Oh show, you are going to be perfect again, aren't you?? You had some minor issues with boredom for a while there, but I bet once you jettison Super Speshul Riley, you and I can go back to being SOUL MATES.
...well, for 2 episodes it looked good, and then NOSEDIVE. I watched #3-11 from season 10 today (10x02 I secretly watched last fall. And just now I sneakily edited my original unposted reaction into an older entry), and I'll be damned if I could tell most of them apart. At some point even single paragraphs became difficult to write. We are approaching Law & Order: SVU levels of "grim determination to get through this" versus "actual enjoyment." SHOW. WHY SO MUCH WITH THE FAILURE? It can't possibly be just because I'm spoiled from the quality of the character focus on CSI: NY, can it? I would know if I were viewing good episodes. I am not.
-I still love this cast, and the first half of the first episode or so felt like coming home, embraced by all the beautiful familiar faces. The problem is, Ray quickly shoved his way to the front of those faces, and Ray is not really the wonder-boy Grissom replacement they'd like him to be, so my mild enchantment with him is fading fast. It's not even just the wolf pack analogy I made in the above review, it's simply that I want to hear about, I dunno, Catherine's life for a change. Yeah, I just said that. I'm shocked too.
-In the wake of Adam Ross, I'd forgotten how damned annoying Hodges is. Fact: Hodges is really, really annoying.
-I feel like exposition has gone into crazy overdrive this year, with constant callbacks to the past or name-checks of people who are off-screen. It's subtle, but it's so obviously trying to be subtle that more than anything it just irritates me. Other things I miss: the variety of rotating lab rats. Hodges had more than enough face time before; having nothing but him and Wendy is pure exhaustion.
-Er, what were those hints Sara was going to be dropping about "trouble in paradise"**? I'm not hearing them. I am hearing no reference to her marriage at all, actually, except for one refreshing mention of her week in Paris. I assume someone has ficced this. I am too lazy/disillusioned to go looking right now, though.
-You know which pair has the best chemistry ever? Greg & Sara. Cannot describe how happy it makes me to see them working a scene together.
-I've noticed Catherine dressing more professionally lately (love the blazer), and heartily approve. But I wish she'd get more to do as boss. I mean, this is like the only crime show besides Bones where a woman's in charge, and it's a definite rarity for CBS. I'd like to see more focus on that and less on Ray's special intuition of the week.
-On to specifics!
10x03, "Working Stiffs": Awful. If you follow the killer, the killer has to be interesting. Wish I'd watched this on time, though, so I could have made a reference in my Office reviews to imagining that Toby and Random New IT Geek were secretly hatching a plan to steal from Dunder Mifflin. I'll assume IT Geek was also subtly hitting on Pam a lot and that's what ultimately enraged poor Toby all the way to murder. ...I saw a lot of Toby in our murderer of the week. P.S. Newman!
10x04, "Coup de Grace": DANNY! I mean, Enrique Merciano. Ahhh, the tiny consolation of crime dramas getting canceled. And, ah...pretty much all I got out of this was that he and Sara seemed to be on a nonstop flirting streak, which nobody else on the internet seems to have picked up on, so maybe the spoilers made me paranoid. This does not stop my brain from gallivanting off to an AU in which she cheats on Grissom and he just accepts it and forgives her, because I guess Lucky Us is most unwantedly lodged in my brain. I have no idea what happened in the case. I think this was the racist cop story, which clearly bored me to tears if all I can remember is unrelated adulterous flirting.
10x05, "Blood Sports": I love the actor playing Coach Miller. But more to the point, Greg & Sara are working the case involving the submerged car. And when Sara says "look at that," I imagine Greg is, in a mixture of lust and lovelornness, staring at her before realizing she sees evidence. I CAN'T STOP. I DON'T KNOW. I don't think I am actually serious with this, but there is just so much sparkly chemistry that needs an outlet, and in the absence of GSR while Sara's still around, it lets itself out here.
10x06: Death and the Maiden: Liked the Nick focus, but male rape stories on TV are always either uncomfortably graphic or uncomfortably "WAUGH OH MY GOD NOTHING HAPPENED SKJRDFL;ASJDFLKAJSDFADS RAGE" levels of flipping out until I just want the victim to, you know, act sane. Use their indoor voice. Meanwhile I'm still unclear as to why Wayne was such a psycho about his sister's virginity. And I feel nothing for Hodges/Wendy, but heartily applaud Ecklie's refusal to let anybody else "pull a Sanders." I agree -- just look at Sanders' replacement. Don't risk a repeat of that by letting the good rats escape!
10x07, "The Lost Girls": Finally, the trilogy got worthwhile! Maybe I just loved the pimp formerly seen as sweetheart Danny on Harper's Island, I don't know, but I loved everything about it (especially the poor crazy redhead) right up until Madeline Briggs walked up and threw herself into Langston's arms. Really? The girl who has been through such hell and back that she doesn't think her own mother will want her, and then based on a text message, she throws herself at a random male stranger (yes, he was from the police department, but what proof did she have beyond his say-so)? That seems...odd right for an abuse/rape victim, whom I'd think would be a lot more suspicious of men, or at least less willing to have close physical contact. Plus I sort of wanted to end on a stark and haunting note where she remained lost to the winds, even as bad guys were taken down in other states.
Despite the length of that ranting paragraph, the bottom line is "I loved everything about it."
10x08, "Lover's Lanes": Loved the early Sara/Greg team, Sara in general, Greg's enthusiasm for the mechanics of bowling, didn't love Langston shoving his nose into a case that needed no investigation, stirring up unnecessary trouble. Kind of a silly case, but I am forgiving it all for the awesome team bowling moment (minus Langston, YES) at the end. I want this scene to go on forever.
10x09, "Appendicitement": AND SUDDENLY THE TAILSPIN CURED ITSELF. I love everything this episode chooses to be, starting with "focused on Henry." Henry! A lab rat who is not Hodges or Wendy! And then it's boys night out, whereupon I get everything from a car accident with a smattering of mild injuries (thank you!) to falling out of my chair laughing at every turn from Henry's deadpan sarcasm ("Best. Birthday. Ever."). Also a dead raccoon stuck to a dead guy's face, David feeling more sympathy for the former, a fun little mystery, an almost-abandoned place...and then on the serious front, a little peek into this state's serial killer arc. But mostly: brb, must find laughed-off ass. *hugs episode* Highlight of the night!
10x10, "Better Off Dead": Sara was in this, and still, nothing remarkable (quasi-suicide pact; I can't cope with episodes where dogs are poisoned to death - even by accident) except Catherine/Vartann, what the what what what. Also: check it out, Bobby Dawson, in the flesh instead of being name-checked! Now let's do that for Archie.
10x11, "Sin City Blue": Guy kills a pair of con artists posing as hookers; Langston investigates an unlicensed doctor (who is not Jekyll) illegally treating illegal immigrants. ...I got nothin'.
I am now at a point where watching further episodes feels like such an ordeal that I'd almost rather face writing about CSI: NY. And yet...I soldier on with this instead of doing something sensible like switching off to a show I might actually enjoy, or admitting defeat and just reading the episode summaries.