Today, I got the recently-released DVD set of the second season of Miami Vice, which I've been eagerly awaiting since last spring, when I got the first season.
In the early 80's, Michael Mann created a cop show like none other. Built around cool hit music and fashion, an amazing roster of guest stars, and sporty cars, the show brought us weekly looks at high times, easy living, and fast dying in the multi-cultural blender of Miami.
Before Bad Boys and CSI Miami, Miami Vice was the REAL story of high-crime in Miami. Everything that came afterwards was just an imitation.
What most people didn't see behind the show's visual imagery was the complex stories Mann weaved through many of the episodes of the series. Characters who lived not in a world of good/bad or black and white, but rather shades of grey, with people living with (and sometimes trapped by) the fate they often made for themselves. Bad guys living by codes of honor, cops with personal struggles, and so forth. It wasn't just in Miami Vice where Mann told these kinds of stories, as one could see this approach in movies like Band of the Hand, Heat, and Collateral.
Miami Vice ... then, now, and for years to come ... go check it out!