Eye For Film >> Movies >> CSI: NY - Season 2, Part 1 (2006) Film Review
CSI: New York benefited from an East Coast reality check and gave the franchise a darker, more immediate look. However, this did not prove popular among the crime scene aficionados who wanted a lighter touch and so Season 2 makes changes, not all of which improve what was a thrilling opening run.
The sexy Aiden Burn (Vanessa Ferlito) is sacked by team chief "Mac" Taylor (Gary Sinise) for tampering with evidence and replaced with out-of-towner Lindsay Monroe (Anna Belknap) from Montana, who has no sense of humour and objects to being treated as a greenhorn from the sticks.
Medical examiner Dr Sheldon Hawkes (Hill Harper), whose meticulous and delicately handled work in the autopsy room was one of the highlights of Season 1, has become a field detective, a job he performs with equal diligence. Everything he does is so concise and controlled, he is like a mime artist. As a result of his promotion, other pathologists are brought in to take his place - a chunky Japanese American, an older Caucasian with the look of a hip college professor and a younger guy who is a bit of a joker.
Season 2 returns to the format of a double story per episode, with the exception of Manhattan Manhunt, which is Part Two of the CSI: Miami/CSI: NY crossover sequence, concerning a serial killer on the loose - an atypical absurd plot - and involving Horatio Caine from Miami, who does nothing except showcase the unique acting style of David Caruso, which doesn't suit New York.
Like in the early days of Las Vegas, no one is allowed a private life, which is odd since CSI: NY 1.2 ended with Mac going out on a date - whatever happened to whatshername? Danny Messer (the increasingly excellent Carmine Giovinazzo) is given more to do and becomes the most interesting of the investigators. Det. Don Flack is also brought into the picture more often, which is a good thing, since Eddie Cahill is an actor to watch.
The plotlines are clever and infinitely subtle, although a tiny minority seem laughable. Mac's team, after Aiden's departure, works well together and changes partners - in the business, not emotional, sense - regularly.
CSI: New York had the power to break the mould, which it did in Season 1 so successfully, but now has been forced back into line, so that the one-size-fits-all brand is not compromised. Although the detective stories are cunningly constructed and scientifically sophisticated, using new lab facilities, the quirky details are missing. The chemistry between Mac and Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) has been diluted in favour of lightweight banter and strict professionalism. Even the great Sinise is seldom stretched, suggesting imagination fatigue.
Although as slick and sharp as ever, let's hope the soul of Season 1 returns in Season 3.Reviewed on: 20 Jul 2006