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Sinise, an Emmy-winning character actor (George Wallace), has tough acts to follow in William Petersen and David Caruso, but he draws viewers to his character by giving him a low-key professionalism tinged with sadness.
But there's no doubt Sinise offers a perfect template for personal asides and emotional subtexts, murky detours that may occasionally cloud -- and liven up -- all that steamrolling, high-tech efficiency.
The "CSI" franchise has finally come up with its first loser -- not in the ratings, mind you, or in people's reflex affections but up on the screen, where you have to stand on your head and wear red goggles to pretend that it's a good television show.
Sinise, a real movie star and the co-founder of Chicago's famed Steppenwolf Theatre, is a fine actor, and so are they all, all fine actors. But none has much to do here -- the dialogue makes Dragnet seem positively chatty.