I’m occasionally sharing some thoughts on a few videos that make me smile, make me think, or preferably do both. Read more from this special series here.
Some of the very best parts of “Miami Vice” were its musical sequences. The music of Phil Collins, Depeche Mode, and Russ Ballard both immortalized and were immortalized by the series’ grand sweep through Florida’s 1980s drug wars and the enduring post-Vietnam bitterness and cynicism that undermined Reagan’s hopeful vision for a reborn Cold War America. They often enhanced the few moments of decent acting and writing.
Admittedly, in retrospect, much of the series’ writing was not all that great, and much of the acting elicits from me, one of the show’s biggest fans, painful winces or laughter (when I’m sure laughter was not meant to be the reaction). Nevertheless, overall, the series was gorgeous.
My favorite musical sequence comes at the end of an episode titled “Definitely Miami,” the twelfth episode of the second season and the first episode of 1986. The sequence featured “Cry” by Godley & Creme. Click on the link for an episode synopsis that will place the ending in the proper context.
I think the “Cry” ending is truly amazing. The roar of Crockett’s Daytona Ferrari racing past. Castillo’s silent scowl. The police helicopter landing beside a glittering ocean. Crockett left alone in the sunshine, exhausted and shattered. It was another one of those moments where the series achieved a film-like quality, anticipating by decades what HBO drama series strive for and what Michael Mann would finally realize with “Heat,” “Collateral,” “Ali” and the wholly unnecessary “Miami Vice” movie.
Note: NBC Universal recently pulled the YouTube video to which this post refers. I have substituted a less-than-great approximation until I find another version of the original episode sequence.