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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: TV

CSI MIAMI - Sink or Swim
Channel 5 UK Tuesdays 9pm
Karen Hall

There are two reasons why I am sold on this detective programme,one is the presence of no-nonsense, tough talking David Caruso as the boss of the outfit Horatio Caine. It intrigues me to ponder if the film 'The Caine Mutiny' a Humphrey Bogart oldie inspired the writers when they first came to christen Caruso's character? A book on that diminutive tough guy actor once hit me in the face, the front cover read, 'take it and like it'.

Perhaps a fitting signal to send out for a cop programme! the other meaningful reason I can give is that the titles are punched at us to the intensely charged electric guitar or rock legend Pete Townsend's 'Won't get fooled again'. This assault by a rampant amplifier promises to set us up for a scorcher!

This week's storyline involved the lovely Nadine bride to be of a certain Derek who is supposedly shot by armed
robbers while partying on a yacht in the harbour. As the action unfolds we learn she is actually murdered by a hunky
diver with a bull neck who shoots her from under the water with a pretty viscious looking 'dart', as extracted during
the autopsy. Not much gore in this one I thought to myself. There was a time when the amount of blood and human
remains in CSI were more plentiful. The plot twists and Horatio accuses Derek of arranging the murder after a lovers
tiff. Then the guy with the bull neck is hauled in because of DNA evidence and he, under pressure reveals the murderer.

This happens to be a guy called Paul Garland who acts out of revenge, blaming Derek for inadvertantly causing his
daughter's murder. An eye for an eye. There is another storyline running which is interwoven in that CSI cop Eric Delko is declared an illegal immigrant because his birth certificate is reputedly fake. Most implausibly he is accused
of being Russian! But it all ends well and Eric's father comes forward and admits he is really from genuine American

I did deliberatlely follow quite closely the use of any gratuitous sex scenes, violence and strong language. I was quite
surprised to note down only one expletive, a couple of tender kisses and the general lack of any unnecessary
aggression. It does just show that a cop programme (and an American one at that ) can be just as effective without
over the top behaviour which persuades our childern to think that this is acceptable and the 'norm'.

The time slot I feel is appropriate for the adult audience, and with so many youngsters staying up late till that hour of the the night I feel the clean up job is justified. The downside of this programme is for me the highly technical and incomprehensible scientific jargon that always crops up, especially when ballistics and projectiles are mentioned. You have to hold a doctorate in rocket science to understand it. I can't help wondering whether the cast have a laugh when they are given the script to read!

At such intervals I would rather dream about the crystal blue waters around Miami and the rich batchelor's in
their expensive Rolex and luxurious private yachts.

I must also admit to being of the opinion that Mr Caruso's old detective programme show which I rate as one of the most brilliant of cop programmes far out strips this one. NYPD Blue of course! In that instance the storylines were meatier and I cared more about the charatcters than in CSI Miami which I feel is not in the same league but for me still good entertainment nonetheless.
© Karen Hall October 17th 2009

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