Plot: What’s it about?
C.S.I. burst on the scene more than a year ago and was an instant hit with audiences and critics alike. Now that’s a feat! Sporting a somewhat recognizable cast, the two leads (William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger); the series attempted to show what happens after a murder has been committed. Plenty of shows out there focus on being cops and trying their darndest as to “whodunit”; C.S.I. are comprised of experts on forensics. Taking clues, no matter how small (actually, the evidence is usually microscopic), they piece together who the perpetrator is time and time again. It’s also no secret that the show is a product from Jerry Bruckheimer, who has given us fast-paced, adrenaline fueled movies for years (and will probably continue to do so unless things somehow drastically change). The show was so popular that it spawned a spin off entitled C.S.I. Miami with David Curoso in the lead. Being a television show, however, we have to ask ourselves…what is it all about?
Naturally, every episode follows a similar plot in that a crime (murder) is committed, and we leave it to the crack team of forensics to come up with who did it; and if possible why. To be quite honest, the show is fresh and original, but after sitting down and watching all of them, they do tend to get a bit repetitive. Then again, the shows were “meant” to be watched a week apart and not in one day. With that being said, William Petersen’s Gil Grissom is the leader of the bunch, with Catherine Willows (Helgenberger) not far behind. The rest of the cast is young, good-looking and adds to the mystique and glamour of the show. While a bit glossy at times, the show continues to keep its edge and is exciting and entertaining at the same time. Television shows like that don’t come around all the time and when they do, they’ll usually be around for a while. It appears that this is one of them. Fans of the series will be delighted, while for others this is a great introduction to the world of Crime Scene Investigation.
Video: How does it look?
Evidently, Paramount listened and read the reviews of their first season. Being presented in a full-frame aspect ratio just didn’t cut it (especially when the program was broadcast in anamorphic widescreen) and Paramount has responded with the series being broadcast in it’s original aspect ratio. Shot in a 1.78:1 image, the picture looks clear and clean; just as it should. Colors are still a bit washed out, but seem fairly strong throughout. The entire image has a very oversaturated look to it, but for the most part it’s a major improvement over the first season. Congratulations Paramount, these are the accolades you get when you do things right!
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio has been improved as well. Instead of their previous Dolby Digital 2.0 effort, this has a full 5.1 soundtrack that rocks in some cases. While dialogue is constant and clear throughout, the surround effects do kick in at the right moments and sound great. As I mentioned in the previous review, there isn’t a whole lot that a great audio track can do for this (it is still made for TV); but the inclusion of the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is a generous improvement and one that is welcome. Nice job.
Supplements: What are the extras?
In addition to commentaries on three episodes (Episodes 201, 206 and 210) we are treated to a number of short featurettes as well. “Makeup, Music and Special Effects”, “CSI Shooting Locations”, “The CSI Tour”, “Tools of the Trade” and “The Making of a Hit” are each not too long, but do shed a lot of light on the season and what we can expect to see. While they’re pretty basic, all of these are a more than welcome addition to the series. In addition, the commentary tracks (on three of the more popular episodes) offer insight as well. These supplements, in addition to the show’s popularity and the addition of better sound and an anamorphic transfer will make this a “no-brainer” for fans of the show.