Mike Hammer The Complete Series DVD Review
Big, BIG news for you retro television buffs today, because the folks out at A&E sent out a copy of Mike Hammer: The Complete Series for me to review for you today. It won’t even hit stores until this Tuesday, so you’ve got plenty of time to get excited, because for retro television fans, detective show fans, and folks who can’t get enough of Darren McGavin, you’re absolutely going to go wild over this.
Mike Hammer: The Complete Series follows the title character, an ace private eye, as he pursues a variety of cases all over the general vicinity of New York City. He’ll find himself pursuing cases, but also pursuing criminals, and even occasionally killing a few of them. He’ll chase blackmailers, murderers, bank robbers, and most anybody else that commits crime in his city.
This is very much a shot of fifties era television–it even feels like fifties era stuff–and if you liked things like The Twilight Zone you’ll definitely get a thrill here. Darren McGavin is a scenery chewer of such excellence that the set designers must have to lace their paint with jalapenos to keep McGavin from wrecking up the joint. And even better, most every episode of McGavin’s Hammer is a meager half-hour (more like twenty-odd minutes), so the mysteries will come very much bite sized and simple to digest. You’ll get dozens of little mysteries here, convenient to break out at most any time of day. They’ll be fast and simple to process, just like most any other sitcom, plus you get the added bonus of them having that retro television spirit that’s extra fun.
And even better, some of the episodes will also pack some humor in. You often don’t see it coming, like when Mike Hammer finds himself abruptly playing secretary / bodyguard for an elderly neighbor who found himself falling into a substantial windfall. Several portions of the episode are surprisingly laugh-inducing, but they’ll quickly turn around into a full-on mystery. Plus, Hammer himself is something of a flirt, and encountering an attractive woman–which he will do with some regularity–often causes him to abruptly, and visibly, switch gears.
Mike Hammer The Complete Series is a rapid and highly engaging affair, giving you the option of taking it a little at a time or in big chunks, and that kind of variety is every bit as helpful as the series is fun and entertaining.
The Screenhead Ten Scale gives Mike Hammer The Complete Series an eight out of ten for being a slice of delight from the fifties brought forward almost fifty years to a whole new audience. And you should have a great time with it to boot.