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“You know, we have a job opening.”
Years: 2008, 2009
Country: United States
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, George Eads, William Petersen, Eric Szmanda, Gary Dourdan, Robert David Hall, Wallace Langham, Paul Guilfoyle
Eye candy: Marg Helgenberger, Jorja Fox, Lauren Lee Smith, Taylor Swift (guest star in “Turn Turn Turn” episode)
Creator: Anthony E. Zuiker
Run time: 17 hours 22 minutes
DVD distributor: Alliance Films
CSI has come a long way since it first hit the air. Sort of. It has also remained remarkably stagnant. Sort of. The show is still exactly the same. A lot of scientific mumbo jumbo, a lot of crime solving, a lot of crime scene investigators inexplicably carrying guns, arresting people, interrogating people, and basically doing the job of a cop. And there are still little pieces of behind-the-scenes drama – this guy is hot for that girl, who enjoys the company of this other guy, and so forth. But it’s mostly about science and crimes and so on and so forth. The only thing that has changed, really, is the cast. William Petersen, who has played Gil Grissom for nine seasons, is now gone. He left, halfway through this season, to be replaced by Laurence Fishburne.
At the end of last season, Gary Dourdan left the cast, shot in the neck by a dirty cop. So he remains around, on videotapes and in memories, for at least the first episode of this season. He is replaced by Lauren Lee Smith, who is very attractive but not used a whole lot. Jorja Fox, who played Sara Sidle for most of the show’s run, shows up again to take Grissom away. And that’s where we’re at with all these characters. Really, the only one who can’t come back is Warrick. Having been shot in the neck and all. Everyone else has just moved on. And from what I understand, Lauren Lee Smith left at the end of Season Nine anyway, so that’s where we are with all these characters.
Of course, the first episode in Season Nine is a maudlin, cheesy “Goodby Warrick” episode, where people cry and say nice things about him and discover that he has an infant son. Then they move on to the cast carousel. Fishburne is terrific, as always, and a great addition to the cast. In fact, I like him quite a lot more than I liked Grissom. But that’s personal taste and all. And Lauren Lee Smith is hotter than Gary Dourdan, so that’s OK too. I guess. But the star eye candy here is, and always has been, Marg Helgenberger, who is, I believe strongly, the hottest woman over 50 in the world. Spectacular. But she’s getting a little thin here in Season Nine. Eat some donairs or something. I’m worried about you.
The special features on Season Nine are mostly gimmicky nonsense. Or just half-assed. Or both. For example, some episodes have a “CSI” feature. Like, a pop-up feature, where we get to learn interesting things about real-life CSI scientists. Like, the fact that often CSIs will carry a jacket or a sweater in their car. In case of inclement weather. Seriously. That’s fascinating. The other things we learn are too technical for anyone to remember, or care. Unless you’re starting your very own CSI lab in your basement. I hope you aren’t. But with the addition of Fishburne and Smith, CSI got better in Season Nine, and I hope you watch it. It comes out September 22nd from Paramount Home Entertainment.