Sunday, February 25, 2007

What's Up With David Caruso?

I watch plenty of television, but I have different tastes than a lot of people, I guess. Back in the 70s, everybody watched Dallas. I preferred Knots Landing. People raved about ER. I was busy watching Chicago Hope. Every woman of a certain age I've ever met was in love with Paul McCartney when she was a girl. I was gaga over George Harrison. The list goes on and on . . . and on.
Anyway. While CSI in its various forms has taken over the airwaves, as of yesterday afternoon, I still hadn't watched a single episode. But last night my daughter and son-in-law introduced me to CSI: Miami, and I have to say, I think they chose the wrong version of CSI to start me out with.
With apologies in advance to all you CSI: Miami fans out there, I'm still trying to figure out why people watch it. The plot wasn't bad. I was interested enough in the storyline to keep watching. Well, and I was holding my sleeping granddaughter, so that probably contributed to my reluctance to announce that "this is [beat, beat] the worst acting I've ever seen in my life," right before flinging myself out of the room. Okay, it's not really the worst acting I've ever seen. I could name a few other shows with much worse . . . but I'd be embarrassed to admit that I watch them.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The first thing I noticed is that everyone -- and I mean everyone on the law enforcement side of the episode spoke in a hushed voice throughout the episode. It was so odd and unnatural and noticeable, I'm seriously wondering if there's a rule on set that no one can speak louder than David Caruso.
I spent the next few scenes wondering why Caruso wore that pinched gnome-like (strangely reminiscent of Jim Carrey as the Grinch) expression. Was he trying to be a Columbo-esque character? I still don't know if the expression is natural (in which case I apologize profusely) or acting.
But all of that paled after I saw Caruso deliver his first big one-liner. I don't remember what it was, and what he said isn't important. What is important is that he stood perpendicular to the camera, only the right side of his face exposed. The person he was supposed to be talking to supposedly stood where te camera was, while Caruso stared straight ahead. (If you're having trouble following, that means that Caruso is not even looking at the person he's talking to.)
The conversation went on for a couple of lines, and then Caruso delivered a zinging one-liner of some sort before throwing himself backwards out of the shot.
What made this particular episode weird is that he did that not once, not twice, not even three times -- but at least four times in the same episode, and it's possible he did it even more times than that. I don't remember. I think I began blocking them out part way through the show.
I mean, who does that? In real life, that is? Have you ever actually known someone who not only spent multiple conversations not looking at you, but who also repeatedly threw himself backwards to get out of the room? Since I've never watched Caruso in anything before, I'm not famliar with his acting style, so I'm not really pointing the finger at him for being a bad actor. Maybe he's being directed by a really bad director. I don't know. I just know that it was distracting enough to put me off CSI: Miami for good.
In honor of last night's experience, I share with you this video clip I found on YouTube this morning. Enjoy!

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