“CSI: NY” might not be the best television series on the air or even second best compared with some of the series with top notch writing and acting on today, but even so, the ensemble cast is really good and the stories at least are compelling even when the science might stretch things. This seventh season DVD release has some OK features while the video and audio transfer are both solid.
Genre(s): Crime, Drama
Paramount | NR – 960 min. – $62.99 | September 27, 2011
Directed by: Various
Writer(s): Ann Donahue & Carol Mendelsohn & Anthony E. Zuiker (created by
Cast: Gary Sinise, Sela Ward, Carmine Giovinazzo, Anna Belknap, Robert Joy, AJ Buckley, Hill Harper, Eddie Cahill
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel
Number of Discs: 6
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital Stereo)
Video: Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
“CSI: NY”, the second spin-off of the venerable crime investigation series, has probably become my favorite of the three (not a surprise given how much I loathe “Miami”) thanks in no small part to star Gary Sinise and the rest of the crew which share a fun yet still dramatic chemistry with one another that has developed over the past 7 seasons (3 out of the 8 have been there from the beginning and 4 others began the year after). And despite airing on what most consider a dead end night on Fridays (after beginning on Wednesdays); it still has managed solid ratings, even within reach of its aging mothership series.
In this seventh season of “CSI: NY”, we get a new character in Jo Danville (SELA WARD), a former FBI agent joining the unit after the departure of Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) who, in a quick note, left to head the crime lab in New Orleans. Some were turned off by the move – and from what I’ve read, the departure wasn’t of Kanakaredes’ choosing but due to a pay cut dispute, so she and Paramount/CBS parted ways –, I thought it might’ve been the right time anyway to at least provide a spark of freshness to the series in which, as I pointed out, hadn’t had a lot of turnover. The character, a divorcee, brings along two kids – one in middle school, the other attending college – and a different more calming energy that in this season seems to work well with Mac’s more overly driven personality.
This year we don’t get a season-long story arc but more focus on the characters from Mac to Detective Danny Messer (CARMINE GIOVINAZZO) and his wife, Detective Lindsay Monroe (ANNA BELKNAP) with the season premiere in which their daughter had been kidnapped by Shane Casey (EDWARD FURLONG) at the end of the sixth season. Protecting her family, Lindsay kills him and receives an accommodation for her action, but feels remorse for taking another human being’s life. There are other little moments for the supporting cast members which is a good thing as while Gary Sinise is the star and glue that holds everything together, there’s not one person that takes the brunt of the juicy stories.
One of the highlights in this seventh season is a 2-part episode, ‘Nothing for Something’ and ‘Life Sentence’, when the actions of his retired former partner (PETER FONDA) comes back to haunt them both as dangerous psychopath Raymond Harris (CLIFTON COLLINS JR.) is on the loose and out for retaliation. Of course, Fonda is a legend and although the role isn’t anything special, he does give these episodes an intense boost.
I suspect producers thought season seven would be the last because the finale, ‘Exit Strategy’, has Mac, after almost dying at the hands of Harris, rethinking his career but before moving on has to solve one remaining case: the abduction of a little girl years earlier. The way the episode plays out, and with the conclusion with the camera panning over each character, it makes me wonder if this was to serve as a series finale. While it’s underwhelming, it would’ve been a poignant one not unlike the finale for “Numbers”.
On the whole, “CSI: NY” has actually become one of my favorite shows, even better than – pre Ted Danson anyway – its flagship series. No, none of the episodes are particularly gripping and in fact the science does get a bit wonky but the ensemble cast makes it a fun series to check out.
This six-disc DVD set comes housed in a standard keep case inside a glossy and reflective side-sliding slip cover.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
Each disc comes with Under the Microscope Blog (TRT 49:43) for select episodes that aired as the episode was being filmed and features interviews with cast and crew.
Seventh Deadly Season (22:23) – This featurette is a basic overview of the season providing behind-the-scenes footage along with comments by the cast and crew talking about the stories, guest stars and new cast member Sela Ward. It’s nothing special but an above average featurette.
New in Town: Jo Danville (11:51) covers the new girl in town played by Sela Ward. It’s your basic back padding featurette where producers and others talk about what Ward brings to the story and the cast.
Deleted Scene (1:10) – This is a funny scene between Jo (Sela Ward) and Simon (Andrew Keegan) as he tries to hit on her and she rebukes his advances.
Under the Microscope Blog (6:02) – ‘The 34th Floor’, ‘Unfriendly Chat’ and ‘Damned If You Do’
Under the Microscope Blog (7:29) – ‘Sangre Por Sangre’, ‘Out of the Sky’ and ‘Do Not Pass Go’
An Extended Visit: John Larroquette Comes to “CSI: NY” (8:11) – This short featurette basically has interviews with the cast and crew as they chat about the venerable actor as he makes a multi-episode appearance.
Under the Microscope: Gary’s Band (2:00) checks out Sinise’s band, “Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band” as they perform at the series mid-series annual.
Under the Microscope: Celebrating the Show’s 150th Episode (2:30) has a few crew members talk about the longevity of the series and its characters.
Deleted Scene (2:27) is an extended episode on ‘Justified’ as the detectives try to apprehend a muscled suspect.
Under the Microscope Blog (2:11) – ‘Justified’
Under the Microscope Blog (6:09) – ‘To What End?’, ‘Party Down’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’
Under the Microscope Blog (13:27) – ‘Vigilante’, ‘The Untouchable’, ‘Do or Die’ and ‘Identity Crisis’
Deleted Scene (1:53) is a short scene that adds little to the episode (‘The Untouchable’).
Wild Ride: On the Set with Peter Fonda (7:33) – This featurette focuses on the veteran actor’s two-episode stint on the show.
Gag Reel (2:38) features flubbed lines and one-set antics.
Under the Microscope Blog (14:25) – ‘Food for Thought’, ‘Nothing for Something’, ‘Life Sentence’ and ‘Exit Strategy’
VIDEO – 4.0/5
“CSI: NY” is presented in its original 1.78 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio. The video looks good with minimal artifacting and decent levels of details. The color array isn’t the best but that’s how the series was shot, trying to distinguish it from the original and “Miami” counterparts.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
Similarly, the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track sounds nice with a good balance of dialogue and action audio effects. There’s also a fair amount of depth for a track like this with the bass getting into gear every once in a while.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, “CSI: NY” might not be the best television series on the air or even second best compared with some of the series with top notch writing and acting on today, but even so, the ensemble cast is really good and the stories at least are compelling even when the science might stretch things. This seventh season DVD release has some OK features while the video and audio transfer are both solid.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman