Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Think They're Stoned Again...

Remember two years ago when I ditched my favorite show of the last six years, CSI? Well, it seems I got out just in time. As if the recent personal-problem driven plot lines from a show that was once revolutionary in its jaw-dropping technology and meticulous detail aren't enough of a slap in the face from some suddenly very comfortable higher-ups as they recline in leather massage chairs in their redundantly cushy offices, CBS has just announced Carol Mendolsohn will be switching places for an episode with Two and a Half Men creator and Executive Producer Chuck Lorre.

I don't know if the people who agreed that this was a good decision did so while smoking a bowl together, but that would be the only logical, justifiable explanation. Forget the fact that they are in two different formats and have two different run times (I'm putting my money on at least one of them starting on the other show's script without remembering to switch Final Draft templates, ala Ricky and Ron on Studio 60...). Forget the fact that one is a snarky comedy about a perpetually bitter bachelor and his goofy, geek-without-being-chic brother while the other is a perpetually sad look at the dark side to human nature. Hell, forget the fact that whatever Mendolsohn does to Two and a Half Men in a mere twenty-two minutes-- and vice versa, though in forty-seven minutes-- cannot be fixed by a simple gasp and sit up in bed at the open of the next episode, declaring it all just a sick dream. This switcheroo can't work on the most basic of levels: each show will be inevitably and irrevocably changed in those short time frames, and these days, one bad episode is enough to take down a show. Neither CSI nor Two and a Half Men are immune, even if they are the highest rated shows on the network.

Now, I can’t speak for Two and a Half Men because the amount of episodes I’ve actually seen I can count on both hands, but for the most part, fans have seemed to embrace the new bastardization of classic CSI. If I am alone in thinking the show isn’t what it used to be, then so be it: I’m old-fashioned; I don’t like change; I think if nothing’s broken, they shouldn’t have tried to fix it (or revitalize it or reinvent it or whatever snappy, trendy name they’re giving it nowadays). CBS' okay on this decision might prove to push them over the edge, though, as many are already riled up about the abbreviated seasons. It will only be worse when they realize “Angry Lorre” has managed (in one mere episode) to set their beloved Catherine-- and the rest of the feminist movement, for that matter-- back a few years.

If it sounds like I'm harping on this subject now, don't be fooled: I most certainly am. I fell for CSI in the fall of 2000, and I fell hard. I was reluctant to give it up, but it betrayed me one too many times to keep giving it renewed chances. I keep thinking about what could have been, and unfortunately dwelling only makes me angrier (though not as angry as "Angry Lorre," I'll give that much). CBS has begun to rival Kanye West in their cockiness, and after all they've done, I am not ashamed to admit I can't wait to watch their empire implode around them. So I guess I will be tuning into those "Freaky Friday" episodes after all-- tuning in to watch them learn that, though it may often feel like the opposite when they're on top, no one is completely untouchable. And if the public embraces this weirdness—something they’re only trying because they can and sometimes people just have too much power—well, then they’re even dumber than most studios assume… and that’s saying something!


DC said...

Yikes, I didn't hear about that, but it sounds like a potential train wreck.

I've never gotten into CSI as an episodic series. It seems like it's a show that's very ok to miss a bunch of episodes, then come back to it. I find it entertaining, but never entertaining enough to put it on my DVR.

Have you seen the mashups of David Caruso's one liners from CSI: Miami on YouTube? They are amazing!

James Rabbitte said...

Well, that's going to be a disaster. Probably not as bad as when The X-Files invited Stephen King to do an episode, or the already-atrocious Quentin Tarentino CSI two-parter, or ER Live, but still bad enough to sink those already-leaky ships.

danielletbd said...

I'm so glad you don't like Tarantino either!!!! I never used to watch the "X-Files" on a regular basis, but I admit I did tune in for King's ep because I'm such a huge fan of his... and I liked it... but I admit that it probably was nothing like the original show; I just liked it because I like everything he does (except "Insomnia").