Has CSI: Las Vegas jumped the shark?

I ask this question today having completed Season 11 –  the latest season of the show. Last season saw the appearance of new guy on the block – although you wouldn’t think it – Raymond Langston played by Lawrence Fishburne. Now initially when I heard that he was the big name replacing William Peterson‘s Gil Grissom, I was pleased as I am a big fan of Mr Fishburne’s work. What I don’t appreciate is a character who we are told is a junior member of the CSI night shift team suddenly becoming all high and mighty and appearing to be something that he just isn’t.

The character comes across as this self-righteous do-gooder to whom shit will not stick. I shout “Nay!“. I have personally had enough of Dr. Ray Langston and his personal struggles with hate, rage and the marvellous Nate Haskill, a serial killer that I thought was a tremendous character, played by Bill Irwin. The viewing figures also demonstrate that CSI’s popularity is beginning to fade. With a drop of 6.5 Million viewers since Season 9 (the last with Grissom) it is clear to me that CBS are really going to have to pull out the stops in Season 12 which graces our screens in the autumn.

With a cliffhanger at the end of Season 11 with a conclusion that is so predictable its like spotting that the winner of Britain’s Got Talent is going to be the one with the biggest sob story, I don’t hold much hope for the start of the season. I think that Langston has to be put in his place and stop coming across to the viewer as the leader of the team, which he isn’t. Even Greg Sanders is more senior than him! Also, whats with Jorja Fox? She stopped doing the show as Sara Sidle because she wanted to try her hand at something else. What happened Jorja? not what you expected it to be? no parts or offers forthcoming? I don’t get the outcry there was when she left the show. I find her irritating to the point of distraction with her whiny nasal voice. She is however, exceedingly good at pointing out the blatantly bloody obvious – usually “a blood drop over hee-yar..”

In the most recent season, CBS brought to life a character from one of the “Level 26” novels by CSI creator Anthony Zuiker called Sqweegel. This is a killer who meticulously plans and waits and watches a person who has committed a sin. He then gives them a warning and if they still do not repent, he kills them. The story was thrilling and the character was spine chilling. He lasted one episode and was forgotten about. To my mind, that was a big error. I understand they needed to finish the story arc with Langston and Haskill, but it was so drawn out it was just boring. Sqweegel could have been another “Miniature Killer” story that was exciting and disturbing at the same time. Hopefully he will make a reappearance in the next season, it would be crazy not to bring him back.

As a big fan of the show, this blog may sound very critical, but when the writing and storylines just havent been up to the usual standard of previous seasons, its hard to find any positives from the current cast line-up. Willows just looks bored all the time, Sanders is his usual chirpy self, but its obvious the actor wants more from the character, Langston is so depressing I wanna do myself in and Sidle is just so IRRITATING. One positive form the latest season was the sight of Lady Heather once more. Now a psychologist, she puts her previous career knowledge to good use in a more professional capacity. Yet another character seriously under used.

I think that if things don’t improve very early on in Season 12 which has been greenlit, then CSI: Las Vegas may be losing a viewer, and as the only show in the franchise that I watch, I would be disappointed to see it disappear from my viewing list, but if I don’t enjoy it, whats the point of watching? Investigate that Dr. Langston!