CSI: Criminally Obvious

22 Mar
CSI Miami

Can there be anything more ludicrous than pretty police people in leather jackets, standing in superhero supermodel pose? Yes. Watch the show.

I’d heard so many people raving about CSI, and so I was chuffed when our national broadcaster picked up the Las Vegas series (about 3 or 4 years after its US broadcast date, but still). And then I watched its MTV mediocreness and wondered what on earth all the fuss was about. Granted, there are some compelling moments, but all the faux-edgy grislyness and blue-toned, science-is-cool-on-TV music montages…

I could live with them, I suppose, if the stories were up to the hype.

Some of the episodes really left an impression on me. First, there is the one in which a footballer or someone appeared to have been mauled to death by a wild animal, but it was actually a cheerleader maxed out on PCP who ate his guts and then got ecoli. All of this for an incredibly ham-fisted ‘Kids, Don’t Do Drugs’ message.

Then — and please correct me if I misunderstood the following scene — there was an episode in which an illusionist gets burned beyond recognition in front of his stunned live audience. Lead character Whatsisname finally gets a brainwave, rushes to the morgue, and with extra sticky sound effects he chops off the fingertip of the deceased, graphically gloops the bone out of the charred tip, sticks his own digit into the dismembered flesh finger-puppet, and takes a fingerprint with it, establishing that it wasn’t the magician after all, but some poor sap who got in his way. What?? A) They didn’t take fingerprints first?? and B) it was necessary to do all that gruesome, hands-on PT instead of just whacking some ink on there from the start?

I can only assume that I missed some crucial plot point in that episode, and so we’ll give Las Vegas the benefit of the doubt there. It is very stupid, but surely not that stupid.

But then there’s CSI Miami, more recently brought to our screens (although I note to my horror that this was a 2002-3 season! Man, we’re slow in this country). I thought maybe this was the CSI that was deserving of all the accolades, what with the comeback of Caruso and all of that. But no.

The episode this week (‘Tinderbox’) involved a night club that burned down, killing many people etc. etc. I could just about tolerate the fact that although the fire was only burning the curtains at the time, one of the CSIs (coincidentally present) phoned it in as a ‘major structural fire’. I could just about believe that a club featuring indoor fireworks had no sprinklers and only one hydrant. I almost didn’t throw something at the screen when — with the fire localised on the stage and two exits open — the 200-or-so patrons in the club were panicking too much to leave at a rate faster than one person every 5 seconds. But it was all over for me when Caruso arrived in the aftermath, and in his most momentous tone said to other trained, we-do-this-every-day CSIs, ‘We’re going to find out what happened here. And this building……. will be our WITNESS!!!!!!’

I had to dive for the remote and switch it off before my brain actually fossilised around the edges, like the scabby part of the cheese when the wrapper isn’t on all the way around.

I actually think I might try that Caruso move. Maybe give it a go when you get to work too. I’ll enter a room full of my colleagues and I’ll say very loud, “I’m going to write something today, and I’m going to use….. my COMPUTER!!!” or maybe, “I think I’ll have some coffee. And I’m going to make the water hot….. with the KETTLE!!!”


One Response to “CSI: Criminally Obvious”

  1. Chris H March 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    You have to watch this. Not directly about CSI, but just as applicable…


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