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Why I Love CSI, Criminal Minds, and NCIS
I absolultely love crime/drama television shows, especially Criminal Minds, CSI (Las Vegas), NCIS, Cold Case, and Without A Trace. I'm a devotee of the judicial system (the way it should be) and criminal procedure, and these shows are interesting for more than just the "pretty faces" that grace the screen.
Criminal Minds, CSI, and NCIS all have great casts. At least they did until a year or two ago. When Criminal Minds replaced Mandy Patinkin's character with Joe Mantegna and CSI replaced William Petersen with Laurence Fishburne, both shows lost quite a bit of their appeal, in my opinion.
Patinkin and Petersen were both appealing actors because they seemed seasoned and mature, educated and cultured, pontificating and protective of their on-show workmates. Mantegna should be playing the role of a veteran patrol officer with an Internal Affairs rap sheet as long as his arm and Fishburne should've stuck with the cop-wannabe professor part he played before joining the CSI team.
The most interesting characters for each show are the quirky ones. On Criminal Minds, it's the characters Penelope Garcia and Dr. Spencer Reid (Vangsness and Gubler, respectively). On CSI, it's Greg the former lab tech (Szmanda), and on NCIS it's Ziva David (Pablo) and Abby the goth forensics gal. They are cool, they are unorthodox, they are immensely entertaining, and they definitely make the shows more watchable.
The light and dark sides of the other characters and the various dramas and personal issues they each deal with throughout the storylines add to the shows somewhat, but the characters I mentioned above are really the icing on the cake when it comes to these shows.
(This is a boring hub, I know, but I had a few minutes to kill and saw an advertisement for Criminal Minds!)