James and the Giant Corn Genetics: Studying the Source Code of Nature

October 22, 2009

Agriculture in Popular Culture: CSI Miami

Filed under: biology,Entertainment — Tags: — James @ 7:54 pm

Sorry for missing my daily post yesterday. Still trying to get over whatever I caught last week.

Last week, 13.3 million people watched CSI Miami in prime-time. That’s more people than live in the state Illinois. It doesn’t consider reruns, Tivo recordings, or piracy.** So to the untrained eye (mine), it seems likely the show is making enough money to hire a scientific consultant or two. Clearly the untrained eye is wrong and budgets are so tight that that the expense of finding someone who’d taken intro biology anytime in the past fifteen years was far too much. As demonstrated in this weeks episode “Bad Seed.”

Before I continue, let me say first of all I’m not one of CSI:Miami’s regular viewers. They don’t have to worry about losing me as a fan. I never was one. Second, I don’t get angry when shows like Fringe or the SyFy (<–that’s really how they spell their name now) Channel’s disaster and/or monster movie of the week completely mangle science. They are, and acknowledge themselves to be, science fiction. Shows based on fictional science. On the other hand, shows such as the CSI and Law&Order families set fictional stories in what, we are supposed to believe is, the ┬áreal world. As such, the burden on them to get their facts straight is much stronger.

A burden the writers of CSI Miami clearly can’t be bothered to live up to. (Oh, if it wasn’t obvious already, spoilers ahead). (more…)

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