Series premiere: CSI: Vegas
The original CSI was awesome, and it really started a whole genre of shows where it was not about a pathologist going rogue or detectives doing their thing, it instead put forensic science front and centre. It grossed some people out, inspired others to go into science, and tricked entire populations into believing you could do a full DNA test while someone was getting coffee. If the science said you did it, the science was always right.
With a relaunch of the series, technically a spinoff of sorts and hence the “: Vegas” name to distinguish it from other CSI shows in the franchise, they start with an idea to refute that premise…what if someone misused the science to get false convictions? It is clear to the viewer and the main character that it’s obviously a frameup, but there is evidence by the end of EP01 that all of the previous show’s cases could be in jeopardy because one of their techs seems to have been fabricating evidence and then using the fake evidence to support lab results that led to convictions.
I liked the original series, but it was never “must-watch” TV for me. I suspect I could binge it all at some point, but it’s not THAT compelling to me. I’d rather read a good novel about a forensic scientist than watch their shows, although the diorama episodes were pretty cool. Anyway, I watched the first EP to get a feel for it. There’s no real need to predict, since it is clearly going to get renewed, it’s an existing fanbase and existing syndication deal. No brainer.
Original CSI stars Jorja Fox and William Petersen are back as Sara and Gil, with the first episode tied to their former cop friend, Jim Brass, played by Paul Guilfoyle. They were good in EP01, as they always were, stepping back into roles they know well.
The current head of the lab, Maxine, is played by Paula Newsome and I found her EP01 persona confusing. She’s very open to Sara being there, yet guarded in other interactions with her own staff? Weird. I have seen her in lots of shows over the years — Castle, Heroes, Flashforward, Suits, No Tomorrow, and Magnum PI — but I have no real memory / image of her in any of those EPs. I also couldn’t place her as the wife of NCIS Director Vance, and she did 4 EPs at least. Meh then, meh now.
The various crew members — Matt Lauria (Josh), Mandeep Dhillon (Allie), Mel Rodriguez (Hugo) — are all fine, but it feels like you’re stopping by mid-show, like they’ve been doing this on their own for a while and we just happened to stop by to see what they’re doing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it doesn’t scream “Welcome to meeting your new characters!”.
I feel like the producers felt “Hey we know you’re going to watch, we don’t have to sell you on the show”, and they jumped into EP05, screw any backstory. Okay, but for me? Meh. I didn’t care about any of them and I saw nothing that made me want to learn more. Well, maybe the coroner. He was creepily interesting.
Pass for me, but still expect renewal.