Great lost visions – Magic City
A brief precis: Magic City was a series that was set in late 1950s Miami and follows the stories that surround the owner of the (fictional) greatest hotel of the time and his battles with the mob, family, dames, showgirls, politicians, unions, the revolution in Cuba, the CIA…
Post Mad Men there seemed to be quite a slew of TV series that took as their aesthetic that kind of late 50s/early 60s American stylishness – or to borrow a phrase from Thomas Hines – that were populuxe-esque.
Few them seemed to quite live up to their inspiration (although I thought the short lived Playboy Club series showed promise)…
…until, well, I relatively recently discovered/saw Magic City.
Which at the moment, for my money, steps up to and over Mad Men’s mark.
To be honest though, I don’t think it’s probably really fair to compare and contrast the two: Magic City’s creator Mitch Glazer first wrote a version of the series pre the broadcast of Mad Men and it draws from his life growing up in and around the grand hotels in Miami, stories that he heard and things he saw.
It looks beautiful – this is a series where the screen is full of beauty, style, suspense, corruption, sexuality, greed, desparation, brutality and intrigue.
Quite frankly, it’s a work right up at the top of things - I discovered it at a time when Afterhours Sleaze and Dignity was recoalescing and its sense of glamour and its darker flipside seemed to help bring things together.
It was cancelled after just two series, which is a great pity to me and indeed the world of entertainment; one of those time where I thought if I had the money I would be putting it down on the table to help make and be able to see more of this world and its stories… though reading and re-reading about it just now I think it may have a future further life.
More about that possibly later around these parts…