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gil, horatio, mac … and csi

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from CSI: Vegas / The Who

We don’t get fooled again, no, no

from CSI: Miami / The Who

Out here in the fields I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living

from CSI: NY / The Who

Murder meets Science

CSI ushered in a new era of Tv detective series.

There wasn’t any longer a detective with or without a team walking around a crime scene and thinking about … whatever. As well there wasn’t any longer a lonely detective asking whoever might be in any relationship with the victim or the crime scene – just so. No longer fancy discussions about motives, dissections of last wills … No longer methodless interrogations of anybody suspicious of whatever.

CSI starts with the thoroughly examination of the victim and the crime scene by experts on a scientific basis. Everybody involved struggles to save any possible evidence without contamination. Lots of photos are shot at every detail. Any digital resource at the crime scene is saved and painstakingly examined. All is finally assembled in modern labs and undergoes another deep analysis. I think everybody is surprised what is possible concerning any deductions out of the dissection of infinitesimal evidence. As well there are data bases on almost every subject ready to get interrelated with any findings – and there is modern equipment to visualize any results. (Just watching this makes me envy!)

The advance of scientific evaluation isn’t quite new. During the years before CSI it already became popular to show in an episode how tents were erected, how all people – not only the technical guys, but also the DS, DI or DCI – put on white overalls before approaching any crime scene. However, never before the focus of a series was on the meticulous work in the labs forming the starting point for any further investigation.

After all it’s not only the focus on science, the scientific approach and all this sparkling equipment. It’s a fast-paced realization of a case resp. some cases changing between the view of the CSI people and the visualization of the findings. In short: it’s just exciting.

All started in Las Vegas – and for me the one and only CSI head is Gil Grissom. He is the perfect combination of a scientist, a pragmatic lab worker and a detective. Meticulously he analysis whatever is on his plate, evaluates the significance of the evidence and gets some feeling for whatever happened. He has also a private life, although slightly difficult. Finally he retreats into his private life and dedicates himself to his private passions.

Las Vegas is brilliant during the night – so almost all cases start at night. In the beginning there is more than one single case in each episode. There is always a series of murders – it’s always about murder. Grissom and his team get their hands full. Of course Grissom has a female counterpart interestingly with family relations into the Las Vegas Mob business.

There are two replacements taking over the wheel from Grissom. The series continues, but some special quality is missing – my personal opinion.

Of course the CSI blueprint was transferred into two further series: Miami and New York are the background settings. In general the scientific approach of CSI doesn’t change – only the cases seem to be appropriate to the new scenes. The thrill remains.

Horatio Caine is as straight as he likes to play with fire and seems to bend the rules whenever someone needs help. Of course crime in Miami has another quality than in Las Vegas – not only because of the proximity to Cuba and the obvious millionaires’ playground around. There is also a female counterpart, maybe more than one, but Horatio is a lone wolf and so always the key player.

Mac Taylor in New York and his female counterpart co-operate like the Las Vegas team. Taylor is reserved and serious – all the CSI:NY series isn’t so glamorous and glittering like the other two. the atmosphere is darker. Maybe NY citizen aren’t as happy and fun-loving … although anywhere it always ends in murder and crime.

(Finally there was another offspring: CSI Cyber – which I ignore at this point because it’s another approach and there aren’t any strong bonds to the originals.)

In short: CSI is a milestone in TV crime series.

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a faint cold fear thrills through my veins ... william shakespeare