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Commentaries on this Media!

TV vs. Technology

by Critical Commons Manager

Who can blame TV writers for remediating the practices associated with earlier technologies when trying to incorporate computers into popular culture narratives of the 1960s? During the first season of Mannix, a virtuosic range of nascent and imaginary technologies served as foils for the rugged individualism of the lone detective. After this season, the show's producer, Lucille Ball, argued that ordinary viewers were alienated by the show's fetishization of technology and Mannix subsequently opened his own detective agency where resisting the constraints of corporations and technology was no longer a central narrative trope.

Data processing and geolocation in the late 1960s televisual imaginary

The punch cards used for information storage and retrieval could be read like telegrams while radio beacons anticipated GPS for urban surveillance

from Mannix S1E1 (1967)
Creator: Richard Levinson and William Link
Distributor: Desilu
Posted by Critical Commons Manager