Saturday, January 4, 2020

YouTube Spotlight: Miami Vice and 1980s PSAs

Among the most intriguing clips in this week's YouTube playlist devoted to Miami Vice are a pair of 1980s PSAs. Surprisingly, Edward James Olmos' intensity in his MADD spot is matched by...Phillies legend Michael Jack Schmidt!

The obvious route for the MADD ad would be, hey, let's let Eddie glower at the camera, but he takes a different path. He doesn't even look at the camera till halfway through, instead focusing on pictures of victims, then rubbing his eyes to show despair.  He is intense but subdued, more desperate than angry, and it's an effective approach.

As for Schmidt, could this be a "Do as I say, not as I do," deal? Well, as far as I know, Schmidt only ever admitted to using amphetamines, but there was hearsay introduced in court proceedings that accused him of using some harder stuff. I mean, he WAS rich, famous, and in baseball in the late 1970s and early 1980s. You do the math.

The PSA is a great one no matter what. Schmidt's midwestern accent (Ohio counts, right?) makes him sound more sincere. The main word I would use to describe his manner, though, is incredulous.  This is almost as much impact as Jason Seaver asking, "Cocaine?"

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