'Magic City' series premiere: Will Starz's glamorous retro drama make good?

magic-city-jeffrey-dean-morganIn "Magic City," the new original Starz series starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Miami is hot and Morgan as hotelier Ike Evans wants to introduce America -- and us -- to the city's charms.

In the series-opening episode we meet Evans and his microcosmic world of retro glitter glamour at the Miramar Playa hotel, which he owns and oversees. Things are swell. It's New Year's Eve 1959 and Frank Sinatra is set to take the stage at the Miramar to ring in the new decade. But without something to sour the mix there wouldn't be a show.

In this case, the sour is amply provided by Danny Huston as mobster Ben Diamond who, we get the feeling, financed a big portion of the Miramar Playa and isn't content with being a silent partner. In the opening episode he rattles Ike's cage, but comes through in the end by averting a strike that would've kept guests away and Frank from going on stage and -- we're given to understand -- Ike's utter ruination.

But that isn't all. Ben's gal pal, Lily Diamond ( Jessica Marais) is sleeping with Ike's older son, Stevie ( Steven Strait). And, this being Starz, we have eye witness evidence. Meanwhile, younger son Danny ( Christian Cooke) is falling big time for a hotel maid while both sons -- and a younger daughter ("Magic City's" version of Sally Draper, played by Taylor Blackwell) -- resent their stepmother, the drop dead gorgeous Vera ( Olga Kurylenko).

The first episode was a little action packed, but show creator Mitch Glazer -- who was inspired to write the show based on his own youth in Miami -- had a lot of story to set up. And with a renewal for Season 2 already in hand, he now has plenty of time to slow down and tell it one chapter at a time.

Did you watch? If so, will you be going back for more?
Photo/Video credit: Starz