Monday, August 24, 2015

31 Day Miami Vice Challenge, Day 24: Favorite Use of Pop Music in a Scene

A big reason that I fell in love with the early seasons of Grey's Anatomy was because of their expert use of pop and indie music, and it didn't hurt that I was introduced to a lot of artists I probably wouldn't have known existed (Tegan and Sara, I love you so much). While we may be used to such things now, this was not the way television was back in the 80s. Miami Vice capitalized on the growing popularity of MTV (oh, how I miss when you were actually relevant) and essentially created melding pop music with television. Genesis' "In the Air Tonight" was probably one of the best examples of this, echoing the emotional torpor Sonny was going through as he and Tubbs rushed to stop an elusive, powerful foe, and that was just the beginning.

My personal favorite comes from Season One's "No Exit," starring none other than a very young Bruce Willis, playing a complete scumbag abusive husband and weapons dealer named Tony Amato, and it should be unsurprising that this particular incident also featured Phil Collins* crooning.

Genesis - "I Don't Care Anymore"

This is an exceptional episode, although it does have some pretty cringe-worthy dialogue - "Let's get this pig!" courtesy of one Rico Tubbs - and it perfectly reflects exactly what's going on, plot-wise. Rita, Amato's battered wife, had helped Sonny and Rico set her husband up, wishing to leave her fear-filled life**; she simply did not care for him anymore. The episode concludes rather sadly; Amato is picked up by the feds, who had been running an operation concurrently with the vice squad, because he was willing to sell out his suppliers, and Rita, who had been promised by Sonny that her husband would be going away for a long time, pulls out a gun and ... well, it ends on a freeze frame of Sonny leaping toward Rita to stop her, but it's safe to assume that she shot the shit out of Tony. The chorus of the above song kept ringing in my ears as the final scene came to a close; Rita had nothing left to lose and ended her suffering the only way she knew how. It's bittersweet, in the loosest sense of the word, but at least we know that Rita won't be beaten by her husband again.


* I know there are plenty of people who can't stand Phil Collins or Genesis, but if Miami Vice was any indication, he absolutely ruled the 80s. I happen to adore the man, so this doesn't bother me that he shows up so much on the show, even making a guest appearance as a conman. 
** She had attempted to hire a hitman to kill her husband, and Sonny, who had listening devices installed in the Amato home and had heard her make the call, swooped in to keep her from committing a crime, posing as the hitman. When he revealed himself to be a cop - after she had decided to back out of the murder plot - she agreed to do everything she could to bring Amato to justice. 
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