CSI: Miami – The Complete Second Season

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

CSI is currently the number one show on television (and that encompasses a lot of shows). It was inevitable that the success of the show would spawn a spin-off – but no one thought that it would be by the same name (CSI). William Petersen plays Gil Grissom in the Las Vegas series (entitled “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) made statements that he didn’t want another “CSI”, that too many would just kill the franchise. Well, Petersen is the star and not the producer – so they went ahead with the second installment anyway. Thus, “CSI: Miami” was born. As an avid fan of “CSI”, I looked forward to a new cast and a new city. After all, the possibilities are seemingly endless as dead bodies turn up everywhere and not just in Las Vegas. The Miami cast was different from the Las Vegas one in a few ways. First, the sense of smugness that plagues the Las Vegas cast is gone. The Miami CSI’s seem to be a little more grounded. This is just my opinion, of course – but I actually prefer CSI: Miami to CSI (though they’re both great). Aside from the differences in cast and location, “CSI: Miami” offers up more of the same and has found it’s way into the Top 10 of the Nielsen ratings. The success of this show actually spawned another spin-off with CSI: New York. Will it ever end?

The second season of “CSI: Miami” showed the cast hitting its stride. The main established characters were Horatio Caine (David Caruso), Calleigh Duquesne (Emily Proctor), Eric Delko (Adam Rodriquez), Alexx Woods (Khandi Alexander), Timothy Speedle (Rory Cochrane) and the very lovely Megan Donner (Kim Delaney). Just like the Las Vegas crew, they all have their endless supply of tools and gadgets (and plenty of latex gloves and tweezers) and rely on the evidence to solve the crimes. It was rumored that due to the success of the CSI franchise, more people were actually looking into the Criminal Justice field as a profession. The show is realistic in that they don’t always get their man (or woman) and sometimes they make mistakes, the evidence is inconclusive, etc. What watching the CSI’s will do is make you realize how much of a trail that each one of us leaves. Fingerprints, saliva and even a single hair can be all that it takes to put the guilty man or woman behind bars. It’s not necessarily a given that if you like the original CSI that you’ll like “CSI: Miami”. For me, I prefer this newer series because, well, maybe I’d just seen the others for so many years. In any case, the second season is now on DVD and there’s still an endless supply of songs by “The Who” out there…

Video: How does it look?

“CSI: Miami” is presented in a lovely 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer. I’m fortunate enough to be able to see the broadcast episodes in HD and in their original aspect ratio, but suffice it to say that the DVD’s look every bit as good as when they aired. As you can imagine, the color palette for the Miami series is filled with warm hues – yellow, orange and everything in between. This is a contrast to the Las Vegas series which takes place mainly at night (they’re the night shift). There are some spots in which some artifacting occurs, but for the most part the image is nearly flawless and leaves little to be desired. Edge enhancement is not a problem and though some scenes tend to have a bit of “warmness” to them – it’s acceptable.

Audio: How does it sound?

I’ve been impressed at how many of the episodes make very good use of the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. On more than one occasion, a bullet or something to that effect will whiz by and sound great going through the speakers. Any fan of the show knows that in order to illustrate some of the “entry wounds”, there is a sound and we’ll go “inside” a body to see how something happened. This sounds pretty good, too. Dialogue is very clean and free of any distortion – we get to hear Caruso’s very deep, commanding voice in all its glory! This is obviously a very high budget production and it’s very evident when it comes to the audio quality.

Supplements: What are the extras?

There are seven commentary tracks on selected episodes (“Blood Brothers”, “Hard Time”, “Hurricane Anthony” , “Complications”, “Witness to Murder”, “Wannabe”, and “MIA/NYC – Non-Stop”) all of which are very entertaining and informative. These are very similar to the commentaries on “CSI” as the same Producers are in charge of both shows. This is also a step up from four commentary tracks on the First Season. There is a seventh disc devoted exclusively to the rest of the bonus materials and starting off with “CSI: Miami – Visually Effective”. This featurette shows many of the CGI effects that were used for the season and of key episodes (the Hurricane from “Hurricane Anthony” and the plane crash from “Not Landing” among them). “The Trace Lab Tour” walks us through the lab with technical consultant John Haynes as he shows us how those fancy devices are used in the show and what they actually do. Next up is “The A/V Lab Tour” in which Elizabeth Devine shows us the computer software that’s used to re-create the crime scene (used in several of the episodes). Lastly we come to “CSI: Miami – Recalling Season Two” in which the cast and crew reflect on the past season, how the show has achieved success in the ratings and what’s in store for the future. This is a must for any fan of “CSI: Miami” and for those who haven’t discovered it – this is a good place to start (well, the first season is actually a better place to start – but you get the idea).

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