CSI: Cyber my take on it

I just watched my first episode of CSI: Cyber last night. I liked the show but I’m a techie and in the IT industry so it deals with things that I’m naturally interested about. Apart from that fact the show does look interesting but there is definitely room for improvement. In today’s world I think this will be the theme going forward. If this show is successful there will be other shows about hacking, cyber crime, privacy and our devices. Will this show be successful is another question and after watching I think there’s a 50/50 chance. Blacklist which is now a highly popular show started off looking very different. Perhaps the budget was lower when it started I don’t know. The fight scenes and the action sequences looked OK but it definitely wasn’t top notch. The story was compelling and they grabbed the audience and grew from there. So I think that CSI: Cyber can grow but only if the show gets better.

The show is about a group of FBI special agents who investigate cyber crimes. I found quite a few things that could and should be improved. There are times when the background music and the scene’s use of effects are anti-climatic and overused. I watched the episode where a hacker implimented “juicejacking” to infect and take over customer’s smartphones. The hacker then overpowered the Wifi router on planes using the smartphones. In the beginning when the CSI cyber group are monitoring the planes losing Wifi. The background music in my opinion is overused, wasn’t needed and I feel that it was anti-climatic since it didn’t build to anything. There is another scene when Daniel Krumitz, the dubbed best white hat hacker in the world, is flown in on a helicopter. When he gets out of the helicopter the effect used is supposed to show the excitement and his importance having being flown in by helicopter. Except again it is anti-climatic since his arrival doesn’t live up to the effects of the scene. Shad Moss aka Bow Wow’s character Brody Nelson later says “he hopes there’s pretzels and peanuts on the chopper”. So to me the initial scene of the chopper arriving was a lost chance for a cool interaction. Instead of having the slow moish, chopper effect an interaction between Daniel and Brody where Shad Moss’ Brody says “so how were the pretzels and peanuts man?” and Daniel just smiles and says something witty back. This brings me to the fact that Shad Moss is not being used effectively in the show. His character is supposed to be an Ex Blackhat hacker. Yet at least in the episode I watched he was never on a computer doing anything. If you follow him on social networks there are many times when he posts pictures with his Apple gear. He is young and somewhat tech savy representing the generation they’ve got to be targetting with the show. I feel like it would be much better to show him with laptops, smartphones and other devices, typing in code, searching, hacking and doing the things that would be the benifit of having an ex hacker on the team. The next problem with the cast of the show is Charley Koontz casting as Daniel Krumitz. He’s a bigger dude, scruffy beard with clothes that would fit the stereotypical idea of a coder,hacker,computer nerd. It would have been nice not to follow the stereotypical ideas that are out there. It would have been nice if he wore three piece suits and had the swagger of a lawyer type. Then he busts out a keyboard and gets to work surprising viewers.

Another scene in particular that was another miss for me. A scene where the team found the recharge station that was used to “Juicejack” the smartphones. Daniel is stopping the users from using the station and directing them to Brody who would remove the bad code from the devices. When Daniel gets to one guy in particular in a suit the guy says something like “don’t touch that guy”. Daniel goes on to explain to him that his device is being hijacked and the hackers now have all his data. Except he does it in such a manner that it’s not intimidating like an FBI agent would be. I feel like it was done more to explain for viewers watching. Except it loses the momentum of the whole show. At the end when Daniel is done explaining it was perfect for him to say “they now have all your data guy” but it didn’t happen. So it was another missed oppurtunity to add that oomph to the show. I also definitely feel like there is a huge overuse of the tech special effects. It feels to me like you’ve got people putting the show together who aren’t familiar with computers and the whole culture. So they are using effects to wow the viewers at home who aren’t knowledgable about it. I think some of the effects are cool but the constant use and using it in some scenes where it’s not even necessary. It just takes away from everything else going on in the show.  Finally I don’t know why but the show kind of gave away the whole surprise of the identity of the hacker. I feel like they are dumbing down the show because they feel that viewers wont be able to follow or understand. Avery Ryan , played by Patricia Arquette, who is the director of the unit and a kind of cyber profiler. Interviews one of the 9 suspects who were responsible for knocking out the Wifi routers on the planes. She is watching the suspect a 16 year old girl for subtle hints given off by her body language while questioning her. So when they find out who the hacker mastermind is near the end it’s pretty obvious that it’s the only one of the 9 suspects that they questioned. Why didn’t they add other possibilities so the viewer would actually be surprised? Interviews of the other 9 suspects, a video with a hooded figure released by the hacker while the 16 year old was being questioned. They also need some sort of relationship aspect to the show. If you look at a show like NCIS that has been around for many seasons. There are relationships between many of the characters. It is what gets viewers hooked on the characters and involved in the story. Grey’s Anatomy is just one big show about relationships and look where it is right now.

Perhaps I need to watch more episodes. I believe the 2nd season is going to start or has already started and I’ve only watched one episode. It has a spot on my PVR so I will continue to watch and hope it gets better. I like the idea behind the show and think it could be a really good show. I guess I’ll have to wait and see if it keeps the spot on my recording line up.

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