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David Hines [userpic]

the Miami Vice exception

April 2nd, 2008 (12:15 am)
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I'm watching episodes of MIAMI VICE on hulu.com lately. Hadn't seen the show in years, and it's neat to actually watch it as an adult, rather than a kid for whom most of the thrill was just getting to stay up to watch it.

An interesting thought occurred to me: most of the time, when TV shows try to make people look cool, the result is laughable a few years later. Ten, twenty years down the line, forget it. What was cool is dorky, what was slick is pathetic. Except for MIAMI VICE. It looks like a different era, yes, but it still looks recognizably cool. It's kind of amazing, when you think about it.

I have no idea why it's different, but that it is really says something about the aesthetics of the show.

Comments

Posted by: cmar_wingnut (cmar_wingnut)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 11:23 am (UTC)
Garo - Garo

From what little I recall of the show, besides the clothes and hair and good-looking people it had a real visual style, subtle but unique. (I remember lots of pastels?) Maybe that's what's aged well.

Posted by: Lucy (cereta)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
crockett

*nods* We, um, might just maybe have all five seasons on DVD (it's my husband, I swear), and I think part of it was that MV created style as much as it followed it.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)

I think you're right: its style didn't come out and hit you in the face as much as other shows' attempts at style did, and that was a big success. The subdued colors really helped there; you got color for visual interest and scene-setting, but it didn't blast you in the face.

Posted by: PROBE UNIVERSE (liviapenn)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
reaction: *hearts*



An interesting thought occurred to me: most of the time, when TV shows try to make people look cool, the result is laughable a few years later. Ten, twenty years down the line, forget it. What was cool is dorky, what was slick is pathetic.


Ah yes, the Claudia Kishi rule. :D

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)

I honestly had not thought about it in Baby-Sitters Club terms, but y'know, you have something there.

Posted by: nehrlich (nehrlich)
Posted at: April 2nd, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)

I've been poking around hulu and finding out that some shows from the 80s actually held up far better than I expected. The A Team is still surprisingly entertaining, as is Airwolf, although both are simple plot-wise compared to modern TV. But nice for end-of-day mush-brainedness.

WKRP in Cincinnati didn't hold up as well, alas.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
giant alien robot semi truck

The pilot of AIRWOLF is impressive as hell, I think. It's also disturbing and surprisingly gruesome for its day; I ought to write it up at some point. A shame Jan-Michael Vincent's descent into alcohol and drugs tore that show apart.

Posted by: nehrlich (nehrlich)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)

I noticed that while watching the Airwolf pilot as well. The violence and death was kind of shocking, especially after watching the A Team, which has explosions and gun battles, but nobody ever gets hurt. I'd definitely be interested in seeing your writeup, if that's any encouragement :)

Posted by: trinfaneb (trinfaneb)
Posted at: April 3rd, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)

I once had a roommate who used a special blade on his razor to get the small kind of facial stubble as Sonny Crocket.

Posted by: silk_noir (silk_noir)
Posted at: April 11th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)

The people working on the show labored under the very specific edict of "no earth tones."

In high school (ah, so sheltered I was) I went straight from A-Team to Miami Vice. From 6K rounds of ammo going everywhere and no casualties to Sonny Crockett's big, big gun. (*cue leer*) Oh, yes--Miami Vice was a good time to be a 17 year old girl.

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