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Miami Vice

Started by H-O-W-L, November 06, 2021, 03:07:34 PM

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I am starting a rewatch for the first time since it aired and it is very different from the image it has. Quite melancholy and grimy. There are a lot of scenes of Crockett and Tubbs giving each other meaningful looks and some faintly amusing out-of-the-blue drama (that person you have been following all episode? Turns out they just hung themselves. Oh dear).

Their music budget must have been huge


I know nothing about torrents - I tied I once when I had dial-up and gave up. I am happy to take some advice on PM if anyone can be bothered - I imagine it's quite easy these days.

However - have found out that these are on NBC to watch. 5 seasons. Seems like there might be an ad break every 2 minutes but thought the info might be useful:


Quote from: monkfromhavana on November 06, 2021, 06:08:22 PM
There's a bit in the either the pilot where Sonny's wife and kid have been taken into protective custody and he's walking with his wife by the sea. Their chat would make an amazing sample on some kind of mellow techno track.
It's episodes 5 & 6 of the first series - a 2 parter called Calderone's Return. The exact same scenario takes place between Will Graham and his wife Molly in Mann's Manhunter, so he obviously felt it was worth revisiting.


Quote from: buzby on November 09, 2021, 10:57:38 AM
It's episodes 5 & 6 of the first series - a 2 parter called Calderone's Return. The exact same scenario takes place between Will Graham and his wife Molly in Mann's Manhunter, so he obviously felt it was worth revisiting.

A lot of elements of Manhunter are re-trod in Vice. Which I think is fine -- both are great.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

I have acquired the first series. I've not had time to watch any yet, but I'm off housesitting for a friend this weekend, so I think I'll get stuck in then.

I have a vague (and possibly mistaken) memory of Greg Proops lambasting it on one of those those I Love The '80s programmes. He called it "MTV cops" and "The moment that the bottom fell out of western culture" - the latter of which would be rather hypocritical, considering the show he was appearing on.

The Culture Bunker

Wasn't a pitch of "MTV cops" how it was sold to the network?


Quote from: The Culture Bunker on November 10, 2021, 05:12:07 PM
Wasn't a pitch of "MTV cops" how it was sold to the network?
Not quite. The show's original producer Anthony Yerkovich had already come up with the concept while he was working on Hill Street Blues, under the working title Gold Coast. He teamed up with Universal to pitch it to NBC and it's at that pitch meeting that NBC's network exec Brandon Tartikoff put forward his own ideas about aiming the show towards the MTV generation, describing it as 'MTV Cops' in a note he gave to Yerkovich.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

I've just settled in to watch the first episode.

The first thing that struck me is that it looks really good. It it weren't 4:3 it could easily be one of Michael Mann's films.
The second thing was, "Hey, I didn't know Jimmy Smits was in it..."
Third is that some of the acting is a bit mannered. The chief cop mostly, but also Don Johnson.

25 minutes in and MTV cops is made literal, as Tubbs lip syncs along to Rockwell. I can see why people might think it was a bit on the fluffy side if that sort of thing is a regular occurrence (not so much the miming, but the baby featuring of pop music).

And now we meet Crockett's unusual pet. That's not exactly The French Connection, is it?


I think the outlandish or comical aspects are sort of a gimme that's required of a network telly show like this really. There's episodes that deal with kiddy fiddling, serial murder of sex workers, vicious cycles of sex work, constant plots of drug and domestic abuse, sexual assault etc... I feel like those elements are kind of a facetious top edge designed to make the show stomachable as a relatively lighter prime-time thing, while being the pane over the true darkness it can present.

Sort of like how Columbo is very lighthearted and often jokey in tone but always deals with balls-to-bones billy bollocks murder, you know? And how even the good Lieutenant himself can have darker or more serious or even aggressive turns toward the big billy bastard stabbers. It retains levity so you don't wash out with misery but there's still a tone.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

It wouldn't surprise me if it was the network sticking their oar in. It is a weird clash of tones though: all gritty one minute, The A-Team the next.

Every time one of the music montages popped up, I was reminded of the slow motion in Darkplace.

I watched 15 episodes over the weekend. I'd have watched more, if they'd have fit on my flash drive, but I haven't felt compelled to do so since.


I don't think Miami Vice is especially fantastically written or acted, but I think as a formative work of television it's undeniable, and the sheer... cool factor? is enough to carry it, for me. Like, maybe I'm just weird but I think the mere concept of it being this like-- neon noir work, a fusion of (then) new aesthetics and sounds with the old school noir tone is... I dunno. Its influence is so clear and vibrant to me.

I can't imagine the perennial heritage TV series of recent years existing without Vice. I was watching Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul this week and I couldn't imagine its own (sparing) music sequences if Vice hadn't done them first. People always call to the In The Air Tonight sequence as being the most influential but I think the mid-season sequences are where that influence comes from really, since they use a lot of more deep cuts and B-sides, which are way more fresh, even if you're into eighties B-sides. Lots of non-obvious choices. I got introduced to a lot of songs through Vice.