¿Que Pasa, M.I.A.? Miami in Pop Culture
Seeing Miami in a movie or a TV show or music video turns on my internal geek switch. I'm super excited to see the 305 represented on the screen, but I approach America's assessment of Miami like one of those guys that knows the names of the different kinds of robots in the movies about Star Wars.
Take the song, "I'm in Miami Bitch" by LMFAO, which is very vague about the city. The dudes party all day and night, which is very true about Miami. But where are the shout outs to Opa-Locka, Hialeah, Henry Flagler, Julia Tuttle, and Metrozoo?
When the Fresh Prince grew up, he did not become the Fresh King, and just like parents, he don't understand. Every time I hear Will Smith sing about taking his jet ski to the "west Keys," I wonder if he means "Key West" or a series of land bound mini-islands west of Miami. Either way, Key West is not in Miami. Are there are secret keys west of Miami that only famous rappers know about?
Or, how about when MTV did the Real World in Miami? Que mierda. I know that show was like 13 years ago, but I get so upset thinking that MTV spent the whole time following these people up and down Lincoln Road. They never went to the Grove or Little Haiti. They didn't bet on the perritos at Flagler Dog Track. Hell, they didn't go to Santa's Enchanted Forest or even the Youth Fair.
Miami Vice came really close. Flamingos. Shiny clothes. Phil Collin. ¿Que Pasa, U.S.A.? is the only show that ever got Miami, probably because it was made in Miami by extremely funny Miamians.
In the movies, Miami is always bastardized worse than the Cuban coffee at David's Cafe II. It looks like the real thing, but once you taste it, it's way too bitter or super sweet. Al Pacino's Cuban accent in Scarface is hilarious, but my favorite is Rocky "Steven Bauer" Echeverria: "Asi biene el sanguich, meng."
The one movie that really, really kills my inside is Meet the Fockers. It's terrible, unwatchable, and loaded with completely inaccurate and not-funny Latino stereotypes. The worst scene has Dustin Hoffman getting pulled over in some sort of bayou called Coconut Grove by a Miami sheriff with a Texan accent. Seriously? Why did they go out of their way to give us a sheriff's department? For decades I've felt a sense of pride the Miami-Dade County is the only county in Florida without a sheriff's department.
One day, my TV show will get in the television. And then I promise to you, my Miami, I will honor your beauty with truth in comedy and accurate Latin stereotypes. And I will certainly not take poetic license to invent land masses that do not exist.
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