Friday, August 21, 2015

31 Day Challenge, Day 21: Something That Didn't Happen I Wish Did

I know that we technically got resolution with Tubbs' relationship to Valerie in the "lost episode" called "Too Much, Too Late*" - it played after "Freefall," the series finale, in January of 1990 - and it reflected the general burnout theme of the last season. But it still seems like there was so much left undone with the Valerie character.
Via Tumblr
First off, the writers didn't bring back Pam Grier more than a few times for some insane reason, and that is a major sin. Her acting style really fits with the genre, and the character was written exceptionally, especially considering that she was created pretty much for the sole purpose of playing opposite Philip Michael Thomas. Second, Larry Zito was killed off, as I mentioned at the end of yesterday's post, and the show was in dire need of a ratings boost. I'm not necessarily a big fan of a will-they-or-won't-they (although technically Valerie and Rico already did, but I'm more referring to the option of making something permanent between the two) scenarios, but tension is always a nice way to get people invested in a show. I mean, look at the success of Castle**.

I'm not saying that bringing Pam Grier in as a series regular would have changed anything, or even that Miami Vice should have lasted more than five seasons***. But a change in character dynamics could have worked wonders for what had become a floundering franchise. Sonny wouldn't have become the main star, with every single development orbiting around his every decision, and Tubbs wouldn't have been relegated to background guy, which is better treatment than Gina, Trudy, and Switek got, actually. Pam Grier would not have taken the backseat and would have put up a huge stink when and if her character was marginalized. And she probably wouldn't have tried to land a record deal, like Thomas and Johnson did (shudder).

Can't you just imagine it? Disgraced NYC cop Valerie Gordon follows in her former lover's footsteps to join the Miami-Dade vice squad, determined to make up for all the times she fucked up. Talk about motivation, right? Add in some serious sexual tension between her and Rico, who is desperate to start the relationship again (and she's more, "Look, dude, I have issues of my own right now. Maybe later?"), and you've got some major drama to throw up against the craziness that was Dallas. Would it have worked? I dunno. But it would have been nice to see.


* This is an exceptionally harsh episode to watch, even now, with shows like Breaking Bad and The Wire. I think I've already mentioned it before, but I don't remember going too heavily into detail. 
** I deeply love that show. I even like what the writers did with Beckett and Castle once they got married. 
*** I'm of the ilk that believes shows should rarely, if ever, go for more than four or five seasons. And this is coming from someone who is a fan of Friends, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and many other shows that went well past the five-year mark. 
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