Miami Pop Culture

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The TV Shows of Miami
By Jennifer Jordan
Miami, Florida and Hollywood, California may be on other sides of the country, nearly as far away as two US cities can possibly be. Geographically opposite, when it comes to television these two cities are a little closer; there is a bit of Hollywood inside Miami. Many television shows are filmed in the former, but set in the latter.
From the short lived series Good Morning Miami to the reality series The Real World: Miami, this is one city that rises to the occasion when it hears, “Lights, camera, action,” hamming it up for the crew and waving to fans. The following is a list of some of the more popular shows that are a part of Miami’s television lore.
The Golden Girls, 1985-1992: A show that starred everyone’s four favorite grandmas, The Golden Girls featured four women living together in their golden years. Marked by bickering, arguing, and handfuls of irreverence, The Golden Girls, above all, was marked by the love the characters had for one another. Finding a place in television because of Rose’s naivety, Blanche’s sensuality, Dorothy’s wit, and Sophia’s sarcasm, this show remains one of the most beloved in syndication.
CSI Miami, 2002-Present – Spun off from the original CSI, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI Miami is a show that focuses on police forensics – fingerprints, footprints, and follicles of hair. The show typically begins with the discovery of a violent crime – a murder or rape – and ends when the perpetrator is discovered. According to a recent Reuters report, CSI Miami is the most watched US series in the entire world.
Empty Nest, 1988-1995 – A spin-off of The Golden Girls, Empty Nest was a show about a pediatrician whose two of three grown daughters moved back home after the death of their mother. As the pediatrician’s work life is characterized by a variety of patients, and an outspoken nurse, his home life is marked by comedic drama and a next door neighbor who won’t go away. The neighbor, played by David Leisure, was thought by many as the highlight of the show with his annoying, yet endearing, antics.
Dave’s World, 1993-1997 – Based on the writing of the real-life Miami Herald humorist Dave Barry, this show portrayed Harry Anderson as Barry, working at a fictional Miami newspaper. The show itself was based on many of the real Barry’s writings, including Dave Barry’s Greatest Hitsand Dave Barry Turns 40.
Flipper, 1964-1967 and 1995-2000 – It’s hard for television to ever turn down a show about, that’s right, a pet dolphin. Flipper not only had a run in the 1960’s, but came back in the 1990’s (thirty years later, it seems as though Evolution should have enabled Flipper to walk this time around). This show was a spin off of the movie Flipper and focused on a widowed Everglade National Park ranger, his sons, and their dolphin.
Miami Vice, 1984-1990 – Forever securing a place in cinematic history, James “Sonny” Crocket and Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs are known as one of the best television duos of all time. A show about two Miami undercover police detectives, this show had it all: crime, action, a Ferrari, and Don Johnson in a stylish white suit.
Nip/Tuck, 2003-Present – A show about two plastic surgeons – their trials, their tribulations, their scalpels – Nip/Tuck seems to speak to the Botox seeker in us all. Filled with many soap opera parallels – back stabbing, undermining, and good old fashioned cattiness – this show is almost like a Dynasty, with a face lift.