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Positive TV Portrayals of Miami Died with The Golden Girls

July 21, 2009 By Matt Meltzer in  | 5 Comments

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Miami Social is such a terrible show bashing it has almost become passé. After the Herald’s Glen Garvin did one of the most masterful slaying’s of a television program I’d ever seen, I knew no criticism I could throw its way could ever top it. So I won’t even bother.  But now on the heels of this particular piece of televised refuse comes another show aimed at people for whom “Sesame Street” was just a little too complex, E!’s “Khloe and Kourtney Take Miami.” This program apparently follows the two biggest wastes of life not named after a hotel chain as they try to do something with their lives other than dismantle their father’s fortune as fast as humanly possible.

MIAMI: HOME TO PEOPLE WHO KILL, AND PEOPLE YOU’D LIKE TO KILL

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But again, ripping the poor Kardashian sisters for being poor uses of carbon is about as original as a Dan Quayle joke. So I’m not going to bitch about them either. But what I am going to do is pose a question: Why must every single show about Miami involve either the obnoxiously wealthy or the dregs of society? It seems the only perceptions anyone outside of South Florida gets of our city is of the social elite attending parties we can’t afford, or the social rejects robbing, killing and free basing. Does anyone in America even know that Miami has a middle class?

Think about it. When it comes to reality shows in Miami, you either have socialites acting like people you’d like to have killed on “Miami Social” and “Khloe and Courtney,” or the people you’d like to see kill them on “The First 48.” Throw in some good old fashioned animal abuse and you have a city that looks like it should have been wiped off the face of the Earth years ago. And let’s not even get started on the fictional shows, the most notable of which now depict a scientist who investigates about five homicides a week, and serial killer. Miami Vice wasn’t exactly flattering either, aside from the pastel suits and fancy cars.

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UNLESS YOUR SHOW IS ABOUT DAVE BARRY, SOMEBODY BETTER BE DYING OR ON DRUGS

A lot of other cities are portrayed as glitzy and crime ridden, like LA and New York, but you also see a good number of fictional shows set in those cities that portray folks with normal lives. Other cities, like Boston, Chicago and Seattle might get the occasional episode of “Cops” showing their lowest rung of the social ladder, but most of the shows you see set there are fairly normal as well. Miami? If it doesn’t involve excessive partying or violent crime, why even bother?

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Maybe that’s part of what I like about Miami, that it has this sort of nasty reputation in addition to being the Sun and Fun Capital of the World . But part of me wants people to know that, hey, people’s lives here revolve around a lot more than partying and killing. There are normal people here who do normal things, and even some interesting people who don’t have to break the law to attract attention. But for now, Miami must play to its strengths. And for better or for worse, America seems to love us for being nasty. Well, I guess I should look at the bright side; it probably helps keep the population down.

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About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

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5 Comments on

"Positive TV Portrayals of Miami Died with The Golden Girls"

Aaron in Miramar says:

The ending of Golden Girls and the death of Brandon Tartikoff pretty much signified the conclusion to great sitcoms in general.  We’re basically left with legal, police, forensic and medical themed dramas intermixed with reality tv.  This genre typically doesn’t lend to a positive portrayal of most cities as the days of saccharine episodic comedy are over (don’t insult me by mentioning How I Met Your Mother or 2 and a Half Men as they are pretty much the exception and of questionable quality).

That being said, Brooke Knows Best on VH1 and The Paper on MTV were pure tv gold.  I also believe this gem is set somewhere in South Florida:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq7RyZPkN98

Posted on 07/22/2009 at 3:31 AM

pod says:

There’s no middle-class in Miami.

Posted on 07/22/2009 at 9:48 AM

Sungal says:

Matt,

I’m guessing you haven’t seen Miami Social. They are not all super wealthy, although they do spend money. I was going to comment under the MS thread, but I’ll share my thoughts here as well.

Last night on the show, the very successful promoter and his wife cracked open a bottle of…Cavit Pinot Grigio!! That is usually the house brand wine at mediocre restaurants!! They could at least be drinking Santa Margherita, which is a $28 bottle of wine. Now, I’m no wine snob and I would buy Cavit, but for Mr and Mrs Fancypants it was a shocker.

Another shocker- The Mom of the daughter going to a Swiss boarding school took her shopping for school clothes. There were a pile of shopping bags on the floor and they were from…Forever 21!! I understand that store is trendy, but skirts are $12 and tops are $12. Buying the basics like skirts, button downs, and wool blazers should never happen there. It’s more for getting a cheap trendy dress for a night out. Clothes from Old Navy are a better quality than this place.

My parents didn’t have a ton of money to blow on school clothes for me, but never would my Mother let me wear a cheap, wool imitation blazer with no lining! And I’m sure those argyle socks will not hold up after 3 washes. Terrible!

Posted on 07/22/2009 at 2:07 PM

James Moore says:

I enjoyed watching the show.
The photography was superb and it’s fun
to see the places we passby in the context of “reality” tv.
Thanks Matt, but this show was fun to watch.

Posted on 07/24/2009 at 8:50 AM

Abbey3rdStool says:

@Sungal

Two words: Product Placement

Posted on 07/24/2009 at 8:35 PM

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