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Old 02-13-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
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CSI TV series: Entertaining or Laughable?

This came up as off-topic in another thread (about poking holes in meat to let in the marinade) and I thought it might be interesting to pursue it in an appropriate forum area:

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Originally Posted by GLC View Post
My view of poking at it [meat] with a fork is about like one of the sillier episodes of CSI where they used resin to mold the shape of a knife blade by pouring it into the knife wound. (Maybe it was the technical consultants' day off.) The wounds don't stay open when the instrument is tapered.
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I had to quit watching the show entirely because so much of it is too fanciful, such as your example. Or imagine the top CSI dude driving a Hummer tricked out with red lights and siren... Yeah that's gonna happen...
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We should start a laughing thread about CSI; there is so much nonsense there
I just had to quit watching CSI because so much of the show seemed so patently ridiculous. For example Horatio Caine in the Miiami show driving that tricked out Hummer. Come on! If I were a Miami taxpayer and this was real life I'd be screaming my head off at spending so much money just to drive an investigator to a crime scene. In real life I'm pretty sure CSI personnel would be driving vans or something like that. The boss would probably drive something like a Crown Vic.

And what's with this racing to the scene with red lights and siren? In real life the CSI works on dead people and taking finger prints and vacuuming up trace evidence. There's no need for them to rush to a scene. Crime scenes are secured by police officers until the investigation is completed.

Can you imagine driving along and you see red lights behind, and then you pull over and stop, and the guy gets out of his unit and informs you that he's a crime scene investigator and wants to see your license, registration and proof of insurance? WTH? I'm not a scene!!! If you're a CSI then please go find a scene to investigate!

And what about their main office? It's an architectural show place! What government building did you ever see with all that interior decoration and transparent panels and mood lighting and vast spaces? Real CSI investigators probably often work in basement and sub-basement labs, fluorescent lit and never a hint of sunlight or views outside. I've worked in electronic labs like that, no frills other than the fancy equipment and you could work all day and all night and never know what the weather outside is like or whether the sun is up or down. That's what real life labs look like, not places that could appear in Architectural Digest.

So what do you think about the CSI TV series? I think they're so far off reality that I can't even stand to watch it. I used to be a fan but all the flaws just kept building up until my opinion of the show died the death of a thousand cuts.

I think GLC and Charlie might agree with me. What say the rest of you?

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Old 02-13-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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I look at it this way: All TV comedy and drama asks you to suspend reality to a lesser or greater extent. Really, which bothers you more, Horatio's Hummer or vampires, ghost whisperers, extra-terrestrials or martial arts that require the suspension of the laws of gravity?

You seem to have focused on the Miami version of CSI. I find that the most objectionable version and stopped watching it years ago. All your comments aside, who ever worked with that many great looking women who dressed in revealing clothes!? Now, THAT'S unbelievable!
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
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As I've always said, if we want to watch reality, we can just sit around and look at each other.

Good points, but I still enjoy watching some shows that aren't totally grounded in realism. We spout off now and then about how "that couldn't really happen," etc., but we still enjoy it.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:34 PM   #4
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As I've always said, if we want to watch reality, we can just sit around and look at each other.

Good points, but I still enjoy watching some shows that aren't totally grounded in realism. We spout off now and then about how "that couldn't really happen," etc., but we still enjoy it.

I absolutely agree. Suzanne sometimes scoffs at the stuff we watch and I remind her, "It's not supposed to be realistic, it's television."
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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Yeah, Andy, I know what you mean about Hummer driving CSI lieutenants vs. vampires and ETs. Maybe my problem is that the CSI stuff is closer to the real reality, and that the vampire/ET stuff is so distant that there's no dissonance with real life. I think some CSI fans may not even realize that much of the CSI technical stuff is bogus. I'm from a scientific occupation and probably know too much about the real technical reality.

I did focus on the Miami CSI but not for any particular reason. Maybe I've seen that one more often than the others. And I want to admit to everybody that I was a CSI fan for years. It's only in the last year or so that I just got fed up.


Actually I'm not getting much enjoyment out of any of the TV shows. I'm in temporary quarters and get only broadcast TV, too much trouble to get cable or satellite for what I hope will be only a few more months, so I'm getting bottom of the barrel TV here. Honestly I'd rather watch a cooking program and forget the comedy/drama stuff.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:52 PM   #6
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I don't want to sound too critical, but if you get the chance, watch some British Police Drama's. They are very real. The heros aren't perfect, their personal lives are challenging at best, good people die sometimes, people get away, and everybody isn't good looking enough to be models. I can't take the American stuff. I just sit there and yell "AS IF. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!"
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:12 PM   #7
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I don't want to sound too critical, but if you get the chance, watch some British Police Drama's. They are very real. The heros aren't perfect, their personal lives are challenging at best, good people die sometimes, people get away, and everybody isn't good looking enough to be models. I can't take the American stuff. I just sit there and yell "AS IF. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!"
I enjoy shows like that as well. I like a balance in what I watch, with some realism, some grounded in reality but not completely realistic, some totally unrealistic but with a slight feel of reality, and once in awhile a little mindless fluff. Too much of any one type takes the enjoyment away for me.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:16 PM   #8
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I guess I can't take the American stuff either. The last few seasons I've found fewer and fewer shows I enjoy. I'll accept there may be better shows on cable/satellite but I don't have that. I'll even accept that the British dramas might be better but I don't get them either.

Another thing, I'm just not enjoying crime fiction or police procedurals lately anyway (TV or print). There's so much crime and violence in the news that it's beginning to turn my stomach, even in fiction. TV crime drama didn't use to be like this. Years ago they couldn't show all the gore and violence and blood and guts. These days crime dramas like CSI probably put a million dollars per episode into special effects gruesomely realistic blood and guts. News and drama are converging on something I'm finding increasingly difficult to stomach. Both of them difficult to watch.

Do the British programs have as much violence and gore?
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:22 PM   #9
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Apparently, the primary qualification for criminologists on CSI is a tortured past or a tortured present or both.

And I know how they afford the lab that would shame StarTrek and Google combined. They just never pay their electric bills.

Silly as Bones.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:32 PM   #10
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Yeah, that Bones program is silly too. I think it's more about the characters and their relationships than crime fighting, the latter just providing a framework for the characters to interact within. If I had to watch it or CSI I'd prefer Bones because of the lesser blood, gore and violence (IMO).

I haven't found the clash of TV science vs. real science as bad as CSI but I'll admit I haven't watched Bones for a couple years so I've kind of forgotten the details.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:58 PM   #11
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A very good point was brought up. If you are very knowledgeable about a subject, it is always harder to watch something that goes against what you know. My mom and I loved shows like "The Waltons" and "Little House on the Prairie," but now and then they would do something that just rankled us! For instance, Grandma Walton was supposed to be such a good bread baker, but it was almost painful to watch her "knead" bread dough, poking it a little with her fingers. And on one episode of "Little House..." Albert put potatoes in the wood-burning oven to bake. The potatoes exploded, and Albert immediately scooped the potatoes out of what was supposed to be a blazing hot oven with his bare hands! I just about lost it!

So, I think we all have things we find hard to watch because of our own level of knowledge. Some of us can put up with one thing but not another.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:19 PM   #12
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If real life CSI had the same success rate, all the crimes would have been solved long ago, all the criminals arrested and we would live in complete peace and harmony.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:37 PM   #13
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There's a lot about the CSI shows I find ridiculous, but I find all of them entertaining, except for CSI Miami. I like their computers and view it as science fiction, but the characters just don't seem believable to me. Caine always looks like he's posing for a catalog, and the dress code on all of the CSI shows is absurd and distracting.

I have a problem with the Law & Order shows. I didn't watch it until recently, and found some interesting topics sometimes, but that "nervous violin" music sets me on edge. I often watch with closed captioning so I don't have to hear that constant irritating "music".
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:40 PM   #14
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If real life CSI had the same success rate, all the crimes would have been solved long ago, all the criminals arrested and we would live in complete peace and harmony.
Charlie, if only that were true. The idea that all crime could be ended has been explored in a novelistic genre that might be called "futuristic dystopia," such as George Orwell's 1984 (a novel that from our present day perspective could be seemingly about the past but was written in 1949), Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. The premise to all of them, it seemed to me, is that you cannot control human nature except by having an oppressive society. It's the classic question, do the ends justify the means? It seems that it's human nature to commit crimes, and I cannot imagine any free society that wouldn't also involve crime and criminals.

If you make it impossible to commit crime then you will also make impossible to enjoy freedom. Sad but true. IMO
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:56 PM   #15
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I've never seen a single episode, but from the sounds of things, I guess I'm not missing a lot. I don't mind fiction, but I don't care for over-the-top programs. I like history and I diy type shows. Occasionally movies.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:57 PM   #16
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There's a lot about the CSI shows I find ridiculous, but I find all of them entertaining, except for CSI Miami. I like their computers and view it as science fiction, but the characters just don't seem believable to me. Caine always looks like he's posing for a catalog, and the dress code on all of the CSI shows is absurd and distracting.
Zhizara your post had me almost ROTFLMAO! I cannot imagine any reality that doesn't include David Caruso ("Lt. Horatio Caine") posing as a male clothing model. Maybe he never dis that but I totally believe he could have a successful career in that if he had not become an actor. All the actors in CSI both the men and the women have very stylish good looks. I certainly can't criticize them for that, although perhaps envy them...

Perhaps more on their dress code? I'll admit I'm not much into fashion. (Is T-shirt, blue jeans and athletic shoes fashion? ) It seems reasonable to me that their dress code wouldn't relate to reality either. What does a CSI Lt. wear while driving his official issue Hummer?

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I have a problem with the Law & Order shows. I didn't watch it until recently, and found some interesting topics sometimes, but that "nervous violin" music sets me on edge. I often watch with closed captioning so I don't have to hear that constant irritating "music".
You've picked upon the single, most irritating reason I cannot watch that damned Law & Order series, that "dum-dum-dum" (whatever) note they keep playing as they introduce each new scene. That damned noise drove me from the very first year into not watching it because I just couldn't stand it. And the subtitles, I forgot what they called it, section blah-blah-blah in such-and-so court... (Not the closed captioning, which I often use.) That damned noise made it impossible for me to watch the series. I wonder if the producers even have any inkling of this. I'm pretty sure you and I agree on what is infuriating about it, and if there's two of us just on the forum then maybe many people dislike it.

There was a TV news program, I think on the ABC network, they slightly changed their signature theme music, changed the cadence of it, and so many viewers hated it that they changed it back.

I think I mentioned the "death of a thousand cuts" earlier in this topic (or maybe a different topic). I believe the original quote deals with something like paper cuts. But that's the point. One CSI episode I could deal with. What I can't handle is that week after week they insult those of us who really know technology, and from what another DC member said they insult those who really know law enforcement and LE procedures and protocols.

I'm just waiting for them to run an instant DNA comparison from their cellphone!
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:22 PM   #17
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i love law and order in all it's forms." law and order, criminal intent" the best. i used to watch csi. after a couple of years i got tired of the same old plot. the miami version , i only watched once. t.v. here and i have cable is pathetic. give me a law and order rerun anytime, rather than the reality shows. they are stupid. i have enough of reality in my own life. thank you very much.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:28 PM   #18
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I just look at the stuff as entertainment. The sad thing is some folks actually can't make the separation between reality and entertainment. You find the same problem with the schtick of all the radio talk show hosts and the foolish listeners that actually take them seriously.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:33 PM   #19
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I just look at the stuff as entertainment. The sad thing is some folks actually can't make the separation between reality and entertainment. You find the same problem with the schtick of all the radio talk show hosts and the foolish listeners that actually take them seriously.
To me it's like home cooking vs. McDonalds......
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:38 PM   #20
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To me it's like home cooking vs. McDonalds......
What, you don't think Mickey D's is real food?
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