Wednesday, December 19, 2007
CSI: NY – The weak CSI sibling
I’ve been an on-and-off watcher of CSI: NY. I watched it for the first year, but the show was so - cold. It looked cold; everything seemed to have a bluish cast. It was the polar opposite of CSI: Miami, where everything looked warm and, well, orange. I suppose the bluish coloring was supposed to emphasize the grittiness of New York City; instead it made me feel like my body and brain was slowly being frozen.
Then there’s the cast. They were cold and emotionless during the first year, and the chemistry was just not there. So after watching for a good part of the season, I gave up on it.
I picked up a few episodes in the following seasons. They appeared to add some color to the show, making it look slightly cartoonish. Still, the ambiance was a little better than the first season. But, that pesky old cast of characters remained. Despite the fact that they tried to make the show look more realistic, the actors still seemed lifeless, like they were going through the motions. I really couldn’t have cared less about any of them, and I think that is the kiss of death for a show as far as I am concerned. If I can’t get at least a little emotionally involved with the characters in a show, it makes the whole reason to watch a show disappear.
The other problem I have is the completely unrealistic story lines. Yes, all the shows in the CSI franchise seem to be afflicted with this, but CSI: NY defines the word “ridiculous.” The forensics are too outlandish and frankly just too convenient that even if they are credible explanations, they come across as being silly.
I started watching the show again toward the end of last season, and continuing this season. They had an on-going story arc with the “333” stalker who was harassing Mac. And you know what? I still could care less about what happens to Mac. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that Gary Sinise is just horrible in this role, always looking like he has a bad case of gas pains. The rest of the cast is, for the most part, uninteresting to me. There is just something missing in this show and I can’t quite put my finger on it. The only person where there is hope is with Stella, played by Melina Kanakaredes. (STELLA! I am compelled to yell it out like Brando in “Streetcar” every time I hear her name. It is like the strange compulsion I have to scream along with Roger Daltry after one of Horatio Caine’s one-liners in CSI: Miami. But I digress.) Stella seems to be the only person working in the New York crime lab that actually has some life to her. But I don’t think it’s enough for me in the long run.
I know CSI: NY does pretty well in the ratings, but it will be interesting to see what happens after Law & Order returns to its original time slot in January. The invigorated L&O cast, along with a much needed promotion for Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) to District Attorney, is giving the show a lot of good buzz. The question will be, who fights crime better in New York City? My vote is with the grounded, reliable, and ever faithful Law & Order gang.
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