While CSI: NY may have been the last of Jerry Bruckheimer’s famous forensic trio to hit the airwaves, it has always had greater appeal to me than the OK-but-somewhat-full-of-itself-and-unsure-what-to-do-with-its-lead-actor-spot forerunner, CSI, and CSI: Miami, the other sibling in the franchise that sports a bastard red-headed stepchild of a star. Perhaps its the fact that CSI: NY has a more believable, 9/11 widower occupying its top tier. Sure, this series takes just as many liberties with its level of plausibility as its fellows, but — in all honesty — Gary Sinise makes this Eastern outing worth repeating every week.
At the end of the Sixth Season, we bade a farewell to series co-star Melina Kanakaredes, whose character — Detective Stella Bonasera — left the Big Apple to pursue a forensics career in New Orleans (please, Jerry: no more spin-offs). And, good riddance, I say: I never cared all that much for the part anyway. As CSI: NY – The Seventh Season opens, we say “Hello” to her replacement, former FBI know-it-all, Jo Danville (played by the always lovely Sela Ward), who — shockingly enough — stumbles onto a murder victim in the crime lab’s lobby on her very first day.
Nothing says “Welcome to New York” like a freshly pummeled corpse, right? But Jo’s a pro — and it doesn’t take her very long to settle in and gain the respect of her co-workers. But then, this is also the lady that played House’s ex, so she could probably fit in with the crew of any crime lab — even that ever-leering, one-liner spewing creep down in Florida! Speaking of House, M.D., there’s another new face seen in this season of CSI: NY that appeared — albeit briefly — is an episode of Fox’s medical hit a few years back: John Larroquette, who guest stars in three episodes as Chief Carver of the NYPD.
Frankly, I think it wold be nice to see Larroquette return as a recurring character for this series, especially as they sort of leave a teeny-tiny itsy-bitsy little subplot about his family open. The writers of the series have also opened the possibility of a new subplot by casting Sela Ward with Gary Sinise’s Det. Mac Taylor. She’s divorced, he’s widowed. She’s beautiful, he’s handsome. And there are a lot of hints dropped during their conversations that would suggest these two will eventually hook up — just like House and Cuddy did (hey if it works for another show…)!
Highlights of CSI: NY – The Seventh Season include nerdy techie Adam (A.J. Buckley) witnessing an online murder, the discovery of a decomposed body — in a car — on a skyscraper’s rooftop (!), a crazed sniper who has a connection to a lad from Mac’s past, a killer clown (oh, the horror), a nightclub in the trailer of a semi that turns deadly when the vehicle speeds into the harbor, a vigilante hunting down serial rapists (hey, more power to ‘em!), and even a little love (and the trouble that goes with it) for Sheldon (Hill Harper).
As always, Carmine Giovinazzo, Anna Belknap, Eddie Cahill, and the great Robert Joy are on-hand to share the screen, and CSI: NY – The Seventh Season features guest performances by Edward James Olmos, Clifton Collins, Jr., Peter Fonda (as Mac’s bad-boy first partner), Adrienne Barbeau, rapper Shaffer Smith (better known as Ne-Yo, who needs to learn the distinction between acting in a music video and just plain acting), and even Barney Miller‘s Ron Glass.
CSI: NY – The Seventh Season features is presented in its 1.78:1 widescreen ratio, with English 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. There’s also a 5.1 DD Spanish track, as well as optional English (SDH) subtitles. Special features for this 6-Disc 22 episode set include featurettes with Sela Ward’s new character as well as bits on John Larroquette and Peter Fonda, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and behind-the-scenes looks at almost every episode.