When it first started on UK television (on Channel 5, in 2000), I loved the American television programme CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Las Vegas, not the other spin offs).
There were some issues with it – the computing was wrong and unreasonable, it was plainly dramatised a lot as CSI would not really be that involved in cases, there was an awful lot of exposition (ie telling the audience basic things that actual CSI would already know) and I always hated when they performed some test and looked all smug and smiley because it worked and made progress on the case (surely it was just their day-to-day work) – but many of the stories were interesting, there were big plot twists, plenty of style and it worked.
Best of all were the unresolved cases where you were just left hanging.
I think they reached a peak around series 5 or 6. Because I liked it so much, I bought the DVD collections. When the programme went downhill, me being me, I kept buying. Having watched the first few series then left the rest for years, coming back to them recently after a long time was like coming to something new. Certainly, series 5 and 6 gave me much joy, and I think the very early series were generally the best. Of course, every series has excellent shows and duff shows, but these were the best.
Then things started to happen. People left, including William Petersen and Jorja Fox, who then came back (did she and Petersen really hate each other?). New people were drafted in but left rather quickly. Laurence Fishburne was drafted in as the big lead, and eventually found a place in the cast, but left and was replaced by Ted Danson.
Series 10 should have been the last. By 11 they were bringing in famous but faded names as guest stars (Ann-Margaret, Elliott Gould…). The stories had become more soap opera – did we really want the affair between Willows and Vartann?
Despite some good stories, it got more gory and seemed to run out of new ideas, understandable of course. New cast were tried, to freshen up the place – they came and they went.
By the end, there was hardly anyone left from the start. It felt like a different show. The show had something like 30 producers, executive producers, co-produers… Some of the spin offs did OK but CSI: Cyber was nonsense and did badly, and that was definitely the end.
Still, the early episodes are great. Do catch them, if you can.