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54 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Best Show Ever

Author: clockwork8812 from USA
5 May 2004

There was something about this show that separated it from everything else. A hidden aura and sense of magic that drew you in deep. You know a show is good when you're watching it and your eyes never leave the screen, not even for a second. That was the case here, that is seasons 1-3. Seasons 4 and 5 were terrible. Who ruined this gem after 1987 I don't know, but watch any episode in season 4 and 5 and Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas seem bored, like they don't even want to be there. Funny, this started happening when John Diehl left the show. On the other hand, the first three seasons rocked. Some of those episodes were so hypnotic that there has never been anything like it. Here are my top 10 episodes of all time:

1) Junk Love / November 8, 1985

2) Hit List / October 19, 1984

3) No Exit / November 9, 1984

4) Back In The World / December 6, 1984

5) Bought And Paid For / November 29, 1985

6) The Good Collar / October 24, 1986

7) Rites Of Passage / February 8, 1985

8) Viking Bikers From Hell / April 3, 1987

9) Shadow In The Dark / October 31, 1986

10) Walk-Alone / October 17, 1986

Some of these episodes were so good that you wished they went on forever. For those who have yet to see this show, stick with the first three seasons. You're in for a real treat.

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56 out of 70 people found the following review useful:

Deserving Of It's Legendary Status

Author: KathyAndPaul from Norwich England
5 December 2003

Ah. This brings back memories.

One of the seminal TV shows of the 80's it is sadly remembered more for it's style, music and fashion content than anything else. Which is unfair as it was also brilliantly acted. Then there is the scream of it's being "unrealistic" due to the fact the cops are wearing armani designer lables and driving a ferrari...WHOLY wrong. The characters are supposed to be undercover cops posing as drug dealer playboys. To have them driving a ford and wearing second hand costumes and cop uniforms would be unrealistic as drug dealers tend be very stylish and showing off thier wealth like a peacok. Urgo the Organised Crime Buerau Vice unit have to fit in. Ussually well written (irellevant of if or not it's the first two seasons gritty realism or the remaining three seasons which were more formulaic).

Season One started off with a pilot that is extrememly lame. And indeed while enjoyable the earlier episodes which followed weren't up to much either. But then along with the (shock) death a lead character early in the season and a new theme tune the show found it's foot. Thanks to the American viewing public for sticking by the show in it's developmental stage. Once Season 1 gets going properly it's a rollercoaster ride of spills and thrills which looked flashy and also delivered plot and characters that kept your attention. Best Episdoe: "Hit List" (aka: Caulderone's Return Part 1). Worst Episode: "Give A Little Take A Little".

Season 2 is more of the same really. Characters are developed more but the plotlines and style remain the same. Best Episode: "Definitley Miami". Worst Episode: "Tale Of The Goat".

Season 3 Shows an definite change of tact for the show. But it works incredibly well and is IMHO the best of the lot. The actors have grown into their characters by this point and can make them totally convincing and sympathetic. The voilence is as action packed and sizling as ever. And the look on Don Johnson's face when his ferrari Daytona gets destroyed is an amazingly comical moment. Best Episode: Too may to choose from really but Johnson's sanity slipping on a case in "Shadows In The Dark" is amazing stuff up there with Pacino and DeNiro in the acting stakes "Forgive Us Our Debts" comes a very close second. Worst Episode: "Viking Bikers From Hell".

Season 4 is the least of the bunch. The stories try to return to a more realistic style but fail totally in their delivery. There are a few good moments but for the most part the stories get very boring. Also someone had the bright idea to cancel Miami Vice and slip a new show called "The Adventures Of Sonny Crockett" on in it's place. In this new show where Crockett and Tubbs were equal partners in the show and the rest of the OCB crew were FAR more than extras who had plenty to bring to the table. in this season we're greeted to a show where Tubbs is reduced to nothing more than a sidekick and the rest of the the OCB are also rans with the exception of some very poor filler episodes. Best Episode: "Mirror Image". Worst Episode: Too many to choose from but "Death And The Lady" is the lowest of the low with only a memorable guest appearence by Paul Guifoyle (sp?) Better known nowadays as Brass in C.S.I. playing a seriously weird villian.

Season 5 is my second fave season after Year 3. Everyone is back on a level playing field again as "The Adventures Of Sonny Crockett" are canned after one season and Miami Vice returns. Jan Hammer takes his music with him to pastures new but Tim Truman arrives with some amazing and atmospheric work for the season that I personally consider to be the best of the bunch when it comes to the music. The realism is out the window with the producers realising that the previous years "high drama" approach had been a complete failure it was time to make sure the final year was a hard hitting full on gunfest. There are OCCASIONAL breaks from this with a couple of comedy episodes "The Lost Maddonna" works brilliantly with Micheal Chiles -I THINK that's his name- from The Shield playing a New York art detective in a genuinley amusing episode. However "Miracle Man" is dire beyond words and is actually painfull to watch making it the worst MV episode. There is some effective character work in there too and the plots while aiming towards a big finish still come across well. The first episode resumes where Season 4 finished with Crockett suffering amnesia believing he really IS a drug dealer and putting on a brilliant "villian" performance. The cliff hanger ending ot the season opener is IMHO the BEST TV cliffhanger ever shown with Crockett (still on planet memory loss) and Tubbs going at it. The story arc is resolved in the seasons best offering "Redemption In Blood". The rest of the season focuses on the other members of the OCB and makes it obvious Crockett is burned out with it only being a matter of time before he either quits the Police Force or gets himself killed. Thankfully the show saw sense to finish while it was ahead and while the final story "Freefall" does not have a great plot the story OOZES in atmosphere and has a sense of farewell to it that is brilliantly realised in the final scene where Crockett and Tubbs bid each other farewell. Best Episode: "Redemption In Blood". Worst Episode: "Miracle Man".

Maybe one day people will remember the show for the reasons it deserves more than the style and the music. I can but hope.

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44 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Simply the best TV series ever made.

Author: tweak-me from United States
6 February 2007

Although made for television this show portrayed a real street presence not often found in the public domain. Having lived through this period and witnessed, first hand, the "drug culture," and its effect on the population, the program stands as a warning to those who want to experiment, the nightmare to the general population, and the ever-present danger and bravery of the police who try to cope with this never-ending misery. The daily antics of Crocket and Tubbs, the characters they meet, the villains and the heroes of their streets,make the reality palatable while at the same time shrouding their discomfort with humor, e.g., Izzy, material breaking down, glitzy surroundings. Well worth watching many times over.

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56 out of 80 people found the following review useful:


Author: john david ( from Lancaster, ca
6 September 2004

What can I say about Miami Vice that hasn't already been said, except that it is the greatest TV show ever made in the history of television. It quite obvious the best season of Miami Vice is the first season. Season one was the season where Vice really focused all it's episodes in real life situations. Situations which really happen in real life. Vice started with a bang with the excellent pilot episode, and it never looked backed for the next 22 episodes. Season one was everything that made Mimai Vice what it is now. Action, drama, intensity, thrills , music, style, and relationships. One episode that features all this, is Calderone's Return- Part 1 and 2. Two really fantastic episodes. Other great episodes of season 1 are The Great McCarthy, Little Prince, Milk Run, I can go on and on. One truly classic season.

As good as Season 2 was and it was good, it doesn't compare to Season 1. The problem with season 2, is the show focusing on bizarre situations such as voodoo, satanism, and other weird stuff. Season 2 featured three episodes that I consider awful. Whatever Works, Tale of the Goat, and Bushido. Three episodes that season 1 would of never of thought of making. Even though I don't like these episodes, I still consider season 2 a very good season. It just doesn't even come close to the flawless season 1. I do think though that season 2 features the greatest Miami Vice episode of all time which is The Prodigal Son. A well directed, very entertaining Vice episode that features lots of action, drug busts, romance, and totally awesome 80's music. Your not a real Vice fan if you don't like The Prodigal Son.

It's sad to say, out of all five seasons of Vice, only the first two seasons defy what Miami Vice was and are the only two seasons that really kick Miami Vice ass!! Season 3 became more of a darker Vice that took away everything that made the first two seasons such a highly entertaining show. Gone was the pastel background colors, snappy pop tunes, and Crocketts famous look that made him an icon among men and his fast wheeling car. Dark broody colors were replaced in the background, the music was replaced with unknown artists, and Crockett looked more like a banker/rock star, and his beloved Spider Ferrari was replaced with a Testarossa. Which was blown up in the season premiere of season 3 When Irish Eyes are Crying.

Season 3 took out all the fun and excitement of the first two seasons and replaced it with a more darker depressing Miami Vice. The outcome, ratings dropped, and the show was not Miami Vice that everyone fell in love with. I think the problem lies with the shows producer John Nicolla, who left and was replaced by Dick Wolf who probably was never in favor of the pastel energetic Mimai Vice of the first two seasons. So if anyone is to blame of Vice's downfall, it's Dick Wolf. Creator also of the lame Law and Order series.

I have nothing to say about seasons 4 or 5 except that was this really Miami Vice the show that was unlike any other in the history of television. I have nothing good to say about seasons 4 or 5, except horrifically awful, especially season 4. Can't get any worse than that.

There is great news though as of this writing Miami Vice is finally being released on DVD. Season 1 that is. The complete season of all 22 episodes and it's original music intact. Wow what a collection that will be, I can't wait. Presume to come out later this year, around Christmas time. What a Christams present that will make! Miami VICE LIVES ON!!! THE GREATEST DAMN SHOW EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION!!!

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29 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

One of the best showcases for what the 80s were all about

Author: Fpi
22 August 2006

At the time of writing, the anti-80s sentiment that was so strong particularly in the 90s has more or less disappeared. Finally, we can again appreciate this strange decade's fashion. Miami Vice was cutting-edge, the coolest of the coolest, and a must-see for those fascinated by 80s aesthetics. Some of the episodes are actually slow and contemplative, focusing much more on building a cool atmosphere rather than on endless action scenes. Somehow, it captures much of the optimistic "no problem" attitude of the decade that has recently been dismissed as "kitsch". At least, this is the case for the first couple of seasons. The speculative elements that at the time raised some criticism look innocent and almost charming compared to what's being shown today. You can see cool design, cool clothes, cool architecture, cool attitudes, cool cars, cool boats, listen to cool music. Though one may like or dislike the style, everyone will see that there has been put quite an enormous effort into all this. As for the stories, they fit the spirit of the series quite well - they're interesting enough to catch your interest - never complex, but not devoid of intriguing and well-developed characters. This is simply one of the best showcases for what the 80s were all about.

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22 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Pure 80's!

Author: BlackJack_B from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
11 April 2001

I remember back in 1985, when I was in Grade 9 that the teacher wanted to have the students talk about themselves. We were given a personal questionnaire, then we would divulge our answers. When it came to our favorite T.V. show, 18 out 30 students said "Miami Vice". And that's how I was introduced to this show.

Running during the years when NBC was dominant in prime-time and daytime (1984-1991), when the other networks were struggling as opposed to the pathetic NBC we have now, Miami Vice was probably the second most popular show in the U.S. after The Cosby Show.

Miami Vice is a crime-drama about two detectives, Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and a transplant from New York, Ricardo Tubbs (Phillip Michael Thomas) who fight crime in Miami. Unlike other by-the-book cop shows, this one brought back the cool trend brought in years back with Starsky & Hutch. The men are dressed in cool pastel clothes (Johnson became quite a fashion plate during these years), have a sleek white Ferrari and certainly have 80's panache in dealing with criminal element.

Like many programs during the "Flashdance" era, there is music in the background at all times but Miami Vice played the current hits as well. It was a big honour for artists to have their music played on the show.

Of course, today the show is a bit dated and a lot of people think that Don Johnson dominates too many episodes but he was THE MAN and PMT didn't mind playing second fiddle (who was hotter than Don?). Still, as a lover of the 80's this show is a must-watch for me. Too bad it's on the more pathetic TNN (WE GOT POP!!) but I tolerate it. Also, Don Johnson's current hit "Nash Bridges" is good, too. He may be a little heftier but that voice and his fashion sense haven't changed.

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20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

One of the best drama cop shows I have ever seen!

Author: SonicStuart from Kansas City, MO
30 June 2005

I know that I never got to see Miami Vice when it was out but I know it did end a year after I was born. I got to see the show on DVD and I thought it was just classic and cool! From the way the show is made it looks more like a movie than a TV-series. The show revolves around two cops, Detective James "Sonny" Crockett (Don Johnson) and Detective Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) and their adventures solving crimes around Miami! Stubble-faced detective Crockett lived in a sailboat guarded by his alligator Elvis. His partner Tubbs was a black New York cop looking for his brother's killer. Together they took on the Florida drug world. The show influenced men's fashions toward Italo-casual and interior decor toward the Memphis look. This show aired on NBC from 1984-1989 and lasted 5 seasons and I was amazed my this real neat series when I first watched it especially on the way it was made and such, plus I think Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas are one cool and memorable TV team to remember. I remember that 5 years later after Miami Vice ended, Don Johnson did another detective series called "Nash Bridges" which lasted 6 seasons on CBS! If you like this series then you would also like Nash Bridges!

User Rating: 10/10


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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Friday Night Action Series from the mid-1980's!

Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
25 February 2005

"MIAMI VICE"-A Crime Drama Series Produced by Universal Television. Produced by Michael Mann. Number of Episodes Produced: 114 for NBC-TV. First Telecast of the Series: September 16,1984. Last Telecast of the Series: July 26, 1989.

NOTE: Michael Mann was also the show's creator as well as executive producer and sometimes head writer for several episodes,which he also directed. The series was filmed on location in Miami,Florida.

This show was one of NBC's Biggest Hits of the mid-1980's and it continued to remained so until the end of the decade. This show was a Friday Night Institution for five years of its run(1984-1989)and it went up against some tough competition including several shows that consisted of "Dallas","Falcon Crest",and others not to mention the newsmagazine "20/20",which was the prime-time lineup for Friday nights. The pulse and rhythm of a glamorous resort city of Miami,Florida was the juxtaposed against the seamy haunts of the drug underworld in this gritty action series,which made heavy use of rock music backgrounds and music video effects,not to mention some of the most violent content ever conceived for television happened on this show since it was shown later on Friday nights at the 10:00 hour. Sonny Crockett(Don Johnson)was a rough-edged Miami vice detective who lived on a sailboat called "St. Vitus' Dance",that was guarded by his dyspeptic pet alligator,Elvis,named after the singer Elvis Presley. Ricardo Tubbs(Philip Micheal-Thomas)was a black ex-New York street cop who had to come South to find the drug dealer who murdered his brother. They were an unlikely but effective team,working undercover on the flashy Gold Coast and down the seedy alleyways that made the city of Miami such a city of contrasts. Often they sped around town in Sonny's black Ferrari-Spider sports car(which was later upgraded to a state-of-the-art Ferrari Testarossa,custom-made just for the show). Lt. Castillo(Edward James-Olmos)was their moody superior,and Gina(Saundra Santiago)and her partner detective Trudy(Olivia Brown)were a hip female undercover team,while the other team consisted of Stan(Michael Talbott)and Larry(John Diehl)became the conventional backup.

The stylish,MTV-influenced series(music by rock composer Jan Hammer)was a smash hit that the show itself was one of the top-ten shows in the Nielsens for the first three seasons of its five year run,and was Emmy nominated twice,and transformed struggling actor Don Johnson into a major sex symbol,and made Philip Micheal-Thomas,who was an unknown actor at the time with several movies to his credit,became the heartthrob of fans.especially the women during the mid-1980's. It was also around the time the show was on the air,the soundtrack to the television series,Miami Vice,composed by Jan Hammer became a huge hit,and it was from the album that the show's theme song went on to win both the AMA(American Music Awards),and the Grammy for best instrumental score.

Getting to the character of Sonny Crockett,played by Don Johnson was an rough looking but cool as a cucumber with his expensive pastel sports jacket worn over a T-shirt,with stubbly beard,no socks,and an angry scowl started a fashion trend for those who were into the macho/grubbly look. Female characters on the show fawned over him-and usually got blown up or shot for their trouble. His partner,Ricardo Tubbs was the opposite,a clean cut individual who was always armed with weapons for any situation that came up and usually sometimes to bail Crockett outta a tight problem with some vicious murderer or ruthless drug lord. As for Crockett himself,he was a divorce widow who estranged wife and son were rarely seen,and later a quickie bride player by singer Sheena Easton appeared in several infrequently segments,occasionally as Caitlin Davies(for that one season during the 1987-1988 season)in the show's third season.

This hip-series attracted many famous celebrities,who were normally seen in TV acting roles to do cameos roles. This show had singers from the 1950's(Little Richard,Chuck Berry),the 1960's(James Brown,Eric Clapton),the 1970's(Patti LaBelle),the 1980's-a lot of music from that decade(Phil Collins,Tina Turner,Journey,Ted Nugent,Neil Young,Peter Gabriel,Gloria Esteban to rap groups like The Fat Boys and others)that really influenced this show. Other special guest stars included Watergate felon G. Gordon Liddy,who made quite an impression in the role of a sneaky Real Estate broker;also seen fleetingly were such special guest stars as boxing promoter Don King,boxing champ Roberto Duran,comedian Tommy Chong,the chairmen of Chrysler corporation,Lee Iacocca,and the President of NBC-TV,Brandon Tarkioff,as a bartender!

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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

AKA The Don Johnson Show (just kidding)

Author: highlites from England
27 October 2001

I was about six when this show came over to Britain [in 1986-i think]. As soon as they showed the last series, they repeated the show all over again. So by the time I was 12 I had just about seen everything, but not in the right order.

Of course in the 80's us Brits lapped up stuff like this; Don Johnson, cool cars, laid back cops, (ours walked around with batons and very big hats), so naturally it was a MASSIVE success although no man ever dared to walk around in pastels and palm tree ensembles down our highstreet. The tragic thing about it was the fact by the fifth series it practically became about Sonny and Rico. Where did the action go and why wasn't there more about the exploits of the Bug Van? Add canned laughter and you've got The Don Johnson Show (with side show Phil). Oh dear. Where was Zito when you needed him?

I haven't seen it for a while and I hope that they repeat it over here on terrestrial TV. Sure it was (ground-breaking?!) stuff which set the trends but I haven't seen a Hawaiian Shirted man in a while, have you? No-waaaay. 10/10. For just being.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Seems even more amazing now than it did then

Author: vailsy from United Kingdom
26 September 2011

I won't bore you with what I think are the best episodes, but season 2 was where I started watching it originally as a kid and I've revisited the show again on DVD just recently some 25 years later

The things that strike me now are that Don Johnson is a damn fine actor, Jan Hammers music was and is awesome, and the show had a noticeable upturn in production values from around about 'Yankee Dollar' onward - from that moment we have real on-set undubbed dialogue, proper location ambiences, camera shots onboard speed boats. It really does get awesome from here. I just watched the episode and loved it

You can tell that Mann is primed and ready to get into film work at this point and really had honed his skills as a Producer

All I can tell you is if you've never seen it, watch the show. It has Edward James Olmos who went on to star in my other favourite TV show of all-time 'Battlestar Galactica'. Don Johnson who really should be recognized for his acting talents imho and some of the coolest music you will ever hear in a TV show in Season 2. I'm definitely not talking about the pop music btw, but the Jan Hammer tracks - if you like vintage retro synths you will absolutely love it

While some of the fashion styles might seem silly now, interestingly Miami Vice had a huge influence on popular culture and fashion during the 80's rather than vice versa. I still think Sonny and Crocket look slick most of the time, but some of the extras do look like aliens from outer space, and the shorts are Bjorn Borg short!!! The 80's were a pretty crazy decade

Great show. Brings back a lot of memories seeing it again, and very satisfying that Michael Mann went on to become one of the best movie Directors of all time with films like 'Manhunter' and 'Heat'

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