Journal: Here’s Why We’ve Fallen For Miami Vice All Over Again

Here’s Why We’ve Fallen For Miami Vice All Over Again

By Hellena Miron
May 18, 2015
19 comments

In today’s day and age, there are so many options to view entertainment—Netflix, iTunes, YouTube, and the circa-500 million channels on cable, satellite, or whatever your preferred provider is.

Yet somehow, with all the choices out there, I have found myself watching one particular channel quite a lot recently: the El Rey television network. The brainchild of director Robert Rodriguez, perhaps best known for El Mariachi, Dusk to Dawn, and Sin City, El Rey’s current selection of programming seems to consist of mostly old Kung Fu movies, and syndicated shows like Starsky & Hutch, Dark Angel…and perhaps, more importantly: Miami Vice.

Seemingly, whenever I turn the channel to El Rey, I see Sonny Crocket and Ricardo Tubbs staring back at me, and I kinda like it. Luckily, El Rey plays Miami Vice almost as much as the Hallmark channel plays the Golden Girls, so I can get my fix whenever I want.

I’m not sure exactly why I’m so mesmerized by the show. Could it be because of Crocket’s amazing pastel-colored shirts, neutral blazers, and high-waisted pants—Crocket really knew how to make salmon colored clothing very manly.

Or was the show was so awesome because of its amazing storylines?

Watching the show has brought back some memories. I remember as a kid seeing the Miami Vice Action Spectacular stunt show at Universal. And, of course, there is innocence for a time before pagers, smartphones, and the internet took over our lives. The show had it all: sex, drugs, guns, cars, and rock ‘n’ roll. It was a platform to play the hottest new music, and many notable actors, musicians, and celebrities appeared on the show throughout its run.

It’s a virtual feast of talent, and fun to see some then-unknowns play different roles. In the last couple of weeks alone, I’ve seen Melanie Griffith, Pam Grier, Sheena Easton, G. Gordon Liddy, Ed O’Neill, John Turturro, Ben Stiller, Liam Neeson, and Bruce Willis—just to name a few.

While the casting directors had a great eye, the prop masters had an equally great eye, too, for locations and cars. Crocket and Tubbs’ daily driver is Ferrari Daytona Spider, but they later receive a white Testarossa after the Daytona is destroyed by an arms dealer with a missile.

Also notable: Tubbs sometimes drove a 1964 Cadillac Coupe de Ville Convertible, Stan Switek drove a turquoise 1963 Ford Thunderbird, and Gina Calabrese drove an 1971 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible, and when Stan and Larry were undercover, they drove a Dodge Ram Van with a huge bug on top of it. Other notable vehicles that appeared on the show include cars from Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Maserati, Lotus, DeLorean, and Porsche.

American muscle was also represented by the likes of the GTO, Mustang, Camaro, and Corvette. And, yes, you are probably thinking how did I know what each car was: I did have help from my viewing partner, my husband. In a nutshell though, these are the cars most of you drool over today, so why not watch a show that’s loaded with them?

The influence of Miami Vice has been so great that it is today considered amongst the most influential television series ever made, and many aspects of the show have become pop culture icons.

What are some of your favorites cars and parts of the show?

Images Source: imcdb.org

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chapmansKatoRoland A.NameJamie GardnerPaul Celentano Recent comment authors
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chapmansKato
chapmansKato

LOVED “Miami Vice”. I was in my late 20s when it was on TV and I dressed like Sonny every day. I even got to be on the show in one episode as an extra. Last Summer I was able to pick up a nice Testarossa in red to complete the fantasy. However…now I’m in my mid 60s and look more like Davey Crocket. Ah… Life can be whimsical. You can’t afford the toys you want until you’re too old to play with them. But that doesn’t stop us does it? I enjoyed this article very much and love your… Read more »

Roland Alfonso
Roland Alfonso

Name
Name

There was a great tv ad for Mercedes Benz recreating that famous “In the air tonight” ride into the night sequence. One of the smartest ads I’ve seen. Worth to look it up on YT.

Jamie Gardner

If you like Miami Vice, I have to insist that you check out one of my favorite bands, Gunship. It’s like they took all the great parts of the 80s, distilled it and gave it a modern touch. The youtube video for their song “The Mountain” is a Miami Vice supercut. You’ll probably love it.

Paul Celentano
Paul Celentano

When I think vice some of the first cars to jump out at me are those amg’d 500Sel’s all lowered and in funky colors.

Jan
Jan

Also these contribute to the pure 80i-ness of the show.

miamivice_3.jpg
Sotiris Papamatthaiou
Sotiris Papamatthaiou

Because Michael Mann…

Iwakuni91
Iwakuni91

Two points:
– Godley & Creme’s Cry in [i]Definitely Miami[/i] is the best use of music/video I have ever seen in a tv show
– Gina’s rapist, who drives a Lamborghini Countach, is chased by Crockett and drives under the crossing gate at speed. 16 year old me thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen.

BLS
BLS

I’ve been told by someone that since the Daytona was (obviously) a fakey do, they dubbed the exhaust sounds of the 365 GTC/4 over it. Never seen it corroborated online. Makes sense though.

Steven Hullihen
Steven Hullihen

You have to watch the episode where they race motorcycles down through the parking garage …make my heart pound every time
I see it.

Matthew Haber
Matthew Haber

I just wanted to add that the Daytona spider was destroyed because it was actually a replica on a Corvette C3 (I believe) chassis, they had two or three of them and when old man Enzo found out they had fake cars he was pissed, and told them that they had to get rid of the impersonators at once. They destroyed the cars on the show and then Enzo showed them to the brand spanking new Testarossa, they also had two or three of those.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

See #3 above .

Douglas Anderson
Douglas Anderson

I love watching the reruns on El Rey , in a former life i spent considerable time working in Miami and met several very nice ladies who told me they had originally moved to Miami just because of the TV series the cars and the stars. Personally i feel that the whole production was great and the series helped build a good base for automobile enthusiasts in the main stream, the music and cinema were over the top and have yet to be improved upon in modern TV.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

I was debating whether or not to post the following . But after DA’s comment I thought . Why not ? Miami Vice Fun Facts 1) Miami would not be the Miami it is today if it were not for the Miami Vice TV series . Fact is when the production team chose Miami the city was crumbling and on a verge of doing a Detroit . The production team spending millions of dollars painting refurbishing and restoring almost all the Art Deco architecture etc . Not to mention as it ran on the series attracted many to move and… Read more »

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

In addition ; AMG’s presence and sales in the US ( pre Mercedes ownership ) were all but established by their constant appearances in Miami Vice . Not to mention the show was all but blamed for the rise of the Yuppie and the wretched consumerism of the 80’s . Reasonably correctly I might add ‘ Dallas ‘ may of set the stage and written the script . But it was Miami Vice that dotted the i’s crossed the t’s and brought the whole mindset to its fruition And this is just the short list . When all added up… Read more »

Sean Whelan
Sean Whelan

I never watched the show but enjoyed the facts just the same.
I have to take issue with the wretched consumerism of the 80’s comment, however. We called it prosperity back then when success wasn’t a dirty word.

Roland Alfonso
Roland Alfonso

Yep.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Jan Hammer’s score . Great additional music including some specifically written for the series ( ” Smugglers Blues ” etc ) Mighty fine cloths for the times though the pastel thing is now a bit passe ( I still have my Sonny Crocket white linen Gianfranco Ruffini ; still wear it over jeans etc as well ) Great guest stars and musicians . An incredible selection of cars : from the Corvette based Daytona kit car – to the Testarossa * – the plethora of ever present AMG’s – to some fine American iron . Oh . And the power… Read more »