Danson With the Stars
The season premiere of CSI (http://www.cbs.com/shows/csi/), the grandpappy of forensic cop shows, features a mass transit mass murder AND a new investigator.
Talk About a 180!
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You can almost smell the rubber burning in the writers room: Last season ended with the very darkest of dark endings when Ray Langston (played by the uber-dramatic Laurence Fishburne) violently killed the serial killer he had pursued for years. This season starts with the breezy D.B. Russell (played by sitcom legend Ted Danson) stepping into the boss man's shoes. Did they fit?
Like a Plastic Glove
Oh, did they ever. Danson brings a dash of welcome humanity to a show that had worked its way into an utterly grim dramatic corner. Where Langston was obsessed with his job, Russell approaches his job as...a job. He's as ready to field a phone call from his wife about farmer's markets as he is to solve a murder by playing the part of the corpse.
What Hasn't Changed
You know those crimes with the complexity of a Rubik's Cube and dashes of the thoroughly unexpected? They haven't gone anywhere. Example: among tonight's murder victims was an octopus. A SEXY octopus. Now call me crazy, but I never expected to see Sam Malone from Cheers sharing the screen with a sexy octopus, but I guess I'm just old-fashioned that way.
Marg On Top?
For years, Marg Helgenberger was billed second after William Peterson. When Peterson left, Fishburne copped the top spot. Isn't it time that Helgenberger's name was listed first during CSI's opening credits? Her character, Catherine Willows, ended tonight's episode raging about being demoted. At least, I THINK that was Catherine talking...parallels, anyone?
Is it time for Helgenberger to be on top? And what did you think of Danson's debut? Do you think you will miss Laurence Fishburne's down-in-the-dumps character? Get those keyboards clacking!
D.B. Russell At CSI Headquarters
"Make sure you spend it all in one place."
--Russell handing a $100 reward to a young murder witness.