A role phoned in, but Miami still a picture
IT may come as something of a surprise to Australian TV viewers, but in 2006 CSI: Miami was declared the most popular show in the world.
The forensic drama topped the class in a reputable survey of the world’s most popular TV shows in a study of ratings in 20 countries conducted by Informa Telecoms and Media, published that year in Radio Times magazine.
And, to prove it was no fluke, creator Jerry Bruckheimer had two more shows in the survey’s top 10: the original CSI , set in Las Vegas, and the missing-persons drama Without a Trace , starring Australian actor Anthony LaPaglia.
Ratings figures for the new 2009 season weren’t available by press time, but to give you an idea of the show’s recent performance here, in the weekly ratings survey published in The Australian on December 1, 2008 ( for the preceding week) CSI: Miami rated a respectable 1.153 million viewers, putting it in 22nd place in a race won that week by Packed to the Rafters ( 1.824 million), with even the finale of Australian Idol scoring only silver with 1.6 million viewers.
OK, so it’s no longer the cutest, most popular kid on the block, but is CSI: Miami still worth watching, or has Bruckheimer lost his magic touch? On the evidence of tonight’s pacy episode, I’d have to have a bet each way.
The ideas remain as fresh as the flesh cruelly and diversely turned up in the aftermath of the many murders that take place in the drug capital of Florida.
And the postcard crime syndrome, with lots and lots of beautiful aerial
Drama staple: shots of perhaps the US’s most glamorous coastal town, featuring beach scenes full of glamorous people with killer bodies, is still very much in evidence.
But main man Horatio H. Caine ( David Caruso) looks to me to be phoning it in.
It can’t be easy to have ground out 20 or so episodes a year since 2002.
Perhaps Caruso was unwell when this was shot, but his gruff speeches and overplayed responses have all the depth of a matinee villain visibly craving his next drink.
With regard to the man’s looks,
was once the world’s most popular TV show and I don’t mean to be unkind, a different approach to make-up is needed, and fast, before he winds up looking like a crash test dummy.
It doesn’t help that Caruso is surrounded by sexy new cast members half his age. Still, one monkey don’t stop no show.
Tonight the case of the one-armed woman taped to the steering wheel of a submerged car goes pretty much to formula. And the surprise turnaround comes at exactly the right moment to ensure an entertaining, if not exactly riveting, hour in front of the box.
Feeling a little old this evening? You’re not alone. According to this documentary, by 2050 one in five people — that’s about two billion souls — will be over 65. Uplifting, eh? Stick around, though, and have a good, long look at the looming social, political, economic and human impact of an ageing population. In part one tonight, the program investigates plummeting childbirth rates. In most countries, the fertility rate has fallen well below the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman. This hugely enjoyable American version of plays things a lot weirder than its British counterpart. Tonight, for example, our timeshifted protagonist Sam ( Jason O’Mara, pictured) has a tiny Mars rover run up and down the red sand hills of his skin before it plops neatly down the plughole of his ear. Then he tries to watch TV and sees Richard Nixon bleating on about ending America’s dependence on oil from the Middle East. Just resign already, will ya? I know you’re going to,’’ he tells the screen, just before it flickers, then displays George Dubya saying exactly the same thing. Out on the street, Sam sees a woman being roughed up by a local hood. When he goes to her rescue, to his and our astonishment, he finds his own, much younger mother. Another sayonara for this great series. Tonight’s finale features Brian Wilson, Martha Wainwright and Teddy Thompson.