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Thread: 'CSI' loses focus when it zooms in on investigators' lives

  1. #1
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    'CSI' loses focus when it zooms in on investigators' lives

    'CSI' loses focus when it zooms in on investigators' lives

    1 hour, 41 minutes ago
    Robert Bianco USA TODAY

    Sometimes, popular series should stick with what made them popular.

    TV's top-rated series, CSI, offers two out-of-character twists tonight, neither of which proves to be an improvement. For one week only, the show expands to 90 minutes and delves into the personal lives of its two main investigators, a subject that is usually strenuously avoided.

    As it turns out, there's a reason CSI normally stays out of its characters' private lives: They're not very interesting. People turn to CSI for crisp, intricately constructed procedurals. If they wanted to hear about one investigator's intimacy issues or another's anger-management problems, they'd be watching Dr. Phil.

    All right, give the show and its producers credit for trying something new. But as often happens, what's gained in the experiment is less valuable than what's lost. The best CSI episodes leave you feeling that not a minute was wasted. This one feels like it has 30 minutes too many, a not-uncommon reaction to extended series episodes.

    Still, fans shouldn't panic. CSI is a well-crafted, well-run series making its efficient way through another good season. I could stand to have the gore level turned back a notch. (No more plucked eyeballs, please.) But otherwise, the show has earned its spot at the top of the ratings. Tonight's outing is a bit too slow and somber, but it still has enough twists and ick to keep viewers satisfied, if not overjoyed.

    For the expanded episode, the team follows three cases that eventually combine into two. The strongest of the stories revolves around Grissom (William Petersen), as a murder in a club leads to a brief encounter with a wild partygoer (Elizabeth Berkley, trying much too hard to be Sharon Stone). Eventually, the trail leads Grissom back to an old friend, the dominatrix Lady Heather (Melinda Clarke), who is one of the few people capable of unnerving him.

    The case is a little, well, sick, but it's still better than the other main story, which explores Catherine's (Marg Helgenberger) feelings for her ex-husband. The problem is, we don't care enough about her feelings for this kind of story to work, a problem compounded by Helgenberger's chip-on-her-shoulder performance. It's good that Helgenberger isn't afraid to make Catherine seem unpleasant, but she doesn't always seem to realize how unpleasant she's making her.

    And believe me, 90 minutes of that is more than an audience should have to take.

  2. #2
    COMBAT MISSIONS junkie! BravoFan's Avatar
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    I'm happy to see this slightly different take on it. I'm sure they'll continue having the main focus on the cases, but I like it when they let some personal glimpses slip in.
    "They can only edit what you give them. They cannot manufacture a fictional character out of thin air." (Bill Rancic - 4/04)
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    Insert Funny "Quote" Here nofx242's Avatar
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    Its nice to see the show focus on the characters every now and then. Some dramas work well when they dont focus on the characters(law and Order) But works well with NYPD.

    BTW - The day that is listed for when CSI airs on the main forum page is wrong

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Oops. I'll fix it. Thanks!

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    JR.
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    I have to totally disagree with the writer of this article, I loved the episode.

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