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Miami Vice

Steven Sanders

Publication Year: 2010

Discusses the aesthetic appeal, production history, philosophical themes, and enduring importance of the groundbreaking 1980s television series.

Published by: Wayne State University Press


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pp. vii


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pp. ix-x

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Introduction: Vice Inc.

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pp. 1-18

With its instantly recognizable rat-a-tat-tat, rat-a-tat-tat, rat-a-tat, DUM-dum-dum-dum of Jan Hammer’s Grammy Award–winning “Miami Vice Theme,” multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and awards, high-profile cast, and groundbreaking visual style, Miami Vice helped to define 1980s popular culture. As Robert Arnett asks: “Is there a more iconic image of the mid-1980s than Don Johnson in Miami Vice?” (2006, 127)...

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1. Sunshine Noir

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pp. 19-40

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, producers, directors, and scriptwriters such as Blake Edwards, Robert Aldrich, and Don Siegel, who had already made important contributions to film and would continue to do so, turned to television to create programs that foregrounded the planning, execution, investigation, and consequences of crime. Classic noir television programs included private detective series (Peter Gunn [1958– 61], Johnny Staccato [1959–60]), urban melodramas (Naked City [1958–63]), suspense series (The Fugitive [1963–67]), and tales of espionage and foreign intrigue (as in the British import Danger Man [1960–62, 1964–66], known in the United States as Secret Agent)...

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2. Into the Night

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pp. 41-63

In the first chapter I pointed out that developments in both film and television dating from the 1950s and 1960s provide evidence of the durability and commercial viability of the noir style and point of view. Network television in both the United States and United Kingdom bears the mark of the legacy of film noir with shows such as Peter Gunn, Johnny Staccato, The Fugitive, and Danger Man that perpetuated the noir tradition with alienated protagonists and classic noir themes such as crime, moral ambivalence, and political corruption...

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3. Authenticity, Redemption, and the Politics of Miami Vice

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pp. 65-84

A recurring theme in Miami Vice is the alienating character of undercover police work in which vice detectives must constantly be on their guard. A treacherous criminal underclass, with its power, wealth, and surfeit of illicit drugs, is bad enough...

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4. Why Miami Vice Matters

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pp. 85-100

It is now time to explain how Miami Vice achieved the emblem of cultural meaning it so conspicuously bears. Of course, by this point in the book it should be obvious why people cared, and continue to care, about Miami Vice, so my explanation is likely to seem redundant...

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Conclusion: Life after Vice

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pp. 101-104

The Miami Vice Feature Film. Written and directed by Michael Mann and released in 2006 in both a theatrical version and an unrated director’s cut DVD, Miami Vice confounded the expectations of many fans of the television series who believed that Mann would remake the show with its 1980s sensibility intact. However, not only does the film not do that, it also does not reflect the sociopolitical contexts of 2006 in quite the same way that the television show did so for the mid-1980s...


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pp. 105-106


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pp. 107-110


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pp. 111-114


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pp. 115-120

E-ISBN-13: 9780814335413
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814334195

Page Count: 136
Illustrations: 23
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: 1
Volume Title: N/a