My first opportunity to watch Episode One of Starz' Magic City left me fidgeting listlessly ten minutes in. I so badly wanted to like this new program being not only a huge fan of that era but absolutely appreciating everything about AMC"s Mad Men.
My instant disappointment visually was; although the automobiles were genuinely correct and shiny, hotel the correct model of that era; the hairstyles of all the main characters were a mixed up mess of everything from mid-forties long wavy for women, to current long/straight hair with all the men having a typical 2012 short modern cut.The stylists on the series should have known that men did not wear sideburns in 1958 (check with MM stylist who get it right with every actor on set each week). The clothes although glamorous were not of the series era. Although the styles were somewhat correct, the fabrics and cuts were not. All the men suits were too long in the jacket, too full and long in the pant.In '58 slacks were tapered,fitted and above the shoe. Dress shirts were always fitted, white, small collar, narrow tie, with white pocket 'hanky'. The ladies underwear were even wrong era. Again circa '12. Underwear was cone shaped brasserie(not bra) fully to the waist panties and not one woman was wearing a full or half slip when ladies always wore a slip even with an evening gown. I can't explain it but it is as if no one wanted to commit to a new haircuts,proper wardrobes,etc for this series thinking it would be over shortly.
The writers. Phrases like 'that's just wrong" when told of the drowning dog, is again present day 'lingo'. I found the writing consistently weak throughout to the point of boredom. There was not a smooth transition from one scene to another. I failed to discover a pinch of fluidity throughout. Perhaps the reasoning being every scene seemed to implode on the other.
Correct political climate was also inaccurate as it showed an Africian American family having checked in to the hotel on the way to their rooms. That was unfortunately still not permitted in Florida, 54 years ago..
By the time it came to Frank Sinatra's New Years Eve; I, sadly did not feel like I was was transported back to' 58 in any way. The particular nightclub itself in no way had enough extra actors appearing to make it look like a major star gala NYE"58. One of which President and First Lady Kennedy would have attended. It gave the illusion that there were only 20 people in the entire room. No laughing,hollering,party whistles. Only a weak attempt of depicting a smoky 1930-40's speak easy overshadowed by a very thin,long maned brunette (from the future/2012) walking in after a tyrst on the beach with the owners son.
I truly was anticipating loving this new series, however, thinking back to the trailer I am reminded that not once watching it did I feel swept back in to that polished,platinum,ever changing decade.
I sincerely would have loved another series bringing us back so much about the 50-60's that is making a re-surgence in clothing,furnishings,attitude thanks to Mad Men's remarkable detail for everything authentic television- aka magnif-ivison!!
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