Originally created 05/13/05

Shows could take cue from 'CSI'

Cinema bad boy Quentin Tarantino directs Thursday's season-ending episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Fans of Mr. Tarantino or CSI have to be curious as to what they might expect. Crime scene investigators combing for fibers in funky slow motion? A new CSI dress code of dark suits and shades?

I'm also curious about what sort of example this might set. It stands to reason that if the Tarantino episode on CBS gives CSI a not-at-all-needed ratings boost, other shows might clamor for guest directors. For some, there are going to be obvious choices - a Martin Scorsese episode of The Sopranos, for example. Other pairings might be a bit more offbeat. I would love to see Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) tackle The OC. Here are more suggestions:

LOST: This ABC show's careful blend of character, action, drama and suspense seems like a perfect template for Steven Spielberg. I can't be the only person who believes these hapless castaways have spent the past several months knocking around Jurassic Park.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: In American Beauty, director Sam Mendes offered a dark and mordantly funny picture of suburban America. Its style and sensibility seem to have been latched on to by this surprising hit on ABC. Why not bring in the master of suburban noir for a guest shot?

ALIAS: Sure, there are interesting subplots and machinations at work in this stylish ABC spy show, but what keeps people coming back is the eye-popping action. Say what you will about Michael Bay - there really is no excuse for Bad Boys II - but the man can direct an action sequence. My only request - more Rock, less Pearl Harbor.

24: Speaking of spies, this Fox series regularly brings a sharp sense of slickness to episodic television. It would take a special director to live up to this show's high standards. I believe Michael Mann could probably handle it. After all, Collateral was one of the most interesting thrillers in years, and Miami Vice proves he has some television chops. I'd love to see what he could do with this real-time series.

GILMORE GIRLS: Directing a show as in love with language as The WB's Gilmore Girls requires a certain sense of verbal acumen. In recent years, no directors have proved as adept with dialogue as the Coen brothers (Fargo, O Brother Where Art Thou). The pair also are interesting visualists, and it would be interesting to see their take on this show's New England sense of style.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT: It's becoming increasingly unlikely that this critically acclaimed but largely ignored Fox comedy is going to be with us much longer. Still, before it bows out, I'd love to see what Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies and Videotape, Ocean's 11), the master of the ensemble cast, could do with the show. It certainly couldn't hurt the ratings.

DEADWOOD: How great would it be to see Clint Eastwood not only direct but also make an appearance on this HBO show? Let's face it, if Clint knows anything, it's Westerns. Sure, Million Dollar Baby got the Oscar, but so did Unforgiven, and fans still want to see this cinematic statesman in High Plains Drifter mode.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.


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