Miami Vice – Season One

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Don Johnson as Det. James ‘Sonny’ Crockett
Philip Michael Thomas as Det. Ricardo Tubbs
Edward James Olmos as Lt. Martin Castillo
Saundra Santiago as Det. Gina Navarro Calabrese
Olivia Brown as Det. Trudy Joplin
Michael Talbott as Det. Stan Switek
Martin Ferrero as Izzy Moreno
John Diehl as Det. Larry Zito

Special Features:
Includes all 22 episodes from the 1984-85 season, plus the two-hour pilot

“The Vibe of Vice”

“Back Story: Miami Vice

“The Fashion”

“The Music”

“Miami after Vice”

Other Info:
Full Frame (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 18 Hours 25 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the complete first season of Miami Vice which aired in 1984-1985. The following is from the DVD cover:

“The cops. The cars. The clothes. From executive producer Michael Mann (Heat, Collateral) comes the first season of the explosive, groundbreaking detective show that redefined the word “cool.” Set against the seamy and steamy Miami underworld, ride shotgun with suave Vice cops Sonny Crockett (Golden Globe winner Don Johnson) and Rico Tubbs (Phillip Michael Thomas) as they battle a never-ending gallery of criminals, drug dealers and lowlifes. Set to Jan Hammer’s electrifying score and featuring a soundtrack of rock legends exploding in 5.1 sound, including Glenn Frey, Phil Collins, U2 and Peter Gabriel, every episode crackles with excitement and stylish flair. Also starring Emmy and Golden Globe winner Edward James Olmos and a powerhouse roster of guest stars including Ving Rhames, Jimmy Smits and Bruce Willis.”

Miami Vice is not rated.

The Series:
I have to admit that I never watched more than a couple of episodes of Miami Vice when it first aired in the 80′s. I think I was a little young to be swept away by the hip crime drama. Watching it now as an adult, I don’t think I missed much. The stories bored me a little and it all looks dated to some degree now.

Despite my lukewarm response to Miami Vice now, I do recognize that it was a landmark series. First of all, it started a fashion revolution (for good or ill) in the 80′s. When you think of 80′s fashion, you instantly think of pastels, no socks, a white jacket, and a 3 o’clock shadow. For a TV show to come out of the blue and have such of cultural impact is certainly noteworthy.

The other groundbreaking aspect of the show was the cinematic look of it all. Cop dramas had been done on TV a million times before, but never in such a way that it looked like it was shot for the big screen. From the storytelling to the cinematography, the cast and crew elevated the way TV dramas were told.

Another remarkable aspect of Miami Vice was the music. Every pop star of the 80′s wanted their music on the hip show. You’ll hear songs on Miami Vice by Phil Collins, U2, Peter Gabriel, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, The Police, INXS, Glenn Frey, and even more. Interestingly, the music often set the mood for the scenes it was featured in.

The casting on Miami Vice was also excellent. The show elevated Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas from unknowns to superstar status. Both were perfectly cast and fit their characters well. Edward James Olmos was also impressive as Lt. Martin Castillo. A backdrop of tons of sexy scantily clad women and cool guys helped make the stars look even better. Looking back at other old TV series, it’s quite common to see modern big name stars featured in cameo roles. Miami Vice is no exception. Look for brief appearances by Ving Rhames, Bruce Willis, Jimmy Smits, Ed O’Niel, and others in various episodes.

If you are a fan of Miami Vice, then I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this DVD set. (Unfortunately the sound has been re-mastered, but the picture still has dirt all over it.) I also think if you’re looking for an 80′s flashback then this will fit the bill. If you’re looking for a good buddy cop show then Miami Vice may be entertaining to you, but it’s all a little dated and there are other modern shows out there which you may want to see first.

The Extras:
Unfortunately none of the bonus features have new interviews with Johnson or Thomas. It’s all vintage material. Here’s what you will find, though:

“The Vibe of Vice” – This brief feature describes how Miami Vice became a TV series and the impact that it had when it arrived. There are interviews with some of the original crew and a lot of behind the scenes footage. There are even old Today Show interviews included.

“Back Story: Miami Vice” – This brief feature talks about how the story and characters were developed. Again, there’s a lot of behind the scenes interviews and vintage footage.

“The Fashion” – The title here says it all. The costumer for the series talks about how they led a fashion revolution.

“The Music” – As you might guess, this featurette discusses all the musical guest stars from the show and the unforgettable theme music.

“Miami after Vice” – This is nothing more than a promotional video from the city of Miami prompting tourism.

The Bottom Line:
The definition of “cool” for the 80′s, Miami Vice features groundbreaking fashion, classic music, and cinematic storytelling. If you’re a fan of the show or are looking for a blast from the past, Miami Vice will fit the bill. It is still a bit dated, though.

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