Go ahead, snicker at the dramatic “sunglasses moves” of David Caruso, or the slurred Spanish spoken through the Southern drawl of Emily Procter, or Khandi Alexander’s mother-hen approach to medical examining…
…and claim that the original CSI (“Vegas,” as you people like to abbreviate it to) is superior to “Miami” and “New York,” (“but especially Miami,“ you’ll likely add)…
…and throw in there, for seemingly good measure, that the CSI “franchise” really just diluted the entire thing, but that “Vegas” came out strongest in the end because it lacked the gimmicks of “New York” and “Miami” (“especially Miami…”).
Go ahead. I don’t care. I’d be lying if I said that, at one point, I didn’t agree with you (at least about the sunglasses thing, especially after watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glvGfQnx3DI
But I recently started digging into this show, and can now offer at least 398 reasons why Miami is not the trashy stepchild of Vegas (okay, so I’ll narrow it down to 3, in random order):
You can watch Miami with the lights off in your living room.
Vegas is so damn dark, all the damn time. Every crime happens in the middle of the night, and every investigation of a crime scene involves walking through a house, searching for clues by flashlight. I understand that there’s some kind of “science” behind the flashlight thing, but even in the middle of the day, in the middle of the freaking desert, the interior of every building is pitch black. Are the citizens of Nevada required to purchase black-out curtains? It pisses me off when I have to lean in closer to the TV to see what the hell is going on, which makes me wonder how people with poorer vision watch the show.
CSI: Miami, on the other hand, is sunny (as I assume Miami actually, you know, is). Even when investigating for evidence using flashlights, there’s at least some natural light coming through these things called windows. Amazing, I know. I don’t feel like the entire show is filmed on some giant soundstage in Vancouver, which is the impression I get with Vegas.
The CSIs are just cooler.
Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means “cool.” (Case in point: I had dinner with friends a few nights ago: 6 out of 9 of them work in some form of IT. The conversation naturally gravitated toward some kind of certification one of them is seeking. He showed me the book he was studying from (oh yeah, he brought his backpack into the pub). It seemed intense). But I watch TV to escape, not to see how my friends would be if we all ended up going into careers in forensics. I like to see the unreal (a stunningly gorgeous, blonde-and-perfect ammunitions expert, for instance). Even the “cool” characters on Vegas are big dorks. (Yes, I know Catherine Willows is a former exotic dancer. I’ll give the Vegas writers points for that one). But other than ex-stripper Catherine, Warrick Brown was the only actually cool character…and they killed him off. Figures.
As I said earlier, I can understand one’s irritation with David Caruso’s Horatio Caine. Overly dramatic? Yes. Hard core bad ass? Oh hell yes. Dapper in his suits, always packing heat, H is just fun to watch. Are his vocal inflections bizarre? Of course. But have you ever really listened to Jorja Fox’s Sara Sidle? Every single sentence sounds the same. At least there’s an element of surprise in Horatio’s speech–where will he choose to pause? What strange syllable will he emphasize? And how will he use his sunglasses as an extension of his body? David Caruso has made this character so much his own that I can’t imagine him as anything else. Watch Jorja Fox in old episodes of ER or The West Wing and she’s pretty much the same: CSI, doctor, Secret Service. She’s just a vaguely masculine chick with a chip on her shoulder. And why the hell was Sara chasing Gil Grissom? Ew.
Let me state for the record that I’m not trying to incite a riot. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and opinions change. If you want to poke a hole in my arguments, go ahead, but don’t expect me to care that much. I know that my tastes aren’t always in the mainstream (I once told someone that I preferred Stargate: Atlantis to SG-1 and they were shocked–and possibly disappointed in me. I’ve since kept this information to myself, until, you know. Now).
The point of this post (at least, I think there’s a point) is that your least-favorite, gag-inducing, headache-causing tv program (or band, or movie, or song, or actor, or…) is always, always, always gonna be someone else’s personal favorite.
So don’t hate. Haters. Never. Win.
(*cue “Won’t get fooled again” / The Who)