Sargent, Andrew. "Miami Vice." Gale Encyclopedia of Popular
While "Miami Vice" was MTV-driven on one level, on another level it was the standard buddy cop series. The first show featured New York City cop Tubbs traveling to Miami to track down Calderone (think, Columbian drug runners) the infamous drug kingpin who murdered Tubbs' brother. In Miami, he joins forces with the 10-year veteran vice detective Sonny Crockett to bring Calderone down. Each episode after that features the two undercover detectives using unorthodox methods to battle criminals involved in drugs and other vices such as money laundering, prostitution and gambling in the underworld of a seedy looking South Miami. In keeping with the conventions of the genre, Crockett and Tubbs interact with the other detectives of their squad and grapple with their private relationships. There was a lot of sameness to the plots, but to vary the predictable, episodes were introduced in which Sonny had amnesia and went over to the "dark side," but unlike Darth Vader, Sonny regains his memory and once again becomes one of the good guys, albeit often going outside the conventional channels to beat the bad guys.
As with all buddy cop shows, the more charismatic the stars, the more popular the show. Think of Dennis Franz in "NYPD," and Jerry Orbach in "Law and Order" on today's TV screen. The two charismatic actors of "Miami Vice" were Don Johnson as Sonny Crockett, and Philip Michael Thomas as Ricardo Tubbs. They were cool, they were macho, they were hip, and they dressed in expensive clothes that in real 1980s life (and other police shows) would be seen on Yuppies, not on undercover detectives. The clothes, however, were a major element of the show, and the fashion look of "Miami Vice" became a fad of its time, notably going sockless while wearing leather slip on shoes, unstructured pastel colored jackets, and even the unshaven lookłthe stubble on Sonny's face for the first few years of the show. While Sonny Cro