1. Choose 2 or 3 similar shows, or seasons within a show
2. Grab a list of each one's episode titles for the season, and pair them up by week (If seasons do not have an equal number of episodes, either combine 2-part finales as applicable or skip the penultimate episode - make sure you rank finales against one another)
3. Bold the winning title and offer a brief line of commentary explaining your choice
4. Tally the winning competitions and crown a champion at the end!
Alas, episode counts are a mess this year at 22, 19 and 18. Since I am the game's only player, I get to adjust the rules at will. I cut out episodes 19 & 20 of CSI, then paired up 12x10-11 (Catherine's goodbye) as a 2-parter which I may or may not regret doing but it was the only TBC and seemed fair and let week 18 play out as a 2-show duel.
FORMAT: VEGAS ("CSI") VS. MIAMI VS. NEW YORK
(Did I have to page through my reviews to remember what most of these were about? I did. It was not really a standout year for this franchise by any measure.)
Week 1: 73 Seconds vs. Countermeasures vs. Indelible
In a shocking display of talent and quality, New York explodes out of the gate with one of the better episodes in series history. It will probably need all year to recover from the effort. Miami tried to trot out its own dead wife to compare, but the overall plot was pretty much a mess on that one so no dice.
Week 2: Tell Tale Hearts vs. Stiff vs. Keep It Real
Bunch of flops. CSI had a whole murdered family, though. That was intriguing.
Week 3: Bittersweet vs. Blown Away vs. Cavallino Rampante
I know, Sara at the forefront, but Miami brought in Jamie Bamber and a cute dog. Your argument is invalid. (plus the tornado was just so fun to mock)
Week 4: Maid Man vs. Look Who's Taunting vs. Officer Involved
Greg and his old-school Vegas knowledge! Sold.
Week 5: CSI Down vs. Killer Regrets vs. Air Apparent
What part of "CSI Down" was not clear? The CSI in danger is Morgan and Greg goes off the deep end in response. Clear yet?
Week 6: Freaks & Geeks vs. By The Book vs. Get Me Out Of Here!
Not a strong win, but freak shows are relatively entertaining.
Week 7: Brain Doe vs. Sinner Takes All vs. Crushed
Iiiiiii may have liked the case on NY this week more than the cases on the other two. This definitely does not feel like the week NY earned it, but meh. It was one that was fun to mock, as evidenced by my cut text: "The moral is, teenagers suck and are horrible."
Week 8: Crime After Crime vs. Dead Ringer vs. Crossroads
You know what, Miami didn't screw over one of its longtime detectives for Sweeps Drama. It just brought back old villains, advanced a creepy new serial killer plot arc, and featured my favorite hooker.
Week 9: Zippered vs. A Few Dead Men vs. Means To An End
Two of them were exceptionally boring. Miami at least made me feel ill with the specifics of its 1992 case.
Week 10: Genetic Disorder vs. Long Gone vs. Clean Sweep
Doc Robbins (who owns a tabby cat -- always relevant) and his wife are the center of the case; neither go to jail. Argument is invalid here, too.
Week 11: Ms. Willows Regrets/Willows In The Wind vs. Crowned vs. Who's There?
I'm not even going to double check what the other two were about. Zero competition. (edit: lol. Not sure I even watched these episodes of the spinoffs, they were so boring)
Week 12: Tressed to Kill vs. Friendly Fire vs. Brooklyn 'Til I Die
See above. I mean, I did watch the spinoffs this week, they were just deeply inferior to this thrill ride.
Week 13: Seeing Red vs. Terminal Velocity vs. The Ripple Effect
Two recurring Glee cast members feature prominently this week. Everybody can go home after that.
Week 14: Stealing Home vs. Last Straw vs. Flash Pop
Hey guys, remember when NY acquired those guest stars from Greek and proceeded to intersect the case with an unsolved one from the 1950s and was generally amazing in every way?? THIS WAS THAT TIME. That is why I'm letting it win even though CSI was terrifically entertaining and Miami had horses (I was really planning a default win just for that) and ugh, this is the hardest decision in the whole competition.
Week 15: CSI Unplugged vs. No Good Dead vs. Kill Screen
Only one I actually managed to finish watching.
Week 16: Trends With Benefits vs. Rest In Pieces vs. Slainte
Only one I managed to finish watching in one sitting.
Week 17: Malice in Wonderland vs. At Risk vs. Unwrapped
Miami was really good, all full of
Week 18: Dune and Gloom vs. Law & Disorder [New York voided due to uneven episode counts]
Samantha and ADA Awesome are at the forefront, as is Calleigh's adoption track. CSI has personal moments too, but Miami's are...better.
Week 19: Homecoming vs. Habeas Corpse vs. Near Death
Smash it home, New York. Nobody's touching you here.
New York: 4
Sound the trumpets! For the first time since 2006 (when, if you can believe this, it actually tied for a win on the strength of season 4), Miami did not go home in last place. Let's give it a round of applause as it takes that tiny victory with it while sailing off into the sunset.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: And with this post, I am officially retiring the default Horatio/Marisol icon I have had in place for over five years (wtf!). I will always like them, but it's long since ceased to be about the pairing or fandom (especially the fandom; ugh, what a message to send) and was due entirely to the fact that I loved the colors and had just gotten used to Marisol's pretty pose. I don't know who I am without it, all I know is that I should. It's still in rotation, but I'm going to try on a few different things for default in the meantime. Feel free to send comments of shock, delight, and/or support my way. It's a big adjustment and I feel like I just got a limb amputated. There is no guarantee I won't relapse and go running back to it.