Must see TV my …
With the temperature this week steadily rising, and water dripping from the eves it just makes you feel better overall. So on that note I thought I would deal with some lighter material, on what bugs me like an itch you just can not reach. The broadcast battle between different crime oriented programing like NCIS, Bones, Closer and the various CSI’s. Now before you start throwing rocks my way I will be the first to admit we all see things differently, and ‘quality’ is definitely subjective. So this is just one old mans opinion. Living as I do without access to any broadcast television I watch all my programing off of DVD’s. The down side is I am always a year behind but the up side is I can sit down and watch every episode and season in there televised order.
Watching a series this way you definitely get a better prospective of what the producers are doing with the flow of a series. I have always enjoyed a good police drama. I started with Rockford files, Hill Street Blues, Colombo, NYPD and later with all the Law & Order spinoffs. However, I have found, it is not enough to just have good writers you must also have good actors or else the show would be just a Miami Vice or Starskie and Hutch shoot-um-up, rock and roll, look at me show.
Because I watch so much TV I get to re-watch the same series over and over throughout the course of a year. One series in particular I have always dreaded watching and usually wait till there is absolutely nothing else left is CSI Miami. It is a time fuller for me and one that I watch with my finger working continuously on the fast forward button. I like most of you started with the original CSI in Las Vegas. In the beginning a totally new way to figure out ‘who done it’ and it grew on me. But even that show after a few seasons got me fast forwarding thought the technical shots of DNA and blood testing but the characters were good enough in there performance to keep me watching. In fact if they cut those technical shots out or cut them to just seconds each I would not feel the show lost anything. I truly believe that when it was first conceived, (the technical shots), it was ground breaking and interesting to see how some of the clues were discovered. Over time however I have come to see it is used as a ‘time filler’ for a weak story line. When they have a crime that can be solved in 30 minutes but they still need 41 minutes of video they use the technical shots to fill the gap.
For those that watch CSI Miami you will notice every time the show switches between scenes they use Miami glamor shots (more filler). They could be switching between the firearms lab and the DNA lab but still there is the obligatory ‘Miami tourist’ video, that has nothing to do with the plot. I actually believe they started using those shots because of some deal with the Miami tourist bureau. Yeah I know just another conspiracy theory, but other than filler shots why use them. In these shots they for the most part only show Miami by air and only the most positive of views. Yes they do show a lot of people shots, but if you look close enough you NEVER see one normal looking person, all the men and women shown look like models… who’s reality is that?
One of the longest running shows Law & Order has always had good shows and this they have done with many different lead actors. At times during several seasons it was just an average show, but changing a few writers or actors brought it back to being a very satisfying show. Lately the show I think is the best example of a great crime drama is NCIS. The actors are very good in there performance and they do not all look like models. The crimes are interesting and the script is well written. Also there is an interaction between the actors on screen that leads one to believe they are a tight group.
Anyway my purpose for writing this is to ask why…. Why do the producers take a show that everyone likes and decide to change it? I have seen it in virtually every crime and drama series on TV. They have great ratings but decide to change things up a ‘just’ a bit. Mostly of these changes deal with going deeper into the background of the main actors. Or giving the main characters a love interest or some earthshaking problem. Why when you have great actors and writers for a show would you go and change it?
Personally I have always felt if something is working….
don’t try and fix it….