“Oh you know what they say Frank, Speed kills” – Lt. Horatio Caine
My God!?! I love C.S.I Miami and the reason why is the scene stealer that is Lieutenant Horatio Caine. It is officially the most watched drama television show on earth, thats right you heard correct. The way he looks off into the distance with that slight head tilt thing looking like a catalogue model. His sunglasses fetish that I secretly think give him his powers to zing off a cheesy line right before the Who kicks in. The way he insists on saying a person name after everything that comes out of his mouth – “thank you Mr Wolff, would you take that to the lab Mr Wolff, who’s at the door Mr Wolff”. Add all of these factors and it comes across as Mr Caruso is acting in his own show because he alienates virtually every single member on the show. Hell even when the show began the writers tried to give him equal billing and screen time alongside Kim Delaney and she failed to cut it. To the uneducated it would seem Horatio spoils the show with his knack for the absurd but that’s what gives it its comedy edge over other police procedural shows. Then it hit me, David Caruso isn’t trying to separate himself from the cast but the opposite being he is really looking for a partner. All of those one liners are merely a test or audition for the other actors and so far no one has stepped up to the plate with a comeback that would equal Horatios efforts. Plus he never gives them the opportunity because hes usually long gone by the time they have had time to think of a response. His co-stars either look in awe of him and his masterclass in acting understatingly cool or they’re looking around for someone to step in and help.
I have a new idea why not a spin off of a spin off where Lietenant Caine could help out the justice department up the road at Fort Lauderdale. There he would meet his match in the engaging former cab driver wise cracking Judge Larry Seidlin (currently making the magic happen in the Anna Nicole case). Its no inside secret that Larry wants his 15 and with his unconventional style and balsy attitude it would be the perfect setup. Similar to Law and Order, Lt Caine would do the leg work building a case and Judge Larry would pass judgement in his own unique style. Oh think of the possibilities of high jinx they would find themselves in. They would clearly start off hating each other, one thinking the other is trying to take over his patch the other thinking his screen time could be overshadowed by this colourful nemesis. Judge Seidlin would purposely hide Carusos shades around the office perhaps sit on them in an “accident”. Caruso would roast Judge Seidlin for crying like a little girl when he delivers his decisions on big cases. But after a certain period they would see their similarities – both men of a similar age, like to protect and serve, lead with a certain uniqueness etc. But for now them teaming up and kickin ass is mere pipe dream for me, below are some of their best work.
Caruso is King
The Honorable Judge Larry Seidlin
Bonus – Jim Carey on Letterman doing a spot on impression of Caruso
News last week that former Eastender Michelle Ryan got the lead role in the upcoming NBC pilot “The Bionic Woman” came as a suprise. Being a former soap-star she has chosen to not go down that well trodden path. British soapland is an incestuous merry go round with actors moving between the usual culprits e.g. The Bill, Holby City etc.
The real talent from the UK that “cracks” America doesn’t get recognised by the British media at large because either a/ They have’nt had a stint in Walford, Weatherfield etc or b/ their accents are that good you assume they’re American or Canadian at best. I see it as Dante’s theory where by they start off wandering through hell gaining guest spots on UK TV shows that are critically ignored but find an audience e.g. Casualty. This is followed by the purgatory period in an actors career, this tends to consist of low budget, seen by one man and his dog British/US feature films. A number of the flock can get too comfortable during this period or are restricted by talent/luck and can serve out the rest of their career here. Finally comes heaven and this would begin with guest spots in big institutions (e.g.”Law & Order”) followed by getting a role within a new show and if that’s successful Hollywood comes a knockin. Below are some of the real success stories to come from these shores that don’t get the recognition they deserve.
1. Dominic West
More than just a “cop show” the Wire sucked me in from the word go. Giving equal billing to the law and the streets is a stroke of genius because you find yourself rooting for the majority of the cast. One shining light in that first season was Det. Jimmy McNulty played by West, a Sheffield born lad virtually unknown over here but is celebrated in the US. His film career thus far would be best described as paying his dues and I guess the bills. Such films include 28 Days, Rockstar, Mona Lisa Smile and out now the Hannibal prequel. However regardless of these misdemeanors he will be in Frank Millers “300” (this years best trailer by far). It’s worthy to note Wests name popped up in the Bond sweepstakes when Brosnan got dropped, but he got drowned out like many others due to the sheer number of candidates.
2. Marianne Jean Baptiste
Secrets and Lies would be Baptistes calling card with the British public and yet following on from that memorable piece of work the UK film industry didn’t know what to do with her. It appeared to be a long six years for Marianne following “Secrets and Lies” with appearances in “The Cell” and also in “28 Days” (wtf) among others. Her lifeline came in the watchable Jerry Bruckheimer vehicle “Without a Trace” which followed the missing persons dept within the FBI (in reality it doesn’t exist). Yes her accent does get lost somewhere in the Atlantic but she does co-star alongside two Aussies who seem to mess it up more frequently than she does.
3. Idris Elba
Hackney born and bred Idris Elba who is currently appearing in the latest Tyler Perry film has had a more traditional rise within British television. Slugging away with credits in “Family Affairs” and “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries”. Which makes it even more impressive to see him years later turn up as Russell “Stringer” Bell on HBO “The Wire” and absolutley kill it.
4. Louise Lombard
I have a confession to make, I love CSI Maimi and yet its always viewed as the illiterate cousin of the franchise. I read somewhere its the most watched show in the world (huh?). Sure it does’nt have the intelligence of Vegas and New York but what it lacks it makes up for in Horatio Cane. With CSI NY becoming more satisfying the original has turned me off in recent times. That was until they introduced Louise Lombard who is by far their sexiest, talented member in their ensemble. Who would have guessed the girl from the Sunday night borefest that was the BBC’s “The House Of Elliot”. New show currently in pre- production “Judy’s Got A Gun” has given her a staring role for a promisingly sounding premise.
5. Eamonn Walker
Before “The Wire” (seeing a pattern here?) graced my household the only other US TV show that had a predominantly black cast that didn’t always play second fiddle was HBO “Oz”. HBO being a clear link between some of these known unknowns, it seems you have to get a decent cable package to see some diversity in America. Similarly to Elba, Walker has crawled through the chucklefest that is cheap British TV e.g “The Bill”, “Birds Of A Feather” and has come out the other side. Recent high profile stints in “ER” and “Lord Of War” have shown his range and given him more exposure. Last I heard he was in “Justice” on Fox (a show I haven’t seen) however due to high production costs and average ratings that echoed throughout similar promising shows of late e.g “Smith”, “The Nine” it has been dropped from the schedule.
6. Jason Isaccs
“Brotherhood” on Fx was a genuine surprise starring Liverpudlian Isaccs, yet it didn’t get its props from the critics getting crowded out by the big boys e.g “24”, “Prison Break” for viewers attention. In the UK he is best known for being in the “Harry Potter” franchise and the BBC recent attempt at “24” that was “The State Within” which I thought was well executed. At times its complexity can get confusing but Isaccs manages to hold it together.
Those nice people at the BBC decide to bring back “Hotel Babylon” and with that they’ve taken numerous steps backwards. Going forward the drama output has been impressive of late with “Life on Mars”, “The State Within”, “Spooks” etc. Yet every now and then they shoot themselves with the likes of “Waterloo Road” and the aforementioned “Hotel Babylon”.
It doesn’t help the show has the noughties answer to Robin Askwith in Max Beesley. And with that this weeks premiere of the new series was one big wtf and the trailer for next weeks seems to continue in the same vein. I totally get the whole not to be taken serious, knockabout humour but the way its executed is woeful. This week it consisted of the following cameos – Chris Moyles, Ronni Ancona, Lil Mo from Eastenders, Chantelle(??), the lady from the gold blend ads and the top of the heap Russ A bbott. I kinda figured that Babylon is doing a “Will & Grace” by incorporating celeb cameos. With W&G that was a show coming to an end, garnering big Hollywood names each week. With Babylon it’s more of a first come first served policy for the parts that need to be filled.
51 days till the return of superagent Ari Gold – personal favourite quote has to be to be” do you drive that way in tianamen square bitch!!