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Mandeep Dhillon Details The Intricate Training That Prepared Her For Investigations On CSI: Vegas

"CSI" can be a lot of fun to watch as the investigators use the miracle of science to solve crimes, but how accurate is it? Apparently, it's not very accurate at all. According to a 2013 article in The Wall Street Journal, one forensic scientist estimated that 40% of the techniques shown on the series do not exist.

As harmless as that may seem, it has created something called "The CSI Effect," a phenomenon described in a paper from Arizona State University as follows, "a number of hypotheses loosely referred to as the CSI Effect suggest that the television program and its spin-offs, which wildly exaggerate and glorify forensic science, affect the public, and in turn affect trials either by (a) burdening the prosecution by creating greater expectations about forensic science than can be delivered or (b) burdening the defense by creating exaggerated faith in the capabilities and reliability of the forensic sciences." That being said, an article from the National Institute of Justice suggests The CSI Effect to be a myth. The authors performed a study and found that there were a low number of cases in which viewing affected how juries would react, and even in those cases the results were inconsistent.

In a recent interview, "CSI: Vegas" star Mandeep Dhillon explained how real-life experts consult on the show and help them to make the show more realistic. However, even Dhillon admits that some things have to be changed for the theatricality of a television show.

Mandeep Dhillon has to make 20 minute procedures seem like they take 20 seconds

In an interview with In Creative Company, Mandeep Dhillon was asked about what sort of training she went through for the role, and Dhillon talked about how the show's technical advisors help her with the role. "We used to have CSI training. So in-between, if we had like a scene off we'd go in and we'd sit with Daniel–his name is Daniel Holstein, he's amazing–and he would tell us everything, and show me. Like, if I had to do a rape test, for example, he would show me exactly how to do it." However, the actor admitted that, sometimes, procedures have to be simplified for television, or otherwise changed to make them more theatrical. "But obviously, TV's TV, and sometimes if something takes 20 minutes in real life, you've got to pretend it takes 20 seconds to process. ... So stuff like that, he was really good at being thorough, but also really good at being flexible with it for TV."

According to IMDB, Holstein was first a technical advisor for the video game "CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder" in 2006 and wasn't brought back into the franchise until "CSI: Vegas" premiered. In an episode of The Crime Story Podcast with Kary Antholis, "CSI" founding showrunner Carol Mendelsohn admitted that Holstein was the character of Gil Grissom (William Peterson) was actually based on Holstein, so it would seem appropriate for him to be the technical advisor on the show he helped inspire.