Pop-art psychoanalysis, pt. III: Cool running (excerpt from an imaginary Miami Vice screenplay)

Whenever the founding fathers of psychoanalysis and the world’s greatest funnybook characters all fail to help with my current condition, I’m forced to call in the professionals.

What follows is my idea of psychotherapy, only in (faux) screenplay format, and ditching both the Freudian and Jungian approaches and going straight to the heart of the matter, namely with Miami Vice characters from the mid-80s TV show.

It’s a seldom-known fact about life:
If Don Johnson can’t help you, then you might as well pack up and go home ‘cause you’re toast, pal.

M****, the protagonist, 27 and strikingly good-looking (hey, it’s my script!), stands alone on the pier with his back leaning to a tall wooden column used for mooring.
He is approached by TWO DADE COUNTY MIAMI DETECTIVES in civilian attire (SONNY CROCKETT, as played by Don Johnson, and RICARDO TUBBS, as played by the other guy who did Miami Vice with Johnson and no one ever remembers his name anymore… Philip Michael Thomas).

SUPERIMPOSE: Miami. Late 1985.



Jesus. I’m f*cked up, Crockett, that’s what I am. Knee-deep in sh*t. It’s like in that old routine, you know? Sometimes you walk a thousand miles with no specific direction… I just don’t know, man. It’s like my self-confidence’s gone bipolar; does that even make sense to you? It wanes. It bobs up and down. Take the other day, for instance, and I was at the supermarket to buy some cake for dessert, and I suddenly froze because I just couldn’t make the call between chocolate cake or a brownie with nuts. And I do mean “cake” quite literally here! And most times I also get insecure whether I’m overplaying this whole lone ranger shtick: Maybe I’m actually choosing the easy way out of problems I don’t really wanna face, and stuff like that. Then I consider the alternative and it just seems like using other people to reassure myself. Which is totally uncool. I need to see some line drawn in the sand, I guess. I think I could use the closure.


If yer asking me, it just looks like ya think way too much, pal.


Yeah, man. You just gotta know when to go with the flow, and when to act like a man. It’s all about action, see?


(lights up a cigarette)

C’mon Tubbs, let’s go. Kid’s got some serious figuring out to do by himself.


(in mock-Jamaican accent)

Just remember, man: Cool running, man.

Exit Crockett and Tubbs.



Riiight. “Cool running” will probably do it. Whatever the hell that even means anyway. Hey thanks a bunch, fellows, eh?

M**** is left alone for about thirty seconds, then he’s approached by LT. CASTILLO (as played by Edward James Olmos), coming from the other side, opposite from Crockett and Tubbs.


(looks grim as hell)

I’ll tell you the ancient Japanese tale of the samurai who was torn between family and duty…



Oh god, just what I freakin’ need right now: The tough Latin cop telling me about the ancient Japanese tale of the samurai who’s torn between a donkey’s ass and three-day leftover microwave junkfood, for crying out loud! Go chase a Blade Runner or something, willya dude!


(looks even more grim)

Our time’s up.

Shot is interrupted; scene freezes.

SUPERIMPOSE: Produced by Michael Mann.

Cut to credits.

The end.