Friday, February 16, 2007

The Sublime Time Line to Solving Crime in Prime Time

The sublime time line to solving crime in prime time that has no reason or uh uh.. Hmmm what word would fit here?.. Excuse me while I channel the ghost of Nipsey Russell.

You know the old saying.. “If you do the crime.. You do the time“.. Well how about applying it to TV show if you do the crime.. we’ll solve it in an unrealistic time. Or something like that. We all do things based on time.. The entire cycle of life is time related. The Jewish Mourning laws are all based on time. At the other extreme, babies are expected to grow within a timeframe.. educations take time.. We have to be at work at a certain time. Time, Time.. Everywhere there’s time… (or is that signs?). Last fall I did a column about "Time Management" (See the archives Sept. 2006) how Trophy Wife lured me to a surprise 30-something birthday party for me by coordinating my day down to the minute, which included of all things.. a Time Management Seminar!

Monday Night I plunked down on the couch for an evening of 24 and CSI Miami.. knowing full well that in my Tivo-less universe, a commercial-free Heroes would look better on my computer than a tape recorded off my 17 year old vcr. 24 was starting an hour earlier so my agenda for the evening was going to be 2 hours of Jack Bauer and Company trying to save the world from Muslim terrorists.

If you saw the first hour, you would see that Morris, Chloe's Richard Dawson-esque boyfriend/ex-husband was lured into a trap by terrorists so he could program a suitcase nuclear bomb. Of course Morris wasn’t going to cooperate with the evil terrorist.. so it was torture time.. Better known as the 24 s and m fan festival! After the usual beatings and whippings and head soakings it was time to go for the old power drill and after drill bit hit flesh, Morris collapsed like a house of cards and agreed to program the device. Grey’s Anatomy also used the drill Thursday night when Stevens buzzed into a guys brain.. But her Emmy-esque beautiful speech about belief turned into a yenta fest when she told George that he made a colossal mistake by marrying Callie. Anyway, many bloggers feel Morris should have killed himself instead of giving in... but from a story telling standpoint, it didn’t make a lot of sense since the actor who plays Morris is pretty popular and they would need him to keep the story moving.

At 10 it was time for CSI Miami.. the 2nd of a 2 parter that strangely didn’t start with a recap of the prior episode. Who does CBS think is going to recall what happened in last weeks episode while still catching your breath from the end of the 2nd hour of 24 where Rena Sofer's character... (she is also Nathan’s wife on Heroes and went to high school with my buddy Harmon) led Jack Bauer into a bomb filled house.. after her father in law (Jack’s father) strolled off with her son and threatened to kill him if she didn’t lead Jack to that house? And at 10:01 do they really expect me to go into the episode cold? Gimme a recap.. give me a "Previously on CSI Miami".

As it turned out... Delko was shot.. did he die? Yes? Oh wait no.. lets pound a needle into his chest.. okie dokie,... his heart is beating..

Which leads to today's topic.. who is managing the time frame of these crime shows?? I can see how 24 is structured that each 24 episode season takes place in a 24 hour period.. but if you look at CSI Miami.. the show seems to wrap up in a weird time frame and Heroes is totally out of left field in that regard.

I haven’t always been a big fan of the crime shows. The earliest show I recall was the afternoon Channel 2 reruns of Barnaby Jones where the narrator would announce in his baritone that this was “A Quinn Martin Production - Tonight‘s episode….” Why was it tonight‘s episode if I was watching it in the afternoon??

At least NBC seems to have addressed the problem when they started Law and Order in the early 90s.. I remember as a kid the crime dramas used to wrap their storylines in a nice little bow at the end of an hour and many of the storylines took place within the context of a single day. However, L and O stories can stretch for months because first you have the law and then you have the order. Even Criminal Intent doesn’t wrap up its cases in a single day.. although I remember that Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue always took place over the course of one day

Nonetheless, let’s take a closer look at some shows’ writers that need time managers…

LOST - Its not a Monday Night show but time-wise it’s a mess too... The plane crashed in 2004... they seem to have been there for only a few months.. yet Jack saw a tape of the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2004. Where are we now? Is it still 2004?

And after last week’s head scratching episode.. Did Desmond’s life flash before his eyes.. Or did he travel back in time and relive his life like that awful Taye Diggs show that ABC briefly aired late last year? And notice how one “psychic” just lets people die because they are gonna die anyway, while Desmond keeps running out to save Charlie’s life? Wouldn’t it be cool if Desmond somehow ended up on Heroes?

And... why are the characters Dr Shepherd, and Dr. Burke sharing character names with Grey’s Anatomy characters? What are they gonna start calling Hurley?.... McTubby?

HEROES - It might win the ratings against 24, but I still must watch 24 live as it happens! Heroes is all over the time space continuum starting out in the fall.. going back 5 years.. then back to the fall... yet even though the show premiered in September, a bomb that Hiro futuristically sees as going off on Election Day 2006 still hasn’t gone off... and Nathan Petrelli (Mr. Rena Sofer) last Monday mentioned that its now 2 weeks before Election Day. And Nate is the father of Claire the Cheerleader! This just in to the newsroom.. Nathan Petrelli has just announced that he is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter!

24 - Ok.. Don’t do 2 hour shows any more.. its too much and I can only handle an hour of the action. Also, if they do 2 hours you become more keenly aware of things that happened in the 1st hour that don’t make sense when compared to the 2nd hour. For example, in the first episode this season.. Jack shaved off his big beard, got a haircut and changed into an Adrian Monk-esque outfit… in 11 minutes! And this past week was pushing it a bit.. In the beginning of the 1st hour.. Morris was getting his ass pounded and drilled etc. By the end of hour 2 he was back at his desk pecking away at his computer trying to save the world. Don’t they have sick leave at CTU? How do they expect him to just do his job after being... drilled?? This just in to the newsroom..90 year old Zsa Zsa Gabor has announced that she is the mother of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter!

And the all time classic of classics!…

CSI MIAMI/aka The David Caruso Acting Clinic.- they get hot babes like Callie (NOT the one who Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Stevens doesn't like) and Eva LaRue.. who pounce around in their sexy little outfits and you just cant help but notice that they wear the same clothes during the episode. Do you mean to tell me that Monday's episode that started with Delko getting shot on a parking deck and ended before sundown with Horatio killing the bad guy really took place in one day? Keep in mind they traced the bad guy to the shooting (his dad was played by the actor who played the villain from an early season of 24), and figured out he was a diamond dealer, and that a local diamond store had an illegal sweatshop behind a secret panel! At 10;01 Delko was rushed to the hospital... operated on.. .and wondering why his dead sister won’t visit him.... All in the same day! Last month, Delko had this storyline where he broke up a fight involving a couple.... bailed the wife out of a tough situation,. and then she sued him for assaulting her husband.. who later died in that episode, and by the end of the same episode he had settled out of court and was signing a document that would allow his wages to be garnished!! And all in one day!! C’mon what the heck is going on?? Buy the chickies more outfits and make the timelines more plausible!!

This just in to the newsroom… The crazy astronaut just packed a carload of diapers and is driving to The Bahamas to declare her love for Howard K. Stern.

Speaking of Howard K. Stern, I gotta ask a Rabbi about how the Jewish laws of mourning apply to Howard. Does he sit shiva for Anna Nicole? Does he have to wait until the funeral to start now that the body is held over for DNA testing? Were they actually married? Does he say kaddish? All these customs are based from the time of death or burial.... and I hope whoever figures out how much time is allotted for these things does a better job than the writers who figure out how much time lapses during an episode of CSI Miami...

Now time for the Clip of the Week - This week in honor of CSI Miami.. Somebody with a lot of spare time put together an amazing montage of David Caruso overacting sunglasses removal (or put-on) scenes that grace the very beginning of each episode before the theme song. You gotta see this to believe it! The show’s theme song is The Who’s “Who‘s Are You?“ I love the clip at 5:55!


kero9 said...

I hear Judge Seidlin of the Anna Nicole case will likely get his own tv show - I think the guy is hysterical. He seems very "Jewish," I wonder if gentiles find him amusing - well perhaps they do as gentiles apparently like Seinfeld a lot(something that surprised me.

Nate said...

I think everyone found Seinfeld funny.. that's why it was so popular for so many years.

As for the Judge, I heard that he had already made an audition tape for a judge show before all this ANS hullaballoo. More on this topic in my next column.