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This Jeffrey Dean Morgan series doesn't competely connect, but there are moments on this First Season high-def set that really deliver...
Anchor Bay / 419 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: October 2, 2012
Magic City: The Complete First Season comes dangerously close to being a marvelously escapist Sopranos/Mad Men hybrid. On paper, this series chronicling the sordid glory days of mid-20th-century Miami is crackerjack, with flawed yet exciting characters drawing us into bordellos of exotic hedonism and less-than-legal arrangements with various members of a burgeoning underworld. And Jeffrey Dean Morgan is one of TV's great modern actors, and putting him behind the wheel here was a magnificent idea.
Yet even though Magic City is completely watchable - I marathoned through this Complete First Season TV-on-BD box set in a matter of days - there's an emptiness to the show that ends up limiting its effectiveness as a drama. The show has good-looking women in vintage bathing suits, crackling double-crossings that complicate many episodes' narratives, and an overall feel that really connects (especially in terms of technical quality on this BD edition), but I found myself waiting for something to happen here, and it never really came.
This isn't to say that Magic City: The Complete First Season is a waste of space, by any means. In complicit TV fashion, should you find yourself intrigued by the show's early moments, you'll be hooked, even if the end results don't completely make good on the series' significant potential. I don't know what the future holds for it (at least one more season is in the wings), but even if Magic City isn't the classic it could have been, it still provides some of the most interesting, transporting TV moments of the year.