Monday, June 06, 2005


Stupid Law Shows to Which I am Addicted

I have previously written about my unhealthy addiction to Law and Order here. I have also become addicted to CSI Miami and have started watching the regular CSI show pretty often as well. These are both incredibly stupid shows. Sorry to say, I've also started watching reruns of Crossing Jordan, which is even stupider than the L&O and CSI franchises.

My newest obsession is Numbers, but that at least is justified by the cute brothers (particularly the obsessive math genius geek, who is quite adorable).

I am annoyed with myself that I continue to watch these shows, even as they vie with each other to see who can fabricate the most ridiculous plotlines. I am sucker for the trick that these shows always use to hook their viewers in - the episode always starts out with a gripping, creative opener, which inevitably devolves into a trite, formulaic piece of pseudo drama. The crimes are always solved through a combination of unlikely coincidences, absurd leaps of logic, and forensic technology that exists only in a criminologist’s fantasies.

But the thing I find most irritating is the nonsensical plot point that appears in almost every one of these episodes, apparently because it is the only thing the writers can come up with to advance the plotline.

Last night it took place in an episode of CSI Miami, where the team is investigating the murder of a plastic surgery anesthesiologist who is being sued by a patient's husband for causing the patient's untimely death on the operating table.

After the audience patiently waits for the CSI team to rule out the husband as a suspect and narrow in on the other members of the surgical team, the husband starts breathing down the investigators' necks to redo his wife's autopsy in order to find out what really happened in the operating room.

So the CSI folks decide they need to exhume the wife's body, but are informed by the DA that they don't have enough evidence for a court order. This provides the impetus for a scene involving magical computer analysis of the data from the operating room, during which the investigators discover an unexplained five minute gap between the wife's cardiac arrest and the point when the surgical team took extreme measures to start her heart up - enough to get the necessary exhumation order.

But wait a minute. I know what you're thinking. Wasn't it the husband who asked for the new autopsy in the first place? If so, why can't they just get his permission to exhume the body? Ummmm . . . well . . . obviously, that would be too easy and they would not be able waste another ten minutes trying to dazzle us with more of their forensic lab analysis voodoo, which is the whole point of the show.

Do these producers really think their viewers are this idiotic? I guess so. And I guess I am one of those idiots, since I keep tuning in hoping that this will be the episode that will actually live up to the promise of its first five minutes.

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