CSI: NY: Season Five
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CSI: NY: Season Five

Those of us that belong to the so called baby boomer generation we have been witness to the most socially significant changes in history. Technology has change so incredibly fast and has become so involved in every aspect of our lives that it is nearly impossible to keep track of it all. It seems like only a short time ago that I watched one of seven available television stations on a tiny black and white TV. Now I can watch hundreds of channels over a wireless networked Blu-ray player. Not only has this increase in technology altered the way we watch our favorite shows it has had a major impact on the format and content of those series. For example one of the first genres to gain popularity was the detective show. A lone investigator would hit the dark, dank city streets in search of clues that would bring the wrong doer to justice. Now the man in the trench cost, fedora and worn brown shoes has been replaced by scientists with advanced degrees employing the cutting edge of forensic science and futuristic technology to turn the slightest trace of a clue into unshakable proof of guilt. This concept has launched an entirely new genre for television; the high tech forensic crime drama. There are numerous variations on the theme but when it comes to the network that offers the best of the lot you need look no further than the eye-ball network CBS. Their flagship show; ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’. The original series was set in Las Vegas followed by a spin off in Miami which itself gave birth to CSI: NY’. Although the emphasis has been moved from focusing on human intuition to the wonders of technology the drama, thrills and excitement have been more than retained. Of course for native son of New York like myself there is the special kick of seeing so many familiar places. The series is still going strong and the fifth season presented on this DVD set is one with a lot progress in the personal story arcs of the central characters.

Like all the members of this franchise CSI: NY takes its unique look and flavor as shaped by the location and the composition of the investigative team. In this case the city of New York is a major character. The proverbial city that never sleeps provides a vibrant, ever changing backdrop for the crimes that propel each episode. This city has one of the widest ranges of social, economic and cultural diversity in the world. Just about any scenario the writers can envision can be provided by New York. Stories are able to range from the fabulously rich to the down and out; people born here to those just at the start if the American experience. This CSI can boast the broadest selection of story potential. The other factor that determines the overall direction of the series is the team especially its leader. Veteran film and stage actor/director Gary Sinise brings his ‘A’ game to his performance as Detective First Grade Mac Taylor. He is the ultimate straight arrow focused on one thing; discovering the truth by the most precise scientific methods available. He has always been motivated by working towards the greater good; he proudly served as a Marine serving in the Middle East. Mac sets the bar for integrity extremely high but his team is more than up to the task. Mac’s second in command is Detective first Grade Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes). Stella has sisterly concern with Mac especially with his ability to cope after he lost his wife in the tragedy of 9-11.

In the middle of all this high tech crime fighting love found a way to blossom. CSI Detective Third Grade: Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo) and CSI Detective Third Grade: Lindsay Monroe (Anna Belknap) always flirted with each other but soon found themselves in a growing relationship that resulted in the first child born to the franchise. The two characters were the typical opposites that attract. Danny is a native New Yorker whose family had some rather shady organized crime connections. His way of rebelling against the family was to join the police academy where he excelled. Lindsey had worked in a CSI unit in Montana and initially had to work sat fitting in to New York. Along with the other members of the team some amazing forensic techniques are employed. You just have to remember that like all members of this franchise the series is actually a bit of science fiction set roughly ten years in advanced of what is possible today.

The crimes project the cosmopolitan nature of NYC extremely well. The victims range from an archaeologist exploring the subterranean city beneath the streets of Manhattan to a young woman involved with an extremely potent drug in her possession. No matter whom the victim may be this CSI team is fully committed to serving justice. Like the other CSI series this one has a color palette and thematic tone that reflects the host city. Here blues dominate the colors lending an icy detachment to the stories. Each episode is set against the city that never sleeps. The people involved usually came here to find their fortune or express their power and influence. This amazingly wide range gives this series a fresh edge that continues to make it one of the best crime shows in television. the DVD is great for when you need something interesting to offset the wasteland of usual TV or fully immerse yourself in s weekend long marathon.

Posted 10/03/09

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