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CSI: NY: Season 2, Part 1 DVD Review

CSI: NY: Season 2, Part 1

August 14, 2006

Director: David Von Ancken, Rob Bailey, Norberto Barba, Steven DePaul,
Starring: Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes, Carmine Giovinazzo, Anna Belknap, Hill Harper, Eddie Cahill,

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DVD Review

CSI, Crime Scene Investigation is a popular American T.V. series, attracting 17 million viewers an episode, that has swept across the world spawning many spin offs, video games, comics, novels and heaps of other merchandise, just like many other American shows such as Buffy, X-Files, 24, etc… So what gives CSI any weight? Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Bad Boys, Con Air, Pirates of the Caribbean), his movie magic comes to the T.V. screen with CSI having an edgy, fast-paced, ultra-stylized aesthetic.

In this third conception of CSI, the stories have moved away from the razzle-dazzle, high roller, sun-kissed lifestyles of Las Vegas and Miami and placed in the much more dim and gritty location of New York. With a brand new cast and characters and a brand new darker (almost film-noir, in places) style, CSI: NY brings a more grown-up feeling to the franchise.

Gary Sinise returns as Detective Mac Taylor, as well the other regular characters, Danny Messer, Stella, Dr. Hawkes and Detective Flack. Using amazing attention to detail, scientific skill and the latest technology, CSI analyze the scene, examine the evidence, follow the clues and piece together what happened to solve the mysteries. There is no such thing as the perfect crime; there is always a trace of the truth left behind.

As with the other CSI incarnations, NY follows the familiar structure of a crime being committed or a body found and two members of the team are called in, as the other two investigate another crime somewhere else and the audience follows both stories to their conclusions. All familiar CSI traits are here, quick cuts, the flashbacks to what might have happened, the occasional very graphic morgue and autopsy scenes.

Where CSI excels is its use of its location. New York is portrayed as a busy, high rise, claustrophobic atmosphere and plays as the perfect backdrop to enigmatic cases when a fashion designer is found dead wearing a million dollar diamond bra, a tiger mauls a visitor at the zoo, a free climber falls from half way up the Empire State Building and a rape case that spreads over two episodes and ultimately leads to the professional misconduct and sacking of a CSI squad member, making room for newcomer Lindsay Monroe, who fits in with seamless ease.

Another draw to this box set is the second part of a two part crossover story with CSI: Miami (the first part being on a Miami box set), which features guest star David Caruso as Horatio Caine. Unfortunately in comparison to the other 11 episodes in this set, it’s quite possibly the weakest story, whereas the rest of season 2 part 1 represent not only some of the best ever CSI but also some of the best television ever. With a new office, new labs, new characters, near perfect scripts and the tiniest hint of sexual tension, and a slight toning down on the grim, gritty and dark atmosphere go along way in re-energizing and throwing fresh life into a pretty standard format. CSI: NY is doing something that not many shows can do and seems to get even better the more shows it produces.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance

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Rating: 74%

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