Saturday, May 5, 2012

C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation Season 10

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

C.S.I.:  Crime Scene Investigation Season 10 - 4 out of 5

I really dig C.S.I. but I can't help but wonder if the show is finally reaching it's expiration point.  With William Petersen (Gil Grissom) leaving the show only to be replaced by Morpheaus and to have him replaced by Sam Malone and add to the fact that it is currently hitting its 12th season, I can't help but wonder if it's time for the show to move on.  But until it does, Season 10 was still pretty damn good.

Tim Blake Nelson makes a special guest appearance...and proves he's
always awesome, no matter what role he's in.

Hey, Newman from Seinfeld is on an episode.  Now if
only there was a popular way for me to greet him...
I don't watch the New York version or the Miami blend of this series (although I am a fan of David Caruso's opening sequences with the pithy comment that cuts to scream of "YEAHHHHHH!!!!" from The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again") but I've watched the Las Vegas original for some time now.  If you're not familiar with the show, then you are probably a new born so I'll explain it to you in a language you'll understand:  ga ga goo ga blurp.  For those who don't speak fluent new born, the show is about crime and the process of investigating it through a crime lab in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The show is witty, slick in its presentation and the crimes and mysteries within the series are captivating and interesting--albeit, a little far fetched but it's TV, so come on!  The characters involved in the series--everyone from the law enforcement individuals like Captain Jim Brass to the techs getting DNA from semen stains like David Hodges to the actual crime scene investigators like Nick Stokes--are all compelling and well played by a talented bunch of people.

Rascal Flatts becomes a major part in one episode and proves that making
shitty music isn't the only thing they are capable of.

However, the series' formula is started to wear thin...but only starting, in my opinion.

Will Patton was hypnotic in his performance on one
episode as a CIA agent.  But Patton is a pretty amazing
actor all the time.
One of the show's biggest self-created cliches (one used and re-used in the subsequent spin-offs) is the witty and pithy comments made about victims of crime or criminals themselves.  The most notable use of this is when it comes to the show's opening.  In the past, Gil Grissom would make some dry joke about how the victim died before cutting to the show's opening sequence to The Who's "Who Are You."  There has even been time where they have made a self-aware gag on this cliche by having the opening music start after Gil cracks wise only to have it stop prematurely as the coroner corrects Gil on the cause of death before the show's opener starts proper.  This dynamic is one of those aspects that makes the show what it is but the drive to fill the show with such witticism has become, seemingly, the show's primary focus as pithy lines fill every second and the crimes themselves, also seemingly, have been put in 2nd place.  How is this evident?  There's an episode here that literally borrows from an episode of Mythbusters and the myth about a raccoon being fired from a makeshift cannon.  This emphasis on bad one-liners starts to wear thin and actually becomes a nuisance.

Is Jim Brass urinating in his pants?  That's the same face I make when I pee in a pool.

Hodges is always amusing on the show but we got to see
a little more development of his character this season.
However, this nuisance becomes null and void as the show decides to bring in more jokes that shatter the fourth wall.  Some criticism of the show that has been established is the fact that the characters explain processes of testing they are doing to other members of the team who should, if it was real life, know what they are doing.  As a way of making a joke of this, characters will explain the process they are doing and the other tech will say something like, "I know how that works" or something to that effect.  These tongue and cheek gags are a refreshing change from the 80s action film-style one-liners.

Mr. Noodle's brother Mr. Noodle from Elmo's World plays a serial killer they call in
to help with the Dr. Jekyll case.  I'll never watch Elmo the same again.

Like all seasons, Season 10 has an overall story arc that keeps the show going in the form of a larger crime they are investigating throughout the season.  Usually, this comes in the form of a serial killer...and this season is no different as they are looking for a killer they called Dr. Jekyll.  Now, I know what you're thinking...wasn't Hyde the bad part of Jekyll's persona?  You are correct and the show even makes a joke about this inaccuracy.  This serial killer Jekyll is a twisted surgeon who is mutilating bodies.  Gil's replacement on the show; Dr. Raymond Langston (Laurence Fishburne), becomes obsessed with the killer and begins to feverishly investigate the man--even on his off hours.  The show sloppily throws in a Red Herring to make it look as if Langston is actually the killer but this misleading attempt is so painfully obvious, that one can't take it seriously.

Okay, just because Fishburne is in the show doesn't mean we have to get
all Matrix-y.

The overall story arc was interesting but the Dr. Jekyll case suffered one big problem:  It wasn't big enough.  Jekyll's body count wasn't very large and spans of episodes pass without mentioning him or leads in the case that I could easily see myself forgetting his existence if I watched this while it was on air and not watched it on DVD.  However, despite the fact the overall story arc wasn't the strongest one they've ever had, they make up for it with a ending that delivers a one-two punch in the form of two killer final episodes.  Finally add to the recipe that this season had some of the BEST special guest stars in the form of established names like Tim Conway and in the form of fantastic character actors, that it's easy to overlook the short comings of this season and forget the fact that...*sigh*...the next season will contain Justin Bieber.

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