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Sacrificing the science on the altar of gratuitous torture porn
on September 30, 2011
Preposterous plot lines and hackneyed writing has taken this once great series and fed it to the sharks.And Fonzie is strapping on his waterskis getting ready for the jump.
Plots include: Vindictive killer contortionists in latex onesies hiding under beds? JUSTIN BIEBER? Shackled women on all fours acting like cats? And a serial killer sending Ray a kidney bean in the mail? Come on...REALLY?
The writing is atrocious, they are giving the cast such absurd one liners that even Henny Youngman would be barfing in the nearest corner. (E.G. Catherine walking by the industrial shredder saying "well I wouldn't wanna fall into that" Or Nick commenting on some drunk women who threw a guy over a hotel railing "A friend will help you move, but a good friend will help you move a body" NYUK NYUK.) Just awful and insipid writing that is totally contrary to the original CSI creative ethos
The most frustrating aspect of season 11 is that it has sacrificed the science in favor of a level of violence so abhorrent it actually crosses into torture porn. The science USED to tell the story of what happened with minimal flashbacks and just the right amount of special effects. Now the science is packed on the hideous back of the violence with such ridiculously over the top effects and repetitive bloody and violent flashbacks that the viewer is left to feel violated and in need of a shower. It takes pandering to a level even gutters can't compete with. This is especially apparent in an episode featuring a victim who is force fed clam chowder made with his own severed ear and sprinkled with shards of shredded credit cards. The episode with the kidnapping and torture of Rays wife was also repellant and gratuitous. When will Hollywood pull its head out of its backside and stop offering rape as entertainment?
This season also shows a gruesome suicide by hanging that will induce nausea in anyone who has maintained even a modicum of sentience. On the subject of sentience, the episode about hoarding was especially lacking in it. It was offensive and demeaning and was the one episode in this particular season that made my heart ache for the loss of Grissoms humane, empathetic, compassionate AND INFORMED presence.
Grissoms abscence is agonizing still but there are two cast members whose radiant and exceptional performances are what made Season 11 bearable in some respects. Paul Guilfoyle as Jim Brass is the anchor, the rock, the hero. He is a solid presence and lends some much needed credibility to CSI. Super Dave (David Berman) is another highlight who brings a special soothing light to a show that seems to be getting darker and darker with every passing season.
To the producers please bring back the science. You made it sexy once and you can surely do it again. And science is nothing without the scientists...the HUMANS behind it. The best episodes are the ones that employ both in equal measure with the special effects used only to enhance the science not upstage it. The scientists were where the original humanity of this show emanated from, please don't forget the humanity.