14 January 2006 | ccthemovieman-1
Nothing Soapy About This CSI Spin off
When this first came on TV, the first few episodes were just too downbeat for me and I stopped watching. It didn't have the excitement and color of the Las Vegas and Miami shows.
Well, I turned out to be premature in my judgment of this show. A year later, I obtained the DVD of the first season and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I thought it might be the best of all three CSI shows but I'll wait on that call until a complete second season is done.
I liked this debut season more than the others for two main reasons:
1 - It did not have all the little soap opera side-stories involving the characters that the two other CSI shows have. Each show was strictly about the crime(s).
2 - All the lead characters are fun to watch and had no annoying personality traits. True, the head guy, played by Gary Sinise, didn't have much of a personality but I liked his low-key, no-nonsense approach. Bill Petersen interjects too much New Age philosophy on his show and David Caruso is so ultra-dramatic that he's almost cartoonish at times. Sinise just does the job with that's it. Same for the rest of the crew. I understand one them, Vanessa Ferlito, left the show after this season, and I'm sorry to hear that. I enjoyed her face and her humor. I can only hope the rest of the cast stays. A good share of the cast seems to be made up of New "Yawkers" with that accent and that just adds to the believability of the show.
Although I enjoyed "Stan," played by Carmine Giovinzzo, the best, the most interesting was Melina Kanakaredes. From shot to shot, she's different in appearance from strange and unappealing to gorgeous, depending on the camera angle and lighting. She's hard to figure, both in looks and her character.
I never get tired of those aerial shots of the city, either. Odd they were tinted the blue the first month of the season and then brown-and-gray the rest of the year. As with the other CSI shows, the camera-work is fantastic. Those who have never seen any of the CSI shows on DVD owe themselves a look. They are spectacularly filmed.
However, unlike Miami and Las Vegas CSI shows, this is basically a no-glitz affair with the stories dominating. One problem with these shows is they are filmed on Los Angeles movie sets, so most of the time, because of crowds and other problems in filming locally, you don't see the main characters actually in the locales they are supposed to be. It would be fun watching them chase criminals in Central Park, at the Empire State Building, through Madison Square Garden, etc.