Miami Vice (1984–1989)

TV Series   |  TV-14   |    |  Action, Crime, Drama

Episode Guide
Miami Vice (1984) Poster

Resplendent with authentic 1980s music, fashion, and vibe, "Miami Vice" follows two undercover detectives and their extended team through the mean streets of Miami, Florida.


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Cast & Crew

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Anthony Yerkovich

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

5 December 2003 | KathyAndPaul
Deserving Of It's Legendary Status
Ah. This brings back memories.

One of the seminal TV shows of the 80's it is sadly remembered more for it's style, music and fashion content than anything else. Which is unfair as it was also brilliantly acted. Then there is the scream of it's being "unrealistic" due to the fact the cops are wearing armani designer lables and driving a ferrari...WHOLY wrong. The characters are supposed to be undercover cops posing as drug dealer playboys. To have them driving a ford and wearing second hand costumes and cop uniforms would be unrealistic as drug dealers tend be very stylish and showing off thier wealth like a peacok. Urgo the Organised Crime Buerau Vice unit have to fit in. Ussually well written (irellevant of if or not it's the first two seasons gritty realism or the remaining three seasons which were more formulaic).

Season One started off with a pilot that is extrememly lame. And indeed while enjoyable the earlier episodes which followed weren't up to much either. But then along with the (shock) death a lead character early in the season and a new theme tune the show found it's foot. Thanks to the American viewing public for sticking by the show in it's developmental stage. Once Season 1 gets going properly it's a rollercoaster ride of spills and thrills which looked flashy and also delivered plot and characters that kept your attention. Best Episdoe: "Hit List" (aka: Caulderone's Return Part 1). Worst Episode: "Give A Little Take A Little".

Season 2 is more of the same really. Characters are developed more but the plotlines and style remain the same. Best Episode: "Definitley Miami". Worst Episode: "Tale Of The Goat".

Season 3 Shows an definite change of tact for the show. But it works incredibly well and is IMHO the best of the lot. The actors have grown into their characters by this point and can make them totally convincing and sympathetic. The voilence is as action packed and sizling as ever. And the look on Don Johnson's face when his ferrari Daytona gets destroyed is an amazingly comical moment. Best Episode: Too may to choose from really but Johnson's sanity slipping on a case in "Shadows In The Dark" is amazing stuff up there with Pacino and DeNiro in the acting stakes "Forgive Us Our Debts" comes a very close second. Worst Episode: "Viking Bikers From Hell".

Season 4 is the least of the bunch. The stories try to return to a more realistic style but fail totally in their delivery. There are a few good moments but for the most part the stories get very boring. Also someone had the bright idea to cancel Miami Vice and slip a new show called "The Adventures Of Sonny Crockett" on in it's place. In this new show where Crockett and Tubbs were equal partners in the show and the rest of the OCB crew were FAR more than extras who had plenty to bring to the table. in this season we're greeted to a show where Tubbs is reduced to nothing more than a sidekick and the rest of the the OCB are also rans with the exception of some very poor filler episodes. Best Episode: "Mirror Image". Worst Episode: Too many to choose from but "Death And The Lady" is the lowest of the low with only a memorable guest appearence by Paul Guifoyle (sp?) Better known nowadays as Brass in C.S.I. playing a seriously weird villian.

Season 5 is my second fave season after Year 3. Everyone is back on a level playing field again as "The Adventures Of Sonny Crockett" are canned after one season and Miami Vice returns. Jan Hammer takes his music with him to pastures new but Tim Truman arrives with some amazing and atmospheric work for the season that I personally consider to be the best of the bunch when it comes to the music. The realism is out the window with the producers realising that the previous years "high drama" approach had been a complete failure it was time to make sure the final year was a hard hitting full on gunfest. There are OCCASIONAL breaks from this with a couple of comedy episodes "The Lost Maddonna" works brilliantly with Micheal Chiles -I THINK that's his name- from The Shield playing a New York art detective in a genuinley amusing episode. However "Miracle Man" is dire beyond words and is actually painfull to watch making it the worst MV episode. There is some effective character work in there too and the plots while aiming towards a big finish still come across well. The first episode resumes where Season 4 finished with Crockett suffering amnesia believing he really IS a drug dealer and putting on a brilliant "villian" performance. The cliff hanger ending ot the season opener is IMHO the BEST TV cliffhanger ever shown with Crockett (still on planet memory loss) and Tubbs going at it. The story arc is resolved in the seasons best offering "Redemption In Blood". The rest of the season focuses on the other members of the OCB and makes it obvious Crockett is burned out with it only being a matter of time before he either quits the Police Force or gets himself killed. Thankfully the show saw sense to finish while it was ahead and while the final story "Freefall" does not have a great plot the story OOZES in atmosphere and has a sense of farewell to it that is brilliantly realised in the final scene where Crockett and Tubbs bid each other farewell. Best Episode: "Redemption In Blood". Worst Episode: "Miracle Man".

Maybe one day people will remember the show for the reasons it deserves more than the style and the music. I can but hope.

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