CSI “73 Seconds” Review

CSI "73 Seconds"

CSI “73 Seconds”, Season 12 Episode 1 – CSI is back everybody! For better or worse, the original CSI has returned on a new night and time and with a new lead actor! That’s right, in a much talked about off-season switch up, Laurence Fishburne has bowed out to make room for Ted Danson to become the new lead. So let’s get straight into how I feel about the biggest change of the show.

Ted Danson plays the new team captain, Detective Russell. Danson is probably best known for his work on popular sitcoms Cheers and Becker, but has recently been working on smaller cable series like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bored to Death, and Damages. Apparently, he’s trading in the easier schedule of cable series’ for the daily grind of working on a CBS procedural. I was hoping that he’d be able to bring something more original to this role, but he basically was exactly what I thought he would be. As soon as Danson was cast I thought “I bet he’ll be the exact opposite of Langston, and that he’ll be whacky and won’t play by the rules!” Turns out, I was right on the money.

I’m not saying any of this is Danson’s fault. He’s a good actor, he’s just on a show that’s…well, a bit beneath him. Not that the show is bad, but it’s just a show that is very by the numbers, and Danson does not strike me as a by the numbers actor. I’m hoping that future episodes will help flesh out this character a bit more, but I’m not very optimistic.

As far as the actual episode goes, there’s not much to say. It was interesting, had some good twists, and the quirky sides of it played well with Danson’s personality.

I was genuinely shocked how little explanation we got about the resolution of the Langston storyline. I assume by the way that everybody was always shirking the subject that he ended up taking the fall for the “murder” he committed in the last season’s finale. I understand that Fishburne wasn’t able to appear in this premiere to wrap up his story, so I wasn’t expecting to actually see the fallout, but I’d like to at least have some more explanation of what happened. It’s frustrating to watch a character for two whole seasons, get invested in their character and backstory, and then just have them written off so hastily.

Overall, this was a serviceable season premiere to a show that is so clearly in autopilot at this point that it’s not even funny. I’m not saying it’s bad, and I’m not saying it’s really doing anything wrong. If I made a hit show, and millions of people watched it with me putting forth little to no effort, then why would I try to innovate or doing anything original? I can’t blame CBS for keeping this show so boilerplate, but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable after 12 seasons.

Hopefully Danson is able to breathe new life into this show in later episodes, but it sure didn’t happen here.

What did you think of this episode and Danson’s character? Sound off in the comments section below?

Random Thoughts:

– I really hope that we find out in a later episode that Carrot Top is a serial killer. I really want to see that guy get the chair.

– Was the tram stuff actually filmed in Vegas? The show is usually filmed in Vegas, but these scenes actually appeared to be legitimate.

– The secondary case was so dumb this week I thought I’d relegate it to the Random Thoughts. I would go into it in more detail, but I’ve already told you how I felt. It was dumb.