Showrunner For A Day - CSI: Dating Crimes Unit
By Sola Onitiri
I’ve been thinking a lot about TV lately. Blame it on the Emmys just finishing up, or my crusade to watch The X-Files start to finish...again. But no matter what I’m doing, whether writing, taking pictures, or editing, my favorite shows are always buzzing in the background of my life. Solo travel can get a little lonely, so watching TV (well more like streaming because let’s be honest, I’m not staying in places with a whole surround sound setup), gives me a lot of comfort.
Which got me to thinking even further. If I were to create my own television show, what would that look like? Who would I cast? Where would my film shoot location be? Would I need a film studio rental? Could we get those mini quiches at the craft service table? Am I getting ahead of myself? I’m totally getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk story-line.
This is a procedural, “buddy cop drama-edy.” Two lifelong friends return back home to Miami, to investigate the biggest crime-wave hitting millennials everywhere - ghosting, being catfished, f*ck bois, and other Tinder related crimes of passion. And for their first case, it gets personal. Our main characters, Mel and Lori, played by Sasheer Zamata and Awkwafina are investigating the alleged cat-fishing and subsequent ghosting of their good best friend Mary, played by Gina Rodriguez.
The first scene takes place in a gritty, inexplicably smokey police office set. Mel taps furiously at a desktop computer with conservatively two inches of dust on top of it’s bulky monitor. “I’ve hacked into the mainframe,” Mel says with a straight face after hitting enter a few times. The set quickly changes to Lori’s well lit raw studio space, littered with cute coffee cups and well designed inspirational posters they’re actually working out of when Lori chuckles mirthless. By “mainframe”, Mel means the Facebook profile of the dude that Mary’s been seeing for the last year and a half. Lori rolls her chair over to look at the monitor, “We’ve got the bastard,” she whispers; Turns faces right to camera, “Time to go cat-fishing.”
Queue the scream and poorly ripped off music from CSI Miami. It’s briefly interrupted by Mel asking who Lori’s talking to. Title card reads CSI - Dating Crimes.
Are you in yet? That’s a rhetorical question - how can you not be? I know pilot episodes are always a little rough but this one has loads of potential. The investigation goes on from there. Obviously Mel and Lori are not cops (Mel codes websites for women over 60 who are trying to get back out there and Lori is a pet photographer) and there isn’t a dating crimes unit (there should be though some of us need justice lol). But it doesn’t stop them from tracking down and interrogating several leads. One of which leads them to a music video location that just happens to be Pitbull’s.
Is Pitbull Mary’s catfish and ghost? How do we have the budget for Mr. World Wide himself? Don’t worry about it. Without giving away too much, let’s just say Mel and Lori’s intuition and tenacity lead them to bring justice to Mary. Who done it? Well, Netflix will just have to pick up the first season so you can find out.
All joking aside, this is the kind of show that keeps me warm at night. A show about friends. A show about women supporting and helping each other. And, if you’re a day one, you already know I love diving into the intricacies of dating as a millennial. So although this is probably not coming to a streaming service near you, there is comfort in thinking about those lessons, especially when you need a little pick me up.