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The Real Reason CSI Fans Are So Torn Over Sara Sidle

Over the years, fans of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" have made it abundantly clear how they feel about Jorja Fox's Sara Sidle character — to the point where the longtime star had to publicly address all the hate during interviews.

"I think Sara is the least-liked character on the show," Fox told Entertainment Weekly in 2015. "Maybe for my own survival, I tried to see it as a compliment. Whether fans loved your or hated you, at least they were emotionally invested or feeling passionate about Sara."

People have long speculated about where the Sara hatred comes from, with some believing it's due to the character's lack of humor and others simply saying she's too smug. In a July 2022 Reddit post, one viewer summed up the Sidle backlash perfectly by saying: "I have no idea if it's the first seasons or what it is, but I absolutely hate Sara." Most people, when it comes down to it, just don't have good explanations for why they despise the forensics expert. They usually just do, however, calling her things like "obnoxious" and overbearing. But if you dig deep at the issue, it's easy to find some real reasons for why fans are so torn.

Sara Sidle was viewed as an overly righteous outsider

When talking to viewers — and even Jorja Fox — it's apparent that most fans had one thing in mind when it came to Sara Sidle: She doesn't belong. Whether it be in a relationship with Gil Grissom (William Petersen) or just flexing her forensic knowledge as part of the CSI team. Sara was a character that many people found to be "grating," as Fox puts it.

"Obviously Sara had her sights on Grissom," Fox told EW. "He's our protagonist and all eyes see the lab through Grissom, especially through the first nine seasons. So all of sudden there is Sara in that vision. But there were fans who wanted Gil to hook up with Catherine or Lady Heather [Melinda Clarke]. I also think Sara is socially awkward and stands by her guns no matter what." For viewers, showing confidence and trying to prove herself as both a partner to Grissom and a talented CSI team member was ultimately what perturbed so many.

"In the context of the show and the initial portrayal of the character, she's been brought into the group and is the outsider," explained Redditor u/DragonMage74 in a July 2022 discussion thread. "She feels she has something to prove. Also, she definitely is idealist and high-minded and righteous to the point of being obnoxious about it. Sara is definitely trying very hard to prove herself and make sure everyone knows she deserves to be there and not just because Grissom brought her onboard. She eventually eases up a bit." Redditor u/check_cashed added: "She gets a bit softer as she becomes more connected with the team."