So anyone planning to tune in for the Quentin Tarrantino finale?
What's with this guy and the TV industry over there? Is he like this super-cool trouble-shooter? I've noticed the growing trend to bring in a ringer either halfway through, or at the end - ER had Ray Liotta do a episode all about him, which I saw and was easily the best episode of that sorry-ass show I'd seen, far better than the comic-book style QT one years back...
Aaanyhow, I'll be watching it. Even though the show is essentially shite, that it relies on made up technology to solve plotholes, despite being supposedly forensic science driven, and is incapable of ending a story properly, I like to watch it from time to time - fills an hour while you're waiting for something else, innit?
And therein lies the problem. JD Ballard wrote a piece about CSI in the Guardian the other weekend, it was fucking crap. I guess he's seen it maybe twice because he missed the point utterly - ending in some boring drivel about man's obsession with his own mortality as the reason behind the 'CSI phenomenon'. Bullshit. It's about the viewer having an hour to lay to waste, not themselves to waste.
CSI has done as much to push standards in US TV culture backwards as HBO has pushed standards forward (except for SATC). It's structure of not so neatly tied up plotlines at the end of each episode puts no obligation on the viewer at all to invest brain time, nor does it challenge their writers to produce something half decent. The only reason tonight's show might be better is because it will surely involve a key character, one of the CSI's, and the plot will run across two whole episodes - whoopedoo!
That other tedious franchise, Law & Order, does a similar thing and between that lot and all the CSI editions, pressure to conform to the 'hour to kill' style is spreading. The last 24 was shit because it felt that it needed to become 24 standalone hours in order to compete in the ratings.
Still, despite all that, I'll be watching it. Ballard never managed to pinpoint the reason why exactly CSI is so popular, but I'll take a guess: because people are lazy, stupid wankers and like flashy, sparkling things.