Miami has seen its fair share of movies filmed right here in the 305: There's Something About Mary, Bad Boys II, Marley and Me, Scarface, and let's not forget From Justin to Kelly (Oh yes, we just went there.) But when it comes to TV, our bona fide Miami options have been lacking. Sure, we have Burn Notice, but sorry to break it to you -- CSI: Miami is filmed in LA.
But that's all about to change, now that we have Magic City.
If you have driven past the airport lately, you have actually been driving past a swanky Hollywood-like TV lot. The show's both filmed and set here, and it's poised to show the rest of the world Miami's elegant, sultry side -- definitely a departure from the gangster reputation we've had for decades.
You won't have the chance to watch Magic City on your own TV screen for several weeks, but you can catch a special screening of its premiere episode at the Miami International Film Festival on Sunday. And if the fact that this show is filming right here in your backyard isn't reason enough to watch it, here are six other reasons you should check it out.
Magic City Made
It's not only made here in the great city of Miami, but writer, creator, and director Mitch Glazer is a proud Miami native. He isn't just from here; he went to Miami Beach High with fellow 305er Mickey Rourke. In fact, his dad still lives in Coconut Grove. Though he may have left right after high school to pursue his career in places like Los Angeles and New York, he is once again a South Florida resident with a condo on West Avenue. (We aren't stalkers -- he told us!)
Shorter Employment Lines
Made in Miami + based in Miami = employment for city of Miami residents. When we visited the set last year, it was hard not to notice everyone with a 786 or 305 area code, from Magic City's catering service to several of the actors. We even saw a few 954 homies. Anything that brings money into this fabulous city, we support.
Really Hot Guys
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, shirtless. Need we say more? And you've also got greats like Danny Huston, Alex Rocco, and Matt Ross. For that 21 and younger crowd, there are newbies Steven Strait and Christian Cooke. Their nicknames on the show are "Good Son" and "Bad Son." Ooh la la.
Super Sexy Ladies
Olga Kurylenko is a former Bond girl. Yeah, we don't need to say more, but we will because most of the women on this show are smoking: Jessica Marais, Kelly Lynch, Elena Satine, and Dominik Garcia-Lorido, just to name a few.
Mad Men, Miami Style
We have been lucky enough to catch the first episode of Magic City, and it's pretty fantastic. Think Mad Men, but better. But don't be offended, Don Draper devotees. Starz sums it up like this: "As Ike Evans rings in the New Year at his luxurious Miramar Playa Hotel, Havana falls to Castro's rebels. It's a turbulent time in Miami, but it's the place to be. The Kennedys, the mob, and the CIA all hold court here. And Ike, he's the star of his hotel." You've got sex, gorgeous vintage clothing, and shady deals set against a rapidly evolving cultural setting. We're thinking of it as Mad Men South.
Just check out the preview:
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See It For Yourself
That preview really makes you want to watch the first episode, right? Well good news: You don't have to wait till the April 6th television premiere. The cast will be exclusively showing the pilot episode March 4 at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road -- and you can go! Just buy tickets here. You might even have the chance to rub elbows with star Jeffrey Dean Morgan (fingers crossed he wont have a shirt on).
The first episode of Magic City screens Sunday, March 4, at 5pm at the Colony Theatre as part of the Miami International Film Festival. Visit miamifilmfestival.com.