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CSI: Miami Can't Catch A Break Among Fans Of The Franchise

"CSI" is one of TV's longest-lasting franchises. The CBS original series began its run in 2000 and was spun off fairly quickly, much to the original cast's chagrin, into 2002's "CSI: Miami." Then, again two years later, "CSI: NY" was added to the roster of procedurals. The original show that started it all received a follow-up series entitled "CSI: Vegas" in 2021. The revival saw the return of cast favorites such as William Petersen as Gil Grissom in Season 1 of the new show and Marg Helgenberger as Catherine Willows in Season 2. While it is unknown at this time who will be returning, "CSI: Vegas" was renewed for a 3rd season on CBS.

"CSI: Miami" is the series in the franchise that many fans rank at the bottom. While critical reactions were initially positive about the series, critics also eventually turned their backs on the spin-off long before "Miami" was canceled in 2012. A 2008 review from Entertainment Weekly about the Season 7 premiere summed up critical frustration with the show. "Seriously, I know 'CSI: Miami' is supposed to be pure escapism, but I remember a time (back in the early seasons) when its plots made sense, and didn't leave me howling with laughter," the outlet wrote. 

Despite the fact "CSI: Miami" is actually based on true stories from a real-life detective, fans have often criticized the lack of realism in the show. Those fans made their opinions known in a Reddit thread in which they ranked the different incarnations of "CSI."

Horatio bothers most fans

Fans of the "CSI" franchise on Reddit pretty much all seem to agree which installment is the worst between "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "CSI: Vegas," "CSI: NY," and "CSI: Miami." Many marked the David Caruso-led "CSI: Miami" as the bottom-ranking series, and his character, Horatio "H" Caine, is the reason behind some of the hate. Users also thought the show tested their suspension of disbelief. Reddit user u/DarkMatterLuigi started a thread in which they asked which "CSI" spin-off other users preferred.

They said, "The stories in 'New York' and the wrap up for most of the cases seems to be less far fetched then with 'Miami.'" They continued criticizing the endings of "CSI: Miami" cases, "It just seems like there are some episodes where the wrap ups are a bit idiotic for my taste." u/doritomilkshake responded with their preferred order, "I would rank them OG 'CSI' > 'NY' > 'Miami.'"

Poster u/AudreyGolightly79 spoke against David Caruso's character, "YES! I can't STAND 'Miami.' Just the sound of Horatio is enough to rank 'Miami' last." u/MajesticVegetable202 said that they preferred "NY" over "Miami" in terms of spin-offs, especially after Caine became boring as a character. The original poster, u/DarkMatterLuigi, responded to this comment and said, "I also just don't get why at every possible chance he gets ... he has to put shades on and look cool in front of the camera. His one liners before the intro are nowhere near as funny as when Grissom [from "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"] does his one liners."

Indeed, Caruso's acting style has been spoofed all over pop culture, including getting roasted by Jim Carrey and on "Supernatural." But interestingly, not one poster mentioned 2015's "CSI: Cyber" in any of their comparisons, so that spin-off appears to be largely forgotten.