Miami Vice: Season One

Looking back at it now, Miami Vice may not have aged gracefully, largely due to the decade in which it aired, but never has a television series represented an era as well as this primetime cop drama. Not only that, but the show revolutionised television with its cutting edge music, trendsetting fashion, fast cars and dark, high-tension drama. Featuring a multi-cultural cast — led by a white cop, Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson), and a black cop, Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) — the show became an immediate hit, receiving 15 Emmys for its first season alone. Unlike many programs, Miami Vice found its feet rather quickly. While there were some early changes in personnel (Edward James Olmos came in after a handful of episodes to add some grit), the show kept a fine balance of humour (Crockett has an alligator named Elvis) and dead serious subject matter (drugs, porn, murder) while always keeping Crockett and Tubbs dressed to the nines. The show wasn't without its flaws — the acting was sub-par (especially Thomas), Tubbs seemed to fall in love every other episode (often jeopardising the case) and minimum wage cops somehow led lavish lifestyles — but considering its competition at the time, it was just about the best show on the tube. Miami Vice also roped in guests that went on to become stars in their own right, such as Bruce Willis (in a rare role as a villain), Dennis Farina, Jimmy Smits and John Turturro. Five featurettes help explain the show's importance, taking a deeper look behind the influential series. "The Vibe" reveals how executive producer Michael Mann got it off the ground, envisioning the show as a new motion picture each week, how it became the most expensive show on the air, and the concept of it as a "pastel paradise" in which no earth tones or reds were used, ever. "Building" reveals MTV's influence on the show, as well as the casting, which sought out minority actors to add to the city's cultural flair. "Style" explores the colourful yet comfortable fashion, how the clothes became another character in the story and the difference between Crockett (the beach bum with the white linen suits) and Tubbs (the self-conscious style councillor). "Music" interviews composer Jan Hammer, the man behind the theme and score, as well as delving into the soundtrack's success and how music became the third major character, often taking the place of dialogue. "Miami" simply examines how the show shaped the city and resurrected it, making it the lively party town it is today. (Universal)