More tales from the US: CSI, CSI: Miami, Criminal Minds, Battlestar Galactica

More reviews of US shows, including a few I left out because I forgot about them.

CSI: Miami: Essentially, this blasted out of orbit and left for a galaxy far, far away a long time. It bears so little resemblance to reality now, you wonder why they even bother pretending it’s anything other than Dirty Harry with lab coats. In the first episode of the new season, Horatio Caine (played by David Caruso) takes on the gangs – and wins! – without going into protective custody, despite the contract they put out on him, because he’s just so hard and Republican. Except he accidentally killed a kid once and now he has to keep solving crimes to atone for his sin.
Caruso appears to have a problem acting these days, so much so that any expression of emotion seems to reveal a history of botox – at least, he can’t move his face any more. It’s a shame, because he really knew how to deliver anger in his NYPD Blue. But now his ego has swollen his head so much there’s a risk of a total eclipse when he stands in the wrong place, I don’t think he can bring himself to deliver what is, admittedly, ludicrous dialogue with a straight face: he has to remain unperturbed or else he’ll crack up in every scene. Monday’s cracker: police officer shot down by gangs lays bleeding in front of Caine, but since it’s the law that he has to put on his sunglasses as he recites a bit of corny dialogue just before the titles roll, Caine calls the police using the officer’s radio then stands up, leaving officer to bleed to death, so he can… put on his sunglasses and recite some corny dialogue.
CSI: The best of the CSI shows, but the opening episode was unfortunately pretty dull. Lets hope the brief stabs at character development turn into something, rather than continually gestating and coming to nothing as in previous seasons.
Criminal Minds: Didn’t they try to do this once already? Well twice, with both Profiler and Millennium? This time, they’re trying to go for a greater sense of realism with their every day tales of VICAP, but it’s really not working. Big give away: evil serial killer’s laptop has the vital data the FBI is looking for, but it’s password protected. Do they take it to the crime lab and image/rip out the hard drive so they’ll be able to access it at their leisure? No, they did the tried and tested TV cliché of trying to work out the password by analysing the serial killer’s hobbies. The ending, which was utterly preposterous (“Behind you!”?), did at least make me want to watch the episode to see what happens next.
Battlestar Galactica: Not quite as gritty as last season, but still one of the better shows on TV. Michelle Forbes turning up on the Pegasus was enjoyable, but it lacked the real kick the moment deserved. It’ll probably pick up again in the New Year, given that most of the season was about finishing off the threads in season one’s finale. I hope so anyway.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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