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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation - The Complete Second Season
C.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation - The Complete Second Season
Paramount // Unrated // September 2, 2003
List Price: $89.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Shannon Nutt | posted September 8, 2003 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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THE EPISODES

CSI is one of those great television series that I would have missed completely had it not been for the release of Season One on DVD. Thankfully, the first box set made me a big fan of the show, but not a big fan of the treatment the season got on DVD. The Season One box set presented the episodes in full-frame (even though they were shot widescreen) and the only bonuses offered were a short featurette, a music video and some text profiles of the characters. Even the audio was less than stellar, offering only a 2.0 Dolby track.

Well, here comes Season Two, and I'm guessing someone over at CBS or Paramount must have been reading all those complaints about the Season One set, because they've answered about each and every one of them with this Season Two release. We'll get to the video, audio and extras improvements below, but here's a taste of a few of the great shows you can expect to see in this box set:

"Chaos Theory" – After a less than stellar season premiere, this second episode of the second season reminds one what was so great about Season One. A young college student has vanished from her dorm room without a trace and the CSI team must gather the evidence to figure out what happened to her.

"Slaves of Las Vegas" - A death leads Gil Grissom and Catherine Willows to a Vegas fetish club.

"Ellie" – Captain Brass' daughter is a suspect in a murder investigation, while Warrick takes charge of the team while Grissom is away.

"Identity Crisis" – Paul Milander, the serial killer from the pilot who outwitted Grissom at several points in Season One is back in this great episode, one of my favorites from Season Two. While most CSI shows are "stand alone" in nature, it's these continuing plot threads that really make this show a cut above most other crime-dramas.

"Stalker" – The CSI team discovers the victim of a stalker – a victim who has taken every possible precaution to live in safety, yet was still murdered. And one member of the CSI team may have a chilling connection to the murderer.

"Cross-Jurisdictions" – This episode sets up CSI: Miami and actually serves as the pilot for that show. David Caruso guest stars as Horatio Caine.

THE DVD

Video:
As noted above, Season One was full-frame. This time, viewers will get a wonderful 1:78.1 anamorphic transfer that is among the sharpest I have seen for a TV series on DVD. The colors look fantastic, and you'll notice how great the picture looks immediately, thanks to the many shots of the Las Vegas skyline that are speckled throughout each episode. A near top-notch job.

Audio:
Once again, kudos to CBS/Paramount for improving on the first set by providing a 5.1 transfer here, and even providing a 2.0 soundtrack for those who would prefer it. I did notice the first DVD in the set seemed to have problems with the dialogue being a tad lower than the rest of the soundtrack. However, once I got to Disc 2 of this six disc set, I no longer noticed this problem in the episodes – so I'm not sure if I got a bad DVD, or if this problem occurs on Disc 1 of all the sets. Keep in mind, this is not a huge problem and may not be noticeable to many viewers, if indeed this problem is on all sets. But it's enough to keep the audio from scoring as high as the video does.

Extras:
Perhaps the only thing that keeps this CSI Season Two as a "Highly Recommended" one, rather than getting the prestigious "DVD Talk Collectors Series" banner is in the area of extras. However, even though there is the need for more extras on this release, keep in mind that the extras here are vastly superior to those that were offered on the Season One set.

For starters, there are Episode Commentaries on three of the twenty-three episodes. The commentaries we get in this set are for the season opener "Burked", "Alter Boys" and "Ellie".

Disc Six of this set contains the other extras, starting with Makeup, Music & Special Effects, a featurette that delivers what you'd expect: a look at how makeup gets applied to a "dead" actor, how music is added to each episode, and some of the special effects work that goes into the program. CSI – Shooting Locations shows how Los Angeles doubles for Las Vegas in most of the episodes, although there is a little bit here about some of the locations they have used when actually filming in Sin City. The CSI Tour shows the different rooms in the CSI lab, and how they've been changed from the first season to both make the show look better and make the rooms easier to film in. Tools of the Trade is an interactive portion of this disc, where viewers can highlight certain items in the CSI lab and then find out about each one and what they do to help investigators solve crimes. Finally, The Making of a Hit is another featurette which includes comments from the producers, creators and writers (but, once again, sadly no actors) on the development of the show, including comments about their favorite episodes from Season Two.

THE BOTTOM LINE

You don't have to be a crime scene investigator to figure out that CSI: The Complete Second Season is a DVD box set you'll want to add to your collection. As Gil Grissom is fond of saying, "People lie. The evidence does not." And all the evidence here points to a real winner.
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