Second Act City: Top Ten Cheesy Miami Sequels and Spin-offs
Miami is a city of second acts. Whether it be girls whose daddies got them a nose job for high school graduation looking to blossom into butterflies at UM, immigrants coming to start a new life in America, or retirees arriving from the cold to shuffleboard away their golden years, everyone here had an earlier chapter in their life. So it's fitting that Miami is the setting for so many Hollywood sequels and spin-offs. But it's also a city that at times is so over-the-top that it can seem a bit cheesy to outsiders, like say, LA-based screenwriters. So join us now as Riptide counts down the top 10 cheesy sequels and spin-offs set in our fair city.
10. Meet The Fockers (2004)
The cheesiest part of Meet the Parents was when DiNiro's Jack ponders: "I guess the only thing to do now is meet his parents. I'm sure they're decent people. I mean they gotta be if they named their son Gaylord Focker." On the scale of blatant sequel set-ups, it comes in a few notches below Shredder's hand emerging from a pile a debris at the end of Teenage Mutant Turtles. So off to Coconut Grove we go for part two to meet the eccentric Mr. and Mrs. Focker. The a-list cast and decent jokes keeps this out of total cheese ball territory, but come on: they replaced the beloved, troublesome trained cat with a beloved, troublesome prodigy toddler, the secret high-tech lair with the high-tech RV, and the dirty faux-secret that Greg cheated on his MCATs, with the dirty faux-secret that Greg fathered a child with his parents' maid. If it wasn't for Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman, it would have been a photocopy on pastel paper.
9. CSI: Miami (2002-Present)
Three words: Dramatic. Sunglasses. Removal. CSI was never Shakespeare, but this is by far the worst of the bunch, largely thanks to David Caruso's inability to act. When an entire show can be summed up by a popular one joke, webcomic you know it's got problems.
8. Surfside 6 (1960-1962)
CSI wasn't the first time CBS tried to take the same thin concept and liven it up by placing it in different cities. Surfside 6 was part of a series of lightweight detective shows, with sister shows taking place in LA, Hawaii and New Orleans. This show distinguished itself because it was detectives who lived on a houseboat. We paused before putting it on this list because we've never seen it, but then we realized it must have been quite bad because a) We have never heard of it before b) It is not on TV Land c) it got canceled after two season. And this was back when people only had like three channels to choose from, and apparently they weren't choosing this.
7. Reno 911!: Miami (2007)
We love us some Reno 911!, but much like Cops, the series it spoofs, the show's format doesn't lend itself to a full length feature. Their were quite a few LOLs spread throughout the film, but during some parts (i.e. the plot points) the only thing that kept us entertained was thinking "OMG! We just drove by that on our way to the theater!" And everyone loves Paul Rudd, but can someone please explain his recurring cameo as a Scarface impersonator?
6. The Golden Palace (1992 - 1993)
So true, true, all the other franchises on this list started in places other than Miami, but The Golden Girls was set in Miami too. When Bea Arthur decided to bow out, the remaining ladies moved from their home in ...Coral Gables? Aventura? Coconut Grove? North Beach? (we never really knew where, but geography aside, we know that their real homes will forever be in our collective heart) ...to South Beach! Sexy! Blanche, Sophia and Rose ran an Art Deco hotel. Despite the fact Don Cheadle was cast in a supporting role, the series never quite recovered from losing the masculine balance Ms. Zbornak brought to the cast.
5. Miami 7 (1999)
S Club 7 represents the worst of the worst in corny British pop. The actors were pre-packaged within an inch of their lives, but somewhere along the line someone forgot to add in anything approaching interesting. They didn't even have any decent guilty pleasure pop hits. At the height of their success they starred in a string of low budget teevee shows that would even make Hannah Montana connoisseurs furl their adolescent brows. One of those seasons got dubbed Miami 7, sometimes referred to S Club 7 in Miami. By the by, the lady who created this series also came up with the idea for Spice World. So take that and subtract the novelty of the Spice Girls being on the big screen, then divide whatever is left by about seven. That is what this show was.
4. Airport '77 (1977)
Technically this movie was set on an airplane, and then in the ocean when the plane crashes, but James Stewart's art dealer character lives at Vizcaya. Thieves have hijacked the plane to steal his art collection, but then it disappears in the spooky Bermuda Triangle, and somehow stays underwater for what seems like ever, but magically most people on the plane survive after they float it to the top with balloons.
3. Brooke Knows Best (2008)
VH1 for reasons we don't understand had a real hit with Hogan Knows Best, but when Mr. and Mrs. Hulk headed for a messy divorce and the son got thrown in the slammer, the most boring member of the family didn't bother to think that starring in a reality tv series might have something to do with all of these unfortunate occurrances and set forth with her own spin-off. The show followed Brooke's life as she lived in some South Beach highrise and said stupid things about how people shouldn't vote. It was just about as vapid as the life of any bleach blond 20 something whose parents can afford to get her a SoBe condo.
2. 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
Look at this promo shot! Look at it! Look at how each dumb ethnic stereotype's outfit slightly matches a car! Look! This whole series is basically porn for car geeks, so plot and setting are largely irrelevant, but this 305-set follow up deserves recognition for taking movie number 2 naming 2 a new level.
1. Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988)
The title of this movie may say "Police Academy," but its heart is not true to the hallowed franchise. That's because it is Guttenberg-less. Ol' Guttens was like "I think I'm hanging up my badge after number four." And the producers must have been like, "Are you sure? The next one is in Miami. How exciting!?" To which Guttenberg replied, "Look dudes, it's been a good ride, but I've got to get serious about my career. I mean my agent says that in ten years I could be playing the dad in a family film about the friendship between a dolphin and a dog. If I don't start preparing for that role now, you just know that Sagets going to get it, and hence the Oscar." So Gutenberg walked, and not even our fair city could make up for his absence.
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