2 July 2005 | blanche-2
Delightful series entry in the Sunday mystery movie
Though its co-rotators, Columbo and McCloud (while others came and went), seem like better shows, I have a soft spot in my heart for McMillan and Wife. Susan St. James and Rock Hudson made a wonderful couple, and the show did sport one of my all-time favorite episodes, "The Easy Sunday Murder Case," in which June Havoc's dog is kidnapped. Havoc describes her precious purebred Pekinese - Mac doesn't think there's anything distinguishing about the dog, so Havoc offers a photo of her husband. "Why would I want that?" he asks her. "Oh," Havoc says, "they took him too." A great episode with a stellar cameo by Wally Cox.
Hudson himself was surprised when the show was expanded to two hours, commenting at the time, "It doesn't hold up for 90 minutes." But for its many fans, it really did, in part because of the great cast. Nancy Walker as Mildred nearly stole the show every time she was on, and John Shuck was the lovable Charlie. Mildred Natwick made several appearances as Mac's mother, and Martha Scott played Susan St. James' mom.
I agree that the disappearing baby was very confusing - Mac and Sally were very involved with one another and the producers didn't want to spoil that, but on the other hand, when were they going to have kids, and if not, why not? They should have been left childless, since the baby was only mentioned in passing.
When Susan St. James and Nancy Walker left, the show was never the same and it was a downer to have Sally and that mysterious baby killed in a plane crash.
I was surprised that posters mentioned Hudson's homosexuality as somehow influencing perception of this show in hindsight. Hudson was gay; Mac wasn't. If straight men can play gay characters, why can't the reverse be true? Why must someone's private life interfere with a role?