It’s 1984, Margaret Thatcher is the Prime Minister and Frankie Goes to Hollywood are dominating the UK singles charts, while across the pond a television revolution is taking place.
That revelation was known as Miami Vice. Utter these words to someone who has lived through the decade and they will start reminiscing about how the good old times where. I wasn’t alive back then, in fact I was born a few days after Maggie Thatcher left office. So what am I doing writing about a TV show (Miami Vice) that I had no recollection of in its original run. In fact up to a couple of years ago I was like anybody else who was born post 80’s – Miami Vice was totally alien to me. Beside the odd mention on TV here and there I didn’t have a clue what “Viami Mice” was all about.
I came across Miami Vice by accident, here’s the scenario: It’s the summer holidays I’ve just done my GCSE’s and therefore I’ve got an additional month off- so I’m exasperated by boredom. I catch my dad watching the show and well I’ve got nothing better to do so I decide to do the same. The first thing to strike me was the showiness of the programme. It was very glitzy and glamorous. In terms of genre it is basically a police drama. It follows the usual clichés of the crime genre- bad guy deals drugs, good guys try to catch him and fail, before making one last ditched attempt to save the day and prevail. The pilot episode of Miami Vice “Brother’s Keeper” follows this exact formula.
So I proceeded with my usual cynicism, look at that it’s so cheesy it’s almost mozzarella. Some time and episodes passed and it had started growing on me like a fungus in a damp forest. My cynicism fizzled out like the setting sun of Miami. I sat quietly through season one, then season two, three, and four and finally season five. I had seen them all- every single episode of a series that I didn’t even know anything about a few months ago. I had forgotten about the cheesiness and had been moved to the edge of my seat.
I am a relatively new Vice fan. But there is still a large group of original fans, people who lived through the 80s and have been following the fortunes of the stars of the show 20 odd years after the shows demise. Just ask your parents they’ve probably got a pastel suit hidden away in the cupboard or a pair of very large sunglasses in the draw. If not, you only have to go far as the wonders of the world wide web and see the many forums that discuss all things about the show 20 years since its existence. “After 20 years I still enjoy watching the show,” eulogises one poster. “When I first saw Miami Vice on TV, I was immediately hooked, I think it is still one of the best TV series ever produced” salivates another.
So there we have it a slice of the finest quality of cheese. Come to think of it I like cheese a lot and in Justin Lee Collins’ words Don Johnson, Phillip Michael Thomas rock on!