Monday, 1 September 2008

CSI Miami, Criminal Scene Investigation's Red Haired Stepchild...

It has been known for me to rather enjoy a bit of CSI, it's one of the shows that the Mrs and I can sit down and watch together, both enjoy, and eagerly await the next episode. However as is so often the case with any show that spawns a franchise, there is one version that stands out like a polar bear in the Sahara in it's unspeakable cackness. Just as Friends (which I hate) had it's Joey (which contrived to achieve the impossible by making Friends look good), just as Happy Days had Joanie Loves Chochie and just as Only Fools and Horses has the cack thing that has Boycie and Marlene in the country (who knows, or gives a flying fuck, what it's called), CSI has it's CSI Miami. Step forward Horatio Caine, and take a bow, for now it is your time to shine.

So what marks the Miami Branch of the franchise out as the steaming mound of shit it so obviously is?

Well, we shall begin with Horatio Caine. Never has there been a character in my memory with a catchpose (think of it as a static visual catchphrase), it is impossible for H, as he is known, to do anything without standing 3/4 on with his head cocked to one side. Look at him as he talks to his colleagues, not looking them in the eye, instead staring diagonally at a random object in the mid distance, watch as he interrogates a suspect looking out the window at a particularly interesting piece of grass, look as he does anything, it's always at a 45 degree angle to the rest of the world. I'm sure having sex with him must be an interesting battle against physical impossibility, as he enters his partner from an incompatibly obtuse angle. He also seems to have an arrestingly annoying way of talking, all disjointed clusters of words, pauses where no pause should be, unless the speaker happens to be a severe asthmatic struggling for breath, yet I don't hear Horatio wheezing. Add to this his habit of using the name of the person with whom he is conversing to start or end every other sentence and we begin to get a picture of what gates me about him. Still this is not all that makes Davis Caruso's acting masterpiece a hateful cock-munch. Oh no. Not at all. Woe betide you if you're a child, for H will patronise you with such totality that it is likely that you will never recover, he will also appear, as if by magic, already in catchpose, from behind other characters and launch into trademark annoying conversation. It's almost as though he's been teleported into place. That is, I'm afraid to say not all that is wrong with him. He has along with all the other twattish behaviour, another odd, and frankly disconcerting habit. Every two sentences H has to remove his glasses and put them back on two sentences later (roughly in time with his use of the coversee's name). I think I may have worked out why though. Mr Caruso has a terrible memory, and cant remember more than twenty words of his lines at a time. The producers realising this struck up the idea of engraving his lines on his ever present glasses, but didn't recon on his long sightedness, which necessitates the removal and replacement of the specs every time he needs a reminder.

Still, that's enough about him, what about the rest of the cast?

Well they're not quite as annoying as H but they still piss me off. We have a medical examiner who insists on having conversations with the bodies. No one knows why, because if she was that good a doctor that the bodies would talk back surely she would be performing life saving surgery every day rather than chopping them up and fiddling around inside looking for the bullet. We have a firearms expert who isn't so bad, until she gets dressed, because she's wearing clothes that are a) too small and b) too hideous to suit her, and, as my wife reliably informs me, has terrible makeup (a feature of all the female characters). We have the generic role CSI, a man who has the haircut of your average soccer hooligan and a jaw clenched so tight that I'm surprised every time his teeth don't burst through his face as they shatter under the immense forces. Suffice it to say, there isn't a single solitary character that you'll like, with the obvious exception of anyone who starts taking pot shots at the team with an automatic weapon.

Aside from the cast there's the methods. The CSI franchise in general has some basis in reality, the investigators follow the evidence to find the criminal, but not in Miami. This is a team with more hunches than Quasimodo's family reunion. It's a case of I think he did it so lets look for the evidence that makes him seem guilty.

It makes it very obvious that it's filmed in Miami though, there's something about the fact that every shot in the entire program is orange from half way up that just tells you it's that special tropical light. Look at these two images, one is obviously London and the other is Miami, it's so obvious...

Or perhaps they resort to stupid manipulation to cover up the fact that the show is almost entirely filmed in L.A. It's just one of those things that really emphasises how bad the series in comparison to the others...

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