CSI (the original) has never been one of those shows I actively pursued to watch or even DVR’d since I knew you could always catch it OnDemand. Watching it more this past season has only shown that switching lead characters hasn’t helped at all.
It’s been interesting to see that it still holds its own in the ratings, but that doesn’t mean too much to me since something like Two and a Half Men gets good ratings too. CSI has definitely been impacted creatively with the absene of Bill Patterson’s Gil Grissom a couple season’s ago. Of course, there were up and down episodes, but overall, each season held it own and delivered some pretty cool episodes and story arcs.
In the past season, it feels like either the addition of Laurence Fisburne’s Ray Langston character or the writer’s have just gotten tired of the show. Try as they like to give him a backstory, Langston just isn’t that interesting a character. Sure, he’s got the eccentric side that Patterson had, but he’s just not gelled with the rest of the cast like Peterson did. Patterson was like Big Poppa on the show wereas Fishburne is just another boss trying to figure out how to fit in with his staff.
This has given Marg Helgenberger and George Eads way more screentime, but it hasn’t inspired the writers to give them much better storylines. Without Patterson’s Grissom there to cajole, be a shoulder to cry on (sort of) or give some ass kicking too, the cast just seems very lost. Even bringing back Jorja Fox hasn’t done a thing for the show, besides give her a career again.
Not every episode has been bad or lackluster, but they’ve become far and few between. November’s ”Wild Life” and Feb. 3’s ”The Two Mrs. Grissoms,” were the best of the bunch so far, and with the latter it was bringing back Patterson even if it was only by video chat. But video chat Patterson showed way more exciting and brought more life than the cast onscreen.
We can only hope that Bill Patterson will get an offer from CBS that he can’t refuse to pump the life back into this series that is in serious need of a creative spark.
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