Crime Scene Investigation

Frog killed in road by car.

I’ve had an idea for a CSI post forever but I always wanted to wait until I had time to do it right. Forget it. I’m just going to do it really half-assed like everything else around here.

You get what you pay for.

The first time I ever watched an episode of Crime Scene Investigation was in 2005 when Quentin Tarantino directed an episode. This was a Las Vegas one. It has never been one of my regular shows but every season I watch at least a couple of episodes. I’ve seen a few of the New York ones and I watched one Miami one time and thought it was comically wretched. The Internet says Miami was on for 10 seasons so apparently a lot of people disagreed with me.

The thing that fascinates me about this show is I don’t think it’s very good, but it’s very satisfying. A problem is introduced at the beginning and by the end it is solved, generally without a lot of surprise or drama. The character emotions remain flat. They rarely run into major obstacles. Problems are solved often by tedious procedure, which doesn’t bother us because we just see the time elapse. Or else a miraculous piece of technology fills in the critical data. Or else some person comes forward with the exact piece of information they need.

I would love to watch this show with a real police detective sometime because I know nothing about police work but it’s hard to believe some of this stuff isn’t far-fetched. It’s a giant team of people who are rigorously competent and cooperative. There is nothing they can’t figure out. Like they find a teeny tiny carpet fiber and they put it into a machine that tells them where and when it was manufactured which will somehow lead to a list of people in possession of the carpet fiber.

Or there will be an anonymous phone call but a machine will be able to enhance the background sounds and via some other amazingly unearthed tidbit they can triangulate the location where the phone call was made and then police cars can zoom across town in minutes (no traffic in crime shows!) to rescue the orphans who were minutes from death. I guess I’m veering away from just CSI to any crime shows. I will admit to watching other crime shows.

Another one of my favorites was when a character was exposed to some terrible virus but another person on the team was able to contact a government agency to get one of the only 3 doses of medication in the country speed delivered to CSI that same day.

Have you ever even gotten a government official on the phone, much less to do anything, that fast?

I also love that due to the nature of the show they have to say all sorts of ridiculous things. Like a supporting character will have to go to the lead, who is the detective and explain that they ran the partial license plate that turned up three trucks that match the description of the getaway vehicle. Then the detective says: Good work, go track those down.

It would be like if I went to colleague and said: I found a Supreme Court case that is totally relevant to the work we’re doing. And he said: Read it and tell me what it says.

Or on CSI they explain the fancy process: “We’re painting the parachute with an porko-phenbolical solution,” Then some supporting detective will do ah-ha face and say, “Which when draped on the transpectrometer will show the pattern of the poison used on our victim!” Then they will smile and high-five at their cleverness.

I’m making fun of these shows but going back to what I said at the beginning, they are a nice escape because by the end the problem is solved. And you can jump in any time because while there is a tiny bit of ongoing story involving the main characters, you don’t need to keep up with it.

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