Cop Shows and Medical Mysteries

Quick note – I should have mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’ll be avoiding specific spoilers as much as possible, vague ones might spill out, but hopefully nothing the BBC wouldn’t happily post on their site without warning ;0)

Most of the procedurals ticked along as they do, if you asked me to describe what distinguished this season from the last for Criminal Minds, Bones or NCIS I’d really struggle. That’s not to say they’re not fun and interesting to watch with the occasional flash of brilliance, but mostly they’re pretty unremarkable. I’m not asking that they have giant world changing events every episode, but it’s possible to spread character development more evenly through the season. With half a dozen or so big episodes during the financially important sweeps weeks, the rest of the season can feel like padding.

It’s the old guard that tried to shake things up a bit this season with both CSI original flavour and New York making some big cast and character changes. For CSI it all came a bit too fast for me, you have mostly the same characters for 8 years (!) and then in half a season you lose 3 of them. I’m only half way through season 9 but so far I like that the lead actor’s replacement is not a direct replacement for the character – Laurence Fishburne brings gravitas and big-name-ness to the cast, but his character is lowest on the totem pole, shaking things up quite interestingly. The changes with CSI:NY, with Lindsay and Danny’s relationship adds something new to the show, but I’m not convinced it’s anything good – they need to be very careful not to turn it into CSI:Couples Counciling.

When I wrote the first draft of this article, it was pretty harsh towards House. Up to episode 19 things were pretty dull and repetitive. The new and old minions still seemed to be in limbo nearly two seasons after the original shake up. I like the new minions a lot, but they can never stand on their own while Foreman is sitting at the end of the table frowning at them and Chase and Cameron are popping up for their obligatory one scene a week and reveal just how much smarter they are and how much better they understand House. Also I continue to find Cuddy the most frustrating character on the planet, for a supposedly smart woman she really is dumb as hammers sometimes. The ‘relationship’ between her and House is the most unlikely, ill-advised, blind stupid idea ever. Meanwhile the medical mysteries were getting less interesting and I struggled to remember them over the advert breaks. Then suddenly someone woke up and things got good again. Three episodes in a row had fascinating stories, character growth and spark. House seems to do this every season, have a few great episodes at the beginning, a few amazing episodes at the end and absolute drivel in between. They really need to smooth this out if they don’t want me to just tune in for those 6 episodes and skip the other twenty.

Then we have Grey’s Anatomy and I don’t really know where to start. The large plots continue to be a pretty daft, the Izzie storyline having a new record number of wtf moments. I still get irritated at just how many life changing things can happen to each of these people every year, but I guess if you accept that this is more soap opera than realistic drama then it’s all ok. The dialogue and acting however continues to impress, each episode is a roller-coaster of sobbing and laughing leaving me a quietly gibbering mess if I try to watch too much at once. It’s a show that comes so close to delight that the frustrations drive me absolutely mad.

Up tomorrow – Sci-fi

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