Jerry Bruckheimer’s “CSI’ is the highest-rated
show on television. Now in its fourth season, the venerable drama
returns to DVD with a collection of its third season. Starring
William Peterson as Gil Grissom — the leader of the forensic
investigators — every episode features the team solving
murder cases based solely on the scientific clues left behind.
“CSI” is a procedural crime drama, — much in
the vein of “Law & Order” — meaning that each
episode stands alone, making the characters secondary to the crimes
they solve. This facet of the series is its greatest strength and
its greatest weakness. There are no season long plot threads, but a
viewer can watch a single show and still be satisfied.
“CSI: Season Three” is not very different from the
first two years, for better or worse. Featured characters in the
lab are now regulars, adding more screen time and a little more
humor. The cases remain riveting and the trademark stylish camera
work — featuring close-ups of key details — and Las
Vegas setting add to the character of the show.
The bright lights of Sin City never looked better. The disc
features beautiful widescreen transfers from CBS’s HDTV
broadcasts. The sound is equally as impressive, offering Dolby
Surround Sound. Like the first two DVD sets, “CSI: Season
Three” is an example of a quality TV on DVD release.
The set features a nice array of extras. There are six episode
commentaries, mostly by production staffers, which are informative
and interesting. The requisite featurettes take viewers into the
police station and demonstrate the special effects. The most
interesting extra is an interview with the show’s writers,
giving insights into the brainstorming process behind the complex
“CSI” may not be the best show on television, but it
can be incredibly engrossing. The third season shows no signs of
slowing down. CBS may try its hardest to kill the series by
spreading it out too thin (a second spin-off debuts this fall), but
the original should be more than enough for fans of the genre.
Show: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Picture/Sound: 4 out of 5 stars
Features: 3.5 out of 5 stars