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Sunday, March 8, 2015

PILOT REVIEW: CSI: Cyber

CSI: CYBER












Starring: Patricia Arquette, James Van Der Beek, Peter MacNicol, Shad Moss, Charley Koontz, Hayley Kiyoko

Created by Anthony E. Zuiker, Ann Donahue, and Carol Mendelsohn
Written by Ann Donahue, Carol Mendelsohn, & Anthony E. Zuiker, Directed by Eagle Egilsson

THE PREMISE: CSI: Cyber is the latest entry in the successful CSI franchise after the original and editions set in Miami and New York. This one is set in Washington DC and focuses on cyber crimes. At the forefront of the unit is Special Agent in Charge, Dr. Avery Ryan (Patricia Arquette). Her co-workers include Elijah Mundo (James Van Der Beek), recent hacker Brody Nelson (Shad Moss), tech specialist Daniel Grummitz (Charley Koontz), and Raven Ramirez (Hayley Kiyoko). Rounding out the main cast is Ryan's direct superior, FBI Assistant Deputy Director Simon Sifter (Peter MacNicol).

THE GOOD: This is a very strong cast and they do their best to make mediocre material decent. Recent Academy Award winning actress Patricia Arquette brings a strong presence to the leadership role and seems comfortable and confident. James Van Der Beek has a relatable personality and both he and Peter MacNicol are veteran TV stars. Even some of the newer names are solid. There are good interactions between Shad Moss and Charley Koontz. Hopefully this show will be able to overcome its mundane qualities because this cast could really do some good things. In theory, focusing on cyber crimes is an interesting angle in today's world.

THE BAD: First off... what's with the slow motion moments? Some shows use them from time to time but CSI: Cyber used it an incomprehensible number of times. From the overly dramatic "where is my baby?" opening and all the way through, CSI: Cyber made sure to let us know when the dramatic moments were happening. It was laughable. Aside from the usual CSI and crime drama problem of needing the viewer to accept major plot jumps so a crime investigation can conclude in an hour, I didn't feel like there was enough different about this show with the cyber angle. I thought that might be what would set this show apart but it didn't. Sure, it had to do with an online crime, but a lot of the episode was the same old CSI approach to cases. I want to see more of the cyber world given its title.

BOTTOM LINE: This is a CBS crime procedural through and through. Solid performers but such mediocre material. I have been able to get into shows like this in the past (like Criminal Minds) but I'm not sure this is worth it. I might try one more week just to see if they improve the cyber angle, but the first slow motion I see, I'm done.

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