, the third incarnation of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
franchise and the spin-off of CSI: Miami
, is a crime drama about forensic investigators who use high-tech science to follow the evidence and solve crimes in The Big Apple.
The fellows responsible for Under the Microscope
, a behind-the-scenes video blog accompanying nearly every installment of CSI: NY
, make some big promises about this, the 22-episode (on six discs) seventh season of the series. What can we expect? "Awesome guest stars" (like Edward James Olmos, Peter Fonda… and New York Jets football coach Rex Ryan?). "Sweet stunts." "Great mysteries." And, of course, "some really gnarly, gross dead bodies." And that's not even including CSI
's other trademarks, like the sleek, slick production values, the flashy camera moves, the state-of-the-art forensic work (no other franchise comes close to the kind of graphic but glossy detail that's on display here every week, replete with pulsing techno soundtrack), the beautiful, chic young people living large and doing very bad things, and the ineffable, overall coolness. Quite simply, this show delivers. And if CSI: NY
is quite often a triumph of style over substance, it hardly matters when the style is this strong.
The show undergoes a few changes this time around, principally the addition of Sela Ward as Det. Jo Danville, a former FBI agent who arrives with a sense of humor, an ex-husband, two kids, and a smidgen of sexual chemistry with team leader Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise), whose commitment to the job seems to waver after an especially harrowing final few episodes. But for the most part, the more things change, the more they stay the same, as the team confronts a variety of grisly murders committed with such weapons of destruction as bombs, a crowbar, bullets containing nitroglycerin, and more. Particularly compelling are episodes about a young woman who appears to have been scared to death ("Scared Stiff," which has some genuinely frightening moments that may or may not involve actual ghosts) and a two-parter about an ex-con with a serious grudge against Mac and his former partner (played by Fonda). --Sam Graham