Tuesday , September 26 2023

CSI: Miami

How much does C.S.I.: Miami want you to know it’s part of the same franchise that gave us C.S.I.? So much that they’ll stick another Who song in the opening credits (“Won’t Be Fooled Again”), even if it makes less contextual sense than the first did.
C.S.I. fans already know the crew of Miami/Dade’s forensic unit from a test drive ep that was aired last spring (only new figure: Kim Delaney, who we learn had been on personal leave after the death of her husband). The series follows the same arc as its progenitor: show us a crime before the credits, then delineate the painstaking process of gathering evidence. Where most of the action in Vegas appears to take place at night, the new guys get to work in sunshiny day.
Opening case was a plane crash in the everglades: lots of splashing around (this C.S.I. team has a diver on board) for pieces of wreckage and body parts, plus patented computer generated closeups of same. It’s okay to brandish severed arms, you see, because this is police work.
This unit is led by Horatio Caine (David Caruso), who got the position when Delaney’s character left for her extended leave (inner-office friction, you betcha!) Caine’s a moister forensic guy than his counterpart Gil Grissom. Where William Petersen’s Type-A Nerd is given to Joe Friday epigrams and the classic detective adherence to The Facts, Caine, we’re told, can be messily intuitive and empathic. This is better suited to Caruso’s soft-spoken style, though frankly I prefer the more no-nonsense Grissom.
The rest of the team has promise, though. Emily Proctor – who once danced to Connie Francis’ “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” on The West Wing – communicates the right amount of techie obsessiveness as the unit’s ballistic gal, while it’s also nice to see Khandi Alexander as a motherly coroner. Delaney is suitably prickly, doing the authority dance with Caruso, though God help us if they try to shoehorn a romance between the two. There are also two young studguys on the team, but on the basis of the premiere they were pretty much interchangeable.
Caine and his team solve the plane crash mystery – which involves a woman getting pushed out of the plane, a seeming bullet hole that appears without the sound of a gunshot, plus two missing black boxes – and boss-man even gets to be suitably consoling with the dead girl’s mother. All in a sunny day’s work. C.S.I.: Miami may not win any prizes as groundbreaking programming, but, then, the show it’s spun off is fairly conservative, too.
As long as it continues to deliver the goods (glossy police procedurals w./ plenty of techno gee-whiz & fair-play clues), I’m likely to continue watching.

About Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman is a Books editor for Blogcritics. With his lovely wife Rebecca Fox, he has co-authored a light-hearted fat acceptance romance entitled Measure By Measure.

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