Zen Pulp – Michael Mann’s existential TV drama

Owing more to 1960s European art cinema than to any television dramas being made at the time, Miami Vice superimposed ripped-from-the-headlines details about drug smuggling, arms dealing, and covert war onto a pastel-noir dreamscape and gave American TV its first existential drama. The show was born when Brandon Tartikoff, NBC's entertainment president in the early ’80s, scribbled “MTV cops” on a cocktail napkin and asked Hill Street Blues producer Anthony Yerkovich to turn it into a show. The phrase reads like a glib marketing label, and at the time it probably was. 

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Commentary, Directors


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