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 TV Bites With Neena Louise

CSI: Miami - I See Dead Series

by Neena Louise


Like millions of other people, CSI is one of my favorite shows and I eagerly anticipated its spinoff CSI: Miami. This spinoff, however, has proven to be a disappointment and, considering it has the same producers, I became intrigued with its lack of quality when its parent show is so stellar. I started to analyze it and try to determine why it's so bad. These are my conclusions:
 

The principal stars

Kim Delaney. She still hasn't learned to breathe properly, I see. With all her sighing and gasping, combined with a voice that makes me wonder if she keeps a helium supply close by, both her and her character are so irritating you just want to grab her and shriek, "Chill, will ya?!!" (As an aside: who in their right mind would wear high heels to a crime scene in the Everglades? Is she supposed to be stupid, as well as annoying?)

David Caruso. In the pilot I thought he did an adequate job. Subsequently, however, he reminds me disturbingly of That Guy in High School (every high school has at least one) that thought he was the coolest dude in the world when, in actuality, he was the only one that thought he was cool. Everyone else was embarrassed by his obliviousness of what a complete dork he really was. That is David Caruso. Or it could be just his character. Either way, I'm always vaguely embarrassed for him, which makes watching CSI: Miami a somewhat uncomfortable experience.

The dialogue

Oh, lord, where did this shlock come from? Sample [paraphrase]: "Grief is grief. Work is work. There's a difference." Well, gosh, how profound! Puh-leeze.

The gore

Yes, the original CSI has gore a-plenty. However, it actually fits with the story and has relevance to the plot. In CSI: Miami, the gore (not to mention the preoccupation with male genitalia) appears to be completely gratuitous. I suspect the over-the-top blood 'n' guts is used to try to camouflage the bad writing, bad acting - the total badness of it all.

The timing

It's too soon for a spinoff. Consider the Law & Order franchise: The original Law & Order was on for years (close to a decade, if I'm not mistaken) before it was spun off into Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Criminal Intent - both of which are highly successful. While CSI was extremely successful its first season, one season is not long enough to spin it off. Who knows how long CSI will last? It is extremely unwise to spinoff a series before you know whether the parent show has staying power. I can't think of any other show that spawned a spinoff after only one season.

The timeslot (Monday, 10 pm)

Though I'm generally against (not to mention irritated by) timeslot shifts so early in a season, CSI: Miami is up against certified successes Crossing Jordan and Monday Night Football. People who already watch Crossing Jordan aren't going to switch to a different, unproven "dead people" show, nor are football fans going to watch - well, anything else. If I was CBS, I'd switch it with Judging Amy on Tuesdays at 10 pm or the appropriately-named Hack (who wants to bet on when that'll be canceled?) on Fridays at 9 pm.


That's not to say that CSI: Miami is a guaranteed bust, however. I'm sure there are enough CSI fans to keep it going for at least a season - and it does have potential. But as with so many show clones, it seems to be a dumber, weaker copy and I can only hope that it won't affect the quality of the original CSI.
 
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