Feb 15, 2006

Miami Vice Reruns

I am going to admit it; I have become addicted to Miami Vice. Twenty-two years after the show started, I have rediscovered how incredibly cool it really was. The new Sleuth channel airs MV every night at 10:00 PM and for an hour, I am transported back to the 1980’s, in all of its cheesy glory. The clothes, the hair, the music and the guest stars were so perfectly 80’s that I find myself grinning like a goon while I watch this show. The acting was over the top – just slightly more believable than the most perfect show of the 1970’s, Starsky and Hutch.

The guest stars I’ve seen so far:

Nathan Lane – playing decidedly against character as a stand up comic who is not only straight, but a rapist

Bianca Jagger – in a bit part, playing an assassin

G. Gordon Liddy – playing a black ops spook

Miles Davis – playing a pimp with a heart of gold

Jimmy Smits – as a drug lord

Ed O’Neil - as an FBI agent who may have crossed over to the dark side

Dennis Farina – Mobster who turns states evidence

Dan Hedaya – Drug dealer

Bruce Willis – Wife beating drug dealer

Joan Chen – as Capt. Castillo’s long lost lover

Glen Frey – as a smuggler

Phil Collins – as a game show host/con artist

Pam Grier – New York cop

John Turturo – Pimp

Ving Rhames – Jamaican immigrant

Esai Morales – Home invader/robber

William Russ – Undercover agent

Peter Allen – Man in the Gallery

Charles Dutton – Eccentric drug dealer

Kyra Sedgwick – a drug dealer’s moll

Ted Nugent – psychopath

John Hurd – Mob Attorney

More actors who either were or became household names: Terry O’Quinn – from Lost;

David Strathairn – most recently from Good Night and Good Luck; Michael Madsen – from Kill Bill; Garcelle Beauvaise- NYPD Blue; Clarence Williams III – from the Mod Squad and Purple Rain; Dean Stockwell – from Blue Velvet and Quantum Leap; Lynn Whitfield – from the Josephine Baker Story and Strong Medicine; Harvey Fierstein from Torch Song Trilogy; Michael Richards – from Seinfeld; Richard Belzer – stand-up comic and Homicide/Law and Order star; John Leguizamo – Stand-up comic/Actor...the list goes on.

Miami Vice had great recurring characters with fabulous names like:
Izzy, Ample Annie, Noogie, and Pepe (played by Shabba Doo).

Miami Vice had inspired casting, using musicians, singers, and celebrities to act in bit parts and recurring roles:

Jon “Bowzer” Bauman of Sha-Na-Na fame

Glen Frey of the Eagles

Phil Collins of Genesis

Joe “King” Curasco – Sings on a yacht

Peter Allen

Suicidal Tendencies – the whole band played “Institutionalized” (The Pepsi Song) in one episode

The Fat Boys – were funny in a beat boxing street scene

Little Richard – also pretty funny as a street preacher in all of his spangley glory

Eartha Kitt - as a Santaria priestess – what else would she be?

Power Station(with Michael DeBarre doing lead vocals singing Bang a Gong")

Frankie Valli – of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons as a Mobster

El Debarge – of DeBarge

Patty D’Arbanville – from I’m With the Band fame (groupie/author)

Iman – super model/wife of David Bowie

Jan Hammer – the man behind the music of Miami Vice did a cameo as a wedding musician in one episode

Leonard Cohen – Great Songwriter (not so great voice)

Roberto Duran – Boxer

Frank Zappa –innovative musician/songwriter - played a murderous drug dealer

Lee Iococca – chairman of GM

The music is quintessential 80’s pop and rock. The first episode included the songs:

Rolling Stones, Miss You
Lionel Richie, All Night Long (All Night)
Rockwell, Somebody's Watching Me
Cyndi Lauper, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Phil Collins, In The Air Tonight

Episode 2 included:

The Tubes, She's A Beauty
John Waite, Missing You
ZZ Top, Sharp Dressed Man
Devo, Going Under
George Benson, This Masquerade

All of this is just from the first two seasons and the show ran for five years. It is like opening up a time capsule from the 1980’s – better the second time around. I used to watch the show, but had no recollection that the Don Johnson character, Sonny Crockett, lit up a cigarette and smoked it in almost every episode – they even smoked in the police station. This show is a slice of glittery, pastel, no-sock wearin’, Cavaricci and shoulder pad sporting history.


Anonymous said...

Strathairn ?!?!?! I missed Strathairn ?


finijo said...

Straithairn - and I just caught Liam Neeson at an Irish terrorist tonight.

Anonymous said...

Im with ya MAN!
Crocket and tubs rocks.

jamie fox and tool box have nothing on them!