Despite "CSI" being one of the top shows on television for nearly a decade, it does a number of things to make each story fit the television format, rather than sticking to reality. It shouldn't be terribly shocking to hear that fictional television is completely unrealistic, but "CSI" takes more liberties than most shows on the air to force their stories to happen in an hour format with commercials. Check out seven of the ways "CSI" is lying to you about how crime scene investigation actually works below.
1. Crime Scenes Are Too Convenient.
All the murder scenes that the investigators come across in "CSI" are incredibly convenient. They take liver temperature to determine time of death and can usually find incredibly helpful evidence scattered on the murder scene. This rarely happens.
2. The Cases Are Too Outlandish
For the sake of drama and advertising each episode of the show, "CSI" writers invent more interesting and unique cases to explore. Real police work is a life of paperwork, and mind-crushing sameness. Very rarely are there deep conspiracies to unravel.
3. Fingerprints Come Back Way Too Quick
In "CSI," fingerprint information is returned almost instantly, which is entirely unrealistic. In truth, fingerprint information can take weeks to make a match. In case you haven't noticed, there are a lot of people out there, and running through all their prints tends to take more than a minute or two.
4. Cases Involve Too Many Investigators
Five or six nvestigators are used to solve crimes on "CSI," as they need more characters for the different storylines in the show. The cast needs face time, so throwing an ensemble at a case is the way to go. In real life, teams are much smaller, and things move much slower.
5. Real CSI Teams Vary Dramatically
As there are numerous "CSI" shows in different cities, the same number and types of characters are cast to fill each role. In truth, CSI teams vary greatly from city to city, as they have different methods and demands. Methodology and procedure tend to be dramatically different, so don't expect every small town to have a world-class crime lab.
6. DNA Comes Back In The Blink Of An Eye.
In "CSI" DNA comparisons take no time. After all, these shows have to wrap up neatly inside an hour. If you thought fingerprinting was a long process, how about breaking things down to a genetic level? Yeah, that takes more than a commercial break.
7. Data Is Always Conclusive
On "CSI," the data that is returned is almost always conclusive, as science is always presumed to be "right." In truth, most of the scientific data may be helpful to a prosecution's case but, it isusually far from all they need to convict someone. On top of that, not every scientific investigation yields a result. Sometimes, things are too ambiguous, but not on "CSI."