hmm well i was holding off posting on this thread as i wasn't really sure what i wanted to say, i mean i have thoughts about it but formulating them into something coherent is a whole other story (a bit like the csi ny writers apparently!), so this may well be long and waffly, and there will be quite a lot of specifics about mac, sorry guys... i think 2 case episodes are a must. as has been said here and in other threads, the one case eps don't allow for more individual interactions between team members. sure it's fine to see that they're a team, but i liked when they sent 2 of them in one direction and 2 of them in another, it meant we got to see more interactions between specific characters and we got to see them chop and change a bit, like mac working a case with aiden was different from danny working a case with aiden, etc, seeing the different dynamics between them was really good; it's nice to see a group dynamic but i don't think the 2 case eps really lost that; we often got snippets of them working as a whole team, and they all kinda bounced off each other more. also they need to get back to a more varied NYC - the older cases went all over the city, i loved seeing stuff like homeless guys getting coins from drains with bubble gum, the rat fisherman, the rat catcher, the poor guys sleeping in the bus station, the indie bands hanging out in dingy clubs and putting posters up, the russian immigrants doing bizarre medical experiments, the glitzy chocolate manufacturers, the bankers, the clubbers, the dockworkers, the rich bastards trying to pay off their son in law for getting a stripper pregnant; all that kind of thing, that's real life (well, ok, maybe a tad exaggerated!) - this season we've seen very little of that kind of thing, it's all been decent manhattan folk, none of the quirky stuff that you inevitably get in the big city. give DL a bit more alone time - danny was a great character and lindsay was promising too in s2, at least i thought so. since they've been itemised they're just kind of a unit with no real personality of their own. we never get to see them unless it's a reminder that they're married (WE KNOW!!!), it would be much nicer to see those scenes interspersed with some moments of each of them separately, especially as has been said somewhere else because lindsay had a good chemistry with mac at the start, she definitely brought out a playful side to him, the onion experiment springs to mind - that kind of stuff's been lost. continuity - it really is a big problem. the odd continuity issue in a long running series is to be expected but bloody hell, they go all over the shop! they really need to pin down basic things like how old the characters are meant to be (especially lucy, the super-fast-aging baby), basic backstories, consistency etc. it's one of those things that has probably always been there but does seem to be much worse recently. i think maybe if they have more/different writers now it is becoming either more of a problem or more apparent, or both. basically the writers need to sit down as a group and just sort it out once and for all so that when each of them writes they are writing the same characters and the same backstories. the odd little tweak for artistic license is fair enough but not the whopping oddities they keep coming up with. the same goes for unfinished stories or stories just being mysteriously dropped. i'm not a smackie but after GFD i remember thinking there was only really one way they could take mac and stella, but by the beginning of s6 it'd mysteriously been forgotten. i don't especially want smacked to happen but that came across as a pretty hefty shift in their relationship (whatever kind of relationship they have) and it was never followed up - even if it turned into nothing it would've been nice to have some acknowledgement on mac and stella's part that that situation had arisen and something needed to be done about it. ditto adam and stella, that actually kind of had potential - even for people against the idea, there was potential in terms of the impact that relationship could've had on the whole team and probably especially on mac, which could've allowed for all kinds of character developments and dynamics. i think something similar about haylen - i realise she was always a kind of test character but i think introducing her in tiny doses and then after 3 eps just ditching her made no sense at all. yes, she wasn't exactly miss popular with some viewers, but i think a lot of us were happy to give her the benefit of the doubt and see how it panned out. just ditching her that quickly suggests that the writers are disorganised and uncoordinated (which given they're writing something that has to be coherent over a longish timescale is worrying) but also i think it showed they were nervous about their own ideas. not every character is going to be super popular, but sometimes writers and producers have to stick to their guns and have the strength of their convictions to at least give a story idea/character/whatever a fair chance to have an impact on viewers. by dropping her at the first sign of trouble, to me it seemed like they were going "oh no! you don't like that! eek! well, don't worry we'll try something else and if you don't like that we'll ditch that too and then try something else" as if they were a worn out babysitter at the end of their tether with a particularly demanding 2 year old. we don't have to be spoon fed all the time, sometimes being given something and being told that we have to at least try it is more rewarding than just throwing all the toys out of the pram. mac - hmm now here's the one that's hard to write. i'm a massive gary fan so i really don't mind that mac gets a lot of time on screen, however i can totally see why it pisses people off if it comes to the detriment of the others, which in some cases i think it does. i also think that continuing to only show the determined, moralistic cop aspect of mac is a problem. partly because it pisses people off and they start thinking he's turning into superman and is becoming (a) unrealistic and (b) irritating, but also because it's changed mac from a quite multi-dimensional character - ie in the past we've seen that he's a scientist, a friend, a father figure, hell, a human being! into a one dimensional character. in the early eps/seasons we got a lot more difference in mac, even though it was sometimes subtle, it was there. as for his moralistic high horse tendencies, it bugs me a bit when people say these are new things - that's always been there (for instance officer blue, or heroes), but they used to be tied in with other aspects of mac and so they weren't as dominant. by making them overly dominant, mac suffers from pissing people off and that makes the whole show suffer because - like it or not - he IS the central character, and if he's becoming repetitive, that doesn't bode well for anyone. it also bothers me a bit that there's this idea of gary going around dictating that mac should be this kind of moralistic preachy cop, i can't see that really being the case - as i said that side of mac has always been there and although i'm sure that as (a) the actor and (b) the producer, gary has input into the character, his history of ensemble work suggests quite strongly that he's not dictatorial about these things. also i suspect that it's not just him, i'm sure other people in the production team share similar views on the military or the death penalty or whatever. but i suppose that's by the by. hehe, the defence for sinise rests from a personal point of view it makes me really sad - i've seen gary's range of acting elsewhere, in films but also in plays and he really does have a great range, he's capable of a lot, he even has good comic timing - so why are these things being lost? in the older seasons mac was much more versatile, his range came out a lot more, so where's that gone? it seems recently mac's become stuck in a rut where he's becoming very samey, people are getting annoyed by him, and gary's just kinda coasting along, which is a real shame. personally i hope gary leaves at the end of his contract and just goes back to doing something that allows him to really do something different and versatile, because i think it's probably more the fault of the writers than his fault, the material he's been given this season, apart from, surprisingly, the stuff with aubrey, has been pretty poor. which i guess brings me back to writing - i think the writing really is suffering at the moment. partly because the single case eps don't allow for character interaction like the 2 case eps do, i think also the one case eps make each case seem so "big" and overblown that it's like there's no room for anything else, no room for team banter or changing dynamics, and because 1 case really can't fill an entire ep by itself, any personal stuff tends to come over as filler. the 2 case eps allowed personal stuff but it always felt much less fillerish, because it was more immediate as a result of the timescale of 2 cases. but also i think the fact that writers seem to be incapable of communicating with each other is a big issue - as evidenced by the poor continuity, the lack of coherence between characters and timelines and episodes generally. oh and back to mac, briefly, if they do end mac as a character (which given how things are right now i hope they do relatively soon), there's no way it could be any other way than a death - i don't think i'd like to see him just go off into the sunset with a view to potentially returning, that would be a major cop out (excuse the pun!) - if mac goes, he has to really go. i've not hated this season and i do still get excited about each wednesday, but tbh a lot of that is because i need a gary fix many of this season's eps have been underwhelming. i think i've graded them fairly high mostly but that's mainly been in relation to each other within the season, if i were grading against earlier seasons they'd be far, far lower. whatever it is that's gone wrong, i hope they work it out. blimey. that was long.