The original "C.S.I." has become not only a huge hit for CBS, but one of the biggest programs on television. The show has since spawned two spin-offs: "Miami", which stars David Caruso in an underrated return performance and now, "New York", which brings actor Gary Sinese to the small screen in the lead role. Although some have complained that the third time's a bit too much with the series, "NY" generally manages to stand out on its own, with a very different tone and feel.
"CSI: NY" (although, to be picky, some scenes are shot in Los Angeles) does bring somewhat the same formula to the table, but it also is neither as warm as Miami or glitzy as Vegas. Colors are often subdued (although things were made to feel less oppressive after the first half of the first season), and the subject matter is often at least a bit darker and more gritty than the other two efforts. The show stars Sinese as detective Mac Taylor, who lost his wife on 9/11. He's joined by a team that includes Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes, “Providence”), CSI Detective 3rd Grade Lindsay Monroe (Anna Belknap), detective Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo), detective Donald Flack (Eddie Cahill) and Dr. Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper). The third season also introduces a couple of new characters, such as New York Medical Examiner Dr. Peyton Driscoll (Claire Forlani), who is a romantic interest for Mac.
Sinese has been underappreciated for quite some time, and he brings both an intensity and a quiet gravity to the show. He's always been a subtle and powerful actor with a lot of range, and it takes someone like him to really hold together and lead a series like this. He's capably backed up, especially by Kanakaredes, who is energetic and passionate in the role, while also sharing nearly perfect chemistry with Sinese. The remainder of the supporting cast are also excellent in their roles, as well.
The third season of the series begins with the rather unexpected open of a couple having "bungee sex" off the Brooklyn Bridge, only to find a crime scene when the bungee cord brings them way back up. The crime scene involves a man who appears as if he was about to propose, as the lights of a nearby building spell out "Marry Me".
The series sees the cast continuing to become more comfortable in their roles in the third season and taking on a series of increasingly unusual and complex mysteries to solve. Some of the third season highlights include: "Not What It Looks Like" (three women who are dressed as Holly Golightly rob a jewelry store); "Consequences" (the team's latest case becomes more complicated when a paintball player becomes the prime suspect), "Raising Shane" (The team must prove that Hawkes was not behind the murder of a bartender), "Sleight Out of Hand" (An illusionist has to defend his art after two women are killed an what was thought to be an illusion); "Comes Around" (the team tries to clear a tennis legend of murder) and the season finale, "Snow Day" (After an enormous drug bust, drug dealers get into the building at gunpoint in an attempt to get it all back.)
48. 3- 1 20 Sep 06 People With Money
49. 3- 2 27 Sep 06 Not What It Looks Like
50. 3- 3 4 Oct 06 Love Run Cold
51. 3- 4 11 Oct 06 Hung Out To Dry
52. 3- 5 18 Oct 06 Oedipus Hex
53. 3- 6 25 Oct 06 Open and Shut
54. 3- 7 1 Nov 06 Murder Sings The Blues
55. 3- 8 8 Nov 06 Consequences
56. 3- 9 15 Nov 06 And Here's To You, Mrs. Azrael
57. 3-10 22 Nov 06 Sweet Sixteen
58. 3-11 29 Nov 06 Raising Shane
59. 3-12 13 Dec 06 Silent Night
60. 3-13 17 Jan 07 Obsession
61. 3-14 24 Jan 07 The Lying Game
62. 3-15 7 Feb 07 Some Buried Bones
63. 3-16 14 Feb 07 Heart of Glass
64. 3-17 21 Feb 07 The Ride- In
65. 3-18 28 Feb 07 Sleight Out of Hand
66. 3-19 21 Mar 07 A Daze Of Wine And Roaches
67. 3-20 11 Apr 07 What Schemes May Come
68. 3-21 25 Apr 07 Past Imperfect
69. 3-22 2 May 07 Cold Reveal
70. 3-23 9 May 07 Comes Around
71. 3-24 16 May 07 Snow Day
VIDEO: "CSI: NY" is presented by Paramount in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Drab but dazzling, the episodes are presented quite well on this release, with solid sharpness and detail, even in the darkest sequences. Some very slight shimmering was occasionally present, but no edge enhancement, pixelation or source flaws were spotted. The show's color palette looked well-saturated and accurately presented. Flesh tones also looked natural, as well.
SOUND: "CSI: NY" is presented by Paramount in Dolby Digital 5.1. The audio presentation for the show is quite good, with a pleasing amount of surround activity. The rear speakers handle the occasional surround effect, as well as a good deal of ambience. Audio quality is first rate, with clear dialogue and well-recorded effects.
EXTRAS: Pam Veasey, Peter Lenkov and Duane Clark offer commentary for "Not What It Looks Like", while "Oedipus Hex" has comments from Anthony Zuiker and Missy Suicide and "Silent Night" has comments from Peter Lenkov and Sam Humphrey. The commentaries, as with the ones from prior sets, are detailed (pointing out small background details most viewers would miss), insightful and a little funny at times as the participants joke about some stories from the set. However, I did find it a little odd that the commentaries are all in the first half of the season, with no commentaries on the last 3 DVDs.
We also get four featurettes: "The Making of Silent Night", "Hill Harper Explores the Body Farm", "The Suicide Girls Rock CSI NY" and "Breaking the Killer Code". Finally, we get a demo for the new CSI PC game, "Hard Evidence".
Final Thoughts: The series sees the cast continuing to become more comfortable in their roles in the third season and taking on a series of increasingly unusual and complex mysteries to solve. While the series may have seemed, at first, an addition to a franchise that was getting excessive, it now stands on its own nicely. The DVD presentation offers excellent audio/video quality, as well as a nice set of supplements (although it's a bit surprising that all the commentaries are lumped into the season's first half.) Recommended.