Earlier this year, Ellen Burstyn received an Emmy nomination for 14 seconds of screentime in HBO’s Mrs. Harris. Given that Kevin Federline (K-Fed to his hommies) has at least a minute of screentime in his thespianic debut on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, is there any reason why he shouldn’t be entitled to two or possibly three Emmy nominations? I mean, it’s only fair.
Over the years, K-Fed has been many things to many people, dancer, baby daddy, rapper, husband, dead-beat dad, reality TV star, vagabond and general mooch. Who knew that he was just biding his time waiting for a chance at his true calling: Acting.
Thursday (Sept. 12) night’s CSI is darned frustrating, because it’s all just a prelude to K-Fed’s first appearance, which doesn’t take place until 34 minutes into the episode. Until that time, it’s just a bunch of nonsense about a roving band of costume-wearing thugs in hoodies targeting "fannypackers" of various kinds and stomping them. Before you can say, "Warriors, come out and play!" K-Fed finally showed up, doing what he does best — loitering.
At first, K-Fed’s character is just one of several young punks taunting our CSI heroes, but he quickly makes his presence felt. I truly believed that K-Fed was a directionless young man in a bad neighborhood concerned with local security. He made me believe that. When he sends in his Emmy reel, I hope they concentrate on the line, "You’re weak, weak, weak, week," directed at a pair of investigators. He delivered that line with a sing-song repetition that would do Mamet proud. Every "weak" had a different meaning as he said it, once implying physical weakness, once implying moral weakness, once implying professional weakness and one bemoaning the weaknesses inherent in contemporary masculinity, all punctuated with a well-earned, "You’re a joke!"
But it wasn’t just that K-Fed stood out on his own. Like all great actors, he brought out the best in his co-stars. After his monologue on weakness, K-Fed takes a punch in the gut from George Eads’ Nick. Never for a second did I doubt that George Eads was taking pleasure in punching Kevin Federline. The illusion was masterful.
I also admired K-Fed’s look of pain when his cell phone was confiscated. The look of horror in his eyes screamed, "My wife pays for my cell phone bills!"
But here’s the problem with how vivid an impression K-Fed left: I just knew he was going to come back into the episode. I knew that whatever nefarious crimes were being committed in Sin City, nobody less than K-Fed could be behind them.
Thus, in the episode’s climax, when it’s revealed that K-Fed is the malevolent Pigman, master of the rogue gang, I couldn’t feel any shock, only pleasure at seeing him again, this time thrown into the back of a patrol car. Perhaps it was K-Fed’s Method commitment to the part that made it so satisfying to see him heading off to prison.
"Free bed, free food, free sleep," he notes. But what viewer could fail to catch the echos between his description of prison and his life with Britney Spears. It’s called sense memory, suckas.
"This little piggie went wee, wee, wee all the way home," K-Fed added, again using that gift for rhythm and pacing that many a modern playwright would be wise to heed. K-Fed as Hamlet? Only in our dreams.
What did you think of Mr. Federline’s CSI performance? Best acting ever or merely excellent?