CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is in its 14th season, has aired over 300 episodes, and has even outlasted its two spin-off series. And while that is certainly an impressive feat for any TV show, there is always going to be a group of naysayers who proclaim that it’s gone downhill or that it should have called it quits when Grissom left.
And while I can’t argue that there weren’t some mediocre seasons or less than stellar episodes and even unfortunate cast departures, I still look forward to watching each and every new episode. And not even with a ‘I’m just watching this to see it through’ kind of attitude, I’m still genuinely engaged with the series and rooting for the night shift at the Las Vegas Crime Lab.
And here’s why:
I’ve always been draw to TV shows with makeshift families at their core, one’s where character’s enjoy spending time with each other, so I appreciate that CSI has gone back to focusing on the friendly and lighthearted interpersonal relationships that made the first few seasons so much fun.
The show lost this element sometime during Sara’s departure, Warrick’s murder, and Grissom’s goodbye. But then it only got more depressing during the Ray Langston years, especially with all of the Nate Haskell drama.
But with the arrival of Ted Danson’s character, D.B. Russell, the CSI team is like a family again. But it’s not just his presence that has led to this turnaround, the character of Morgan Brody brings out a less adversarial side in Conrad Ecklie, the team of lab techs have really enhanced the comedic side of the series, and Elisabeth Shue’s Julie Finlay fits in well with the team too.
In my last blog post I talked about how the CBS Sync addition to their video player was a pretty nifty ‘enhanced viewing’ feature, but that’s not all CSI has to offer in the way of the viewing experience.
CSI of course has a CBS-run Twitter account (@CSI_CBS), but the writers have one of their own, and so do a few of the cast members (@davidberman88, @ericszmanda, @ElisabethHarnoi, & @kingoftrace), many of which regularly live tweet during episodes.
The @CSIWritersRoom account is also pretty consistently awesome about interacting with followers, tweeting behind the scene photos, and even sharing small glimpses of the whiteboard in the writers room.
Episode 1405 (the 300th) "Frame by Frame" pic.twitter.com/L07xKKZGcJ
— CSI Writers' Room (@CSIWritersRoom) August 30, 2013
They even interact with other TV show writer room Twitter accounts, which typically results in some rather amusing exchanges:
— CSI Writers' Room (@CSIWritersRoom) October 10, 2013
Perhaps this is just evidence of my desensitization, but hear me out on this one. Compared to a lot of other current TV series, CSI is actually pretty tame despite the very subject matter of its stories. I mean which one would you rather watch right before bed – CSI or American Horror Story, Hannibal, The Following, Criminal Minds, Law & Order: SVU, or Game of Thrones?
Plus, the whole long running procedural format really lends itself to any-hour-of-the-day viewing. It’s the kind of show that’s entertaining when you’re paying attention and even enjoyable when you’re not.
That, and after all of these years the formula is comfortingly predictable too. I mean we all know that the overly helpful witness really did it, that or the special guest star.
So if you’ve long given up on CSI, maybe now’s the time to give it a second chance. Try jumping back in at season 12 or you know watching new episodes on CBS, Wednesday nights at 10pm.