08. November 2005 · Comments Off on Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb · Categories: That's Entertainment!

In recognition of Sweeps Week, InstaPunk compares the CSIfranchise to 77 Sunset Strip, and it’s knock-offs:

We all know that the CSI franchise is a lot more serious than the old “77” clones. William Petersen, David Caruso, and Gary Sinise almost never smile, except ruefully, rarely chase women they aren’t trying to put on death row, and their partners are no longer exclusively male because the secretaries and cabaret singers have been promoted to professional status, which means they don’t smile either.


It’s not that we’re pining for the relative innocence of the 1960s. It’s that we’re wondering why there are so many apparent references to the old shows, as if we’re being served up a deliberate subliminal message about the decline of American life. There are still two leads, and most shows unravel two cases. The part of the buffoon has been preserved but imbued with malice, generally as a stupid detective or ambitious bureaucrat (e.g., CSI’s Eckley). Even the Cricket Blake/Lusti Weather/Cha Cha role is still on the scene in the character of CSI’s Catherine Willows, the former showgirl/stripper who has advanced to the position of grim single-mom and night supervisor of forensics.

All the original elements are present, but they’re grimmer, bloodier, and more depressing. What are we supposed to take from that — particularly in the context of the astonishing popularity of these shows? We can’t help wishing that just one of the old conventions had been carried over intact to provide us with a single ray of right in the darkness. But…. hmmmm… come to think of it, there is one direct steal from the old shows that really is almost the same.

A very good read.

Hat Tip: InstaPundit

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