Character or Crime?

Discussion in 'General CSI Discussion' started by adorelo, Jun 2, 2008.

?

Where should the focus be?

  1. Less character development, more crime.

    10 vote(s)
    10.2%
  2. More character development, less crime.

    11 vote(s)
    11.2%
  3. An equal balance of both.

    73 vote(s)
    74.5%
  4. I really don't care.

    4 vote(s)
    4.1%
  1. adorelo

    adorelo CSI Level Two

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    Well, with new character-based shows like Bones and Numb3rs taking the world by storm, I ask you this: do you prefer the hardcore science the CSI franchise is renowned for, or would you prefer it focused more of the lives of it's characters like Bones does?

    Comparing the development of characters between the shows is simple: the CSI's do not develop their characters in the same was as other shows do. But should that change? Do we want to step away from the science and crime to move into move development, or should we remain right where we are?

    I'd love opinions and reasons. :D Tell me what you'd like to see.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  2. allmaple

    allmaple Judge

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    good question! i said less character development, more crime. at least for vegas, when they try to write in personal storylines or relationships etc. it just doesnt work for me. i feel like the forensics, which is supposed the be the main focus of the show, suffers. they cant seem to incorporate non-science/crime things and make it blend well with the rest of what is going on. whereas shows like bones and ncis, which are the same genre, do it quite well.

    i think the problem is csi started off being all about solving crimes, and they dont know how to change that. any time they have tried to do more personal things i just dont care. i know catherine has a daughter, i know warrick had a wife etc but whenever these characters were shown i just didnt care. i liked the way they handled tina, we saw her only briefly and it worked out just fine for me. the characters could be in relationships, have families, hobbies etc but it really doesnt bother me if we never see these things. i dont think csi needs it. the crime storylines have been slipping a bit over the past few seasons, maybe its because of more personal stories and maybe not, but i would rather sacrifice character development for really good crimes than vice versa. the writers cant seem to do both well.
     
  3. MiaCharlize

    MiaCharlize Coroner

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    Exactly. Usually I'd say more character development, as CSI is already very focussed on the crime. But with the stories they've come up lately I had to vote "I really don't care". The show has lost most of its appeal to me anyway.
     
  4. GameFace

    GameFace Lab Technician

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    I think it's about right as it is now with Vegas and NY, as in - plenty of crime with just enough character development.

    You gotta have some, otherwise it'd be so clinical and impersonal.

    But I think Miami has gone totally the wrong way with way to much about the characters and whole episodes dedicated to that way too much. And it's spoilt it for me. I think Miami has suffered as a show because of it. I don't want to see show after show going about some crazy unrealistic storyline about Horatio and his long lost son and ex, it's just overkill.

    Vegas and NY has it's moments, but they don't spend whole episodes just on that. They will weave a storyline through the show but it isn't all encompassing. It'll be a few minutes here or there, but it fits with the show mostly. I think they have it done pretty well. Take note Miami. Although they probably don't care!
     
  5. Deirdre

    Deirdre Coroner

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    Totally agree. Somethig which should be some drama thing is grotesque. That was a big mistake and because of that I'm not watching Miami anymore.

    I voted for "I don't care" only because I just can't decide. Sometimes (ok, very often) I really want to know more than it's in the shows. In the other hand I'm enjoying crime stuff so I like actions connected with murders etc. Equilibrium is the most important so probably I won't stand when in LV or NY personal stuff would be at first place.
     
  6. Della

    Della Police Officer

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    ...Oh wow what a great, great question... Woo Hoo! :D

    In my opinion, CSI Miami now gives me the feeling that you can’t have both within a program, that you have to have one or the other, whereas the best shows for me manage to incorporate both character and crime in one episode.

    For instance, in CSI Miami there have been countless episodes which have stuck to the main concept of the show, it being a Crime Scene Investigation, and yet also managed to inject a huge amount of character establishment and character development as well. Such as in “Under the Influence” where we had Calleigh’s father enter her place of work and confess that he may have committed a murder while driving under the influence of alcohol.

    During this entire episode we had Ryan investigating the forensics of the site of the murder and so on, and yet we also got to see how Calleigh deals with her father’s drinking, how she has had to deal with it in the past and how that has affected her, her father and her family life and how it still affects her.

    Then there was Witness to Murder which, for me, above all other episodes of CSI Miami, was saturated in the character development and establishment of the Horatio Caine character on a personal level, but that it also still kept firmly to the concept of the show. ...And so on and so on...

    I mean, I could list a heck of a lot more episodes, but I think it would save me time if I said, “Just view the first three seasons of CSI Miami, because that’s how this show managed to give us both in an episode and in equal quantities too.”

    On that, in my opinion, I don’t think you can have one without the other, so for me, it’s not a question of what I want to see more of – because if I look at Season 4 of CSI Miami I’m still getting the crime related episodes and I’m still getting the character episodes, but what I think is missing is a lovely mergence of the two in an episode.

    Also, in CSI Miami, there now seems to be a complete ignorance of what has been established in the past concerning the characters, (I don't know if that's out of sheer laziness or that it is to do with ignorance), and that all of the storylines are being shown for the sake of the storyline and not from a credible character POV. It's like the PTBs think of a storyline and then mould the character involved to fit that storyline, which is why I think there has been an abundance of some awful, awful out-of-character occurences in CSI Miami of late and some unbelievable, horribly conceived storylines to boot.

    So, anyway, all in all, I would like to have my cake and eat it and be able to watch an episode that has the Crime as the focal point, (because that is essentially the concept of the CSI franchise), and one which also manages incorporate some character development/establishment as well.

    In all honesty, I don’t think that’s too much to ask for because, in my opinion, that’s exactly how CSI Miami started out.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  7. Kazalene

    Kazalene Rookie

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    I agree completely with the Horatio storylines being unrealistic, crazy and just damn right ridiculous. But I think that is down to the writing of the show and the awful lack of continuity.

    I like character development. Yes, I like the forensics and the science aspects too, but for me, in order to engross in a show, I like to get a feel for the characters. If I don't like them, I tend not to be interested. Whenever Horatio is on screen, for example, I totally tune out and my brain switches off.

    Perhaps the writers need to find a better balance. Like every three episodes, write a personal storyline... and not one where we discover that Horatio used to be a woman, or that he has a daughter as well to add into the mix. It's just getting silly.

    I think this sums it up perfectly. Whilst I love the EC storyline/relationship, the past couple of seasons have been poor compared to the earlier ones. It's like they've run out of ideas and instead of doing something to find those inspirational buckets again, they're just doing a lame ass job of incorporating some character development.

    As stated, I want character development. But I want believable character development. I don't think the way Bones incorporates characterisation and cases would work in the CSI shows, because as said somewhere up there *points* the whole premise of CSI is that it is a show about science, forensics. Not about how the characters interact with each and every case. Which sometimes I like... it's nice to get lost in something that isn't just one huge rollercoaster of human emotion every once in a while.

    But something needs to be done. The writers need to find that balance that they used to have. I'll be happy with my odd dose of character development (and EC moment ;)) so long as there aren't any continuity issues or serious characterisation plot holes. Give me a few episodes of the forensic side of things, then a personal episode. That's the best way to keep a show like the CSI franchise balanced.

    And at the end of the day, CSI is a crime show. Not a soap-opera.
     
  8. CSI_Kat

    CSI_Kat Addicted to Gutterville Moderator

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    I voted for an equal balance of both. I enjoy both the crime aspect and the character development. What I wish we could see - is a better balance of character development over all the characters. Miami for instance - we know so much about Horatio - but not much about Ryan.
     
  9. Finch

    Finch Funnier in Enochian Super Moderator

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    Agreed 1000%. I LOVED the way they handled the first three seasons, it was brilliant. 'Witness to Murder' being a key point as well as 'Lost Son', 'Losing Face', 'Extreme', 'The Best Defense', 'Hurricane Anthony' etc.

    I think for all three shows, there should be an equal balance of both and the only place I'm seeing that now is with CSI:NY. Love that show to pieces. Although it wouldn't pain me if all three shows focused more on the crimes rather than the characers--I could definitely live happily with it. Sometimes it's nice to take a breather from their personal lives and get back down to basics.

    To me, CSI has been doing a bit too much personal stuff (Okay, probably not NEARLY as much as Miami) but there's still some interesting crime-type storylines. CSI is where I go when I want to see someone get the bad guy, reveal something interesting and inject some quirky humour. Miami is where I go when Melrose Place isn't on and NY is where I go when I want to watch some good television that actually makes sense. :p
     
  10. csisue

    csisue Hit and Run

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    I voted equal. I like to know the whys behind the characters. I also agree that without some character development it would be too dry. I mean what are we but characters in our lives dealing with day to day living, without it we too would be dry, analytical and to the point with no substance.
     
  11. vegaslights

    vegaslights Brute

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    I put 'I don't care' because I honestly believe that at this point in the shows, the writers aren't going to give me what I want out of the two. They're going to give , the darn "Character" on CSI, the soap-opera-eque type Character on Miami, and mostly crime, but a mixture of not needed character on NY. :p

    The shows need to focus on the crime, really. :lol:
     
  12. Desertwind

    Desertwind Head of the Day Shift

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    I agree, totally, if one wanted to just watch the crime portions, they can watch Forensics, and true crime on other channels, it's about both, we all grow to love certain characters, and their not zombies nor robots, so so see the character development and personal relationships is the perfect balance:bolian:
     
  13. CSIvela

    CSIvela Hit and Run

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    Both.

    I like the crime, but come on, the characters are human. The viewers need to realize that as well.
     
  14. Shytownmofo

    Shytownmofo Lab Technician

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    Both, so long as it's balanced, and done WELL.

    My major beef with CSI: NY is that they've been doing a lot of storylines, or one in particular, that just don't work. It gets to the point that it detracts from the show. I'm also turned off by the way they write romance on the show. Looking at Stella's loser boyfriends, the trainwreck that is Danny/Lindsay, the stuff with trying to give Mac a new love interest, etc. It's just bad. Especially because they do the friendship stuff so well. I can see the strong bonds between the characters that shines through no matter what.

    I like the way CSI: Las Vegas has handled the personal stuff, although some of the continuity has been lacking at times. The stuff with Nick following Grave Danger and Stalker, the stuff with Greg following Fannysmackin. (I don't think that they really followed up on a lot the personal fallout from the incident)

    I don't really watch CSI: Miami, so I can't really comment on that show, although from what I've heard, they've sort of thrown everything but the kitchen sink into it as far as character stuff, especially with Horatio. (How many kids does he have, or was rumored to have, anyways?)

    One of the things that I'd like to see is more backstory on the characters. What was Danny Messer's childhood really like, and why is he the way he is? What about Don Flack? Seems his relationship with his father and family isn't all that great. Why? What is Sid Hammerback so severely allergic to that he has to have an epi-pen just in case? Where did he come from and why did he switch to being an ME?

    I'd like to hear more about Warrick Brown (RIP) and his checkered past. I'd like to learn a bit more about Grissom's past before he came to Vegas. Ditto Nick. Seems he comes from a very large family all in Criminal Justice. I'd like to know more about his time as a cop in Dallas, etc.

    However, they need to be able to skillfully interweave this stuff into the show alongside the forensics and the cases. Otherwise, they shouldn't bother. They should also make sure to keep going witht the continuity. I've seen several horrendous lapses with continuity. New York and Stella is a prime example. I thought she grew up in an orphanage, but then there's her foster mother popping up. Vegas and Catherine is a big one, too. In her original Bio, she was from Bozeman, MT, and had been in Vegas 20 years prior to Season 1 (as quoted in the episode "Table Stakes.") Then, all of a sudden, she's born and raised in Vegas, Sam Braun's daughter and the daughter of a Showgirl...:wtf:

    That kind of editing of facts is not cool. I mean, yeah, adding things is always nice and interesting, so long as it doesn't contradict what had gone before.

    So, that's why I say, equal. So long as it's balanced, and so long as it's done correctly.
     
  15. miss_blue

    miss_blue Lab Technician

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    Well, I voted for an equal balance of both. I am only watching CSI:NY and lately, the show has gone over a slippery road regarding character development. Sometimes I get the feeling that the writers were right at the middle of writing an episode and then all of a sudden they realize that they haven't done enough crime or enough development and they start pushing things, and at the end, on th screen it looks bad.

    From the franchise, NY is supposed to be different because it should have more focus on the characters, than Vegas or Miami. I don't watch those, so I can't say that NY has done that. What I can say is that there is not a balance not even in the character development category. While characters like Mac and Danny take up all the spotlight, people like Hawkes and Flack are left behind (I am not including Adam or Sid, I just resumed to the main cast). It's a very tricky thing, to find the right balance between the characters and the crime in the show, but once that point is reached, it's not that hard to continue on the same line.
     

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