The complete series of Inspector Manara is now available on DVD in two season sets from Mhz International Mystery. This hit Italian show was a spin-off of an early program called ‘A Family in Yellow’ and follows the investigations of Chief Luca Manara (Guido Caprino). Manara is newly transferred to a small village in Tuscany and is greeted with a murder on his first day. Luca is a maverick cop who doesn’t dress in uniform and drives a motorcycle instead of a squad car. He’s a ladies man who uses his charms to investigate crimes. His partner is Inspector Lara Rubino (Roberta Giarrusso), a woman he knew back when he was in school and by coincidence is in his new department. Not only do they work together but a romance blossoms that will ultimately turn into a marriage attempt in the second season. Rounding out their team is Lara’s Aunt Caterina, who has amazing instincts and observational skills.
Inspector Manara is not a gritty crime drama. The show has a wonderful, light-hearted feel that reminds me of a lot of the American buddy cop TV shows of the 1980’s. While they investigate murders there are also a lot of cute moments and jokes, especially when Aunt Caterina is on the scene. Inspector Manara might be a little heavy on the macho for some people’s taste but I found it stopped short of sliding into sexism. On the whole, Guido and Roberta have great on screen chemistry and really make Inspector Manara a thoroughly enjoyable crime show.
Inspector Manara Season 1 & 2 are available now from Mhz Networks.
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.