I am a huge fan of Law and Order, and someone recommended I check out CSI. I got the first season on DVD from Netflix so I could start at the beginning.
I was unimpressed by the pilot episode. The plot moved slowly, and there were several extraneous scenes that were largely irrelevant. For example, one of the investigators went to interview a little girl who had been molested. We only see a few seconds with the little girl, and then we never hear anything else about her. Instead, we follow the investigator as she goes to check in on her own daughter.
I understand that this is the pilot episode, so it's reasonable to assume the writers were attempting to introduce us to the characters, but still, it could definitely have been done more smoothly. One thing that was good about it was the character of Holly Gribbs, the new girl in the CSI office. Similar shows always seem to portray the new gal as very strong and unfazed by anything, no matter how gruesome. Holly GRibbs, however, is shown getting ill in an autopsy room, then freaking after having a gun drawn on her, and later making the fatal mistake of turning her back on a stranger. All of these things made her character less predictable and therefore more realistic and believable. The pilot was decent, even interesting at times, but rather unremarkable.