On the heels of “Entourage,” HBO gives us a show in a similar vein. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) is the major star and he’ll be interacting with some Hollywood heavies. This one is decent, but nothing spectacular
9. Magic City
The origins of Miami Beach are on display here in a pretty underrated series. This one usually focuses on the criminal element in the city, but also examines the cultural forces at play. Not sure this one will get a full run.
8. Empty Nest
“Empty Nest” was a solid early-1990’s sitcom. Sure, the laughs weren’t too outstanding, but this one still had quite a bit of charm. Even though it doesn’t hold up so well, you can still see a bustling Miami.
7. CSI: Miami
David Caruso came out of “NYPD Blue” a massive star, who looked to become an A-list actor. The problem here was versatility, in which he couldn’t really hold up to the other elite actors of the time. Caruso would find later success back on TV in “CSI: Miami.”
6. Top Chef (Season 3)
It’s not easy being a world-renowned chef. That was the moral of this show, as talented cooks were pushed to their breaking point in order to land a lucrative future in the culinary industry. Sometimes the best part of this one were the moments outside of the kitchen.
5. Miami Vice
In the 1980’s, a cop had to have as much swagger as he did law enforcement prowess. There is no better example than Don Johnson’s James Crockett from the breakout hit, “Miami Vice.” Crockett was not a perfect hero, which is one of the main reasons he was such a good character.
4. Burn Notice
A terrifically-written show, with equal parts brain and heart, that really put USA Network back on the map. Jeffrey Donovan plays burnt spy, Michael Weston, who spends his days and nights helping out the citizens of Miami. Think Predator 2, without the whole merciless killing thing. When he’s not busy solving Miami’s problems, he’s trying to track down the people who ended his career as a spy. The supporting cast is also excellent, led by Bruce Campbell.
Rita was always Dexter’s better and much more sane half. She kept Dexter grounded and human, making him continue to question who he is and how he became that way. When Rita was offed by the Trinity Killer, Dexter went into a spiral of madness and bloodshed. The only thing keeping him afloat at that point was his baby son.
Like many of F/X’s original shows, “Nip/Tuck” is wildly original and majorly controversial. It’s amazing that this was TV’s first foray into plastic surgery, at least in terms of fictional drama. Nevertheless, the show dove into some pretty touchy subjects and was always filled with interesting melodrama.
- The Golden Girls
Being on “The Golden Girls” was often a rite of passage for many upcoming stars in the late-1980’s/early-1990’s. The show was largely fantastic and featured some of the best sitcom writing ever seen. I think most pass of the show as too schmaltzy today, but they need to go back an marvel at the program’s edginess.