Plot: What’s it about?
The Las Vegas CSI has solved countless crimes, but now internal shifts could throw off their performance. A new supervisor arrives in D.B. Russell (Ted Danson) and while he has impressive credentials, the rest of the team is hesitant about his style. He wasn’t the only new arrival however, as he brought blood expert Julie Finlay (Elisabeth Shue), who he has worked with in the past. The two have had their differences, but Russell values her talents and knows she is a valuable addition. At the same time, Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) has to make some tough decisions that impact her future on the team, so there is a lot of upheaval within the squad. But Las Vegas doesn’t give them time to adjust, as some of the most difficult and unusual cases ever flow in on a regular basis, with no breaks. The crew even has to depend on old school methods to solve a case when the entire city winds up in a blackout. The CSI team has cracked some impossible cases over the years, but can they overcome the internal dramas and push forward to ensure justice is served?
This season marks some big changes within CSI, which is sometimes good for a long running series and of course, sometimes it can be disastrous. I have to admit, I wasn’t thrilled when Ted Danson was announced as the new lead, but the addition of Elisabeth Shue softened the blow. I wondered how Danson would handle the more dramatic role and while he is by no means Grissom, he isn’t as bad as I expected. He seems out of place at times, but his performance is solid enough. Shue is excellent and brings a much needed analytical mind back to the show. As far as the stories, I found this twelfth season to be quite good with a host of memorable, only in Las Vegas cases. The blackout story is perhaps my favorite from this season, as it forces the team to work in an unusual fashion, but I think most of the episodes here are enjoyable. I doubt the chances will win over those who weren’t fans before, but I also don’t think CSI will lose fans over the shifts. So if you’re a CSI fan or just love detective television, then CSI: The Twelfth Season is going to be one you’ll want to check out.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. I found these episodes to be clean and crisp, but if you’re used to the HD versions, there is a dip in visual depth of course. The image still looks sharp however, with solid detail and softness never proves to be a concern. The bright lights and vivid colors of Las Vegas are well replicated, while contrast remains stark and accurate through the entire season. The show looks great here, so fans should be satisfied.
Audio: How does it sound?
A Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is provided and while the show isn’t a popcorn action experience, it has a better sound design than you might think. The surrounds get some good presence and when the need arises, even some punches of power. So this is by no means a dull, reserved presentation. The music also amps up the audio a little, while dialogue remains the focus and no lines are lost in the shuffle. So this is a potent, well designed soundtrack that handles the material quite well. This release also includes a stereo surround option, Spanish language track, and English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release also includes audio comments on two episodes, some deleted scenes, and a handful of behind the scenes featurettes.