Unless you've been living under a rock or were just born chances are you’ve heard of CSI (Crime Scene Investigation). When CSI first came out I was in high school and I watched it every week with my family. It was out get together night. Then came CSI Miami and CSI New York…okay well I guess different cities have their own crime scene investigation units. No problem. And the original one is now in its 15th season. That’s a long time. Again, no big deal Law and Order was on for 20 years. Crime shows have a tendency to be on air for a while. Heck, even the spin off Law and Order: SVU has been on for 16 seasons. But when I saw the commercial for CSI: Cyber my head hit palm Picard style:
However I’m not one to judge a show/movie by its commercial so I waited for the pilot to air. And last night…it aired.
Babies & Hackers & Lil Bow Wow - OH MY!
First off we get the typical “crime happening” before the beginning credits roll. Somebody hijacked a webcam and is holding a baby in front of it and we hear some people speaking foreign languages. Then the parents wake up and OH NO THE BABY IS GONE! Roll in CSI: Cyber! But first Avery Ryan, played by Patricia Arquette, has to convince her boss that they should get this case since “any crime involving electronic devices is by definition cyber”. Once she gets the case she calls Dawson Leery, I mean Elijah Mundo played by James Van Der Beek. Shortly after that we see Lil Bow Wow, and by Lil Bow Wow I mean Shad Moss stroll in as a caught hacker to be reformed to work for the Cyber unit.
Now, I’m not saying there’s nothing wrong with a hacker getting caught and having them work their sentence off. But…
I don’t see him being the next Penelope Garcia. Again, another crime show that also targets cybercrimes as they are presented and then have their very own hacker do all the work to help them figure it out.
As the case progresses we see a lot of the usual points in a crime show:
Crime scene gets reviewed
Follow up interviews based on said evidence
A crack in the case
Following up on leads
Suspect gets killed
Real suspect contacts law enforcement
Everybody goes home happy
I have to be honest, past Shad Moss’ appearance I lost interest in the episode. I finished it. But nothing really stood out about it. I will say the “virtual autopsy” was a real let down. While I get the show is trying to be all “cyber”, the autopsy is actually one of the things I like most about crime shows. Not that I like seeing dead bodies, but it just adds more to the investigation. You get to see how the characters respond and see what all they discover. This virtual autopsy pretty much removes all of that.
Spoiler alert for my verdict, I was underwhelmed.
I…I just said it. Nothing really stood out about it. When a show is given a specific niche, in this case “cyber” I’d expect it to be just what it was. A crime was committed by hacking a baby cam, and they solved it using IP tracking, social media, interviews and detective work. Just like every other CSI show out there and like you’ll see in every other crime focused show.
Will I watch the next episode? Yeah, I will actually. I can’t write a show off just based on one episode. But this went the path I expected it to. They wanted to do some shock and awe with crimes that are committed using the Internet, but the fact is if they wanted to do a real cyber division let’s see them track down someone who stole millions of dollars from a bank virtually and solve it virtually. What would we get? Most likely people sitting still in a room working on computers running data and then organizing an arrest.
But hey, that’s entertainment for you.
If you saw the first episode, what are your thoughts?