Paramount // 2008 // 1063 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Kent Dixon (Retired) // October 26th, 2009
"I can't wrap my head around it, Mac. You get up, you go to work, see the people that you know, you talk, you laugh. You're living your life, then suddenly, boom. It's just over. Just like that, and you never even saw it coming." -- Danny Messer
With five seasons under its belt and a full head of steam, CSI: NY looks to be around for many years to come.
Mac, Stella and the gang are back with some of their best cases to date, most notably "Yahrzeit," which won guest star Ed Asner an Emmy nomination. CSI: NY: The Fifth Season includes all 25 Season Five episodes, spread over seven discs:
* "Page Turner"
* "Sex, Lies and Silicone"
* "The Cost of Living"
* "Dead Inside"
* "My Name Is Mac Taylor"
* "The Box"
* "The Triangle"
* "Forbidden Fruit"
* "Rush to Judgment"
* "She's Not There"
* "The Party's Over"
* "No Good Deed"
* "Green Piece"
* "Point of No Return"
* "Communication Breakdown"
* "The Past, Present, and Murder"
* "Greater Good"
* "Grounds For Deception"
* "Pay Up"
100 episodes seems to be the magic number, especially for an American television, the point at which a series is eligible for syndication and becomes marketable. CSI: NY grabbed that brass ring with "My Name Is Mac Taylor," the eighth episode of Season Five. Focusing the core story around team lead Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise, Forest Gump), the episode had a quirky sense of humor and fired on all cylinders, as a mysterious killer surfaced whose victims were all named Mac Taylor. As a treat for fans and solid fun for the cast, the episode was given all the love and attention the crew could muster.
Locking up CBS' Wednesday 10 pm time slot, the series has climbed to #12 in the Neilsen ratings with more than 15 million viewers each week. While CSI: NY has done very well in primetime, fans will now be able to enjoy the series long after production comes to an end.
Success and profitability aside, CSI: NY continues to be one of the most compelling hours of TV. Although the show was spawned by the relatively abysmal CSI: Miami and bears the mark of the original CSI, it delivers the most satisfying experience of the three, with a chemistry and appeal all its own. With the granddaddy of the franchise rebooting itself with Lawrence Fishburne and Miami mired in its campy approach and unrealistic plotlines, New York continues to evolve.
Season Five builds upon existing relationships, putting characters through life-changing tragedies, fans cheering for Messer (Carmine Giovanazzo, Black Hawk Down) and Monroe (Anna Belknap, Without Trace) as they build a new life together. The close bond between Stella (Melina Kanakaredes, Providence) and Mac still anchors the show, providing a nucleus for the cast's chemistry. But its self-confidence and comfort in its own skin, proves the series has many more prints to dust, luminal to spray, and stories to tell.
While I have an HD projector and view all my spinning silver discs on a 100" screen, I'm delighted to report that CSI: NY: The Fifth Season looks amazing on DVD! I've seen HD presentations that don't look this good, lacking the clarity, depth of colors and blacks, and solid contrast you'll find on this release. I can find no fault in the audio presentation either, as it envelopes us in a sonic blanket of goodness.
As bonus features go, the offering here is both refreshing and sadly lacking. On the positive side, we're treated to a four-part, in-depth exploration of the making of the landmark 100th episode. From "Pre-Production: Planning the Perfect Murder," to "Production: Shoot to Kill," "Post-Production: Crime Scene Cleanup," and "Celebrating 100: Evidence of a Hit," we get a solid sense of the work behind a single episode and the excitement of both the cast and crew. As die-hard fans of the series, my wife and I marveled at how much time, effort, and love went into each episode. On the down side, while we don't see any cookie-cutter features like hackneyed blooper reels, we also don't find any episode commentaries, which may disappoint some fans.
A little light on the extras, CSI: NY: The Fifth Season delivers a great transfer fans will love. As TV viewers around the world raise their glasses to a fantastic series, it's exciting to think this show may wind up outlasting its franchise brethren. And I'm just fine with that.
Review content copyright © 2009 Kent Dixon; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 1063 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site