What is Your Favourite 1980s Series? – Miami Vice Revisited
I have goosebumps when I listen to the first chords of Jan Hammer’s “Miami Vice Theme” – I close my eyes and I can see the vertiginous aerial view of Miami, speed boats, skinny-legged pink flamingos and voluptuous Florida beauties.
I’m talking about the coolest TV series ever: Miami Vice. Too young for a series that was aired in the 1980s? What a pity. I suppose you could still revisit Michael Mann’s TV masterpiece, but without the innocent eyes of a Cold War era pre-puber, you may see things differently. I’m not being ironic, this was really good.
To prove my point I’ll start talking about style: Sonny Crockett’s trademark white suit was real class – light years ahead of amateur fashionistas like Paccino’s Tony Montana. And what about his sidekick? The sleek Ricardo Tubbs, all savor faire and the best manners on this side of Florida.
The storylines were also brilliant. Quite dark, complex, involving drug lords, death and corruption – without being gory or sexually explicit, of course. I don’t think that this sort of material was on TV before people like HBO introduced some ace series in the mid-nineties.
Undoubtedly, Miami Vice gave us the best performances of Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas – On the other hand, Lieutenant Castillo, the great Edward James Olmos, has had a long film career, including the classic Blade Runner.
For Michael Mann, maybe his biggest achievement on the big screen has been Heat. On TV, his finest hour came with Miami Vice, no doubt, and the film version, also directed by him, was only a bad copy of an unbeatable original.