Thursday, April 28, 2005

Forensic Follies

There was a time when CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was compelling television. Unfortunately, the edge of the series dulled midway through the second season, and CSI has become bogged down in formulae that don't work (insightful personal stories about characters with whom we viewers have no attachment; pseudo-science that wouldn't work in forensic reality; exploitative kinky sex dramas that are supposed to shock the mainstream viewer in a 1960's-Dragnet "can you believe this?" sort of way). Tonight's episode was a mix of all three—a little "meaningful" insight into Sara Sidle's personality (you may yawn now), some "shocking" sexploitative incest subplots, and a laughable plotline involving the extraction of audio sounds from grooves in a wet clay pot that was on the wheel at the time two characters were having a conversation.

Someone needs to tell the writers that we viewers have no interest in these characters; they are tools to move the plot along. They function best as competent, capable policemen; the episodes bog down when they become troubled personalities with problematic off-the-job lives. CSI is the star of the series, not the people who comprise the CSI team. Let's hope that the writers can get back on focus next year; otherwise, this show is going to follow such once-fascinating concept shows as ER into forgettable mediocrity.

No comments: