Thursday, September 25, 2014

inspector manara: fun and sexy detecting, italian-style

MHz has released another international series on DVD, Inspector Manara (Il Comisario Manara). Part police procedural, part romantic comedy, it is a very engaging show with likable characters that American audiences should take to immediately.

Set in a small Tuscan town by the seaside, Inspector Manara features Guido Caprino as Luca Manara, who has been transferred from his beloved and fast-paced Milan to be the new police commissioner of what he thinks is a tiny, boring, crime-free town. He will soon learn that murder is as frequent an occurrence here as in some other mythical television hamlets like Cabot Cove and Midsomer. Luca has no intentions of staying, and doest hesitate to declare so at every opportunity, but his transfer was a disciplinary measure - the result of his getting too cozy with his former superior's wife. His current boss, Casadio (Luis Molteni), has no intention of granting his transfer request until he can prove himself. Casadio also isn't too pleased that his own wife (and just about every lady in the vicinity) are immediately charmed by the handsome Inspector. Come bello.

Luca (Guido Caprino) and Lara (Roberta Giarrusso) on a case

There are many charms to Inspector Manara besides its main character's sexy '70's vibe. Crimes of passion are certainly more common in this particular burg than premeditated murder. Italophiles will be interested in the series' beautiful locations, which were filmed near the small village of Trevignano Romano, which is not too far outside of Rome. After watching a few episodes, viewers will not only get pulled in by the recurring cast of characters, but the rhythms of life in their small and picturesque town. Everyone actually seems to go home at the end of the day (who's minding the police station?) to try and spend family time and eat some fabulous homemade food. This idyllic pace is of course a recurring joke on poor Manara, who yearns for some activity, some nightlife.

You can read my entire review on Cinema Sentries


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