year: 1959—1960
cast: John Vivyan, Ross Martin
creator: Blake Edwards
rating: ***1/2

Most episodes of the one-season-wonder television series directed by creature-feature turned BRADY BUNCH director Jack Arnold, the coolest, most surprising aspect of Blake Edward's MR LUCKY is it takes two complete episodes for the story of an honest gambler running a casino on a boat, three miles away from the law's reach, to establish itself (with the boat!), and without being a two-part pilot with a set-up agenda: Like Edwards' PETER GUNN star Craig Stevens, LUCKY lead John Vivyan is a perfectly good-enough actor for the twists and turns to occur around his well-suited charm. Resembling a Cary Grant b-side (or Lloyd Bochner a-side), he's flanked by a faithful sidekick, Andamo, played by Ross Martin, who'd become famous as another faithful second on WILD WILD WEST. With a fickle Spanish accent that hardly matters anyway, he keeps their combined energy fresh and engaging: along with the usual Blake Edwards wallpaper of gorgeous women, often as unpredictable and spontaneous as the mazy plot-lines in which they're caught: the good episodes serious and breezy while the mediocre entries play semi-comedic (as Mancini scores along jovially) upfront. Either way, at 24 minutes per, LUCKY is great bet. 

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