Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

Culture, Humor, Sports
Workplace Distraction

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Booby Tubey

I've watched a few episodes now, and I can tell you that "CSI: Miami" is the cops/forensics show designed and produced expressly for retards. Fittingly, it is the highest rated prime-time television show in America.

There are so many cops/forensics shows out there that it's almost impossible to keep track of them all. There are the Law and Orders: the original, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" and I think about 62 other permutations. CSI has CSI regular, "CSI: New York," "CSI: Miami," "CSI Lite," "No Carb CSI" and "CSI Citrus Explosion."

All this being part of the recent shift from "NYPD Blue" cop formula towards forensics, where the emphasis is less on the ethical quandaries of fat, raging cops like Andy Sipowicz on "NYPD Blue" (a show I always found to be pretty much unwatchable) to the hip youths with stubble looking at crap under a microscope during a musical montage formula represented by CSI.

Returning to "CSI: Miami" -- the off-camera backstory of David Caruso, of which most viewers of CSI are likely to be blissfully ignorant, is hysterical. He quits "NYPD Blue" just a couple years into the show, as his fame was skyrocketing, because he thinks he's going to be a movie star, and CBS just isn't willing to pay him like one. (Not realizing perhaps that a) he's phenomenally ugly but worse b) he can't act.) He stars in the campy-bad "Jade" and then doesn't work for about 10 years. Then he realizes that "acting" (more on this in a minute) in cop dramas is the only thing he does well. Hence, he's back on the small screen.

David Caruso evidently decided that he was going to give his character four traits and four traits only. These are the behaviors he has given his lead character, Horatio Kane:

1) Dramatically taking off and putting back on his sunglasses. He does this approximately five times per episode.

2) Never facing people he's talking to, but rather standing at an angle.

3) Delivering even his most obvious and clunky lines with black hole-intensity gravitas.

4) Saying people's names incessantly when he's talking to them*, especially when he's making rhetorical statements, e.g. "The suspect is on the wind, Eric." That one was slightly made up (though "on the wind" is apparently Horatio Kane's pet phrase for "on the loose"), but this one is real: In an episode where college kids decide they're going to play a "Grand Theft Auto"-type game for real and go around shooting people with automatic weapons, Kane and one of his charges locate the master computer where all the players' stats are kept. Standing in front of the impossibly high-tech hologram-projection screen, Kane states the obvious and banal: "Lives reduced to numbers on a board, Eric." That sentence is "CSI: Miami" in a nutshell.

Of course, "CSI: Miami" is just a slight distance beyond than the original CSI when it comes to the absurdly unrealistic depiction of a police crime lab, which the shows' producers reimagine as what looks like a posh, glass-walled, dimly lit night club populated by late-20s hipsters and skinny blondes in their early 30s. Anyone who has ever been to a police department and had a look around, well ... suffice it to say that a real police crime lab is far more glamorous.

*This happens about 15-20 times per episode, but in about half the cases it's justified, i.e. normal, whereas in the other half it's gratuitous and campy.

[to be continued, with more observations on CSI and Law and Order, plus an approximate ranking of the best cops/forensics shows on TV}

.: posted by hornswaggler 1:39 PM

Salon Articles
The Right Take on Libby?
Hurricane Horror Stories
"Looting" or "Finding"?
Run, Andy, Run!
Newsweek's Grand Inquisitor
Robert Blake
American Idol
Year in Television 2002

Andrew Sullivan
Bigmouth's "Lost" blog
Chris Keating
Hendrik Hertzberg
Matt Yglesias
Paul Krugman
Peter Kinney
Talking Points Memo
Two Glasses


Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com