Monday, 6 October 2008

Musing: CSI Miami

After having watched a few later-season episodes of CSI Miami, I have come to the conclusion that the show is set in an alternate present that is actually the future. Like if the colonists on Earth 2 were able to successfully transplant western civilization, allow it to mature, and then make a police procedural.

I saw the series premier way back in 2002. It was a crossover, of course, with original (and far superior) CSI. I never doubted that CSI was set in the present--this present. And CSI Miami was, at the time, contemporaneous. But, over the years, the show has moved forward, or maybe sideways, into the future. Take for example thier computers. They're able to project what's on screen onto nothing, producing an image floating in space. It's futurerific!

Not convinced? What about the vaporizer? It's an electric gun that fires 100,000 rounds a minute. Or how about the fact that everyone is psychic and thier brains are hooked into a vast inforamation network? It's the only possible explanation as to how people just happen to know everything all the time. And they have bionic eyes allow them to see things otherwise invisible to the naked, present-day human eye.

The vaporizer looks nothing like this, nor does the guy who uses it.

Lastly is the choice of vehicle: the Hummer. It is so obviously a throwback to the early oughts when the Hummer was perceived as rolling steroidal masculinity--a preposterous city car so over the top its use as a police vehicle can only be described as brilliantly and postmodernly ironic.

Now, I'm all for sci-fi. I freaking love original Star Wars (technically set in the past) and Firefly (technically a western). But I hate when a show or a movie pretends to be more than it is. Like how Donnie Darko pretends not to suck. So I think that CSI Miami should drop the masquerade and admit to belonging to the same camp as VR.5. There's no shame in that. In fact, it would significantly improve the quality of the show. By shedding all pretense, CSI Miami could be groundbreaking, a procedural that happens to be set in a future/alternate reality. But, as it is, it's just another cop show.

And not a very good one at that.

CSI: Crab Nebula

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