When I was in 3rd grade, the groundbreaking television series Miami Vice premiered.
I’m reliving the series as of late, with the arrival of the DVDs in the mail this week.
I watched it religiously with my parents every Friday night.
Now, mind you, in other areas, they were rather strict. But for some reason I got to stay up to watch Miami Vice and even Johnny Carson at a very young age. I still don’t get it, but I’m thankful. Further proof that being exposed to violence & drug use at a young age has very little bearing on a person’s outcome.
The premiere of Miami Vice was during the earliest years of MTV – cable TV had just come onto the scene — Having 13 or less channels was hell. We didn’t have remote controls either at that time in our household – I remember sitting 18 inches from the television set (in order to flip channels) and all the while hearing how I was ruining my vision sitting so close – that’s a myth as well, as I still have perfect vision. I consider sitting that close as preparation for sitting in front of a laptop screen most of my adult life.
Back to Miami Vice — the show was originally pitched as “MTV Cops” — And I was sitting, at 8 years old, watching this amazing television show – a show that influenced art, architecture, fashion and music. Who can forget the pastels, neon, loafers with no socks of Sonny Crockett, Armani & Versace suits, fast cars, and dialogue. It influenced my life – through the music married with amazing images that popped off the screen. I think all of that visual stimulation led me toward the direction of an art career.
This series was the first time that music truly was married with a television series. It was the venue where artists came to premiere their music. Way before MTV’s “Real World” or “The Hills” showcased an artist in a television show – this was 1982-83 – there was Miami Vice. As this was 25 years ago, I’m feeling slightly old here. I hate to think what Don Johnson & Phillip Michael Thomas are feeling.
Looking back, I had zero business watching this television show at the age I was – 2nd grade — but when I asked “what is a vice cop?”– my parents just said “oh, someone who arrests people who sell drugs” — to which I responded “what are drugs?” — they answered “the stuff that make you sick” — I guess in my 8 year old naive mind, that was enough for me. As my Mother is a nurse, I acquired a realistic understanding of sickness and the things that cured it at a very early time in my life. I guess I didn’t question much at that age… I still wonder about that.
One of the most vivid pop culture memories of my childhood is of sitting in front of the television, watching these luxurious sports cars shooting down the streets of Miami. The sleek iconography of automotive design married with the soundtrack showcasing the emotion of the moment is why I chose Phil Collin’s “In The Air Tonight” for my FGF music. The following is a clip from season 1.