When I first saw the promos on STARZ for Magic City, I was really looking forward to it! It had the “era same as Mad Men” feel to it. Not as a replacement for Mad Men, mind you (there’s no such thing), but maybe a Mad Men “Mini Me” to tide me over until I get to see Don Draper and the boys.
The first scene opens with a shot of seemingly endless dead bodies floating, no wait, chained to the bottom of the Atlantic attached to cement blocks or maybe the coral? marble? (I didn’t quite catch what they were tethered to). This particular underwater area where the bodies are is where they “mined” for the marble for the Miramar Hotel’s decor.
Harry Dean Morgan is handsome, smoldering and sexy as Ike Evans, I will have to give him that. But in my opinion he seems to lack bemused undertones in his acting to be seen as a well-rounded character. He’s no Jon Hamm.
The first episode started off too fast. Waaaay too fast. The episode gave it all up front, in my opinion. No suspense, terror or mounting drama being held back via the cast/script. They did however give gratuitous impressions of who is sleeping with who.
The villain of the piece is Ben Diamond, played by Danny Huston. We as an audience were led to understand that they (Evans and Diamond) have had a long history prior to his (Ike’s) dealings with the villain, Ben Diamond. The actor Danny Huston, portraying Ben Diamond, came off as over-acting in his “fury” smashing down a pitcher on the concrete by the pool while screaming, “I want it all!!!” I wasn’t convinced of his “power”. He lacked presence…heft. He looked more like a temperamental toddler who demands he have all the cookies rather than a connected guy from Chicago who is after the whole business (the hotel) instead of his half. He was supposed to be a silent partner. Hardly. One of the pieces of shattered glass hit Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character’s face just below the eye. “Here.” Diamond says offhandedly while flinging him a towel, “You’re bleeding”.
On topic of mounting drama or terror, I offer this example: What made Jaws so scary/good was the fact that Spielberg didn’t let the audience see the shark for the first hour of the film. The first hour!! A great storyteller knows this. A great storyteller is patient, doesn’t tip his hand, which I feel the producers, director, (whoever) did in this production. They got ahead of themselves.
I know, I’ve only seen the first episode, but if a television show is to grab me, it has to grab me in the first or at least the second episode.
It doesn’t hold a candle to our Mad Men. Mad Men still reigns supreme with fans. I mean, at least with this fan. 🙂
And speaking of Mad Men…………
And speaking of the mechanical shark in Jaws, Bruce. This is Bruce. Spielberg named this shark after his lawyer. He named the shark after his lawyer! Get it? Get it?? HaHA!
Lovingly tendered ~~ D (Movie Critic, TV Critic, Theater Critic, Critic of Other Critics, Etc.)