It's all about Dan Tanna!
I don't have a lot of details or meta or Zeitgeist or sociology or anything else to justify myself about this. It was pure glitzy, gorgeous trash. It gave me a passion for the Vegas of this period which lasted long after any actual joy to found there did. I know I shipped him with the Phyllis Davis character, but she was mostly my self-insert. I think my fanon of the time was that he was sleeping with the dumb blonde Judy Landers character, but that Beatrice was the one he really respected. I HATED Binzer. God what a stupid character. If I'd been the person I am now, I probably would have slash shipped Dan and Philip Roth (Tony Curtis.)
As it was I was 14, with my 14 year old hormones and a BIG poster of Dan Tanna and his T-bird on my wall. I was OBSESSED with Robert Urich and cut out every picture and article I could find. If Tumblr had been around, I'd have had my own "FUCKYEAHDANTANNA" Tumblr. I hated the reviewer of TV Guide for deriding Dan Tanna as a "cute guy hero" with a "cute guy car."
For a while, Robert Urich was all over the talk shows like Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin, talking about his friendship with Burt Reynolds and doing his Burt Reynolds impression, which basically consisted of a high-pitched giggle. He also sang Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup, and someone made a tape of it for me. A cassette tape, thank you very much, and I played that thing to death. I was much jealous of his wife, Heather Menzies, and I think I may have lost interest in the show when she did a guest stint and became his love interest and then got killed. Or am I mixing that up with the whole Sheena Easton debacle on Miami Vice of a few years later? Or does every fun show have to piss me off by going dark and giving my hero a love interest that I hate?
Bottom line...I consider Robert Urich/Dan Tanna my first MAJOR media crush. Yes, I had Captain Kirk before that, and my William Devane, Robert Conrad stuff slightly earlier, but they didn't get a poster. I didn't do whatever the 1978 equivalent of SQUEEEEEE was when the show came on. They didn't have a T-bird. That poster stayed on my wall a long time past the demise of the show and I think the next thing to occupy the place of honor was my Jimmy Page poster when I went through my obligatory Led Zeppelin phase and then became the Miami Vice spot.
What's somewhat interesting is that I had no loyalty to Mr. Urich, post-Vega$. I never watched Spenser for Hire or any of the other TV shows or made-for-tv movies he was in. (I'd only vaguely been aware of him in Tabitha, SWAT, Soap etc before Vega$. Later on I did recognize him as one of the rogue cops in Magnum Force, so I do sort of slash ship him with David Soul as Johnny.
When I happened to turn on Larry King one day in (maybe) 1996 and they were doing a program about cancer and there was a very bald Robert Urich, it felt like it was probably the first time I'd really looked at him since 1981. (OK, reading his IMDB credits, I think I MIGHT have taken a look at Gavilan, but it didn't stick in my mind anymore than it apparently stuck in anyone else's long enough to get more than a season.)
So really, it was just about me and Dan and my being 14 and desperately in love that gorgeous, glitzy image. I had no fandom to Squeeee with and my best friend at the time (this was pre-BFF JEN) was NOT impressed. I was very much alone with my obsession.
Just watching those opening credits makes me sad, both for that Las Vegas and how much I was in love with this man.
P.S. I may still be that girl, because I'm still a sucker for a guy in a blazer over jeans.