Somewhere, there’s a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow missing a very solemn, very fugly leprechaun dressed in black.
If there is a more ludicrous television characterization than that of Lieutenant Horatio Caine as played by David Caruso on CSI: Miami, I haven’t seen it. For those of you who don’t watch the show, Caruso stars as the ringleader of a squad of crime scene investigators who work in and around Miami. Aside from the obvious gaffes – like, which hack writer thought the name “Horatio” would inspire anything besides eye-rolling and/or snickers? -- CSI: Miami deserves special praise for using so many formulaic ticks and gestures to flesh out Caine’s persona in lieu of any actual character development.
Caruso’s Caine is such a smug, obnoxious prick that I can’t help but wonder if Caruso is portraying him that way deliberately. He’s certainly nailed down a few gestures and mannerisms that just annoy the living shit out of me – so much so that I get a masochistic thrill out of watching the show just so I can see how many times in any given episode that, for example, Caruso puts his hands on his hips, turns his head so he’s not directly looking at any other actor and then delivers his portentous pronouncements as if he’s some brilliant, infallible, inscrutable cross between Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Spock and Socrates. If you’ve ever seen one of these instances of TV magic and not felt an immediate urge to bludgeon Caruso with a heavy object, than you must be a robot or something.
And as CSI: Miami prepares to launch yet another season next fall, there are literally hundreds of scenes of Caine putting on those fucking sunglasses while delivering a supposedly witty bon mot with the same exact vocal inflections. I’ve seen more varied and nuanced performances in old Clutch Cargo cartoons. Why, somebody should make a clip that strings a bunch of ‘em together, so you can see what I’m talking about.
Oh wait, somebody did:
I like the way the person who edited this video left in Roger Daltrey’s scream from “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” CSI: Miami’s theme song – it helps underscore Lt. Caine’s sheer ridiculousness.
And as for those show-opening witticisms, I liked them a hell of a lot better when Jerry Orbach as Detective Lenny Briscoe on Law & Order did it – he came off as a regular guy with a realistically cynical perspective on his job, not a sanctimonious douchebag. Caruso should check Orbach’s performances out on one of the innumerable L&O marathons running on TNT or USA – he might learn how to change up his line delivery.