As you might’ve noticed, police dramas involving any type of forensic investigation are extremely popular. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this type of crime show because you only watch “reality-based shows” like Amish Mafia, it’s when old-fashioned detective work — in combination with high-tech science — is conducted by really attractive people who would otherwise be getting into water balloon fights at the Playboy Mansion. This formula has proven so popular that every major network now carries at least one of these shows (Not counting The WB, which cancelled its plans for CSI: Pennsylvania after test audiences complained that watching Quaker detectives chase villains in pony carts was “really boring.”)
In spite of this, talks are continuing about a new spin-off from the CSI franchise that would take place in Ashland, Ore., which, in real life, is home to the world’s only forensic crime lab dedicated exclusively to cases involving wildlife.
For example: When a squirrel’s death is deemed “accidental” after attempting to retrieve a loose walnut from Interstate 5 during the city’s annual Shakespeare Festival, it takes a highly-trained forensic detective to unravel the ugly truth.
“Hmmm. Judging from this buzzard feather I found near the scene of the crime, I think the victim was PUSHED in front of that Volvo!”
I think it’s worth noting that Ashland is also home to a free-flowing fountain that spews naturally-occurring mineral water from an underground spring. Apparently, this is a huge attraction that draws tourists from throughout the world for a chance to drink this mineral-rich water. It is also a huge attraction for Ashland residents, who come to watch tourists gag and then rub dry grass in their mouths after actually tasting the water that comes from the fountain. I’m not saying that everyone thinks it tastes bad; but there’s a reason it’s not in a squeeze bottle next to the Evian.
Which brings us back to the city’s unique crime lab, and its potential as a new police drama. Although I’m not at liberty to divulge my source, I was able to get my hands on a page of script from the pilot episode — which opens with David Hasselhoff standing over a 60-foot-long indentation left in the grass by what detectives believe was a severely undernourished boa constrictor.
Hasselhoff: I want this area completely sealed off. It’s going to take a while to process this.
Coroner: What are you doing?
Hasselhoff: I’m going to sift through all 60 feet of this indention, starting here at this water faucet and all the way across the yard to the vegetable garden. I WILL find out who starved this poor snake and just left it out here to die.
Coroner: You DO understand that this was left by the garden hose after we moved it, right?
As you can see, there’s plenty of potential here for some riveting television drama. Granted, it isn’t Shakespeare. But I don’t think it’ll be hard to swallow.
Unless it’s with a glass of mineral water.