August 20, 2008

Laurence Fishburne joining CSI cast

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Stage and screen star Laurence Fishburne's last turn as a series regular on network television was the role of Cowboy Curtis on the 1980s kids show "Pee-wee's Playhouse."

So the acclaimed actor better known for playing dark, brooding characters says he looks forward to his new TV gig as a forensics investigator with disturbing tendencies on the hit CBS detective drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

Not that he had ever seen the series before his first meeting with the show's executive producers, Carol Mendelsohn and Naren Shankar.

"I felt a little stupid and embarrassed that I hadn't watched the show prior to having a meeting with them," Fishburne, 47, acknowledged in a conference call with reporters for the announcement that he is joining the show's cast. (Click here for the rest.)

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NOW I can't decide whether this is good news or bad news.

I have been such a rabid fan of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (and CSI New York), so watching the upcoming season without William Petersen's Gil Grissom character will be very disconcerting. But Laurence Fishburne is really a great character actor, and I have no doubt he will be a good addition to the CSI team, especially if his character were to head the department vice Grissom. It's just that Grissom, like CSI New York's Det. Mack Taylor (brilliantly played by Gary him!), is one of the more intelligent characters on primetime TV; it will be such a pain to see him go.

(Let's not even talk about CSI Miami and David Caruso's character Horatio watshisface...a joke and insult to Grissom and Taylor's characters if you ask me. Caruso is just so porma and acts out his character almost the same way as he did his character in Hill Street Blues. Or was that NYPD Blue? Does anyone notice that Caruso's character on CSI Miami never really gets his hands dirty by doing lab work?)

(Anyone remember Laurence Fishburne as Cowboy Curtis? Nakakahiya to say, pero I do. Nge. Boy, he's sure come a long way huh?)

Fishburne is one of my fave character actors, and seriously, kahit panget sya, ang galing-galing nyang umarte! You can't help but have a certain affinity for his brooding and grim characters. I liked him as Morpheus in the Matrix trilogy, and recently, as Dr. Larabee as the spelling bee mentor in Akeelah and the Bee. And did you know he did the voice of the Silver Surfer in the last Fantastic Four film? Say nyo?

But gee, the CSI Vegas crew has been experiencing a spate of resignations by its main actors in the past months, ha. First it was Jorja Fox who played Sarah Sidle and Grissom's love interest who left, then it was Gary Dourdan (Warrick Brown) who was killed off in the last season. Sayang, he was actually hot. Now it's Petersen. Everyone just wants to pursue other acting avenues. I don't blame them...they've been doing this gig for what? eight years already?

Well, I'll certainly miss Gil Grissom and his weird affinity for insects, his OC-like attention to details, his inability to express his true affections for his soulmate (remember the S&M Vegas madame?), and his love for crossword puzzles. (Curious ako sa plot twist na gagawin ng writers...will he leave CSI to join his love Sarah Sidle somewhere?)

But I suppose, Fishburne will be able to inject new life into this CSI, coupled with the unfailingly outstanding scripts and stories woven by the show's writers. (Pero joshme ha! dapat manood na sya ng CSI!) I can't wait for the new season to begin.

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