Review: Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: The Vibe of Vice. Building The
Perfect Vice. The Style of Vice. The Music of Vice. Miami After
Vice. Regions 2/4.
EPISODES: Brother's Keeper, Heart of Darkness, Cool Runnin',
The Hit List, Calderone's Demise, One-Eyed Jack, No Exit (a.k.a.
Three-Eyed Turtle), The Great McCarthy, Glades, Give a Little
Take a Little, Little Prince, The Milk Run, Golden Triangle, Golden
Triangle, Smuggler's Blues, Rites of Passage, The Maze, Made for
Each Other, The Home Invaders, Nobody Lives Forever, Evan, Lombard.
WHEN it first blasted its way onto our television screens in
1984, Miami Vice represented something of a landmark series.
With its designer violence, designer clothes and stubble and
its killer soundtrack, it was to the Eighties what Starsky and
Hutch represented to the Seventies, in that it defined the decade.
Time magazine hailed Miami Vice to be 'TV's hottest and hippest
cop show', while countless awards were bestowed upon it, including
And it made instant household names of of Don Johnson, Philip
Michael Thomas and Edward James Olmos, who won an Emmy as the
intense Lt Castillo.
Looking back, it does look a little dated, but the raw, gritty
early episodes maintain a cinematic sensibility that is instantly
the hallmark of series producer, Michael Mann.
Indeed, seasons one to three were
the best of the lot, tackling the seedy underside of Miami in
an unflinching, yet totally stylish manner, and confronting some
pretty weighty issues into the bargain.
Series opener, Brother's Keeper, was a classic case
in point, focusing on corruption within the police force, drug
lords and murder, vice and double-crosses.
It begins as Miami police detective James 'Sonny' Crockett (Johnson)
reluctantly teams up with New York newcomer Ricardo Tubbs (Thomas)
to solve several murders connected to a mysterious Colombian drug
lord, Orlando Calderone.
The episode was notable for introducing the detectives to each
other for the first time, as well as featuring a memorable cameo
from Jimmy Smits, as Crockett's ill-fated partner.
Future episodes built on the chemistry between the leads, while
introducing Olmos as Castillo (replacing Gregory Sierra as Lt
Lou Rodriguez), and the eccentric fellow detectives who populated
future episodes (such as Switek, Zito, Gina and Trudy).
Classic episodes included No Exit, which featured a
pre-Moonlighting Bruce Willis, The Milk Run, which saw
Crockett trying to save two naive New Yorkers who were looking
for one big score, and Smuggler's Blues, which featured
Glenn Frey on-screen and on the soundtrack.
Yet season one boasted a pretty strong line-up throughout, whether
in terms of guests (Dennis Farina, Dan Hedaya, John Turturro,
etc), directors (Rob Cohel, Abel Ferrara), or musicians (Phil
Collins, Eric Clapton and ZZ Top all featured on the score).
It's little wonder that given Hollywood's current appetite for
reviving small screen classics, Miami Vice is to be given the
big screen treatment (with Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx in the
What's more, series creator, Michael Mann, will be writing and
directing - making 2006 a very hot prospect for Miami Vice fans
at the box office, and this box set a must-have for anyone in
need of some 80s-laced nostalgia.