Monday, May 14, 2012

Wither The Sunglasses?

If you haven't heard, CSI MIami has been cancelled. 

If you've watched CSI Miami you know about The Sunglasses.  The black sunglasses worn by series star David Caruso's Horatio Caine character were almost a character by themselves.  They were used like an exclaimation point in a written story, or a horn stab in piece of music, as accents to a scene, telling the viewer to pay attention.  If Caine was putting on his sunglasses, or taking them off, you knew something was going down. 

Or that was the intent, anyways.  For a lot of viewers the whole thing quickly became a joke, a sign of the cheesiness of the show.  This of course included the inevitable drinking games based around Caine's glasses hijinks. 

So, should we feel happy for The Sunglasses, as they are now free from their burden?  Or should we feel sorry for them, as now they will fade to obscurity, just like most of the rest of the cast probably will?  (Of course it presumably wasn't the same set of sunglasses through the whole series.  I wonder how many pairs they went through?)

It's not hard to see why the show lasted as long as it did.  Although there was the use of story arc elements, which had become increasingly popular with viewers when the series appeared, they weren't as central as some other shows.  The plot of each episode was generally self contained.  So casual viewers could watch a random episode without being lost. 

Caruso is one of those guys who seems, to use an old line, to have a lucky horseshoe up his butt.  He first came to widesrpead attention as the star, along with Dennis Franz, of NYPD Blue.  The immediate success of the series went to his head and soon left, thinking he was about to be a big screen star.  It wasn't to be, his shot at being a movie star fizzling out in short order.  He looked set to be one of those actors who end up being a footnote, the kind of guy who ends up playing the creepy next door neighbour in a Z grade straight to video horror movie or a perrenial member of the Lifetime Movie of the Week cast pool.  But then he was chosen, for whatever reaason, for the Caine role, and quickly became the star of another hit.

In one way I'm surprised it's been cancelled.  I had gotten the impression its sister show CSI New York was closer to being chopped, but it will be back for at least one more season.  Okay by me, because Gary Sinise is a better actor than Caruso.

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