So has anyone been looking for a good show on cable filled with drama, suspense, passion, and violence? If your answer is "yes," then you missed out because Starz just wrapped up the first season of Magic City last week, and it is good. Think of the show as something similar to a blend of the HBO series "Soprano" and AMC's "Mad Men."
Set in 1950's Miami, Florida, Magic City tells the story of Ike Evans, the owner of Miami's most glamorous hotel, the Miramar Playa. Evans is forced to make an ill-fated deal with Miami mob boss Ben Diamond to ensure the success of his glitzy establishment. Sounds simple right? Well trust me, there's much more to the series than that.
Ike is a bit older that most main characters of a show. He is now married to the gorgeous Vera Evans, but was married once before. However his wife died of cancer, leaving him with two full grown boys and a daughter. One is named Danny, who is trying to be a lawyer, while his other son Stevie is pretty much following in his father's footsteps, plus he uses his good looks to bed pretty much anyone he sees -- in particular, Lily, wife of Ben "the Butcher" Diamond. Meanwhile, Danny’s got his eye on Mercedes, a housekeeper at the Miramar. Mercedes is a character that also helps establish a connection between US and with the chaos that is going in Cuba during this time. Cuba is falling to Castro, so there are plenty of people looking to leave. On top of the affair Stevie is having with Ben's wife, Ben is also looking to take over the Miramar from Ike by any means necessary. Since the Miramar is Ike's baby, he is doing whatever he can to prevent Ben from taking it. What doesn't help is that Ike has had to get his "hands dirty" a few times, plus he has a D.A. breathing down his neck. See? This show has more than meets the eye!
After watching the first season, I can honestly say that I am hooked. Magic City has many, many characters, and once viewers get to know Ike, Vera and The Butcher, they'll have a better sense of the Miramar's place in history. Then the backstory can kick in. It's a bit of slow moving show, developing heavily on a complex worldview. But all of this takes time to unfold. The writing is strong, the acting stronger, and the attention to detail to showcase the fifties era is the strongest. I only wish I didn't have to wait until 2013 for the next season to start. I guess quality work takes time, plus it allows viewers plenty of time to peruse the Magic City online shop and stock up on their favorite show's gear, like a Miramar promotional mug similar to the one Ike drinks from on the show. If you have Starz, I highly recommend watching this show. After all, you will have plenty of time to catch up before the next season starts.