CSI: NY - Season 3, Part 2

CSI: NY - Season 3, Part 2


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

CSI:NY is officially entertainment only. The cutting edge that originally marked Gary Sinise’s crew as different from the slick packaging of the others in the franchise is blunt now. The sexy, left field Aiden Burn (Vanessa Ferlito) has been replaced by the almost-but-not-quite-plain Lindsay “Montana” Monroe (Anna Belkap). Also, each episode has reverted to formula, with two stories running concurrently.

The plots are even more bizarre – a 26-year-old man, killed in a hotel toilet during his future bride’s hen bash, is impaled on a condom machine. “That’s a first,” Don Flack (Eddie Cahill) quips. “So much for safe sex.” Where once the locations of the murders were in back streets and condemned buildings, now, like in Las Vegas and Miami, they tend to be up market and designer led – a jewel encrusted cockroach crawls out of the mouth of one of New York’s best chefs, stabbed to death with a corkscrew. Danny Messer (Carmine Giovinazzo): “My favourite wine is beer.” Boom! Boom! And so the one-liner returns. In the early series, the detectives talked street; now they talk sound bites.

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Running stories are rare, but when they happen, like with the serial killer who implicates Mac Taylor (Sinise) in his death and when Stella Bonasera (Melina Kanakaredes) cuts herself at the crime scene of an Aids victim, it gives the series a solidity that quirky little murder mysteries don’t. In the end, it’s about detection, the lab, sifting through evidence, peering through microscopes to a sound tracked pop song. Do you care who did it? Not really. Do you believe in any of this? Not really. Does it matter? Not really.

The most successful episode is the last, Snow Day, and it’s the only one that contains the plot, the whole plot, in a single segment – no secondary murder to take half the team away. Although reminiscent of Die Hard, it has the space and time to build tension, as a gang of ex-IRA close down the CSI HQ in order to blow the vaults where $100million worth of confiscated drugs are being held. Only Mac and Stella remain in the building to thwart them.

The supporting cast, especially the vics (victims), tend to be beautiful, white and young. Someone in the marketing department must have sent a memo: Dead hunky guys and half naked hottie corpses make for high ratings - it’s about style, sex appeal and money.

All Kanakaredes has to do is walk across the room with those baby giraffe legs and an imperious, yet vulnerable, look in her eye and half the men on the planet self combust. Giovinazzo is more jeaned and jacketed in the field now, instead of being a lab rat with a smile that melts ice at 100 paces. It turns out that he talks like a blue collar grifter from Queens and that’s oddly reassuring, as is Cahill’s emergence as more than the tall, good looking assignment cop with an old school attitude. Now he has a bad haircut and more lines. Meanwhile, Belkap sits this one out for most of the series – Lindsay is off being a witness in a murder case, involving the killing of her high school friends years earlier – but when she comes back she looks comfy and close in Giovinazzo’s bed. As for Sinise, he’s an actor, not a showbiz celeb, and in the new, formulaic, air brushed CSI:NY he’s a bit of an anomaly. He doesn’t do suave, although they’ve given him a ridiculous, soft-as-goose-down, English girlfriend (Claire Forlani), who would drive the real Mac to drink in less than five episodes.

But it doesn’t happen. As you know it wouldn’t.

Reviewed on: 18 Oct 2007
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CSI: NY - Season 3, Part 2 packshot
Mac Taylor's team go up market for more bizarre murders, while Stella Bonasera has a scare in a contaminated crime scene.
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Director: Rob Bailey, Oz Scott, Duane Clark, David Von Ancken, Anthony Hemingway, David Jackson, Christine Moore, Scott Lautanen, Tim Iacofano, Joe Ann Fogle

Writer: Ann Donahue, Carol Mendelsohn, Anthony E Zulker, Pam Veasey, Zachary Reiter, Timothy J Lea, Bill Haynes, Wendy Battles, John Dove, Sam Humphrey, Daniele Nathanson

Starring: Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes, Carmine Giovinazzo, Hill Harper, Eddie Cahill, Anna Belkap, Robert Joy, A J Buckley, Claire Forlani

Year: 2006

Runtime: 720 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US/Canada


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