flummery: (hat 2)
So, I've given CSI: Miami a lotta chances here, and it's just not getting any better. (I'll probably give it a lot more. What can I say, at some level there's a deep forensics addiction going on that I blame on my early, impressionable, Quincy-watching years). I do wonder if I'm getting more and more intolerant of television in general, since it seems I'm a lot pickier these days than a lot of the people I know, but really, I have yet to find these people in any way attractive or interesting to watch. Occasionally, they are repellent. I'm not saying you have to like a character in order to want to watch them -- the CSI Vegas folks are full of flaws, and this actually makes them all the more wonderful. Over on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, they've got a lead character I actually believe may be a serial killer deep in his heart, and he's huge fun to watch. The CSI: Miami crew are cut from a much more intolerant, superior, smug, and just downright loathsome sort of cloth.

The most recent episode was called Slaughterhouse, and was the typical "Steal From the Headlines with a TWIST!" sort of episode that you'll find on Law & Order. In this case, the headlines stolen were those of Andrea Yates, the mother who killed her children and claimed post-partum psychosis. The episode starts with a small toddler wandering alone down a street, covered in blood. When they track down the house she belongs to, they find her mother and three brothers dead, the father seriously injured. So the CSI team troop in, and immediately begin belittling the mom's housecleaning skills. I mean, the woman's body is still on the sofa, mouth blown off, and it's all about how she didn't do the dishes. Well, pardon her for not tidying up for the possibility of her *death*. It's like the clean underwear thing, apparently. You'll be publicly mocked if you're not wearing them when you get struck by that bus. If only you'd have worn clean underwear, they'd have said nice things about you in your eulogy!

The leaping to the conclusion thing regarding the mother isn't just swift, it's warp speed. The family is suspect because the children were home on a school day. There's medication! she's a druggie and mentally unstable! Because no one could take medication and be other than a total freaking basket case in need of a padded room. Later, she's suspect because she wasn't taking her medication. This turns out to be because she was breastfeeding, and didn't want to risk her baby's health, but let's not pay any attention to the fact that she put her child's welfare first. Her fridge is *empty*, the family has been eating *fast food*. You know, my fridge is empty too, and I've been eating out way too often lately, but I'm pretty sure my landlords aren't overly worried this is going to cause me to go on a killing spree. And, oh my god, her children were helping out around the house! This isn't a sign they were good kids, and she'd been doing something right in raising them... it's a sign that she was such a poor mother that they had to pick up her slack, and take over her rightful Motherly Duties.

It's not just that they leap to these conclusions... it's that they're cold, callous snots, and with the exception of one of them, I'm wondering if they've ever even met any children, as they walk around in their perfectly pressed, and occasionally inappropriate-for-a-crime scene pants suits, dress shoes, and high heels. They have no idea what troubles this family may have been having or not, but they feel no guilt over judging their lifestyle, and complaining about the dirty laundry, as though it were a personal affront.

Not content to judge the mom, they continue to leapfrog through the suspects, on little or no evidence -- the sister of the mother is guilty, and obviously sleeping around with the husband, based on the fact that they found her hairs in the husband and wife's bed. A sister's hairs. In her sisters bed. Unheard of. There's no other conclusion this could lead on to, clearly. Sisters never just stop by to help out, or sit around and talk, or even *take a nap*. The sixteen year old son is way too stressed out from having to do his mom's job -- must have snapped! You can tell by the way he was grinding his teeth!

In the end, it's none of these people, it was the father, upset with his wife constantly badgering him for more help with the kids. I'm sort of at a loss as to how they think the situation was actually this critical -- the mother in question had the support of her sister. Her sixteen year old son was clearly taking on a lot of responsibility, and helping out with meals. The nine year old was mature enough that he was preparing the baby's bottle, even when he was ill. Yes, she had two very young children, and some issues with depression and sleep deprivation that would come with any new born, but dirty dishes and a messy living room do not equal homicidal parents, or there'd be no children left alive out there to grow up and snark at CSI episodes. Not the point, I know, and I could have overlooked a lot of this -- if the characters investigating the case hadn't themselves left me cold. They're unpleasant to watch, they appear to have no human empathy at all (despite the fact that they repeatedly vow vengeance on behalf of the victims), and the concept of actually studying the evidence before deciding what must have occurred seems to elude them.

In the original CSI, Grissom stated it very clearly at the very beginning: "We don't work theories." They work the evidence, and let it lead them to the answer. CSI Miami, on the other hand, seems to be all about speculating on the worst possible motives, for the apparent purpose of titillating the audience with the shocking possibilities and tawdry lifestyles (you know. The lifestyle where you don't do your dishes every day, and occasionally? need to be extra special careful when crossing the street by the bus stop). If the evidence doesn't support their exciting horror story, they move on to the next theory, but not before showing a basic disrespect for the cases and people they're investigating. CSI Miami is more stylish than the original CSI, more full of attractive model-type characters, and has far, far less heart than the show from which it derives its name.

September 2015

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