3 May 2006 | eamon-hennedy
Franchise hits gold again.
Wow, what have we done to deserve this, another fantastic series from what has shaped up to be one of the best franchise's on television, CSI:NY has everything that a good cop show needs; strong leading characters, well thought out stories and above all else, cinematic production values, like the previous two series do. That it isn't to say that the show had the best start. I'll admit to being balled over by the pilot/crossover episode during CSI:Miami's second season and I couldn't wait to see how it would transpire as a fully fledged series. Initially however, the series did have a rough start. The show just seemed too dark and gloomy and any humour seemed to sit at odds with the show's dark milieu, but things happily changed as the first season progressed and by the end of it's freshman year I would have to say that CSI:NY was truly one of the best shows on the box, more than giving its sister series a run for their money.
Like CSI's Miami and Las Vegas, the show has a terrific leading man with a penchant for feature films and character acting, in this case Gary Sinise. For anyone who has seen Apollo 13, The Green Mile, Ransom or Mission to Mars, it is great to see this actor headlining his own show and doing it so well. Initially his character is so dark in the earlier episodes, much like the series, it is hard to like him, but like the show he comes out of his shell and we get to see a likable and at times nicely humorous character simply trying to move on with his life after the death of his wife. Like the other two series we have a superb leading lady, in this case Melina Kankaredes, simply one of the most beautiful leading ladies on television, and a damn fine actress to boot, with the two leads centered around a terrific supporting cast. Eddie Cahill and Hill Harper stand out almost straight away, whilst Carmine Giovinazzo really comes into his own as the first season develops culminating with a terrific storyline involving a shootout and a dead undercover police officer towards the end of the season. If there is a weak link it is possibly Vannesa Ferlito's character Aiden. While likable, she is essentially a third wheel and does nothing more than react to the other characters.
Like the other two shows, hell like every thriller/crime series on American television today, the production values are incredible, the aerial shots of New York are some of the best ever done on a television series budget and the show, especially on DVD, looks fantastic. If there is a nit-pick to be had it has to be that at times it is very obvious that the show is filmed on studio lots in Los Angeles, something not as obvious on CSI's Las Vegas and Miami. For anyone who has ever seen Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off Angel, one cannot help but get a kick nearly every episode of seeing the vampire with a soul's old office from season one in the background of many scenes throughout CSI:NY's first season. Aside from this, the show does very well with what it's given, which is fine acting and some of the finest writing currently on the crime genre in television. If you have yet to see this show, buy the first season on DVD, there are many fine episodes to watch, and many to choose from. I wouldn't expect anything else from a series created by Anthony E Zuiker.