Judge Brett Cullum wears his sunglasses at night, so he can see the light that's right before his eyes. And that light is... David Caruso.
Our reviews of CSI: Miami: The Complete First Season (published September 13th, 2004), CSI: Miami: The Complete Second Season (published April 13th, 2005), CSI: Miami: The Complete Fourth Season (published April 25th, 2007), CSI: Miami: The Final Season (published December 16th, 2012), CSI: Miami: The Ninth Season (published October 13th, 2011), and CSI: Miami: The Seventh Season (published October 12th, 2009) are also available.
The sunglasses are back! And this time its personal.
David Caruso (NYPD Blue), flashy shots of Miami, and a Who song are pouring out of my screen. Is it time again for another release of CSI: Miami? The Miami branch of the CSI team includes the following cast of characters: Horatio Caine (David Caruso, NYPD Blue), the guy with the sunglasses who is never wrong; Callie Duquesne (Emily Procter, Body Shots), a forensics expert and a dead sexy blonde; Erik Delco (Adam Rodriguez, Brooklyn South), the Latino diver; Timothy "Speed" Speedle (Rory Cochran, Dazed and Confused), the laid back DNA guy who probably wouldn't pass a random drug screening; Yelina (Sofia Milos, Caroline in the City), the smoking Latina love interest; and Alexx Woods (Khandi Alexander, The Corner), the Medical Examiner who likes to talk to dead bodies a little too often. One of these cast members doesn't make it past the season opener, so a new team member is introduced—Ryan Wolfe (Jonathan Togo, Mystic River).
Facts of the Case
CSI: Miami—The Complete Third Season continues the story of Horatio Caine (David Caruso) and his team as they face twenty-four new crimes, and two life changing revelations. Viewers learned in the Season Two finale that Caine's brother Raymond (Dean Winters, Hellraiser: Hellseeker) was not really dead. This season deals with Horatio's reaction to this, and how it all plays out. Also, as noted above, early in this season the team loses one of its own. But mostly the show rolls along case by case, without too much need for keeping track of the continuity.
The episodes include:
• Lost Son
• Pro Per
• Under the Influence
• Murder in a Flash
• Hell Night
• Crime Wave
• Speed Kills
• After the Fall
• Cop Killer
• One Night Stand
• Nothing to Lose
• Money Plane
• Game Over
• Sex & Taxes
• Killer Date
Interesting how each broadcast network has evolved in to a niche channel, similar to the extreme branding found further up the dial on cable. ABC rules with serial dramas such as Lost and Desperate Housewives; NBC cranks out happy ditzy sitcoms; Fox leads American animation comedies; UPN has urban programming; and CBS has become the procedural crime network. CBS currently has three CSI franchises up and running. Though they differ only slightly from each other, they are all wildly successful. America can't seem to get enough of crimes in Las Vegas, New York, and Miami. Makes you wonder what American city is next on the development list…I'd love to see CSI: Des Moines or CSI: Laredo.
I do like CSI: Miami because I have a thing for David Caruso (don't worry—it's 100% platonic). He's more a personality than an actor, and he lets his sunglasses do most of the work. I still love him on the show. He was a cocky ass for leaving NYPD Blue thinking he was too big for the small screen, but he has paid us back by sticking with this show. You can't deny the man is a great leader for a series, and, had be been working about forty years ago, he could have given William Shatner a run for his money as Captain Kirk (Sci Fi Channel take note, if you ever plan on a reimagining). He relies on the patented "Shatner pause" to make his points, and keep things dramatic. If you compare Horatio Caine to Gil Grissom, the lead of the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series, the difference is night and day. Where Gil is a humble self-effacing guy, Caine is a "know it all" prima donna who is always right. Where Gil relies solely on science; Caine likes to work on a hunch or instinct. The Miami lead likes to rough suspects up, and he seems more cop than investigator. Caruso's character uses brute force and an intense whisper to solve every crime. He's Batman without the cowl, but the sunglasses substitute nicely. The rest of the cast is strong, but they all play Robin to Caruso's Dark Knight. Really, the show belongs to him and him alone.
The show looks amazing, and I'm not just referring to the stunning visions of Emily Procter. Skillful use of CGI, garish sepia filters, and dramatic camera moves punctuate each episode. The style of the series is dazzling, and CSI: Miami: The Complete Third Season captures all of it well with pristine widescreen transfers. The visuals are lovingly recreated without a hint of digital distortion. The show's odd blend of obscure hip-hop and classic rock are pumped out ably by a full surround mix.
The producers of the DVD set provide an ample amount of extras to tempt you to make a purchase instead of catching repeats or relying on old Tivo DVRs. There are six commentaries throughout the season package, all provided by the army of producers and directors who worked on the show. Five featurettes explore design elements and location shooting, and there's an eight-part look at medical examination. Fans will surely walk away with an in-depth look at the series.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
CSI: Miami follows the same formula every episode, and it's the format given to the other two shows in the franchise. With this built-in predictability it's hard to see why people would want to collect these shows on a pricey DVD set. Let's face it—any given week on CBS you could catch at least three hours of this kind of drama for free. But I know the allure of David Caruso is a strong one, and I can't blame anyone for not fighting it.
CSI: Miami—The Complete Third Season is as solid a TV-on-DVD release as they come. Slick packaging, pristine transfers, and a boatload of extras ensure the popular show will be a bestseller on the sales charts. It's a formulaic show with a solid cast and a good sense of style. If you're a fan then the set is well worth a purchase. If you just casually catch the show from time to time, it's a strong rental candidate. Fans of Caruso should consider it a must-buy.
Guilty of fanning the flames of my obsession with David Caruso. Also guilty of following a cookie-cutter formula, and rejecting any idea of shaking things up. It's a stylish series that is as predictable as a Miami sunrise.
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Scales of Justice
• Commentaries on "Lost Son", "Under the Influence", "Crime Wave", "After the Fall", "Shootout", and "Whacked"
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