Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.


Photo
- - - - -

Miami Vice (Seasons 1-5) Reissued DVD Sets, May 6th


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
44 replies to this topic

#21 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter



  • 2,857 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted August 29 2014 - 11:46 AM

As a fan of Miami Vice, I'd be interested if they ever came up with HD masters of the series.

To my knowledge, there are not.

I believe the DVDs were pressed from the syndication masters, which explains why a few little edits were made in some episodes - most noticeably for me in "Hit List" aka "The Return of Calderone pt 1" where the parachute pants joke got removed.

 

I'd love to see Blu-rays of Miami Vice, but I don't think we'll see that in the US. I'm happy to have the series, having collected the series sets as they came out. To my mind, you can see the enterprise start to founder as it hits the 2nd season, continue to go downhill through the 3rd and 4th seasons, and then really go off the cliff with that last season.  To me, the series properly ends with the 4th season cliffhanger, with the whole final season being a dream of Pam Ewing...



#22 of 45 OFFLINE   bronson

bronson

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 151 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2013
  • Real Name:Adrian

Posted August 29 2014 - 04:20 PM

In my opinion it went down at season 4 and not 3. Season 3 was quite good.



#23 of 45 OFFLINE   Wvtvguy

Wvtvguy

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 136 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 12 2010

Posted August 30 2014 - 06:14 PM

I agree that season 3 was pretty strong. Far more good episodes than bad & overall, a higher quality season than 2. The trademark style was much different though & I missed that. Season 4 had a few good episodes & season 5 had literally a handful. I always hated when the series went to that misty soft focus look late in season 3.

#24 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter



  • 2,857 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted August 31 2014 - 12:13 AM

For me, Miami Vice was at its peak during its one quality season - the first one.  It's not an accident that they were nominated for 14 Emmys that year.

 

Looking at Season One, there's only maybe 3 episodes I'd see as misfires.  And even those episodes have a consistency of tone and urgency that puts them a few blocks ahead of what would come later.

 

Season Two immediately founders with "Prodigal Son", as most of the dialogue is fairly bad, the music is mostly recycled from 1st season episodes, and the show seems to be embracing inset music videos over the actual story content. (In the first season, such moments were designed to emphasize the drama, not interrupt it.) There are still a few good eps in the second year - notably "Out Where The Buses Don't Run", "Bushido" and "Payback".  "Definitely Miami" has a nice mood to it but every time the beautiful guest actress or Ted Nugent open their mouths, wow... As I understand it, the second season suffered from the absence of Michael Mann, who was gone for most of the year, dealing with the production of Band of the Hand, his own directing project of Manhunter, and the Crime Story pilot.  By the time he returned, the show had already been deluged with angry hate mail - enough that NBC actually admitted this in a story on the news one night that year.  Some years later, Maurice Hurley would admit that "Prodigal Son" was so bad of an episode that it turned many viewers off.

 

Season Three makes a strong attempt to spice things up - but not in the ways that the show really needed. Michael Mann famously at the time said that he didn't want to see any more pastels.  So they went for a day-for-night, midnight blue kind of look. The cast were all given makeovers.  Enzo Ferrari provided a brand new Testarossa to replace the Daytona kit car of the earlier seasons.  (And frankly, I prefer the look of the Daytona - the white Testarossa looked more like a spaceship than a sportscar...)  In terms of the stories, Dick Wolf was hired to run the show while Michael Mann focused on the first year of Crime Story.   The result was that Miami Vice's stories began to look like what we know see on Law & Order - current events ripped from the headlines.  Looking at the first batch of subjects, they include an IRA plot, the Contras, drugs mixing in with the Jai Alai scene, corruption in the prisons, gang violence, the death penalty, baby sales, etc.. When you look at them all together, it does wind up looking odd for a show like Miami Vice. The season did provide some good eps - notably "Lend Me an Ear", "The Savage" and even the death penalty show "Forgive Us Our Debts". And I'll give them points for ending with a show centered on Saundra Santiago which actually gave her some room to act for a change.

 

Season Four started with a strong attempt to get back to the basics of writing the show - with Michael Mann involved in the early goings-on.  (It's telling that in his absence Crime Story quickly spiraled downward and never recovered...)  There's a bit of Dick Wolf current event material early on, but there are also some signs of them trying to find good stories that fit this show. The first batch of episodes have some strong ones in there, including "Contempt of Court" (although it replays one beat from a 1st season ep), "Death and the Lady", and even "Child's Play" and "God's Work", in spite of the latter two episodes offering overly pat resolutions. Yes, there were two odd episodes in there - the frozen Rastafarian and James Brown are head scratchers for sure... Once Dick Wolf jumped back in around the 8th episode, things got back to his usual mode of current events, with the situation probably hitting its lowest points with "Indian Wars" and "Honor Among Thieves?", both of which have positively ludicrous finales. (Although I still love the sight of Castillo working undercover in the former episode - I just wish they'd found better material for him...)  And yes, the fourth year had the awful clip show to boot.  As usual, the cast got their annual makeover, and the pastels came back in. To my mind, the final two episodes of the fourth year were easily their strongest - "Deliver Us From Evil" and "Mirror Image" stand up pretty well with most first season eps - with the final episode standing for me as both an effective cliffhanger and a fitting sendoff for the series.

 

Season Five is an absolute disaster, as far as I'm concerned. I frankly am unable to find even a single redeemable episode in the pile. There's so much wrong in the final year that it's hard to keep track of it all.  The writing is terrible, the dialogue is unbelievable, the cast look bored as they go through the motions, the pastel look of the series is now practically gooey, and the Jan Hammer scoring is now replaced by Tim Truman, whose music sounds okay the first time I hear it and begins grating immediately thereafter, etc. The only cast member who appears to be trying to do anything is Michael Talbott, who shows up in better shape than in any prior season. I'm shocked to hear cast members saying on the "E!" special that they didn't realize that the series was over until after the fact, when that final episode is clearly designed as a series finale.  (By the way, there's a writer credited as "Frank Holman" on the final episode. That's obviously a pseudonym, since that's the name of one of the main villains on Crime Story and was the real name of a crook that Chuck Adamson pursued as a cop in Chicago. I figure it's probably Adamson, who may have been angry at the way the story was done.  Or it could be Mann himself.  We'll never know.)  I'd be happy to entertain the notion of a single one of the Season Five episodes being presentable, but I haven't found it yet. 



#25 of 45 OFFLINE   bronson

bronson

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 151 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2013
  • Real Name:Adrian

Posted August 31 2014 - 02:16 AM

I didn´t like the Don Johnson/Easton relationship in Season 4. Easton got on my nerves. I didn´t like the episodes of her.

 

I like the episode where David Bowie´s wife Iman played the female villain.



#26 of 45 OFFLINE   Wvtvguy

Wvtvguy

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 136 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 12 2010

Posted August 31 2014 - 07:53 AM

I'll admit season 4 had none of what made seasons 1 & 2 special. Just bland. Why did Tubbs have to go to the grey suit look so much? I think writing the cops as being old & weary really hurt. They made references to how they were tired or "had been here before". I still watched it regularly but I dropped off in season 5. Truman did a few nice things with the music. There's a slow piece that plays in the final episode near the end that I liked. Unfortunately, he used it a few times. Nothing really distinct. By the nature of it's "hipness" , Vice wasn't going to be an NCIS show that plows on year after. Season 3, while I enjoy it, wasn't the same show at all. The season 2 episode "Sons & Lovers" was the last "classic" Vice episode. The cops grew weary, the colors went dark, & the stories could have taken place on several different shows.

#27 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter



  • 2,857 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted August 31 2014 - 09:25 AM

I agree that the show went to a place where the guys just seemed to be burned out after a while.  Kind of a "what's the use?" mentality. This was intended to be a sign of "hipness". Didn't actually work, though.

 

In the first season, the attitude worked because they were constantly showing situations where the worst possible outcome could happen when you least expected it.  There was a real feeling of danger on every corner. But when you get to the third and fourth season and you're ending episodes with Crockett trying to talk the good guy or girl out of shooting someone, again, it doesn't feel quite as fresh. The nadir of that for me actually came in the Season 2 episode "The Fix", which may go down as the single worst episode they ever did.  I literally almost gave up on the series after it. Horrible choice to have Bill Russell as the main guest character.  And then they end it in the most bizarre suicide sequence - something so ridiculous it was actually laughter-inducing.

 

(BTW - the idea of a character being a burnout was actually a key part of the appeal of the first years of Magnum PI. As Lee Sandlin put it in a brilliant piece he wrote for the late, great L.A. Reader in March 1985: 

 

"“Cheers” has just become a drag – now that Sam and Diane have had their affair, that edgy subtext of eroticism is gone.  That’s bad, but at least it’s not sinister, the way “Magnum” is these days.  It used to be that Vietnam explained Magnum:  he acted like a happy-go-lucky jerk because he was secretly a burnt-out zombie.  Now Vietnam justifies him:  He was a true hero there, so now he’s entitled to be a lout.  As for “Hill Street” – I knew it was over with when Mr. Sensitive, Captain Furillo, opined that the only solution to the crime problem was a cop on every corner. In the old days an attitude like that made sense because of the show’s tendency to throw ugly moments of violence at you without warning – you felt that these people were all on the edge of cracking up.  Now that the violence has been toned down and standardized, what’s left is a fascist soap opera about good cops in a Good System versus a Sordid World."

(all from "In the Grip of Miami Vice" by Lee Sandlin, LA Reader, March 15, 1985)

 

 

We could also look at the various makeovers they did with the cast.  In the first year, there was a solid feeling of what the Vice squad looked like both when "in character" and when off duty.  (Mostly in terms of Gina and Trudy) But you could believe the Michael Mann idea that Crockett just wakes up on the boat and throws on what you see - a designer suit but with a colored t-shirt - expensive shoes but no socks, etc. And they had the fun idea that Castillo only wears black and white. When they made everyone over for the third season, this all started to go out the window. Aside from Castillo, it looked like they were trying to make fashion statements with everyone, whether it made sense or not. Gina and Trudy now looked the same whether they were on duty or not. Crockett now looked like a wannabe rock star.  They did flirt with one idea early on that I did like - they gave Tubbs glasses for a couple of scenes in "When Irish Eyes Are Cryin'". At the beginning of Season 4, they changed everyone again - you can tell that "Amen, Send Money" was intended to be the opener as it establishes the new looks as part of the teaser.  (Just as with Season 3, the opener was supposed to be "El Viejo", as otherwise the Daytona gets blown up and then resurrected...) And again, everyone is trying to be a fashion statement and not necessarily a character.  I'll give them points for giving Crockett more complicated t-shirt patterns this time around.  And the idea of Tubbs with a beard wasn't a bad one. When you get to Season 5, however, I really have no idea what these people were thinking.  Looking at Crockett wandering around in leather and jeans was a giant "Huh?"  There's a scene when Crockett goes to visit his ex-wife and son, and he frankly looks like he's trying to dress like a teenager.  In the first season, you could believe all this stuff - by the final season, it no longer made any sense.



#28 of 45 OFFLINE   Wvtvguy

Wvtvguy

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 136 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 12 2010

Posted August 31 2014 - 07:01 PM

Season 2 did have a lot of endings with Crockett yelling "Noooooo!" as someone offed themselves. I always thought that was weak. The Bill Russell episode & the one with the race car driver were really bad.

#29 of 45 OFFLINE   bronson

bronson

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 151 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2013
  • Real Name:Adrian

Posted September 01 2014 - 10:31 AM

The worst episode was in Season1. The episode was called "Made for each other" and the episode was about Michael Talbot and Mr Diehl.



#30 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter



  • 2,857 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted September 01 2014 - 06:07 PM

Made for Each Other was in my opinion a fun little episode.  Wasn't particularly great but wasn't bad. Probably could be considered a misfire - but it was specifically intended as a comic sidestep with Switek and Zito. But even its silliness was nothing compared to the problems of "The Fix" or "The Cows of October" or "Indian Wars" or the entire fifth season....



#31 of 45 OFFLINE   Wvtvguy

Wvtvguy

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 136 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 12 2010

Posted September 10 2014 - 02:38 PM

Why didn't they follow up on the season 2 episode "Payback" with Frank Zappa? I remember just assuming there would be some sort of continuation in season 3.

#32 of 45 OFFLINE   bronson

bronson

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 151 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2013
  • Real Name:Adrian

Posted September 11 2014 - 07:36 AM

Why didn't they follow up on the season 2 episode "Payback" with Frank Zappa? I remember just assuming there would be some sort of continuation in season 3.

Was that the episode with boxer Roberto Duran at the beginning? I love the first scene where Crockett drives to the prison where Duran is and said to the guard at the gate: Crockett, Vice Miami. I love Johnson´s look. He looked so cool in those ray-ban sunglasses.



#33 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter



  • 2,857 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted September 11 2014 - 10:56 AM

"Payback" was never answered, which was really strange.

 

Effectively, at the end of that episode, Crockett's cover has been blown so he shouldn't be using the alias "Burnett" anymore as it's been thrown around everywhere that "Bur-net" is "Crock-ett" by Mario Fuente's people, who are trying to get the 3 million that Cates stole.

 

I've read the actual script of "Payback" and it included a scene at the end where Crockett and Tubbs are back in downtown and some dealer drives by them in a hotrod yelling at "Burnett" with something like "Where's the money?". I believe that Tubbs says something about how the whole thing will blow over as there are so many dealers out there and the players change every week. Not a very strong ending - I preferred what they did with things ending as Crockett realizes how much trouble he's in on the boat. But that begs the question of what the heck happened next.

 

The easiest solution would have been for Crockett to change up his alias since the first one had been polluted.  We saw Tubbs use different aliases during the first season - it would have been interesting to see both of them use different ones throughout the series.  You had to think at some point other dealers would figure out that everyone who did business with "Burnett and Cooper" wound up dead or in jail...



#34 of 45 OFFLINE   Wvtvguy

Wvtvguy

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 136 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 12 2010

Posted September 12 2014 - 07:15 AM

I just thought that was both a weird omission & a missed opportunity. Back then, pre Internet, I just waited every week assuming there would be some follow up. Instead, it just drifted into the ozone later like it never happened. I also felt they blew it with the follow up to "Sons & Lovers". I thought season 3 would open with more on Calderon's son but the follow up episode came in the middle somewhere & was pretty lackluster. I haven't seen it since it originally aired but remember the bad guys marching down the middle of the street "Gunsmoke" style. Maybe it's a decent episode but I remember being disappointed with it. I used to tape the show on Beta (yikes) & keep episodes I liked. I didn't keep that episode so it must not have impressed me. To me, the original episode "Sons & Lovers" was the last episode to contain all the classic elements of the show. I bit the bullet & bought season 2 today since I saw it pretty cheap. It's not HD but it will give me a quick fix. I came to the show during season 1 reruns so season 2 was the first I watched from the begining. Season 1 is my favorite though.

#35 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter



  • 2,857 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted September 12 2014 - 08:54 AM

The third season episode you're thinking of is "The Afternoon Plane", wherein Tubbs thinks he's won a special island vacation for himself and the girlfriend of the week, only to find out it's a setup by the Calderone Kid (John Leguizamo). I agree it was an unspectacular episode. To me, the whole Calderone story should have ended with the death of Calderone in the first season episode "Calderone's Demise".   I wasn't much of a fan of "Sons &  Lovers" as I thought most of it was way over the top.  It LOOKED like a classic Vice episode but the script was horrible and some of the moments were laugh-out-loud unintentional hilarity. The one real oddball bit was Lee Iacocca showing up and telling Castillo, "You know, I'm good with a gun!"   I do think there were a few episodes of the fourth season that got back to the earlier quality - particularly the fourth season cliffhanger "Mirror Image". But they simply never achieved the consistency of quality they had in the first season.



#36 of 45 OFFLINE   Timothy E

Timothy E

    Supporting Actor



  • 922 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 20 2007

Posted September 12 2014 - 09:14 AM

For me, Miami Vice was at its peak during its one quality season - the first one.  It's not an accident that they were nominated for 14 Emmys that year.

 

Looking at Season One, there's only maybe 3 episodes I'd see as misfires.  And even those episodes have a consistency of tone and urgency that puts them a few blocks ahead of what would come later.

 

Season Two immediately founders with "Prodigal Son", as most of the dialogue is fairly bad, the music is mostly recycled from 1st season episodes, and the show seems to be embracing inset music videos over the actual story content. (In the first season, such moments were designed to emphasize the drama, not interrupt it.) There are still a few good eps in the second year - notably "Out Where The Buses Don't Run", "Bushido" and "Payback".  "Definitely Miami" has a nice mood to it but every time the beautiful guest actress or Ted Nugent open their mouths, wow... As I understand it, the second season suffered from the absence of Michael Mann, who was gone for most of the year, dealing with the production of Band of the Hand, his own directing project of Manhunter, and the Crime Story pilot.  By the time he returned, the show had already been deluged with angry hate mail - enough that NBC actually admitted this in a story on the news one night that year.  Some years later, Maurice Hurley would admit that "Prodigal Son" was so bad of an episode that it turned many viewers off.

 

Season Three makes a strong attempt to spice things up - but not in the ways that the show really needed. Michael Mann famously at the time said that he didn't want to see any more pastels.  So they went for a day-for-night, midnight blue kind of look. The cast were all given makeovers.  Enzo Ferrari provided a brand new Testarossa to replace the Daytona kit car of the earlier seasons.  (And frankly, I prefer the look of the Daytona - the white Testarossa looked more like a spaceship than a sportscar...)  In terms of the stories, Dick Wolf was hired to run the show while Michael Mann focused on the first year of Crime Story.   The result was that Miami Vice's stories began to look like what we know see on Law & Order - current events ripped from the headlines.  Looking at the first batch of subjects, they include an IRA plot, the Contras, drugs mixing in with the Jai Alai scene, corruption in the prisons, gang violence, the death penalty, baby sales, etc.. When you look at them all together, it does wind up looking odd for a show like Miami Vice. The season did provide some good eps - notably "Lend Me an Ear", "The Savage" and even the death penalty show "Forgive Us Our Debts". And I'll give them points for ending with a show centered on Saundra Santiago which actually gave her some room to act for a change.

 

Season Four started with a strong attempt to get back to the basics of writing the show - with Michael Mann involved in the early goings-on.  (It's telling that in his absence Crime Story quickly spiraled downward and never recovered...)  There's a bit of Dick Wolf current event material early on, but there are also some signs of them trying to find good stories that fit this show. The first batch of episodes have some strong ones in there, including "Contempt of Court" (although it replays one beat from a 1st season ep), "Death and the Lady", and even "Child's Play" and "God's Work", in spite of the latter two episodes offering overly pat resolutions. Yes, there were two odd episodes in there - the frozen Rastafarian and James Brown are head scratchers for sure... Once Dick Wolf jumped back in around the 8th episode, things got back to his usual mode of current events, with the situation probably hitting its lowest points with "Indian Wars" and "Honor Among Thieves?", both of which have positively ludicrous finales. (Although I still love the sight of Castillo working undercover in the former episode - I just wish they'd found better material for him...)  And yes, the fourth year had the awful clip show to boot.  As usual, the cast got their annual makeover, and the pastels came back in. To my mind, the final two episodes of the fourth year were easily their strongest - "Deliver Us From Evil" and "Mirror Image" stand up pretty well with most first season eps - with the final episode standing for me as both an effective cliffhanger and a fitting sendoff for the series.

 

Season Five is an absolute disaster, as far as I'm concerned. I frankly am unable to find even a single redeemable episode in the pile. There's so much wrong in the final year that it's hard to keep track of it all.  The writing is terrible, the dialogue is unbelievable, the cast look bored as they go through the motions, the pastel look of the series is now practically gooey, and the Jan Hammer scoring is now replaced by Tim Truman, whose music sounds okay the first time I hear it and begins grating immediately thereafter, etc. The only cast member who appears to be trying to do anything is Michael Talbott, who shows up in better shape than in any prior season. I'm shocked to hear cast members saying on the "E!" special that they didn't realize that the series was over until after the fact, when that final episode is clearly designed as a series finale.  (By the way, there's a writer credited as "Frank Holman" on the final episode. That's obviously a pseudonym, since that's the name of one of the main villains on Crime Story and was the real name of a crook that Chuck Adamson pursued as a cop in Chicago. I figure it's probably Adamson, who may have been angry at the way the story was done.  Or it could be Mann himself.  We'll never know.)  I'd be happy to entertain the notion of a single one of the Season Five episodes being presentable, but I haven't found it yet. 

 

I agree entirely with your assessment, Kevin.  Season 1 was uniformly excellent and then began to deteriorate in quality early in season 2.



#37 of 45 OFFLINE   Wvtvguy

Wvtvguy

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 136 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 12 2010

Posted September 13 2014 - 04:30 AM

I'd agree with you statement on "Sons & Lovers". It was the last episode to look & feel like classic Miami Vice. Not a strong episode though. I remember the terrible acting by the drug dealers in the begining when they try to rip off Crockett & Tubbs. Were they even actors or simply friends of somebody who wanted to be in the show?? Awful.

#38 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter



  • 2,857 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted September 13 2014 - 12:06 PM

They were also badly looped. (Meaning that the main guy's voice was badly dubbed over.)  If you look at the guy yelling "Take his wire!  Cuff them!", it's obvious that someone put words in his mouth later on.



#39 of 45 OFFLINE   Wvtvguy

Wvtvguy

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 136 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 12 2010

Posted September 16 2014 - 07:49 AM

Received my season 2 DVDs today. Just glanced a few episodes to check the picture quality. Very clean image but it would benefit from being HD. The best DVDs of older shows not shot on film look a bit better I think. In HD, Vice would look really good. Oh well...

#40 of 45 OFFLINE   Wvtvguy

Wvtvguy

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 136 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 12 2010

Posted September 16 2014 - 06:22 PM

Oh & oddly enough, today's the 30th anniversary of the show! Man that's a while back.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users