It all started with The Soup, the most recent iteration of E!’s Talk Soup. For those who have never seen it, The Soup is a half-hour show that makes fun of everything that happened on television and pop culture that week. Host Joel McHale pokes fun at clips from reality shows, “news” shows like The Insider, and other random TV-related junk.
One of McHale’s favorite gags is to show the latest cold open from CSI: Miami where Horatio Caine, played by David Caruso, inevitably gets off some awkward one-liner right before cutting to Roger Daltrey’s famous scream from “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” McHale often then does an impression of Caruso, including putting on a pair of glasses before cutting to the scream. This never fails to crack me up. (To see a never-ending compilation of Caruso’s cold open one-liners, click here.)
I remember catching an episode of CSI: Miami during the first season and just being bewildered by Caruso’s odd, affected performance. His Horation Caine speaks in slow, measured tones at all times, whether he’s interrogating a suspect or ordering lunch. He talks like he’s explaining something to a four-year-old, and half the time he doesn’t face the person he’s speaking to. It’s one of those performances that is so idiosyncratic that it both works and it’s laughably easy to parody. It’s like a new William Shatner! (Incidentally, I think Caruso would have been perfect for the title role of Constantine. Of course, anyone would have been better than Keanu “Blank Stare” Reeves.)
I tried to watch the original CSI for a while a couple years back, but I never really got into it. Too little characterization, too much suggestion that any and all deviation from a “normal” lifestyle will get you murdered and tossed unceremoniously in a dumpster.
Anyway, after being amused by McHale’s Caruso impression numerous times, I started watching episodes of the show when I caught them on A&E. And lo and behold, I got hooked.
Most of it is due to Caruso’s wacky performance, I’ll admit. The rest of the cast are okay–I like Emily Procter–but Caruso sells that show. It also has a lot more action and characterization that CSI Vegas, and so it seems I’ve found a new show to tape repeats of on the DVR. That’s right–I’m still behind on Battlestar Galactica, I’ve never watched Lost or The Office, but I’m going to watch reruns of CSI: Miami.
On another note, I mentioned a while back that a pitch I’d made to a fairly major magazine had been accepted. Well, the article’s been turned in and should run in the magazine’s September issue. I’ll provide more details once everything has been finalized, but the hard part is over.