actors fit their roles so well so that you could almost not stand to see them in any other roles. We've lost this in recent times, where we prize the technical skills at the expense of personal interpretation.
    Hey, had to get in there early in the "new" forum and post in the "Mannix thread!" Sure glad to see it is still there... even if I can't seem to preview the post anymore...
     
  8. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Screenwriter

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    Harry,

    Sure wish I could see those images.... and all of the images you put in this thread.... and my avatar....

    Here's hoping...
     
  9. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    I re-loaded my Avatar, rather than wait for it to reappear. It's easy enough to do as it was still on my computer. The other images from this thread will probably show up at some point in the future. They're working on it - it's a known issue.

    Harry
     
  10. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Screenwriter

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    Harry,

    Yea, and a great avatar is is, too!!! :)

    Mine is somewhere on another computer -- I'll dig it out in a few days, if it does not re-appear...

    One thing -- searching for this thread, either on the Web or even within this forum, now fails. Hopefully people will find it again, since I think there might have been a few who liked to follow, but not post.
     
  11. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    There's a different way of handling that in this forum. Underneath the "Quick Reply" box at the bottom of the page, to the right, there's a [More Reply Options] button. If you click on that, you'll get to the full "Reply" box with all of the editing features, file attachments, etc., - and the option below THAT to [Preview Post].

    Harry
     
  12. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Screenwriter

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    Harry,

    OK, that works.

    Actually, it looks like the post preview comes up automatically under the "more reply options."

    Also, I just couldn't wait -- my avatar is back!

    Just in case, in all of the confusion, people started to become confused about what my favorite series is.

    :)
     
  13. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    Perhaps you'd like that brightened up a little:

    17PaseoVerde.jpg

    Harry
     
  14. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Screenwriter

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    Harry,

    That's great -- thanks!

    It's been dark for a long time, but I didn't really have the software to fix it -- then I thought I'd just leave it kind of dark and mysterious.

    But, I just downloaded your version, and then tried to upload it as my new avatar -- and the system hangs when I try! I even tried to remove my old one to get the system to accept the new one, but it won't.

    But, as soon as I can get this one loaded, it will be the one.

    Thanks!!!!
     
  15. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    It's possible they're working on fixing that module so that all of the old avatars appear for the ones who haven't yet re-uploaded. Or perhaps the system didn't like that larger picture and wants it to be of a certain size? If that's the case, here's one at 150 x 150 pixels:

    17PaseoVerdeAv.jpg

    Harry
     
  16. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Screenwriter

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    Harry,

    Thanks -- but the system won't currently allow me to re-upload my old, dark and mysterious avatar either! This, despite it allowing me to upload it earlier today. Thus, I am back to being a mere shadow of myself.

    They must be working on something.

    Regardless, I've now saved the two you made -- and one of them is going to be my new avatar as soon as the system and I get together.

    Thanks!!!
     
  17. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    For someday when you're really feeling "shadowy", here's a fun avatar playing off the blank one:

    MannixHTF.jpg

    :)

    Harry
     
  18. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Screenwriter

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    Harry,

    Oh my.

    I just don't have the words!

    But -- I did just save it !!!

    :)
     
  19. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    You know, in the light of day, it makes me wonder what I was thinking...

    Harry
     
  20. jompaul17

    jompaul17 Screenwriter

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    Harry,

    Oh, but you know, you just described the immense power of the darkness of night!

    I love it!
     

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