How was Miami Vice generally received in the 80's?

effzee

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I avoided it until the Frank Zappa episode, then I avoided it again. Ironically, the Zappa episode may well have been the cheesiest of them all 🧀
 

Flat6Driver

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Not only that, but it was the first time that a TV series bought the rights to loads of hit songs by the original artists, thanks to Brandon Tartikoff's legendary (and unfortunately apocryphal) "MTV* Cops" missive. Up until that time, if a song was performed on a TV series, it was almost always a cover done by Hollywood session musicians. Also, it was the first time a TV series had really film-like cinematography. Most previous TV shows were shot with a flat, very brightly lit picture, to compensate for the varying degrees of TV reception (or the lack thereof) and the infamous NTSC "Never Twice the Same Color" analog picture quality.

* You younger readers will no doubt be shocked to learn that back in the '80s, MTV actually showed music videos! It was a simpler time back then.
I read somewhere that WKRP used real tunes in the show at broadcast but had to replace with generic music for the syndication. I don't know if it's true.


Edit. Ok it was true
 

wacolo

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Philip Michael Thomas (aka Tubbs) gave us this glorious trainwreck of a video. I do however lowkey dig the tune.

 

Maguchi

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I saw it as a kids show, like Chips. Cool maybe if you were 15.

That's fair. I was 13-18 during MV's run, it met my low bar if just for the Daytona + Testarossa filth.

I missed a lot of it, but that's just how TV was back then; wasn't such a big deal and almost nothing was very good. And because people didn't binge (could anyone actually program a VCR from 1984?), shows were way more episodic/thinner. It was a big deal if a story stretched two weeks, forget these fourteen week character arcs of Sopranos, etc.

High art it wasn't, but a whole lot of folks we'd see later cut their teeth on it.


I was in my 20s, so din't really watch it. I thought the car was cool though. Saw some snippets of it on TV, don't think I ever saw a complete episode. Was not a big thing with the crowd I hung with.
 
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Oxidao

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That was a killer Serie in the begining.
There were few to none, ‘alternative’ Video and Music on Tv before the MTV.

edit: I’ve just checked, MTV 1981 and Miami Vice 1984, so MTV was first, but it wasn’t available for free.
We were all avid to see Video and Music aesthetics on Tv.
 
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MarkieMark

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I suspect I was at an age to be the prime consumer of such programming in its prime.

Myself, and my peers...
Would have never been caught dead watching that stuff.
Never saw a full episode as far as I recall. Off my radar.
 

Cadillac_Mike

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This was very cool, the fake View attachment 1103722 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder

It was built on a C3 Vette chassis with a 350 V8 actually lol. They edited in the Ferrari V12 sounds in post production. Like another poster stated the Testarossa was a real Ferrari but they also had Testarossa kit cars for some of the stunt scenes which were probably built on Pontiac Fiero chassis.
 

Tom Grattan

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It was built on a C3 Vette chassis with a 350 V8 actually lol. They edited in the Ferrari V12 sounds in post production. Like another poster stated the Testarossa was a real Ferrari but they also had Testarossa kit cars for some of the stunt scenes which were probably built on Pontiac Fiero chassis.
Yes, and the later kits were ugly.
 

Ed Driscoll

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I read somewhere that WKRP used real tunes in the show at broadcast but had to replace with generic music for the syndication. I don't know if it's true.


Edit. Ok it was true
Fair point -- I completely forgot about WKRP in this context. I was thinking in terms of previous crime dramas, where whenever someone turned on the car radio, or a song was used as background music in a scene, it was always a cover.
 

Refugee

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I once had a chance to steal the rag top Charger from Nash Bridges. Worked in SF right around the corner from where they were shooting a scene. It was 7:30 AM and it was in an alley I pass by as I walked to my building. Just sitting there, running. No one around at all. It would've been so easy to take it on a joy ride. But, I had to get to work and didn't feel like getting arrested. That car is easy to spot. Oh, and I'm not a thief. extremely tempting though.
 

Kev-wilson

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The Miami Vice cars & fashions were an eye opener on our shores :) Nash bridges was ok too but you can't watch Cheech Marin playing a serious role 😂🤣😂
 

haggardfan1

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I suspect I was at an age to be the prime consumer of such programming in its prime.

Myself, and my peers...
Would have never been caught dead watching that stuff.
Never saw a full episode as far as I recall. Off my radar.

Same here. It was on during the last of my college years, but it was way too heavy on the cheese.
 

NoTeleBob

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Some of the worst schlock to come out of 80's TV. But it had a lot of competition in that category.

Still, as nostalgia, I could watch a show or two. Not that I did at the time.
 

Engine Swap

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The first season aired on Fridays at 10:00 PM, and was produced by Michael Mann, who was a genius in terms of production design and costuming. it had great writing, but the show itself didn't really take off until it went into reruns in its first season, then, for about a year, it became this snowballing phenomenon. This second season received huge ratings, but had wildly uneven writing.

The third season onward was produced by Dick Wolf (who would go on to do Law & Order and its myriad spinoffs) who turned the show into much more of a conventional police procedural. It was moved to Friday at 9:00 PM to compete with Dallas, and it lost in the ratings quite badly, as I recall, and eventually moved back to 10:00 PM. It ran for two more seasons. Don Johnson wanted to move into movies, so the show was cancelled after five seasons. As cool as the Testarossa seemed at the time, it marked the beginning of the show's slow fade to oblivion.

Interesting insights @Ed Driscoll

I recall a drastic shift in the quality, which I’m guessing was season 3. The first season was cool and a lot of fun.
 

dspellman1

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I can hardly think of a show that had as much impact on fashion and music during it’s heyday.

It was a huge, huge hit that impacted everything. It had that cutting edge cool factor that made you feel like you had to run to catch up with what was going on.
Hugely influential. I saw guys in Dubuque, Iowa sporting Sonny's look. And the music was stellar.

The Ferrari Daytona was, of course, a pair of McBurnie replicas on Corvette chassis, and neither was actually blown up (one's in a museum in Illinois, the other in the hands of a 'private collector'). Ferrari had refused to provide (or allow) its cars on the show, but got SO much publicity from the show that it eventually sued everyone it could and offered the pair of white Testarossas we saw after the first couple of seasons.

Phil Collins had a huge hit out of the show, as did Glenn Frey, and the sound track is instantly recognizable. Edward James Olmos worked forever after that show, as did the star, but the rest of the cast seems to have gone home to count their money.
 




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