CSI: NY: The Sixth Season
Directed by Duane Clark et al
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 anamorphic
Running Time: 977 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English; 2.0 stereo Spanish
MSRP: $ 64.99
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Review Date: October 30, 2010
Once again the lowest rated of the three CSI series on CBS, CSI: NY nevertheless scores ratings that other series can only dream about. It has doggedly gone its own way since its inception with less darkness than the Las Vegas version and less stylization and fewer deadpan trademarks of its Miami counterpart. CSI: NY is a good old-fashioned mystery procedural whose cast has remained very consistent (though that will change in its seventh season: Sela Ward joins the team to replace the departing Melina Kanakaredes) and its methods tried and true in the CSI world: crime-clues-investigation-conclusion.
The season begins with the aftermath of the drive-by shooting which concluded season five. Danny Messer’s (Carmine Giovinazzo) injuries have him unable to feel his legs and confined to a wheelchair. Don Flack (Eddie Cahill) is grieving over the loss of his police partner/girl friend (which actually occurred before the shooting incident at the diner). Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) and Adam (A. J. Buckley) have a one-night stand which they agree shouldn’t happen again (though it’s clear Adam would be more than willing for the relationship to continue). And Dr. Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper) took a major hit in the finances during the economic downturn and now is scrambling to afford rent while trying to keep his monetary problems from the rest of the unit. Never fear, the various issues resulting from last season’s cliffhanger are all resolved before the series reaches the halfway point during its new season. In the second half of the season, several team members set off on new adventures. Mac gets a new love interest, ER doctor Aubrey Hunter (Mädchen Anuick). Danny, on the other hand, has more woes to deal with as his badge gets stolen which leads into a three-episode story arc (including the season finale cliffhanger which smacks of melodrama) with a familiar villain from previous seasons Shane Casey (Edward Furlong).
The majority of the cases, however, remain the same: with the exception of a few multi-episode story arcs (the most prominent involving three episodes focusing on the Compass Killer, a schizophrenic murderer setting up various people’s deaths to look like suicides, played impressively by Skeet Ulrich) and a crossover event with the other two CSI series (a storyline dealing with human trafficking which in the New York segment involved harvesting young women for their organs and dumping the bodies) in a sweeps month gimmick that worked pretty well for each show, the show’s self-contained episodes bring each case to a satisfactory conclusion before the end of the hour. The best episode of the season involves an eighty-year old murder case which had occurred in a Manhattan penthouse filled with secret rooms and death-rendering gadgetry. Mykelti Williamson pops back up on occasion as the director of the unit, and among the other guest stars are Laurence Fishburne (visiting from CSI during the crossover episode), Kim Kardashian, D. B. Sweeney, Carlo Rota, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Danica Patrick, Aaron Ashmore, Kyle Gallner (playing Mac’s stepson), Harold Perrineau, Brendan Fehr, Gale Harold, Claire Forlani (reprising her role as Mac’s former girl friend), Nelly, and Danny Nucci.
Here are the twenty-three episodes for season six contained on seven discs in this package. Names in parentheses refer to the participants in the audio commentary for that episode.
1 – Epilogue
2 – Blacklist
3 – Lat 40 Degrees 47’ N/Long 73 Degrees 58’ W
4 – Dead Reckoning
5 – Battle Scars
6 – It Happened to Me
7 – Hammer Down
8 – Cuckoo’s Nest
9 – Manhattanhenge
10 – Death House (director Norberto Barba, production designer Vaughan Edwards)
11 – Second Chances
12 – Criminal Justice
13 – Flag on the Play
14 – Sanguine Love
15 – The Formula
16 – Uncertainty Rules
17 – Pot of Gold
18 – Rest in Peace, Marina Garito (writer-producer Pam Veasey, director Allison Liddi-Brown)
19 – Redemptio
20 – Tales from the Undercard
21 – Unusual Suspects
22 – Point of View
23 – Vacation Getaway
The series is broadcast on CBS in 1080i, and these downconverted 480p transfers are presented with the widescreen TV aspect ratio of 1.78:1. In bright scenes, sharpness is excellent and the image often looks wonderfully detailed and colorful. Flesh tones are very accurate. In lower light, however, the image flattens out occasionally, detail drops appreciably, and there is noise and an increase in grain. The grain structure of the image is otherwise very natural and film-like. Blacks can be very deep and impressive, but this isn’t always the case. There are occasional glimpses of moiré, but they’re aren’t very intrusive when they do pop up. Each episode has been divided into 6 chapters.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track has been produced at a very loud volume, so one needs to adjust his speakers before playing these episodes for risk of damaging his system (and eardrums). A very active and immersive sound design distinguishes this mix, however, one of the better ones offered for a network broadcast series. Music is a constant source of surround activity, and the engineers have also provided a steady stream of New York City sounds (though it’s mostly filmed in California) during each episode keeping things aurally hopping continually.
The two audio commentaries (see episode listing for participants) aren’t anything special though each has its merits. The women’s track on episode #18 is a bit livelier than the men’s track on episode #10, but there are silences on each as they get immersed in the stories being told and forget to talk.
The episodes of CSI: Miami and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation which formed the three night crossover event are included on disc three as bonus features so that viewers who want to see the entire story arc from beginning to end won't have to purchase the box sets of those series in order to view the complete story, a very considerate inclusion.
All of the featurettes are presented in anamorphic widescreen.
“Better Than Botox” shows us how computer technology took fifteen years off star Gary Sinese so he could play himself just returning from the Gulf War. It runs for 4 minutes.
“Leaving Las Vegas: Langston Heads East” is the set’s most substantial extra, 23 ½ minutes about the CSI crossover episodes that began in Miami, came to New York, and ended in Las Vegas. Stars from all three CSI shows along with the writers and producers of the episode take part in the discussion.
“East Coast Heroes” spends 4 minutes zipping around New York City with stars Gary Sinese and Laurence Fishburne as the unit shoots on location.
“A House Killer” discusses “Death House” with the show’s special effects coordinator, production designer, technical adviser, and stars as we tour the house set showing its many marvels. This runs 9 minutes.
“Creation of a Crime Scene” is a tribute to the crews on the show which give each set a realistic look of a murder site which helps the actors to do their best work. It runs 7 ¼ minutes.
“Seeing Stars” discusses the casting of special guest stars who aren’t primarily actors and why the show appeals to them to dip their toes into acting. Interviewed are stars from the show as well as Kim Kardashian, Nelly, and Danica Patrick, among others. It runs 11 ¾ minutes.
“A Closer Examination: Dr. Sid Hammerback” gives background information on actor Robert Joy who plays the part. He discusses how he landed the role while other actors and producers on the show praise his professionalism in this 9 ¼-minute tribute to the performer and the character.
Disc one contains trailers for the CBS procedurals, Dexter, and Flashpoint.
3.5/5 (not an average)
CSI: NY keeps humming right along for its sixth season. The box set offers a generous array of bonus featurettes and transfers that are well above average for standard definition material.