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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

'CSI: NY' S8: 'NYPD Blue' Meets 'Bill Nye'

This review of the recently released DVD set of the eighth season of "CSI:NY" is the third in a trilogy of reviews of releases of the most recent seasons of the three "CSI" series. "CSI:NY" comes in a close second to "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" as the best of the trio.

Each "CSI" crime drama typically follows the procedure of the (often not) innocent of the week either being discovered dead or buying the farm in the opening scenes. This prompts the titular forensics team to collect and analyze crime scene evidence, grill a wrongfully accused suspect, reanalyze the existing evidence or collect new clues, and collar the correct malfeasor.

The "CSI:NY" Scoobies ply their trade in New York City and are tougher and grittier than their Las Vegas and Miami counterparts in the other "CSI:" series.

As someone who has lamented "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation's" Greg Sanders transitioning from a wonderfully goofy lab tech. to a serious field agent, I LOVED "CSI:NY's" hysterically quirky lab tech. Adam Ross and hope that the writers do not change his character.

Adam's first scene of the eighth season had him hilariously carry on both sides of an imagined conversation between a job applicant and temporary team head Jo Danville, played by the highly talented Sela Ward. Similar schtick in most of the eight episodes that I watched was equally entertaining.

However, the series itself did not really grab me until it cut back a little on the grit and drama in favor of more action and humor. I confess that I almost gave up after four episodes, am happy that I watched four more, and look forward to seeing the remaining ten after catching up with the pile of review DVDs on my desk.

I particularly look forward the "Flash Pop" episode, which includes a flashback to the '50s but probably does not involve any nuclear-powered vehicles outfitted with flux capacitors.

The Halloween episode, which was the sixth of the season, in which it appeared that unduly hazed wannabe frat boys had taken appropriate revenge on their brutal pledge master had the humor, quirks, and twists that make the "CSI" franchise special. 

The eighth episode, which revolved around a mobster who had killed 12 people being the most likely suspect in a fatal shooting of a judge in front of a bakery had a classic "CSI" pre-opening credits quip. Gary "Lieutenant Dan" Sinise made the wonderful comment that the suspected killer had reached his baker's dozen.

Like the other "CSI" sets that were released September 25, 2012, the DVD set of "CSI:NY" included some interesting special features. These extras included a look at the series' eighth season, a behind-the-scenes look at filming the Halloween episode, and cast reflections on the season premiere episode that included flashbacks that depicted their characters' actions on the day of the September 11 attacks.

Anyone with thoughts or questions regarding any "CSI" series is encouraged to email me.