Haven’t blogged anything for a few days, because Gradwell’s hosting hasn’t been very reliable among other reasons. So here I am. And I guess I don’t have much to say. Not painted anything, not done much, oh I watched some CSI.
Quite a bit of CSI. Two Miami episodes (penultimate and series finale), one Vegas (start of new season) and one New York (start of new season). Turn away now if you don’t like spoilers.
I’d been putting off watching the Miami’s for two reasons. Firstly, it’s jumped the shark people, and secondly, I kinda knew how the series ended, although no specifics. But then New York and Vegas both restarted and we had four on Sky+ waiting to be watched – so we made an evening of it.
It was quite interesting watching the three different series in quick succession (Miami, Miami, Vegas, New York in that order) because it really highlighted the differences between the franchises. Miami is totally over the top technology-wise, see-through LCD panels in the back of patrol vehicles with which they can access media from crime scenes? New York isn’t as bad, but still appears to be set 5 years in the future, and what’s with the holo-deck style autopsy tool? Come on people. Then there’s Vegas, down to earth, grounded in reality (sort of, to the extent any TV program is) Vegas. Yeh, they can’t resist some flashy graphical UI’s for no obvious reason, but at least they don’t stand in rooms with technology you expect on the Enterprise.
On top of the technology stuff, the characters are also totally different. We care about the Vegas characters, they seem real. The Miami characters are caricatures of crazy people, the New York characters are somewhere in between but are still cliché in comparison to Vegas. Then there’s the basic story lines, sure they’re all mad, but Vegas seems to focus on the crimes, and when it doesn’t and it focusses on the characters it does so in a way which doesn’t seem so absurd. New York gets the crime to crew ratio better than Miami but could do with less focus on the team and more on the crimes for a while. Miami, well, it’s all about the characters.
I understand that when you make an ensemble story about a team solving crime you need to build empathy with the team because you’re not really going to have much with the victims, and so the stories become about the teams. Sure, Vegas had a load of ‘team based’ crime action in the last season (in the UK), but at least you liked the characters and it seemed plausible.
Anyway I thought about this post a few days ago, started it yesterday, finished it today and lost most of the steam well before the first sentence. Suffice to say that Vegas was emotional and immediately involving, New York was interesting and worth the effort and Miami was so deeply entrenched in it’s own intestines that I’m surprised it didn’t just vanish.