Friday, July 28, 2017

The Rockford Files and Miami Vice

Actor James Garner had a knack for playing likable rogues with a heart of gold and the talent for getting into trouble.

He proved it when he starred in Maverick and later in Nichols-both Westerns.

Much like his TV persona his movie character portrayals tended to follow a similar template.
That’s not to say he wasn’t a fine actor and on more than one occasion he proved his impressive range.

In the 1970s Garner was offered the starring role in a new detective series about an ex-con who becomes a private investigator, lives in a trailer on the beach and shares his domicile with his rambunctious father.

As a P.I. Jim Rockford often used his knowledge of both within the law and without to solve cases.

What made the show so unique was that Rockford shied away from violence, often took the coward’s way out, abhorred being injured and didn’t always get the girl, the money or solve a case.

The show was played for fun, tongue-in-cheek and still managed to turn out episode after episode of solid detective/crime stories that still have and affect on TV cop and detective shows today.

Mill Creek Entertainment’s ‘The Rockford Files: The Complete Series’ Blu-ray collection contains each and every episode of the award-winning series spanning 122 episodes and six seasons.

The Rockford Files was and is a true TV classic that never seems to grow old.  The episodes are as entertaining and well-crafted as the day they were first broadcast.

I can remember it as if it were yesterday.

I was working as a graphic designer at an ad agency in Florida and one evening I went home, exhausted, plopped myself down in front of the TV and began flipping through the channels.

Suddenly I spotted the opening sequence to a new cop show unlike anything I had ever seen before.

The cinematography looked better suited to the large screen, pastel colors, gorgeous exterior shots, extreme close-ups and quick edits, aided by a heart-pounding theme, caught my attention immediately.

Intrigued I sat through the first episode and that’s all it took-I was hooked.

I am talking of course about ‘Miami Vice’ the ground-breaking and trend-setting cop show that redefined the genre.

Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs were the high-fashion, over-the-top, fast-car-driving, party kings, girl magnets detectives that fought crime in all of its various forms in Miami.

The show was a high octane, in-your-face, unconventional cop show that took America by storm and set the standard for other trend-setting shows to follow.

Excellent scripts, powerful acting, impressive directing, killer costume and set design and contemporary music soundtrack all combined to make Miami Vice a hit.

Al five seasons of the ground-breaking TV series (which includes lost episodes) come courtesy of Mill creek Entertainment on Blu-ray.  Pink, teal and pastels never looked so good!