The “CSI Effect”

I think I’m getting desensitized from watching the CSI’s, Criminal Minds and thousands of Law & Order SVU’s and Criminal Intents.  I have no qualms about watching NCIS when Ducky is doing an autopsy and is holding a human heart or brain in his hand.  CSI Las Vegas carries you through the instant replay, watching blood spurts, bullets traveling through bodies, complete with muscles, tendons and blood.  People “bleed out”, leave “trace evidence” and leave “blood spatter” behind.  COD is cause of death and ALS is alternative light source, and let’s not forget AFIS, the automated fingerprint database that makes it possible to put a name and face to a fingerprint.

What would we do without DNA to solve crimes?  There are thousands of cold cases that are unsolved from the 1970’s through the 1990’s, and forensic technology has come a long way since then.  I love to watch cold case shows, where an old case is opened up to test the DNA that is on file in an evidence box down in a dirty and dusty basement evidence room.  If death was due to gunshot wounds, a “trajectory” model is set up to determine where the bullet came from.  Could it possibly be the work of a serial killer? 

Crime Scene InvestigationThe following paragraph is from Wikipedia: “Several aspects of popular crime shows have been criticized as being unrealistic. For instance, the show’s characters not only investigate and process crime scenes, but they also conduct raids, engage in suspect pursuit and arrest, interrogate suspects, and solve cases, which falls under the responsibility of uniformed officers and detectives, not CSI personnel. Additionally, if CSI’s process a crime scene it is inappropriate for them to also be involved in the examination and testing of any evidence collected from that scene as it would compromise the impartiality of scientific evidence. In real investigations, DNA,  and fingerprint data is often unobtainable and, when they are available, can take several weeks or months to process, whereas television crime labs usually get results within hours. In the first season of CSI, technicians made a plaster moldof the interior of a wound to determine the type of knife used to make the wound, which is not possible with current technology.  Characters on television often use the word “match” to describe a definitive relationship between two pieces of evidence, whereas real forensic technicians tend to use terms that are less definite, which acknowledges that absolute certainty is often not possible.”

Well, I refuse to really take in the details of that because I want to believe that Alex Rodriguez, who plays Delco on CSI Miami, is able to do all kinds of cool things on his cutting edge technology in the lab.  He is such a hottie!  Also, have you noticed that the women on all 3 CSI’s (even though 2 are off the air) are tall, thin, unbelievably hot and beautiful and wear clothes to work with beaucoup boobage showing?  ( I wanna be just like them when I grow up!) Even the guys are cute, so I guess a crime scene force on TV just has to look that way.

CSI Las VegasAnother interesting phenomena the Wikipedia explains, is “Although the CSI effect is a recent phenomenon, it has long been recognized that media portrayals of the United States legal system are capable of significantly altering public awareness, knowledge, and opinions of it. A 2002 juror survey showed that viewers of the popular court show Judge Judy  were greatly misinformed about the purpose of the  judge within a  courtroom. Earlier programs which may have affected public perception of “the legal or investigative systems” include  Perry Mason, Quincy, M.E. and the Law & Order Franchise.  News Media  reports that criminal trials, extensive internet blogging, and the successes of the Innocence Project have also contributed to the increased public awareness of forensic science.  Anthony Zuiker , creator of the CSI franchise, has stated that “‘The CSI Effect’ is, in my opinion, the most amazing thing that has ever come out of the series.”

CSI MiamiOkay, I’m guilty of being under the spell of the “CSI Effect” and am addicted to surfing all over Brighthouse Cable to find a show, any show, to engage my brain and my love of solving mysteries.  I say that, but it’s not really the truth.  It’s just what we are left with, long after Dean Martin, Sinatra, and Carol Burnett have faded away.  I used to love Dean Martin coming out on the set with a drink and a smoke, falling into the prop piano and ending up on the floor with piano parts scattered about.  I loved Mr. Tuddball on Carol Burnett’s show, where he played a boss with a heavy Polish accent and Carol was his secretary.  I still crave Laugh-in, the Lucy Show and Josephine, played by Flip Wilson on his TV show.  I used to go to bed laughing, and now, if I watch Criminal Minds, I get nightmares.    Well, you know by now that I am always yearning for the older, sweeter days of my youth, and Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons, and Maude.  If I could get a ride in the time machine, like in Back to the Future, I would choose to land in the 1960’s, put my go-go boots on, tease my hair and be in love with Frankie Avalon, just like the old days.

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