Las Vegas feels like home again in this latest entry in TV's ongoing revival/reboot trend.
CSI: Vegas Season 1 Episode 1 reveals this new iteration to be a hybrid, a mix of new and old.
Probably the best comparison would be TNT's three-season revival of Dallas, in which having a handful of the original series' stars gave it soap cred.
CSI: Vegas takes a similar approach, with four characters from CSI returning for the new series.
(The show's PTB said that other characters could make appearances in the future, so cross your fingers for your favorite.)
Surprisingly, kicking things off was Jim Brass, who resigned after CSI Season 14 to be there for his troubled (to be kind) stepdaughter Ellie.
Sure, Brass returned for the 2015 finale movie, at which time he was a casino security officer. Still, since that character was written out after 14 seasons, using him to introduce the new ongoing story arc seemed the least that producers could have done.
The years haven't been kind to Jim, who is losing his eyesight to a degenerative condition. He lives alone, a chatty bird his only companion. (Ellie's status doesn't come up, but based on her past, it can't be very positive.)
An intruder broke in and came after Jim. Fortunately, he has guns hidden about the place, where he can find them by feel. Even with a sight-impaired gunman, the intruder should have known better than bring a knife to a gunfight.
That was the perfect jumping-off spot from which to bring in half of CSI's first couple, Sara Sidle. Jim had failed to keep in touch since Sara appeared shocked by his current situation. Does that really shock you?
That scene also confirmed that Gil and Sara had stayed together over the interim six years, which many fans had been skeptical about.
Jim had his theory about who was behind his attack based on the hundred-dollar bills found on the intruder. But he still needed Sara to be his eyes inside the new CSI team. And since his legend lived on, he still had the pull to make that happen.
Fortunately, Sara's reputation proceeded her, and new lab chief Maxine was more than happy to have her assistance in whatever form it might take.
Maxine's tour of the lab for Sara was a great opportunity for the viewers to ooh and ahh over the fancy cutting-edge equipment. We didn't get what it did then, we still don't, but doesn't it look shiny and impressive?
It was also a convenient method for meeting the new team along with Sara. They had been introduced at the two earlier crime scenes, but we learned more about them as Sara put them at ease and their background spilled out.
Early favorite: eccentric coroner Hugo. Those communing with the dead should be slightly different, such as Max on Hawaii Five-0 or Ducky on NCIS. Hugo, with his artwork and the way he embraces his role, certainly qualifies.
Sara was able to bond with Hugo as she evoked the ghost of his predecessor, Dr. Robbins, who had trained Hugo.
An interesting character was young tech Chris Park, who appears to be the office gossip who will provide the exposition about the characters that viewers crave.
Thanks to Chris, we could infer that Allie and Folsom were star-crossed like Gil and Sara. Based on the awkward way Allie acted when inviting Folsom to a get-together celebrating her moving in with her boyfriend, that's likely the case.
There's still plenty of room for the development of the new characters.
Maxine is the office mother hen who still can't connect with her young adult son. But she was a realist who didn't get territorial when the woman who turned down her current job came strolling into her office.
Allie is the work-obsessed immigrant introvert who is oblivious to the world around her, whether that's office history or pop culture (does Drew Carey qualify as pop culture anymore?).
Folsom (played by Matt Lauria, the most recognizable face among the newcomers) is the lone-wolf office star, talented enough in his role to be turned loose on solo investigations.
Most importantly, CSI: Vegas feels like the latest CSI franchise (for those who still remember that CSI was a franchise). That starts with the requisite musical forensic montages (take away the music and see how riveting chemistry is) and the slow-motion closeups.
There are also crime scenes that don't make much sense, such as guns melting before the pawnshop got torched.
The primary purpose was to set up the ongoing investigation to be undertaken by Gil, Sara, Brass, and likely Hodges, who will find himself as the too-obvious target of this frame. Who knows who else might show up?
It will be a two-pronged approach, with the old team investigating the conspiracy and the new squad dealing with fresh cases.
Of course, politics will enter the fray as more seek to get their convictions overturned.
And with 14 seasons of criminals with grudges against the CSI team, the roster of suspects is long.
For clues about the conspiracy, watch CSI: Vegas online.
What do you think about this revival?
Which character would you like to see again?
Which of the new characters did you like best?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.