Magic City: Season 1, Episode 2 “Feeding Frenzy” (C)
This show definitely isn’t as good as it looks, and I mean that in the most literal way possible. Its visuals are rather astounding, yet the quality of the acting, the dialogue, and the story don’t come anywhere close. Perhaps it’s unfair to judge this show in comparison to other currently-running period dramas, namely “Mad Men” and “Boardwalk Empire,” because those two happen to be excellent series featuring particularly interesting eras and characters. Miami Beach just doesn’t have that same allure, in that the landscape is mesmerizing, but it’s a pretty picture devoid of much substance. The lengthy debate over how the “Bas Mitzvah” is going to play out is tiresome, and Ike’s family members aren’t terribly compelling characters, with the exception of his wife, who can’t possibly carry the show on her own, expressing interest in things that seem of no concern to anyone else. A grand effort is being made to establish Danny Huston’s mobster The Butcher as the evilest man in all of Florida, but shooting a dog because he’s on the phone and purporting to be able to sense infidelity aren’t exactly convincing villainous attributes. He seems much more like a cartoon than anything else, especially as he sits out on the water beckoning his minions to come join him in the middle of the night. The only truly interesting plot point is the beginning of the handling of Danny Evans as he ascends into the district attorney’s office, something that clearly and rightfully makes Ike extremely nervous.