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''Magic City'' is an American drama television series created by Mitch Glazer for the Starz network. The pilot episode previewed on Starz March 30, 2012, and premiered April 6, 2012. Starz renewed the series for an eight-episode second season on March 20, 2012, and canceled it August 5, 2013, after two seasons. Set in 1959 Miami, Florida, shortly after the Cuban Revolution, ''Magic City'' tells the story of Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the owner of Miami's most glamorous hotel, the Miramar Playa. Evans is forced to make an ill-fated deal with Miami Jewish Mob boss Ben Diamond (Danny Huston) to ensure the success of his glitzy establishment.

Cast and characters



Main

* Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Isaac "Ike" Evans, majority owner and boss of the Miramar Playa, Miami Beach's premier resort hotel * Olga Kurylenko as Vera Evans, Ike's second wife, stepmother to Stevie, Danny, and Lauren Evans, convert to the Evans' Judaism, and former Havana nightclub dancer under the name "Vera Cruz" * Steven Strait as Steven "Stevie" Evans, Ike Evans' "bad boy" older son and the manager of the Miramar's Atlantis Lounge * Jessica Marais as Lily Diamond, Ben Diamond's third (trophy) wife and the secret lover of Stevie Evans * Christian Cooke as Daniel "Danny" Evans, Ike's straight-arrow younger son and a law school student * Elena Satine as Judi Silver, a prostitute who works out of the Atlantis Lounge and does occasional jobs for Ike and Stevie * Dominik Garcia-Lorido as Mercedes Lazaro, a Miramar housekeeper in training to be a Pan Am stewardess and Danny's love interest * Taylor Blackwell as Lauren Evans, Ike's teenage daughter (main, season 1; recurring, season 2) * Danny Huston as Ben "The Butcher" Diamond, a Jewish-American mobster, a boss in the Miami Jewish Mob, and the silent minority owner of the Miramar * Kelly Lynch as Meg Bannock, the older sister of Ike's late first wife Molly (recurring, season 1; main, season 2)

Recurring

* Yul Vazquez as Victor Lazaro, the hotel's general manager, Mercedes' father, and a first-generation Cuban immigrant * Alex Rocco as Arthur Evans, Ike's father * Leland Orser as Mike Strauss, a labor union official * Michael Rispoli as Belvin "Bel" Jaffe, a gangster and bookie in the Jewish Mob who works for Ben Diamond out of the back room of the Sea Breeze Lingerie shop in the Miramar's shopping arcade * Bradford Tatum as "Dandy" Al Haas * Andrew Bowen as Divin' Dave Donahue * Willa Ford as Janice Michaels * John Cenatiempo as Vincent Lamb * Michael Beasley as Grady James * Karen-Eileen Gordon as Florence * Taylor Anthony Miller as Ray-Ray Mathis, a doorman at the Miramar * Karen Garcia as Inez, Arthur Evans' nurse * Shelby Fenner as Myrnna * Catalina Rodriguez as Theresa * Ricky Waugh as Barry "Cuda" Lansman * Matt Ross as Jack Klein, State Attorney for Dade County * Todd Allen Durkin as Doug Feehan * Chad Gall as Ethan Bell * Garrett Kruithof as Stout * Gregg Weiner as Phil Weiss * Jordan Woods-Robinson as Sterling Voss * Avi Hoffman as Sid Raskin * Sherilyn Fenn as Madame Renee * Esai Morales as Carlos 'El Tiburon' Ruiz * James Caan as Sy Berman, a Chicago-based mob boss

Episodes



Season 1 (2012)



Season 2 (2013)



Production



Conception

''Magic City'' was created by Miami native Mitch Glazer, who wrote the series around his experiences growing up there: he once worked as a cabana boy in a Miami Beach hotel, his father was an electrical engineer at the city's grand hotels in the late 1950s, and he grew up listening to stories of the exploits of hotel staff and clientele. Many of the incidents Glazer relates in the series "are based on stories that happened, that I saw, or older brothers and sisters or my parents told me." As a journalist, he did extensive research on what was happening in the lobbies of hotels in late 1950s and early 1960s: "There’s wiretaps—tapes they’ve made public now—where the CIA gives Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli $300,000 and poison powder to kill idelCastro in the Boom Boom Room in the Fontainebleau Hotel," he said. Included in the series, Glazer states, will be Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) activities in Cuba and issues connected to the Civil Rights Movement. He first envisioned ''Magic City'' as a feature film, but said he quickly realized he had more stories to tell than would fit in a film. Glazer had written different versions of ''Magic City'' for years. He originally wrote and sold it to CBS, who eventually let it go to the Starz network. "CBS was really nice to me and generous in letting it go to Starz. It’s not a procedural, it’s not a franchise. It needs to be allowed to do the sexuality and violence and the things that were part of Miami Beach in the 1959", he said. In 2007, Chris Albrecht (subsequently Starz network's president and C.E.O.) was fired from HBO and joined Glazer and some of his friends for a research expedition to Havana. "It was an insane group," Glazer remembered. "Jimmy Caan and Robert Duvall and Benicio Del Toro." They were visiting a Havana hotel designed by the architect Morris Lapidus when Glazer remarked to Albrecht, "You know, I grew up in this kind of hotel. My father worked with Morris Lapidus on the Fontainebleau Hotel and Eden Roc Hotel as an electrical engineer." In 2009, after Albrecht became president and C.E.O. of Starz, Glazer recalled, "I sent him a script I had written years before, and he called me literally hours later and said, 'This is amazing, let's do this.'"

Reception



Critical reception

The first season received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Metacritic calculated a score of 56/100 based on 27 reviews. Glenn Garvin of the ''Miami Herald'' said of the series: "The sordid ugliness that festers inside Magic City's voluptuously beautiful wrappings makes irresistible television." The ''Contra Costa Times''’ Chuck Barney praised the cast and visual style. He said in his review: "Through the early episodes, nothing really happens that you couldn't see coming. Still, the setting is so seductive, the period details so vivid and the acting so stellar, that it's as intoxicating as a potent mojito." NJ.com criticized the gratuitous nudity ("Hey, boobs!") in many dressing room scenes.

Awards and accolades



Movie spin-off

A feature film is in the works and is set to be directed by Mitch Glazer. Stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Olga Kurylenko, Danny Huston, and Kelly Lynch are set to reprise their roles. Bruce Willis and Bill Murray will also have starring roles.

Home media

The entire ''Magic City'' series was released by Starz and Anchor Bay in Blu-ray and DVD formats on May 13, 2014.

See also

* List of films and television shows set in Miami

References



External links

* * * {{Starz Shows Category:2010s American drama television series Category:2012 American television series debuts Category:2013 American television series endings Category:English-language television shows Category:Starz original programming Category:Television series about organized crime Category:Television series set in the 1960s Category:Television shows set in Miami Category:Works about Jewish-American organized crime