Who best saves the day?

2011-07-01 14:07

The unmissable: CSI

Storyline: Created by the legendary Jerry Bruckheimer, it began with Las Vegas 11 years ago and has since spawned the Miami and New York versions.

The original show has been recognised as the most popular series globally by the Monte Carlo TV Festival three times.

The Miami version is fast-paced, glamorous and slightly tongue-in-cheek with pithy one-liners from Horatio Caine.

New York, on the other hand, is grittier, tougher and the crimes a little more gruesome.

In total the series has garnered 73 million viewers worldwide.

Cast: Golden Globe and Emmy nominated Marg Helgenberger is the boss Catherine Willows in CSI. David Caruso plays Detective Horatio Caine, the head of the Miami crime lab and CSI New York stars Gary Sinise as Detective Mac Taylor.

Rating: 8/10 for its fast pace, high-octane action and great guest appearances.

Also check out: If you are a CSI fan, you might want to look at NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles.


Mind game: The Mentalist

Storyline: Patrick Jane is a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Jane’s job is to profile suspects using his “psychic” abilities.

The twist is that he does not possess any psychic abilities nor does he believe anyone else does.

He landed the job after his ruse of being a psychic garnered him a cult following and he got the better of a serial killer named Red John on national TV, prompting the killer to murder his wife and daughter.

The only reason Jane took the job at the CBI was in the hope of finding Red John.

The show received an award for its scientific and critical thinking content from The Independent Investigations Group.

Cast: Aussie hottie and Emmy nominee Simon Baker stars in the lead while Robin Tunney is his ever-suffering partner.

Rating: 6/10 for quirky dialogue, off-the-wall plots and easy-on-the-eye Simon Baker.

Also check out: Fringe if you’re into the eerie stuff, Lie to Me for the mind games and Criminal Minds for the profiling.


Granddaddy: Law & Order

Storyline: Okay, okay we know the original Law & Order series, which started in 1990, was canned last year (tear). Created by Dick Wolf, the show follows a two-part approach – the investigation and the prosecution.

The inspiration for storylines comes from New York newspaper headlines.

Spin-offs include Law & Order: Special Victims Unit which focuses on sexual crimes and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

There are also UK and Los Angeles versions.

Cast: Currently three of the five franchises are airing – the tenth season of Special Victims Unit, and the UK and LA versions.

Terrence Howard is a sight to behold on Law & Order: LA, and we adore Golden Globe winner Mariska Hargitay in Special Victims Unit and Vincent D’Onofrio in Criminal Intent.

The one constant character for all five shows is definitely the “chung-chung” sound effect, which has been wittily described as Wolf’s cash register sound.

If you are a fan: You can choose between one of the three series currently airing on South African television.

Rating: 8/10 for being original, engaging and always surprising.

The newbies: Blue Bloods

Storyline: Set in the Big Apple, the show is about the Reagan family which consists of three generations of cops, with widowed Vietnam veteran Frank (Tom Selleck) as the head.

Blue Bloods has been praised in the States for its on-location shoot which lends authenticity to the show. Entertainment Weekly in the US named it one of the five best new shows last year.

Cast: A star-studded cast earns this police drama top points.

Selleck and his moustache play Frank Reagan while Mark Wahlberg’s brother Donnie plays the hard-headed detective who doesn’t always go by the book.

Bridget Moynahan plays Erin, the only Reagan who chose law practice over law enforcement.

Rating: 7/10 for a stellar cast, gritty action and family drama.

Also check out: Southland for that cop family flavour and Sons of Anarchy for something more hardcore.

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