The trailer video for the CSI: Miami episode “And They’re Offed.”
How does entertainment balance the need to tell an exciting story with the desire to be realistic? Let alone stay within a budget?
An episode of the wildly popular TV show CSI: Miami that was set at a racetrack gave some members of an online equestrian forum fits.
Still, as someone simply happy to see horses included in a storyline on a popular TV show, I enjoyed the episode. I say to my equestrian colleagues, lighten up.
And let’s play the Horse Movie Drinking Game.
If you don’t drink alcohol, substitute your favorite beverage — or M&Ms. Or grapes.
Drinking games based on TV shows or movies acknowledge that certain elements are repeated over many episodes.
Usually, the rules state that once a particular line that’s often repeated is said or a certain action is performed, a sip (or, in our variations, a taste) should happen.
And, usually, with drinking games based on a TV show or movie, the action is keyed to a character. Like, every time that Dr. McCoy shouts at Captain Kirk, “I’m a doctor, not a _______ ,” you take a sip.
Or, in the case of our adaptation, you can pop an M&M into your mouth. Or a grape. Substitutions are allowed. A repeated action, though, is mandatory and part of the fun.
In case you missed it, the CSI: Miami episode in question is “And They’re Offed.” You can watch it for free online at the CSI:Miami website. (If that link doesn’t work after a while, the episode title is “And They’re Offed,” Season 7, episode 13. )
Anyway, on to the Prompts, with examples:
* Multiple horses portraying one horse
This isn’t exactly a mistake, but a Hollywood necessity. Some productions, though, are a bit slicker with the process (Seabiscuit [HD DVD]) than others (A View To A Kill – 2-Disc Ultimate Edition). Besides, we talked about this in a previous post about horses in the Bond films.
* Inappropriate tack
Like showing racing thoroughbreds wearing a western saddle. Or a western bit on a racing thoroughbred.
* Inappropriate attire
For the people, this time. Like the jockey hanging out and wearing silks after the race. (CSI:Miami)
BTW, some of the COTH forum gang dissed CSI:Miami’s Calleigh for showing up at the crime scene in equestrian-inspired attire, but I give her the benefit of the doubt.
Calleigh the CSI would have no idea where she’s going to end up when she dresses to go to work. Although I don’t think men’s neckties have been fashionable for women since Annie Hall. . .
Yet, this point of our drinking game can be applied to this particular costume choice because it is obviously equestrian-inspired fashion. After all, let’s assume that Calleigh knows that, as she’s dressing for work, that she’ll be going to a racetrack.
From the waist up, she looks more like she’s dressed to compete in the American Royal or the TWH National Celebration. However, her hair is loose — and that’s a no-no in rider grooming for saddleseat competition.
Besides, those of us picky about police craft details are glad that she didn’t show up in the usual female CSI “uniform” of spike heels, tight jeans and a fitted tank top. After all, the more realistic cover-alls wouldn’t be as much fun for TV.
* Unsafe horsekeeping
Like crossties hooked to bits. Full buckets of oats hanging outside the stall. (The set decorators made this one a helpful blue.)
Or securing a horse with one crosstie hooked to one side (let alone that it’s hooked to the bit again) — and walking away from the horse.
(All from CSI:Miami)
* Incorrect procedure for the equestrian discipline
Back to that jockey still wearing the same silks from the race in question after the race AND riding around on the same horse. Was that her only race of the day? Doesn’t that horse need cooling out?
And whose bright idea was it to enter that horse in Dreamer – Inspired By a True Story (Widescreen Edition) in a claiming race anyway? Just who in that barn doesn’t read carefully?
* Disconnect between dialogue and action
This is probably another Hollywood necessity, but it’s fun to catch.
In A View to a Kill, Bond is riding a spirited, reportedly dangerous horse named Inferno — who stands quietly while Bond chats with the villain.
And, in our favorite episode of CSI: Miami, a horse in crossties is said to be upset because its ears are back. However, Backdraft’s ears are actually relaxed. He’s really a mellow fellow.
* Change of venue
Always a fun one and often a Hollywood necessity.
Both in history and in the movie, the Seabiscuit-War Admiral match race takes place at Pimlico. However . . .
When Seabiscuit’s connections ooh&aah over the fancy digs at Pimlico, I had to laugh. Because I recognized the iconic colors for a legendary Bluegrass horse farm, devil’s red and blue.
The CSI:Miami episode was reportedly shot at Los Alamitos, a quarter horse track in California.
So, I have to say that I enjoyed watching CSI:Miami’s answer to A Day at the Races. (Sorry. I can’t resist a pun.) And I apologize for the cheap shots. Although they were fun.
But that’s what CSI:Miami is about, really. Guilty pleasure fun. The blue skies, the city skyline, the babes, the dudes, the fashion, the music. They and the other CSI shows make usually anonymous science geeks glamorous. It’s all a morality play with tinsel and flash.
The horse racing scenes looked exciting, thanks to the fast cuts and the close-ups.
I’m just sorry that CSI:Miami took seven years to get to the track.
So, what else can we add to the Horse Movie Drinking Game? Can you think of examples of other horsey monkey business that you’ve spotted on the screen?