I watch Dexter. I didn’t always watch it, but after hearing everyone rave about it, I decided to go on a viewing binge of the last 5 seasons, culminating with the start of season 6 last year. It had me on edge for the first few seasons (Sgt. Doakes, you will be missed), but after Jimmy Smits’ forgettable season 3, it all went downhill. The show relies to heavily on a formula, which means the longer you watch it, the fewer surprises there are. Dexter Morgan lives in Miami, or so you would think. To untrained eyes, a city with a beach and palm trees could pass for Miami or Miami Beach. To me however, it is so obvious that Dexter is not filmed here that the directors might as well put the Hollywood sign in the background of their shots.
So how does this relate to DawnTown, or architecture in general? Well, when a show that claims to be filmed in Miami, and ends up showing off another city, it disturbs me a bit. I like authenticity, even when it comes to fiction. I’m a purist. So when a show comes along that says it’s about Miami, and is actually FILMED in Miami, I take notice.
TV/film producer, writer and Miami native Mitch Glazer, has a new series beginning on April 6th called ‘Magic City’. The series will air on the Starz network, and is a period piece about Miami Beach during the late 1950’s. I personally applaud Mr. Glazer for bringing authenticity to this new show. Like Burn Notice and Miami Vice before it, something should be said for using the resources that this city has to offer. Can you imagine Crockett and Tubbs without the Art Deco and 80’s post modern architecture backdrops? I understand that there is more involved than simply saying “hey let’s film in Miami”; Politics, the economy, and production costs all factor in when choosing a locale. However, you got to pay respects to the guys that go the extra mile and say, “We need to film in Miami, because we can’t duplicate the look of it anywhere else”.
Why talk about a TV Show? How about: To show off Miami’s architecture instead of creating fake sets. Come April 6th, I will be giving Magic City a shot. I’ll be hoping that they highlight on the Beach’s rich architectural past to highlight some of the original character that can only be found here. Sorry Dex, although your cliffhanger ending this season has left me wanting, passing off the Venice boardwalk and pier as Miami Beach doesn’t cut it for me anymore.
Here is an article from the Miami Herald talking more about the show ‘Magic City’: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/04/2674377/magic-city-a-tv-flashback-to-1950s.html