Plot: What’s it about?
When a show enters its seventh season, two things will most likely happen. Either the show will start to fizzle out and the writing becomes stale and predictable and the inevitable decline of the show is imminent…or the show is still good (as it ever was) and it’s just another season full of action, humor and/or drama. Thankfully CSI falls into the latter category as the seventh season was one of the better seasons of the show. Why, you ask? Not only has CSI remained to hold onto the original cast (for the exception of Jorja Fox who is leaving early on in the eighth season), but it’s managed to build up a suitable supporting cast as well. I remember reading where the show has inspired thousands to go into the field of crime scene investigation and with good reason; it’s intriguing work, you’re catching bad guys and they make it look like so much fun! Of course, we can’t expect that the work is like it is on TV, but anyone interested in gadgets or seeing the sights of Las Vegas has undoubtedly watched CSI and it continues to be a ratings powerhouse on Thursday nights.
As I started to mention above, the seventh season of the show is undoubtedly one of the show’s strongest in that we have a sub plot that actually manages to last the entire season. Grissom (William Petersen) and the crew are going about business as usual, when they encounter what they refer to as the “Minature Killer”. This person leaves behind meticulous models of crime scenes left as clues for the CSI team to handle and solve. Some work out and others don’t and it perplexes Grissom and the gang that there’s someone out there who’s got the edge on them. This isn’t the only thing happening during the season, Grissom and Sarah (Jorja Fox) are trying to keep their on again/off again relationship a secret and we get the usual bevy of intriguing episodes with just the right mix of action, drama and yes, even humor to keep the audiences entertained. CSI is still television’s number one or two show and with those kind of numbers, I don’t see it going anywhere for quite some time. Fans will most assuredly want to check out this latest installment of CSI.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are shown in a very good-looking 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer just as they appear on TV (a reason to own a widescreen TV if you don’t have one). I watch the episodes during the season via HD and these standard DVD’s adequately represent how they appear on screen. The quality is consistent on all of the episodes, though there are plenty of differences in the actual quality of how they appear. This is done for dramatic effect and not a result of the transfers. Flesh tones appear warm and natural and with the movement of some of the team to the day shift, we actually get to see what they look like in natural light and not just at night! The quality is consistent with the previous seasons and fans will no doubt be pleased – nice effort here.
Audio: How does it sound?
While it’s true that most of the television shows out there aren’t geared for Dolby Digital 5.1, the “CSI’s” are an exception to that rule. In almost every episode the speakers are humming and rattling about with action coming through the surrounds and fronts in nearly every scene. Dialogue is very clean and though the soundtracks differ from episode to episode, it’s a great way to experience a television show. Granted we’re not talking major explosions or anything, but when you listen to it CSI sounds more like a movie than a TV show.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Paramount is sticking to what works and they’ve given us more than the lion’s share of supplements here. Commentaries on seven of the episodes by various members of the cast and crew are a very nice addition to the series and shed a little light on what went on behind the scenes and some character motivation as well. In particular, this season with the “minature killer”, we get an insight into the producer’s point of view and it’s a nice touch. There are a series of six featurettes dealing with the production of the show, the location (Las Vegas) and various assorted things associated with the show. As with previous seasons, these are nice to have but certainly not integral to the set. It’s the icing on the cake, so to speak.