CSI: Las Vegas - Crime Scene Investigation
What is it with CSI?
Given the seemingly endless global proliferation of the franchise, no doubt the good citizens of rural Victoria are preparing for the cameras to roll on CSI: Yackandandah- but it is the origin of the species that I speak of here. CSI: Las Vegas.
I'm sorry. I simply cannot watch it any more.
The acting is amateur-standard and overblown, the scripts cliched and melodramatic, the plotlines frequently ridiculous, and - most infuriatingly of all - the series relies for its impact not, on traditional dramatic elements such as plot or characterisation, but on a liberal display of gore to which the counterpoint is a prevailing attitude of world-weariness from the principal players. This mass disembowellment of a middle class family in their own home sure is shocking, but hey, I'm with the Las Vegas CSI team, and I'm far too experienced, and, hey, let's face it, cool, to be shocked by any of this.
Splashing the screen with blood and bodies is the bluntest of blunt instruments with which to bludgeon an undemanding audience.
CSI's other tried'n'true technique is a regular-as-clockwork weekly piece of technical whizbangery in which the viewer is televisually thrust through a victim or killer's arteries, intestines, brain, or alimentary canal to disclose the scientific detail behind the CSI team's breakthroughs. It's Hollywood special effects at its small-screen best, but, for all its dazzlement, it can't blind us to the shortcomings of the rest of the show.
We are meant to believe that police forensic scientists routinely pack weapons and interrogate suspects. The reality is that the people CSI glorifies are more often nerdy, bespectacled scientists who provide technical information to real police, who do the actual crimefighting.
But that would make CSI just another cop show.