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CSI: NY: The Complete First Season (2004) – DVD Review

By HTQ4 - posted 06.22.06 @ 9:50 pm
CSI NY: New York: Season 1 DVD

Film:
DVD:

Series Created by Anthony E. Zuiker, Ann Donahue, and Carol Mendelsohn
Starring Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes, Carmine Giovinazzo, Anna Belknap, Vanessa Ferlito, Hill Harper, and Eddie Cahill

Features:

  • All twenty-four first season episodes
  • "The Cast Examines the Characters" featurette
  • "The Science Behind the Scenes" featurette
  • Set tour
  • "The World's Largest Crime Scene" featurette
  • "The Zoo Year" animal featurette
  • Running audio commentaries on seven episodes, featuring creators Donahue & Zuiker, writer Timothy J. Lea, Zachary Reiter & Pam Veasey

Released by: Paramount Home Video
Rating: NR (not suitable for young audiences; violence and scenes of violent death)
Region: 1
Anamorphic: Yes!

My Advice: Own it.

Lieutenant Horatio Crane (David Caruso) is working a crime scene down in Miami that has a strong connection to the Big Apple, so he hops on a plane and meets up with Detective Mac Taylor (Sinise). The two agree to work on the case together and use the resources of the NYC CSI crime labs to solve it.

Thus is the transition from Miami to New York...even after we transitioned from Vegas to Miami. New York is just the perfect city in which to set this show. I think it's the best so far. That could be attributed to the incredible cast, but it also could be contributed to the fact that the characters in the show seem to be the more realistic. When I was reviewing the first Miami season, I couldn't connect with any of the characters because their lifestyle didn't speak to me. I know I'm not in the minority on this one, but I just couldn't connect with these characters who lived in multi-million dollar mansions on the beach and were constantly surrounded by supermodels who were trashed out on heroin. However, almost immediately in the first season of the New York show, it became clear that they were going to be dealing with the absolute core of NYC for the most part; you know, the hard-working schmoes that are just trying to make it in one of the biggest cities in the world. Don't get me wrong, they do move around from time to time and hit some of the elites of NYC, but for the most part, the stories stay rooted in the streets of New York. It just makes for a much better show.

Sinise, just in case you needed this validation, is perfect. He is a troubled character who is hell-bent on doing his job perfectly. His relationships with the various people in his office are equally strong. This is partly because of the backstory they've created and partly because of the caliber of actors they cast in these roles. Honestly, there is not a weak link in the chain. This show is fascinating not only because of the science (and really cool CGI graphics) of how the crime really happened, but because of the people behind those crimes and the other people--our protagonists--who are busting their balls trying to get these crimes solved.

The DVD set is one of the best I've seen come out of the Rock in a long time. Paramount is not normally known for the special features list on its DVDs, but in this case, they outdid themselves. I would go so far as to say that this is one of the best DVD sets for a season of a television show I've seen in a long time. It ranks up there with Fox's 24 DVD releases.

For starters, there are seven episode-length commentary tracks scattered all across the set. The commentators range from some of the creators to some of the writers and each commentary is great not only for its content, but it's also entertainment value. So many times, these commentary tracks present some decent information, but bore the hell out of you in the process. In other time, the tracks are somewhat entertaining, but there's nothing in the content of the track at all. These are a nice balance.

On the surface, the featurettes don't look like much, but when you watch them, you can see that's not the case. The first one is a series of interviews with the cast focusing on their characters and the relationships between them. What's nice is that it's not just about their characters, but how they got involved in the project in the first place. It's paced well and informative. The next featurette focuses on the science involved in the show. This is mostly an interview with the science advisors on the show talking about the criminal pathology that goes along with some of the more complex stories in this season. Again, this is where most featurettes go wrong. This is where it gets very dry and not much information gets presented, but not with this one. The content is fasctinating and, again, it's well paced and entertaining.

The set tour is pretty basic, but the designer actually goes into the details behind the creation of the set. Not only the hows, but also the whys of design. This is not something you get on a lot of these set tour featurettes. The one titled "The World's Largest Crime Scene" deals with the creation of this, yet another spinoff show. Again, this is paced and edited like the other ones on the set, so it's entertaining and informative as well. The final featurette is the "fluff piece" of the set. It deals with the fact that they used more animals in the creation of this season than than of any other season of the CSI franchise so far. It really does feel like they used the same editor for all of these featurettes, because even though this featurette is nearly pure fluff, it's quite watchable at the same time.

If you've never watched any of the CSI shows, I recommend you start with this one. In fact, just go ahead and buy it. It's that good.

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