Thursday, February 23, 2006

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Season 3 (2002)

Look how driven he is! No one is safe from the evil eye of Grissom!

Genre: Mystery Crime Drama Thriller Series

Starring: William L. Petersen (To Live and Die In L.A.; Manhunter), Marg Helgenberger (Bad Boys; China Beach)

Created By: Anthony E. Zuiker

Overview: This show follows a team of Forensic Crime Scene Investigators as they analyze clues, letting the evidence speak for the victims.

Acting:I'm guessing Grissom is going to be most people's favorite, but everyone in the cast is a great bunch of actors. The direction is solid and though there are flaws from time to time in the actual investigating, the characters are certainly not the problem. Great chemistry... Pardon the pun.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: The panoramic helicopter openings, the little special effects to explain the elements of a crime, a zoom in on some trace evidence, or a flashback 'might have been' with lens flares and effects filters really adds an element to the visuals. They always try to make the circumstances and the settings interesting and detailed, and don't forget it's Vegas, which is cool all on its own. For TV, this is awesome.
Rating: 9

Script: Sure sometimes a touch over the top, but not often, and sometimes the obvious lead is delayed for suspense. I mean after all these years, you'd think they'd know a little better (they do actually experiment less, so there does seem to be a learning curve), but the show is for the audience, not the characters. I will add that I've noticed the decent wit, and the 'tech' talk isn't all garble ("24" is horrible for that). Really good.
Rating: 8

Plot: There's always two crimes per hour and they always resolve it (not necessarily solve it). They do a touch of character development from time to time, but this show doesn't seem like it will ever focus on the characters. "Law and Order"'s success centered around very little character development, and lots of police and lawyerin'. Don't mess with that, it really works. Very cool stories. Top quality writers, though sometimes the plots are a little fantastical.
Rating: 8

Mood: This is the great equalizer. Sadly, they do things which seem more like propaganda than reality. Sorting through files and fingerprints within minutes, beautifully rendered computer programs that reconstruct faces, prints, voices or enhance images with flawless precision. These sorts of things make me think that the creator is trying to deter crime through fiction. Still better than any of the other "CSI" shows for that, but hey, it is fiction after all.
Rating: 7

Sometimes you want to be on the other side of the fence just to pretend you're the bad guy...

Overall Rating: 82% (Scope This One Out)

Aftertaste: I don't know what happened with this show. I mean such success bred more success, from this greatness to a brutish "CSI: Miami" with their laughable overpriced lab equipment and corner offices, expensive top of the line vehicles and terrible plot-holed writing, then from that to the even more outrageous "CSI: New York", with a constant bleak undertone and motives invented by overzealous, overdramatic mad scientists. Why? Who knows? Either way, the original is the best and I won't even watch that other garbage. I'll give credit where it's due. Kudos to "CSI". I love it.