"Miami Vice" is also an excellent example of television in the postmodern age.
Postmodernist theorists contend that postmodernity produces cultural fragmentation and new modes of experience, subjectivity, and culture. Postmodernism represents a breakdown of traditional literary and cultural traditions, and "Miami Vice," certainly broke the mold of standard, conventional TV police dramas such as "Dragnet" and "Hill Street Blues." This paper will discuss how "Miami Vice" was both received and perceived by the public and critics, as well as the impact the show had on 1980s culture. As Sargent points out, the show's formal characteristics highlighting an emphasis on visual surfaces made it a "popular text among postmodern academic theorists and cultural critics who found in its pastel sheen oth an ironic critique of the 1980s worship of glamour and money and a wholehearted participation in that fetishization" (Sargent. Miami Vice. Gale Encyclopedia of Popular Culture).
The show's focus on sound, form, and color created a large number of imitators as well as fads in the fashion, music and tourism industries (Sargent). This focus also helped transform the traditional audience of broadcast television by appealing to a younger, urban viewership, the now highly coveted 18 to 35, mostly male viewers more interested in images and music than in words and plot.