16 December 2002 | budikavlan
Not as interesting as its NBC Mystery Movie cohorts
This, along with "Columbo" and "McCloud" plus several lesser-known and short lived also-rans made up the NBC Mystery Movie franchise during most of the Seventies. Three or four rotating characters took turns headlining a 90-minute telefilm each week. Of the three most famous elements of the series, "McMillan" was the least unusual. "Mac" McMillan was the Police Chief of San Francisco whose wife Sally "helped" him solve various murders. Sally and the McMillan's housekeeper Mildred (Nancy Walker) were responsible for most of the unique elements of the show. The films were well-made and adequately complex to sustain interest over the longer-than-average running time of the series. Like everything Rock Hudson did during his career, this has new layers of interest since the revelations about his sexuality shortly before his death; the relationship between Mac and Sally seems sexless in hindsight, though that may be a product of the differences between the 1970s and today as much as Rock Hudson's homosexuality. One unusual episode in which Mac is called to Naval Reserve duty as defense counsel in a murder trial plays like a 20-years too early pilot for "JAG," but most of this series was solid if unexceptional police procedural with the wife thrown in for color.