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Why CSI Fans Think New York Tells More Grounded Stories Than Miami

To close out the first year of the new millennium, Anthony E. Zuiker and CBS gave television viewers a brand new crime procedural to sink their teeth into: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." The show chronicles the cases taken up by the Las Vegas Police Department's crime scene analysts as they work to track down dangerous criminals. This premise swiftly gained traction with audiences, propelling the series to 15 seasons by the time it concluded its small screen run. Not to mention, it launched an extensive shared TV universe that has yet to disappear all these years later.

The first "CSI" off-shoot premiered in 2002 in the form of "CSI: Miami." As the title implies, this program takes viewers to sunny Miami, Florida, where Lieutenant Horatio Caine (David Caruso) and his team solve all kinds of cases on boardwalks, beaches, and boats. Two years later, the burgeoning "CSI" franchise took fans back up north for "CSI: NY," where New York City's brave investigators — led by Head Supervisor McCanna "Mac" Taylor (Gary Sinise, who filmed a staggering number of episodes) — do their best to clean up the crime-ridden streets. While similar, it's plain to see that "NY" and "Miami" aren't without their differences.

In fact, some "CSI" die-hards would go as far as claiming that "CSI: NY" tells more grounded stories than "CSI: Miami." Let's dive into the rationale behind this belief.

CSI: NY takes a more realistic approach compared to CSI: Miami, according to some fans

Redditor u/DarkMatterLuigi opened the floor for discussion when they asked their fellow fans which "CSI" spin-off they prefer between "NY" and "Miami." As they explain, they're firmly on the side of the former, largely thanks to its grounded approach. "I think so far the stories in New York and the wrap up for most of the cases seems to be less far fetched then with Miami," they write, citing specific examples from episodes that make "Miami" seem a bit more out-there compared to "NY," which tends to keep its stories more grounded in reality — as grim as they may turn out to be. In the comment section, numerous folks appear to agree with u/DarkMatterLuigi's sentiment.

Of course, when comparing the tonal difference between "Miami" and "NY," one would be remiss not to look to each of their main characters. For "Miami," audiences spend time with Horatio Caine, whose penchant for dramatically putting on his sunglasses while delivering cheesy one-liners has become one of the program's hallmarks. Meanwhile, Mac Taylor is a far more stern, contemplative presence who's clearly worn down by his duties, and understandably so. Investigating crime scenes is no joke. By comparison, he and his show seem significantly more true-to-life than Horatio and "Miami," which both embrace a somewhat campier, less serious edge.

Even though some will argue that "CSI: NY" is more so reality-based than "CSI: Miami" (even though "Miami" is at least partially based on true stories), that's not to say it's an objectively better show. Both titles have their strengths, weaknesses, and fans that will support them no matter what.