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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action TV > Miami Vice: Season One + Two (Universal DVD)

Miami Vice: Season One + Two Sets


Picture: B-†††† Sound: B†††† Extras: C+/D†††† Episodes: B+



The groundbreaking detective series that defined a decade was popular on home video before any TV on DVD boom.Miami Vice has been upgraded for DVD with better sound and after a successful Season One release, returned recently as well for the second season round on DVD.The pastels, the cars, the gunplay and the music never let up throughout the pilot and first 22 hour-long episodes of the first yearís set and 22 more hour-long shows for the second.As the saying goes, ďif itís not broken, donít fix it.ĒThe formula that sold America on two vice cops in Miami still doesnít let down in Season Two.As a fan of the show since childhood, I may be partial, but what really was important to me even now are the stories.Even after twenty years the stories are still gritty and could put some current dramas on television to shame.


A key to the Emmy-nominated show is executive producer Michael Mann (Heat, Collateral). His vision and influence is truly what defined the shows look and style.The only sad note in the back of my mind is, having to view Season Three without his input despite his name still being on the show as Mann left the show by then.Not that the show wasnít great by any standards, but the last three seasons werenít as strong without Mann overseeing the entire world of Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs.


The episodes of both sets are as follows:


Season One:


1)     Brotherís Keeper

2)     Heart Of Darkness

3)     Cool Runniní

4)     Calderoneís Return (two-part show)

5)     One Eyed Jack

6)     No Exit

7)     The Great McCarthy

8)     Glades

9)     Give A Little, Take A Little

10) Little Prince

11) Milk Run

12) Golden Triangle (two-part show)

13) Smugglerís Blues

14) Rites Of Passage

15) The Maze

16) Made For Each Other

17) The Home Invaders

18) Nobody Lives Forever

19) Evan

20) Lombard



Season Two:


1)     Prodigal Son (two-part show)

2)     Whatever Works

3)     Out Where The Buses Donít Run

4)     The Dutch Oven

5)     Buddies

6)     Junk Love

7)     A Tale Of A Goat

8)     Bushido

9)     Bought & Paid For

10) Back In The World

11) Phil The Shill

12) Definitely Miami

13) Yankee Dollar

14) One Way Ticket

15) Little Miss Dangerous

16) Florence Italy

17) French Twist

18) The Fix

19) The Payback

20) Free Verse

21) Trust Fund Pirates

22) Sons & Lovers



Some thought the show started to decline in the second season, but a few standout episodes were second season premiere The Prodigal Son, Bushido (directed by cast member Edward James Olmos), Back In The World, Payback, and the season finale Sons and Lovers.The show also would offer an interesting mix of new talents handpicked by Mann and veteran directors like John Llewellyn Moxey, Alan J. Levi, Paul Kransy and Russ Mayberry.Actors Paul Michael Glazer, David Soul, Georg Stanford Brown and Bill Duke also helmed some shows, while Able Ferrera directed Home Invaders.Of course, the show permanently added songs to television soundtracks but did it better than most of its imitators and holds its own against the latest generation of such TV series to do so today.


The show was unusually colorful as it has been always known for being and the 1.33 X 1 transfers on both sets are consistently colorful and slightly grainy, some of which is intended for the type of show it is.The picture quality still suffers, but I only put blame on a show that is twenty years old.It is still very crisp and clear and for any fan it will forever be perfect and could not look much better in the DVD format.The sound remix in Dolby Digital 5.1 is strong, but certainly nothing to write home about, though it is nice to have the upgrades for DVD.


As far as extras are concerned for Season One, that set included a series introduction by creator Michael Mann and the following featurette: The Vibe of Vice, Back Story: Miami Vice, The Fashion and The Music.That brings up Season Two, which has absolutely no special features.I understand that twenty years ago no one was thinking of the DVD format, but you would have thought Universal could have dug up some footage from their archives again.Nonetheless, the set will be satisfactory for any fan and until digital High Definition copies arrive, the best way to experience the series.Now we will see how it will compare to that new feature film in Summer 2006.



-†† Jonathan Joy


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