TV CSI and Real CSI

Just a few thoughts about the two.

I usually listen to NPR both on my way to and my way from work. I miss quite a bit and driving home today they were reading some letters about a segment they did earlier comparing the real crime lab in Las Vegas to the television show, "CSI".

I've been in favor of the television show even though I know it's heavily dramatized. They wrap things up way too early and the graphics on the show are those of a big-budget television show and not that of a crime lab. However, my take has always been that anything to expose the general public to more science, even if very hyped-up, is good. The public knows it's just a television show. After all, people don't go into the ER expecting it to be like "ER", right?

I guess that's now quite correct. The letter that I heard about the NPR show talked about how difficult it is to convince district attorneys and the public in trials that they can't do all the fancy graphics stuff they do in TV. My initial thoughts about the letter were "aw, just deal with it." Again, it's a television show that does show some science to people.

And then I remembered a television show that I started watching and quickly dropped. I watched the Fox television show "Boston Public" when it first came out. While I teach at a community college and not a high school, I thought it would be interesting to see a show that focused on teachers.

I thought it was ok until a gun episode. A teacher fired off a gun in class to "make a point." And nothing severe happened to him. Another employee had an affair with a student, and more, and more. Until I just couldn't take it. It was almost as if they took a lifetime of controversy that a single school might have in a lifetime and made it into a couple of episodes. And I stopped watching it.

And then I understood what the person was complaining about with respect to the CSI television show. I still like it but I wonder if the typical viewer knows just how much "Hollywood" magic goes into the show.

Posted: Thu - May 27, 2004 at 11:45 PM