You may have seen Miami Vice, the movie, before, but have you seen the original crime drama TV series? This came about first, and it was the inspiration behind the famous film, which starred the likes of Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx. The series was created by Anthony Yerkovich, with Michael Mann producing it. Mann also created the film version. The series was created for NBC and it features the two detectives at the heart of the film; Ricardo ‘Rico’ Tubbs and James ‘Sonny’ Crockett. Ricardo is played by Philip Michael Thomas and James is played by Don Johnson. Below, we are going to reveal everything that you need to know about this film series, which was on air for five seasons. “For better or worse, Miami Vice is part of Miami television history.” according to the Scott Cooper Miami Blog, “Miami’s unique look gave the show unique Art Deco quality.”
An introduction to Miami Vice
So, let’s begin by revealing a bit about the series and what you should expect. The series lasted for five seasons. It first aired in 1984 and the last series finished on January 25th 1990. Rather than focusing on standard police procedures, the show draws heavily on the New Wave music and culture from the 1980s. The integration of visual effects and music is something that the show very much began known for. In fact, People magazine has gone as far to say that this was the first television show that really looked new and different since the invention of the color television.
The birth of Miami Vice
The creator of the show, Anthony Yerkovich, was fascinated by the similarities between historical ports, such as Casablanca, and the melting pot of Miami, i.e. centres of conspicuous consumption and sinful trade. After discovering about a loophole that enabled authorities to redeploy assets that had been taken from criminals, Yerkovich decided to create a show on this idea, giving undercover vice cops, Tubbs and Crockett, a lifestyle as decadent as their targets.
A TV series that was truly inescapable
If you do not have the pleasure of remembering the days when Miami Vice was around, it was certainly an inescapable TV show back in the 1980’s. In fact, there was even a Miami Mice segment on Sesame Street, which featured two rodents in spiffy suits! The cheesy signifiers of the show have lived on, including the 80s electronic score from Jan Hammer, the rolled-up jacket sleeves, and the neon-and-pastel palette. Because of this, you would be forgiven for assuming that this is somewhat of a comical series. In fact, a lot of people remark that the film version takes on a more serious tone. However, when you watch Miami Vice back, you will see that there is a lot of grit in this television series.
A must watch for fans of the ‘80s
If you are fascinated by ‘80s aesthetics, this show is a must-see. It was a cutting-edge, coolest of the coolest, TV show at the time, and it still has that feeling. As opposed to endless action scenes, you can expect a good balance between action and contemplative episodes. Expect cool music, cool boats, cool cars, cool attitudes, cool architecture, cool clothes, and cool designs!
An award-winning television series
You know that a television series is worth watching when it has been nominated for a number of prestigious awards over the year, and managed to take a few of these awards home in the process. We will give you a glimpse into some of the awards that this TV series received. Let’s start with Emmy Award nominations. The show received 20 nominations, taking home four awards over the years. According This includes Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Outstanding Cinematography for a Series, and Outstanding Film Sound Editing for a Series. The composer for the series, Jan Hammer, won two Grammy Awards for his composition; Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Instrumental Composition. The show also took home two Golden Globe Awards, with Don Johnson winning the Best Actor – Drama award, as well as Edward James Olmos winning the award for the Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
So there you have it: everything that you need to know about the Miami Vice TV series. If you are yet to see this series or the Miami Vice film, we definitely recommend watching both of them. Of course, start with the series first, and then move onto the film. You can watch them both independently too.