"The show stakes its claim on audience attention early, with a violent attack on a returning character and, throughout, attempts to balance a classic dynamic with a new energy," says Daniel D'Addario of the CBS CSI revival series. "That balance largely works. The Gil-Sara relationship, reintroduced in the pilot, remains crisp; the actors are pros, and the fundamentals — Gil’s reflexive trust in science versus Sara’s more intuitive approach — provide an elegant backstop for the new stars. If in the first few episodes not every cast member pops, it might be due to the volume of incident that’s thrown out to hook fans. There’s an ante-upping quality to the gruesomeness, as if to reassert CSI’s paramount willingness to Go There. When, early on, it’s revealed that a head was removed from a woman’s body only after she was preserved in quicklime — that’s when viewers are likely to feel that CSI is truly back. That’s for better and worse. The show, whose electrifying qualities led it to become, for a period, broadcast TV’s most popular program, can have a certain deadening quality over time: Its extremity, and the flashiness of the camerawork, can feel overstated, though they do, at least, suit a city setting that CSI: Vegas leverages nicely. And attempts to tie storylines to current issues (like male rage toward women in tech) can be well-intended but ineffectively executed. But these are quibbles with a series that works, in a landscape of procedurals that are significantly less compelling. CSI: Vegas is solidly built, and watching it brings to mind an era of TV, not so very long ago, when shows like this were thick on the ground."
CSI: Vegas is a lackluster attempt by CBS to grab its former glory: "The best thing to be said about Vegas is that it's fine, familiar and easy to watch: There are images of dead bodies and plenty of techs wearing lab coats running cotton swabs through fancy machinery," says Kelly Lawler, adding: "Vegas mostly retains the structure from the original: The techs investigate one big crime and one smaller one each episode. But there is also a larger mystery to the series: Sara and Gil attempt to learn whether one of their former colleagues used his forensic know-how to plant evidence and frame suspects, or if he is the one being framed by an elaborate conspiracy of criminals trying to get their buddies out of jail. The setup for this season-long plot is so nonsensical and confusing that even the characters are doing logical gymnastics to justify their actions. It is both the hook that the revival relies on to justify its existence and the weakest part of the show."
Jorja Fox says she couldn't reprise her Sara Sidle role without William Petersen's Gil Grissom: "It was really key for me story-wise, in the sense that we had, for me, this amazing sort of happy ending. We just sailed off into the sunset together," she says. "The characters were together. And for me, one of the big, big story arcs for my character was this love affair that played out over 15 years. So it would have been almost impossible for me to imagine returning without Gil Grissom. For Sara to come back without Gil Grissom, in a sense, would have meant that, once again something had happened to that relationship. That it had ended or fallen apart. And that would have been really tough. I think I'm really attached, Jorja's really attached to the idea of Sara and Grissom, if they were going to return, to return together."
CSI creator Anthony Zuiker hopes CSI: Vegas restores the importance of science in our everyday lives: “The original franchise had you reshape your interpretation of truth through the sanctity of science, and (in CSI: Vegas) we are going to remind the audience about the sanctity of truth through science," he says. "Science has been taking a bit of a beating as of late, and we hope that before that happened, CSI would remind everybody how important science, how important truth, and how important that narrative is.”