Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CSI Darkness

I've been an avid fan of CSI for many years and have been loyal to the franchise since its first screening. CSI Miami is my favourite because I love Horatio and the team and because the storytelling in the Florida landscape is terrific. CSI New York got off to a slow start in its first season possibly because it was shot in a cold colour palette of steel blues and greys (perhaps to mirror the perceived stone coldness of the city itself, although I am going on the record to say I LOVE NY). I am exceedingly suggestible and can honestly say I would sit there shivering through the NY episodes. Apparently the first season didn't do too well despite the casting of Gary Sinise who I think is a bloody terrific actor. The producers must have taken note of viewers' feedback because the second season looked and felt different. Now it is one heck of a classy show with original storylines. But what gives with the latest dark episodes in the CSI Vegas series? 

The other day I semi-watched an episode of the upmost cruelty involving dog fighting. The instigator of the crime in question got her comeuppance, but that denouement wasn't good enough for me – I had to channel-surf through some exceedingly distressing moments and come back for the climax to solve the mystery of who had killed our master villain. This was not an isolated episode – I've gradually been switching off CSI Vegas for a while because it is increasingly becoming more difficult for me to suspend reality and try not to let this supposedly fictional content about evil people doing evil things, affect my psyche. 

A couple of years ago, I ghostwrote a biography about an Australian man who had fought in World War II. When he came home in 1945 he refused to talk about his experiences in the Middle East or in Papua New Guinea, simply because he didn't want to imbed violent images that would never be able to be shaken away into the minds of his family and friends. 

I also remember listening and talking to a Hollywood screenwriter named Eric DelaBarre at a Mark Victor Hansen writing and book marketing event a couple of years ago. DelaBarre (who incidentally was a writer on Law and Order) talked about how he would go to parties and all he would do would be to scout the location obsessively looking for potential murder weapons he could use in violent scenes in his upcoming television work. Recognising that there was something amiss with this scenario and that he wasn't honouring his spiritual self, he did what Hollywood insiders would consider to be the unthinkable – he left his job on the crime series. 

What Eric demonstrated was the power we have to choose a path, so I am taking a stance now –  I am saying goodbye to CSI Las Vegas and unfortunately even the beloved Gus Grissom isn't enough of an incentive for me to stay.

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