13 January 2010


This is the shit, you guys.

There's a good chance you don't know it yet, but CSI: Miami is the most entertaining show on television. I know a lot of people who would reflexively say that I am wrong. Those people do not understand television.

Television has never once been about reality, even the Discovery channel or PBS. On television, nobody is really themselves, and no situation isn't contrived and constructed. The one possible exception is local cable access, in which people are only ever honest and genuine and sincere. For this reason, local cable access is completely unpopular.

If the last decade has taught us one thing, it is that people love to speculate as to what the last decade has taught us. But if the last decade has taught us two things, the second is that reality television is the apogee of the entertainment industry.

Reality TV is, admittedly, really terrible. It is full of vapid people having inane conversations about banal topics. Worse than reality TV are people who want to be on reality TV. But listen, if you want to name your son after a bird of prey and then pretend to send him flying across the state in a pretend UFO, I'm not going to judge you. But the state of Colorado probably is.

What's interesting about CSI: Miami is that it is just as terrible as reality TV and in some ways, is even worse by not being reality TV. The dialogue is forced, the situations absurd, the characters flat and annoying, and honestly, everything is just fucking orange all the fucking time. I have no idea why. Maybe the sun is perpetually setting, maybe the show is set in some post-apocalyptic nightmare in which hiring David Caruso to do anything is somehow a viable option, maybe the effects budget is inexplicably large.

So, you ask, if CSI: Miami is worse than reality TV, what could possibly make it more entertaining? Simply put, it exposes the reality behind television far batter than reality TV does. And, it still gets promoted as regular ol' fantasy TV. Just as Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets (if you believe that, anyway), CSI: Miami fulfills both fantasy TV and reality TV.

The reason we like fantasy TV is that we like to imagine a vastly different, unreal world. The reason we like reality TV is that we like to imagine that people who we are willing to believe are like us are completely terrible and boring and actually worse than ourselves, even if we know the whole thing is a sham. On CSI: Miami, we are presented with a different world in which often bizarre and provocative crimes are solved within a relatively short time, almost everyone is good-looking, and pale redheads never tan. We all agree this is completely unreal but might be vaguely awesome.

CSI: Miami is also so blatantly bad that what we are presented with are not the failures of the actors, as in reality TV. The failures of actors on reality TV are completely and transparently scripted, and we all agree this is somehow entertaining. On CSI: Miami, what are important are the failures of the actual people making CSI: Miami— including David Caruso— who are doing their damnedest to produce something with a modicum of quality.

Is it sad? Maybe.

Admirable? I'd say so.

Entertaining? Hell YEEEEAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!


james said...

There's 7:17 of this stuff?!

james said...

sunglasses! so dramatic David.