Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Magic City, gone? ... by gimleteye

The Coconut Grove Grapevine alerts that "Magic City", the Starz channel drama set in Miami, is closing after the conclusion of its second season. Too bad.

I'm a picky TV viewer, spoiled by long form dramas. The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Breaking Bad, and Homeland.

In its first episodes, "Magic City" characters seemed cartoonish, like other B list cable TV dramas. I'll give cartoonish characters a break (ie. Spartacus, Rome) from time to time. The problem with "Magic City" was, in part, familiarity. We have enough cartoonish characters roaming on Miami news or on this blog.

A friend recommended the second season. The bottom line: like AMC's "The Killing", "Magic City" was finding its footing as it went along.

That's dangerous for a TV series especially one with high production values and time-period costs. In season two of "Magic City", the cartoonish aspects of character/s began evolved in promising ways.

Danny Huston who played Ben Diamond turned a boring and bored mobster in season one into a riveting psychopath in season two. That's what you come back, for. The lead actors also began to find their stride, albeit in fits and starts. Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Ike Evans was, in season one, cardboard. In season two, he found breadth. (And I didn't cringe every time he lit a cigarette.)

With some long form dramas, channel executives take a leap of faith as writing talent finds the beats in character and story. We don't mind melodramas so long as they are interesting ones.

I hoped for more creativity with the office of the Miami-Dade district attorney. Don't we know it, at EOM. Matt Ross, who played the DA (and, brilliantly as the twisted son of a splinter Morman sect in "Big Love"), was cemented in a poorly written role. Too bad, because what he does -- suppressed and repressed rage -- he does as well as anyone.

The series began to do work with other plot lines, weaving in strands of early Castro history with Miami. In other words, there was daylight for "Magic City".

AMC's "The Killing" faltered in its second season but wisely was revived for its third. With "Magic City", a series that had found its way in its second season ought to find a third wind, too.


Anonymous said...

Too bad Magic City is closing. Miami needs free worldwide publicity. Burn Notice, another wonderful show also on cable is shown in re-runs in 150 countries. The City needs to thank Robert Parente who helped bring Burn Notice to the Grove. (Sarnoff did everything he could to evict Burn Notice, but that's another story...)

Sexy Pajamas said...

The City needs to thank Scott Parente whom made it easier for carry Melt away Observe on the Grove. (Sarnoff did every little thing they can to be able to evict Burn up Notice, that's another story...) Pocket Egg

Anonymous said...

Never watched it or any of the others mentioned. The only one I watch is "Mad Men".

Anonymous said...

Burn Notice had a great 7 year run. Well written. Well acted. Seen worldwide. Free publicity for Miami.