Saturday, January 17, 2009

Miami's Worst Cop...

I can't stand CSI: Miami.  The reason is pretty simple; Horatio Cane is an ass.  I'm sorry to put is so bluntly, particularly if you're fan,but there it is.  It's hard to know if Cane's many irritating idiosyncrasies are the product of David Caruso's influence, or the influence of the writers and directors of the show.  It's probably a combination of the two (though the rumours of Caruso's troubles on NYPD Blue may be some indication).  Caine's bizarre manerisms and idiotic dialogue are enough reason to dislike him as a character, but that's not why I call him the worst cop in Miami.

I've never seen a single episode of CSI: Miami where Caine does not at least draw his weapon, and he fires it almost as often.  CSI: Miami is currently running its 7th season.  As of January 19/09 they will have produced 155 episodes.  If we figure Caine's weapon-drawing ratio at once every second show (a wildly conservative estimate), then he has drawn his sidearm at least 72 times in 7 years.  That's more than 10 times per year.  I'll be even more conservative with my estimate of the number of times that Caine has discharged his firearm.  Let's say he shoots at someone only once every four episodes.  That means that he has, in seven years, fired his sidearm roughly 38 times.  Though he does not always hit what he shoots at, I'm sure that he has shot at least one person per season (again, a wildly conservative estimate).  So let's summarize our estimates of the good detective's stats.  In seven years Caine has drawn his sidearm 72 times, discharged it 38 times, and killed or injured more than 7 people.

I personally know three police officers.  To the best of my knowledge between the three of them, only one (a now-retired city cop) fired his sidearm in the line of duty, and that only one time in his entire
career.  Granted none of them worked in Miami-Dade county, which does have a reputation for crime, but I still think the comparison is meaningful.

If Caine were a real cop can you even imagine the number of times that he would have been investigated by IA?  Is there any chance at he would still be a lieutenant?  Is there any chance he would still have a job at all?

The point that I'm trying to make here is that good cops don't pull their guns every second day.  Good cops don't fire their weapons in the line of duty on a regular basis.  Good cops don't shoot lots and lots
of people.  In fact, good cops seem to do the opposite of those things.  Someone might object that Caine is just a television character and that I'm taking him too seriously.  He may be fictional, but the
place he holds in American life is as an icon of justice and that troubles me.  It tells me that justice in the minds of many Americans can be achieved through rampant violence.  That strikes me as a very bad thing.  It reminds me of an episode of the West Wing where Toby is arguing with somebody about gun control and he asks the rhetorical question "What?  Are Americans just more homicidal by nature?"

If Horatio Caine is an American hero, then Toby's question is worth exploring.


Vixen said...

Great article. However, since they say that HoCaine is solely Caruso's "artwork" it is a safe thing to assume that non-actor Caruso is responsible for HoCaine being what he is: a pompous smartass (exuse my French)

jon said...

i hate csi: miami. to me the writing is absurd. i think caruso is a ham but the writing is insane.

thing is, whatever the rumours about him off the set, caruso on nypd blue was pure gold.

Chris said...

It was always more the dialogue and Caruso's delivery that bugged me, causing me to shudder and change the channel, which has helped me avoid watching long enough to see guns being drawn...maybe we could get a hold of Ryan Frailing and see if he draws his gun that often. (As a florida state trooper)

Colin Toffelmire said...

Ya, I'm guessing that Ryan doesn't shoot a half dozen people per year (that seems closer to the actual number in my mind).

Ya, the dialogue is bloody aweful, as is the writing in general. I tend to think that on NYPD Blue Caruso was being elevated by good writing, but I don't actually remember his performances well enough to say much about it. NYPD Blue exists in my mind as a Jimmy Smits and especially Dennis Franz show.

The thing is, there are lots and lots of shows with awful writing, but even in the realm of overblown nonsense US Cop shows, CSI:Miami is ridiculous in its use of violence as a solution to social ills. Hell, I'm not sure Jack Bauer has shot as many people as Horatio Caine, and me and my family take bets on the number of ppl Bauer will kill in the season openers of 24 (the over/under is never less than 10).

Philbert said...

CSI Miami is a horrid show. Caruso's poses drive me nuts. It's sad that CSI Miami was the most watched tv show in the world in 2006.

Though I must confess I used to watch the show.

jon said...

i fear for a world where csi miami can exist, let alone be #1.

i am watching nypd blue season #1 right now, and caruso is awesome, as is the show.

maybe it went to his head

Little Missus Sunshine said...

Great post Colin! We tend to avoid this show at all costs because of Horatio. The numerous shots of him gazing off into the distance (assuming he is pondering some deep mystery of life) while either putting on or removing his sunglasses. Too cheesy for me.

I think shows like this are part of the trouble with the violence in North America. The way cops are portrayed on TV is either as a gun-toting maniac or a dumbass who doesn't have a clue about anything. (Not that I am biased or anything) For the record, John has drawn his gun on the job a total of once so far. He never fired.