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Preview- Miami Vice: The Complete Collection (DVD)

The pulse and the rhythm of a glamorous resort is juxtaposed against the steamy haunts of the drug underworld in this groundbreaking action series starring Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago, Michael Talbott, John Diehl, Olivia Brown, Gregory Sierra, and Edward James Olmos, now fully restored and in high definition on DVD. Enjoy all 111 episodes from all 5 seasons of a show which had an unprecedented fifteen Emmy Award nominations for their first season.

Two cops from different backgrounds – street-smart New Yorker ‘Rico Tubbs’ (Philip Michael Thomas) and stubble-faced southerner ‘Sonny Crockett’ (Don Johnson) – team up to take on Miami’s underworld.

The cost of one episode was more than that of the entire annual budget of the Miami Police Department’s Vice Unit. After two seasons, Johnson threatened to walk from the series as part of a highly publicized contract dispute. Mark Harmon (St Elsewhere) was ready to replace him but executive producer Michael Mann convinced Johnson to stay, resulting in him becoming the highest paid actor in the history of a television series at the time. It meant Johnson had to turn down leading roles in Die Hard and The Untouchables due to his contract.

Guest stars included Michael Madsen, Bruce Willis, Glenn Frey, Ving Rhames, Gene Simmons, Frank Zappa, Bianca Jagger, Ted Nugent, Frankie Valli, Eartha Kitt, Emo Philips, Leonard Cohen, Little Richard, Helena Bonham Carter, Melanie Griffith, Jeroen Krabbé. Liam Neeson, Willie Nelson, Benicio Del Toro, Annette Bening, George Takei, Viggo Mortensen, Laurence Fishburne, Steve Buscemi, Wesley Snipes, the ‘Godfather of Soul’ James Brown, Sheena Easton, Xander Berkeley, Harry Shearer, Alfred Molina, Isaac Hayes, Chris Rock, Ian McShane, Julia Roberts, Ben Stiller and Amanda Plummer.

Music was integral to Miami Vice. The theme song was so popular that it also garnered two Grammy Awards itself in 1986. Often credited as the first show to match a scene to a piece of popular music (rather than made-for-TV music), the Miami Vice production team would spend $10,000 or more per episode buying the rights to original recordings by contemporary artists. One of the most iconic moments from the series was the use of “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins for the pilot. At the show’s peak, USA Today would publish a song list of music due to be featured in that week’s episode. Musicians and record labels became eager to get their songs played on the show to boost their popularity.

Miami Vice has taken the stress out of 80s themed parties, just throw on a pastel suit over a T-shirt, roll up your sleeves, remove your socks and put on some Ray-Bans. A T-shirt under an Armani jacket was popularized if not invented by the show. Designers such as Vittorio Ricci, Gianni Versace and Hugo Boss were consulted to keep the male leads looking fashionable. In an average episode, Crockett and Tubbs wore five to eight outfits.

The crew went to great lengths to find the correct settings and props. Pastel colours on the show reflected Miami’s Art Deco architecture. For seasons 1 and 2 no “earth tones” were allowed to be used in the production. Director, Bobby Roth, recalled: “There are certain colours you are not allowed to shoot, such as red and brown. If the script says ‘A Mercedes pulls up here,’ the car people will show you three or four different Mercedes. One will be white, one will be black, one will be silver. You will not get a red or brown one.

Extras: The Vibe Of Vice, Building The Perfect Vice, The Style Of Vice, The Music Of Vice, Miami After Vice

You can pre-order here on DVD or Bluray.

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