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Customer Review

on March 8, 2011
Of the three "scholarly" texts that have appeared about Miami Vice, this is likely the best one and the new mark for "serious" books about the series. This slim volume resembles one of the better entries in the BFI Classics series.

The author makes this a bit personal (he's from Miami and is familiar with many of the show's locations), and is very concious about making this a straight-forward and easy to understand study of the seminal TV series. He also refers to other discussions of the film, particularly John Paul Trutnau's lengthier tome A One-Man Show? The Construction and Deconstruction of a Patriarchal Image in the Reagan Era: Reading the Audio-Visual Poetics of Miami Vice. He points some interesting obversations from that work, as well as some facts that are plain incorrect.

MV is populary remembered for style style style--the cars, the clothes, the music, the editing. But this book (and the others) also deal with the very deliberate choices in the story and characters. Vice is consistently "noirish" and did much to bring those themes into the modern era with its stories of corruption, identity, and the new cynicism introduced in a post-Vietnam / post-Watergate / Reagan-era 1980s. While Crockett and Tubbs were always after the "bad guys", the murky web their quarry sometimes inhabited reminded viewers that Miami, and indeed the USA, did not exist in a purely black and white world.

Highly recommended to MV fans, more so than Trutnau's book. It's far more accessible, succinct, and relevant and does much toward helping us remember that MV was about much more than pastels, Ferrari's, and Ray Bans.
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