In 1984, it was THE SHOW everyone was watching, everyone was talking about, on all the magazine covers. It was the Glee of its day, including two hit soundtrack albums and tons of celebrity appearances. On some level just another cop show, but in cultural terms, so much more.
I think I started watching because of the hype as soon as the first season went into summer reruns and I was completely, totally hooked. I was caught up in the imagery, the music, the smart-talk between Crockett and Tubbs, and (god help me) I was very hot for Don Johnson. (Sorry chocolate_frapp)
A poster of Don Johnson as Sonny Crockett took over the spot on my wall that had formerly belonged to Robert Urich as Dan Tana. I cut out magazines and had pictures all over my side of my bedroom. It was two years after I graduated high school and I was living at home, pretending to go to college and still sharing a room with my sister.
I did NOT ship Crockett/Tubbs, I shipped me and Sonny, complete with self-insert fantasies. The one I remember best is a nice kinky interrogation scene with me being bound and hung by my wrists. The first two seasons were incredible. Mind you this is all in retrospect. This is one show I would not want to revisit as I suspect it would not hold up well AT ALL, although the music is still great.
I was also fascinated by Edward James Olmos as Lt. Castillo. He was so awesomely mysterious. Don Johnson was on his second or third comeback already and he was EVERYWHERE. He even got to play the Paul Newman part in a made-for-tv remake of “The Long Hot Summer,” which wasn’t half bad. I was obsessed with him and his on-again off-again with Melanie Griffith. I BOUGHT HIS ALBUM! (OK, cassette, it was the 80’s, but still, actual money was exchanged.)
The first two years were pure happy obsession. I even wore a white jacket to try and channel my inner Sonny. Then came the inevitable third season slump. Things got “darker” and “edgier.” By the time my Sonny was falling in love with Sheena Easton, you knew things were getting bad and I must have jumped ship sometime before the wedding episode because I don’t remember watching it. Definitely a show I walked away from. There was no fandom for it, per se, besides my conversations with bff Jen, who had been into Don long before I was because of seeing him in “A Dog and His Boy.”
Memories: In The Air Tonight, You Belong To The City. Episodes with Phil Collins, Glenn Frey, John Larroquette. (John Laroquette ends up alone in a boat.) Hearing the words, “Where do you get the stones to judge me?” in the Evan episode and being somewhat shocked. It was the first actual reference to balls I’d ever heard on tv. I remember creating a whole slashy backstory for Sonny and Evan. I wish I had been writing fic at the time.
The scene I still see in my head and that I think shows how really good the show was at the beginning, is from an episode called Definitely Miami and it uses Godley and Crème’s “Cry.” Visually and emotionally stunning. One of the single best matches of imagery to music ever done on TV and remember, this was the cutting edge for that kind of thing. Miami Vice pretty much created the cliché of music/imagery on television. I kind of wish the episode didn’t star Ted Nugent. He was great in the part, but I HATE what a total right-wing ASSHOLE he’s come out as since then. The girl of the week was stunning, and she made for great self-insert fantasies, especially since she turned out to be evil. (At least Ted got killed too.)
I honestly think the whole sequence still works as a mini-movie. It's also still one of my favorite songs in the world. The production on that sucker is just delicious.
ETA-NBC seems to have put the kibosh on the Youtube video I'd originally posted :(