I started my review of season four by remarking how little CSI had changed over its first four years. In its fifth year the powers that be decided to muck up the works a bit. The team is split between day and night shifts and Catherine is given the supervisor position on days. This actually leads to probably the show’s largest continuity flaw. It seems that the shifts overlap not just once in a while but almost all the time. I found myself really confused about this whole shift deal. Mostly I think the change takes away from the character interactions that I have come to love so much about this show. CSI has been able to find the perfect formula. There’s enough interaction and private life to make things interesting. Still, the relationships do not devolve into casual romances that tend to bog even quality dramas down. Season 5 created some serious challenges to that wonderful system. You’ll still find the same good quality procedural drama episodes. The look of the show remains untampered with. Perhaps the changes will appear fresh to many long-time fans. We’ll see.
I do like the use of the Greg character more as he becomes a full time member of the field team. A new team member, Sofia, also helps to make up for the changes.
This Dolby Digital 5.1 sound once again reinvents TV sound. Highs and lows both exhibit dynamic performance. Dialogue is crisp and always clear. There is noticeably more sub range than on the previous two seasons. This fact is most evident during the music cues. Finally cast members show up on a couple of the 9 commentary tracks.
Once again the season’s episodes are presented in a great HDTV 16×9 wide screen ratio. Colors are dynamic and the transfers are flawless. Blacks maintain the high standard set since Season 2. You won’t be disappointed in this release.
Here is which extras you can find on this release…
- “CSI Season Five A Post Mortem”: This is the by now standard 20 minute season recap.
- ”CSI Tarantino Style”: One of the biggest events to hit the franchise was the stylish touches of Quinton Tarantino. Tarantino directed an episode this year for a sweeps period and it is actually a very nice effort. This feature includes plenty of behind the camera looks and interviews with Tarantino himself.
- “The Research Of CSI: Maintaining The Accuracy”: This was a little dry. OK, I’m sure that they spend these hours in old dusty books researching the science of the show, but it does make one laugh how “real” they claim all of this is. Give me a break.
- “CSI Forensic Procedures: On The Scene vs. On The Screen” Again this is a pat on the back to the show’s attempt at accuracy. At least here they talk about some of the necessary compromises. You are guided here by actual field experts in the comparisons. A much more balanced effort than the “Research” piece.
Packaging is exactly the same as the previous four seasons, as are the menus.
Change is inevitable with any series that runs as long as CSI has. I miss some of the interactions but still find the show compelling. I was impressed with the Tarantino effort. When all the hype began, I was expecting a radical departure, or at least a more gratuitous episode. I was pleased to find it uniquely stylish while still keeping the CSI look and feel intact. The production values are strong and it’s clear that overall I can say, “I know you did your best”.