Miami Vice is such a riot of colour and noise and excellent sets. Sure, the acting may be hammy in parts and certain aspects of the storylines are overblown, but the raw look of the show is mind-blowing. In what other series can an undercover cop go from testing cocaine to piloting a cigarette boat to driving a Ferrari in under 10 minutes? The show has it all. It makes the ‘80s look like a time I would like to live in, if I somehow came across a time-machine. However I know that the ‘80s weren’t all that great.
Miami Vice makes the ‘80s look fabulous because all the people in the show are cast for their good looks. There’s a costume department that clothes them in the very best fashion items of the decade. In short, it’s a fantasy. But there is another reason why I like Miami Vice, and that’s because it provided inspiration for my all-time favourite videogame: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. That game was such a dynamo of awesomeness when it first came out. There was no other game like it, where you could ride a Harley out in the open. Anyway, without losing half my target audience by talking about videogames, let’s focus back on Miami Vice.
There are very few strong men left on TV these days. There are angry men (Kurt Wallander), dick-headed men (Charlie Sheen), psycho men (Dexter) and many, many limp-wristed milquetoast men (who are usually foils to enhance the acting of the dick-headed characters surrounding them).
Don Johnson as Sonny Crockett is a STRONG man. He does not let another man disrespect him, however he does not lose his cool every time somebody backchats him. Sonny is quick-thinking in times of danger, and loyal to his partner Rico Tubbs and his friends. He also spits pretty tight game. Watch the episode in Season 2 where Crockett and Tubbs go to New York. Crockett deals with this sassy little tart so adeptly you’d think they were old friends. He passes through her defences so easily. He is “alpha” in every sense of the word. The ‘80s was a time when masculinity was not a dirty word.
If you have not seen Miami Vice before, and you enjoy a visual feast and a good dose of cheesy action, I highly commended it to you. Seasons 1 and 2 are the best, in that order. They also come in DVD books in fluoro colours that will look sexy on your shelf.