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CSI: unrealistic?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by David Susilo, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    The GCMSs they use on the show work far too quickly - it takes hours for an analysis. Mind you, if it took hours on the show, the show'd be awfully boring [​IMG]
     
  2. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    Of course it’s unrealistic. The success of the show is that it’s a freak show and that’s why I love it and watch it. If it was a realistic show it would be doll and I wouldn’t watch it. If it was realistic you would see them in plastic cloths from head to toe when examining crime scenes!
     
  3. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    This thread is from 2003! I didnt know this show has been on that long!

    I dont watch it. I have seen, maybe 2 hours worth, of bits and pieces over the years.
    Id say it has more in common with the show The X Files than anything real. But thats just based on what ive seen, and the medical background i have.

    I cant stand to watch medical shows. People on ventilators, but all they have is an oxygen mask, or worse nasal cannula on! thats the kind of stuff that should never be wrong. Its just sloppy research on a production standpoint. Usually has nothing to do with a showing running time, or script quality. Unless of course the person is supposed to be intubated, and they can talk. Which cant happen.

    I am sure CSI is a good show, just like Perry Mason is good. But it too has a formula that would make you think Perry only had one case going at a time.
     
  4. Nick Martin

    Nick Martin Cinematographer

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    Originally Posted by RickER

    CSI: Miami began in 2002, with the penultimate episode of CSI's second season, while CSI: NY began in a similar fashion using Miami's second season next-to-last in 2004.
     
  5. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    I was going to start a thread asking about certain tech gadgets on CSI. But, seeing this thread. I figured I would ask here. On CSI NY and Miami they seem to use some very futuristic items. For example of Miami they use the flat panel computer desks and window/computer monitors. And on NY they use what looks like a holodeck to show 3-d scans of the body. Why would they put items that are probably still on the drawing or early testing on the shows? It seems like Vegas is the only show that seems to avoid these overtly future tech items.
     
  6. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    Man when I replied I didn't realize it's old, I thought it's from 2009! I was searching for CSI threads. I'm not very comfortable with the new search feature.
     
  7. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

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    The problem is that these crime procedural shows tend to be never-ending. Law and Order (all shows), CSI (all shows), need I say more? Law and Order was just announced that the original series could be canceled.
     
  8. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    The futuristic tech on CSI:NY completely pulls me out of the show. CSI: Vegas uses it a bit more subtly so it doesn't rile my feathers. But, dammit, whenever they pull out the holographic body I just get pissed off.
     
  9. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    In the 6 intervening years since this was posted, this bit of fantasy tech has spread to every crime procedural on TV. It's so widespread that people ask me if they could take an icon sized thumbnail and "blow it up" to print clearly on 8.5 X 11 paper. "They do it on CSI -- you mean you can't actually do that?"
     
  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    The CSI mothership does the expected dramatic cheats - lab results come back in hours or days instead of weeks or months, cases are resolved in a matter of days and the people assigned work on that one case, as a rule, instead of working on three or four at once, that sort of thing. And some of the video and audio enhancement pushes the edge from time to time, but it doesn't wander into the realm of science fiction on a regular basis like the other two shows. Even where some of the gee whiz tech is plausible most of it is so cutting edge that no working crime lab could possibly afford it. It always makes me laugh when Mac on CSI:NY complains about budget cuts, then goes down the meet the coroner on the holodeck.

    The difference is that William Peterson remains a producer on CSI, and he does what he can to keep them honest. Too bad none of the other leads have the clout or the interest to do as much.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  11. Nick Martin

    Nick Martin Cinematographer

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    Gary Sinise is a producer / writer on CSI: NY, but I haven't been following it in forever because I've seen that it has a more continuous storyline with the characters (marriages and other personal things). So I'm not sure what "tech" they use now on it.

    Miami is all about the glitz and the fantasy, so the tech just blends in with everything else. Of course it didn't start out that way and was as grounded as CSI was when it started.
     
  12. Nick Martin

    Nick Martin Cinematographer

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    Since this is the only CSI thread at the moment, might as well bring it up here:

    This weekend, CSI: Miami star Jonathan Togo (who plays Ryan Wolfe) was arrested and released on $50,000 bail for getting into a fight with his girlfriend.

    He's clearly going through some kind of personal setback in addition to that, as anyone who watches the show will notice he's been getting heavier and heavier with every episode and in photos taken of him this weekend, he's looking terrible. He doesn't look as bad on the show yet simply because they film months in advance, so he'll be getting worse on-screen as time goes by.

    Have a look:

    http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2009/12/photos-csi-miami-star-jonathan-togo-released-50000-bail
     
  13. Mark Maltais

    Mark Maltais Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm a forensics investigator for a major police service (OPP) and the crap this show puts out defies belief. A buddy of mine, a footwear expert, actually got to meet the cast and go on a tour of the sets for CSI NY and spoke to the "consultants". There backgrounds are a joke. He came back with some funny stories, and good shots of him with the stars actually who he said were all down to earth and pretty nice.

    Sure some liberties have to be taken for tv but this crap is non-stop. I finally had to stop watching on the episode where they poured mikrosil (a paste/liquid type rubber that hardens) into a body wound and pulled out an exact impression of the knife knife FROM THE WOUND, including the impression of the broken tip of the knife!!! Sorry the show is crap.

    The only one I don't mind watching is NCIS. Mostly because of the actors interaction, and the CSI stuff, although still far fetched, is not the be-all of the show. Oh and I won't even get into the 1 hour speech I have to give at the beginning of a trial to a jury about the "CSI effect", because most of them watch this shit and can never believe we can't get DNA or a fingerprint or a stray hair that would identify the accused!!
     
  14. nehasen

    nehasen Auditioning

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  15. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    So you "finally" had to stop watching about 18 episodes into the first season of a show that's been on the air for 10 year?

    Yeah, the first season of the original series had some real howlers, including the one you mention (plus a handwriting "analyst" who gave a full personality profile, including gender, from notes written in marker on a bathroom stall door.) But it got a lot better later on. (Maybe they hired some consultants whose backgrounds weren't jokes. I know that at least one L.A. CSI was brought onto the show and later became a writer/producer as well as a consultant.)

    Meanwhile the other series have become less restrained and more fantastic.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  16. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Screenwriter

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    I read something about how this is a real problem all throughout the US and has made juries expect more of a "beyond a shadow of a doubt" rather than "reasonable doubt". They expect real CSI to be as absolutely positive about the identity of the criminal as the show portrays.
     
  17. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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  18. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I admit, the problem I have with the CSI type shows is they do show this crazy level of science to get evidence.. and then when a real jury is empaneled and sees the "real thing" they are underwhelmed. They keep waiting for CSI-level crazy graphics/video/plaster cast, etc.

    Hell, people are amazed you can't just scan a finger print into a computer and search everywhere in the US :)
     
  19. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

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    I think I'd call for shared blame. "People shouldn't believe TV" is a statement that is repeated so often that it ignores the obvious -- the reason it needs to be repeated so much is that a visual medium is powerful -- and people tend to automatically believe it (as long as it isn't in exceptional conflict with their current knowledge) in the absense of some higher order brain function that limits the automatic acceptance

    So yes, when people see repeatedly on TV that crime scenes have DNA, they expect it, because they have no knowledge which contradicts it. Are these people "stupid"? Maybe. Maybe not. But if it were to cause a criminal to walk the streets, it'd be small consolation that it isn't a TV show's fault, but the stupidity of the jurists. It can be argued that if they're stupid to begin with, if it wasn't the CSI effect, it would have been something else, but I think that's a position that can't be supported. Rather, I tend to believe that on the path to discovering truth, everything that causes deviation is a detriment, and you can never say which element will be the final straw that prevents discovery.

    So instead of explaining things to a person with no knowledge in a court of law, the explanation has to undo the (spoken or unspoken) beliefs a jurist brings into the proceedings -- a more difficult job.

    That said, I'm not directly involved personally, so it doesn't bother me. I don't watch the shows, but not because of the fantastical science. I interpret it as, "Wouldn't it be cool if..." not, "This is how we do it..." BTW, I'd also point out there's a reverse CSI effect as well, though it's much less significant and doesn't balance out. There are criminals who get ideas how to commit crimes from watching these shows, but since the science involved is sometimes inaccurate, the criminals sometimes commit crimes with faulty assumptions about what can't be detected, traced/tracked, etc.
     
  20. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    +1. "video" is not a 70mm piece of film. You can't "zoom in" on a five pixel cellphone camera picture and magically render a glossy 9x11" of the suspect with better lighting than he got for his highschool yearbook photo.

    Almost every crime/police series has dozens of crimes that are only resolved because of magical pictures and videocameras.
     

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