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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Murder > Crime > Police Procedural > Detective > Action > Western > British > CSI: NY – The Eighth Season/CSI: Miami – The Final Season (aka Season Ten)/CSI – The Twelfth Season (all 2011 – 2012/CBS DVDs)/Hawaii Five-O: The Second Season (2011 – 2012/CBS Blu-rays)/Rawhide – The

CSI: NY – The Eighth Season/CSI: Miami – The Final Season (aka Season Ten)/CSI – The Twelfth Season (all 2011 – 2012/CBS DVDs)/Hawaii Five-O: The Second Season (2011 – 2012/CBS Blu-rays)/Rawhide – The Fifth Season, Volume One + Volume Two (1962 – 1963/CBS DVDs)/Wallander 3 (2012/BBC DVDs)


Picture: C+/C+/C+/B-/C+/C+/C     Sound: C+/B-/B-/B/C+/C+/C+     Extras: C/C+/C+/C+/C-/C-/D     Episodes: C/C+/C+/C+/B-/B-/B-



Some TV shows are doing well enough that the season just keep on coming.  Here are six of them in their latest round of releases…




We have covered many, if not all of the various CSI season in both Blu-ray and DVD formats.  If you are unfamiliar with any of the shows or want alternative coverage, try this ever-expanding link:





So here we have three CSI series, one of which is wrapping up while it is ahead, relatively speaking.  My least favorite is CSI: NY – The Eighth Season which is the weakest of all the franchise, has not improved and is not the one ending.  Though Gary Sinise is not bad, this is just a tired, played out spin-off with limited excitement to offer and though it at least makes New York City look better than Blue Bloods, the teleplays are very formulaic and the 18 hour-long shows here are adequate at best.  For fans only, how much longer can this one go on?



CSI: Miami – The Final Season (aka Season Ten) is the one ending, vindicating David Caruso’s career and while they were at least more exciting than the other spin-off.  We get the last 19 hour-long shows in this set and everyone squeezed everything out of this version as they could, so thank you all for not letting this get worse.  The teleplays are a but better, but not by much.



CSI – The Twelfth Season is the first time I get to see Ted Danson in action in a more serious role and he actually pulls it off to my surprise taking over the lead detective/investigator role.  Thanks to him, this show has a few more years in it, but like the spin-offs, they seem like endless Love Boat seasons, but CBS needs the hits so they’ll be around a few more years.  We get 22 hour-long shows and the scripts are at least playable and the cast has some energy here, so that helps, but it is almost like they are in a contest with Law & Order for the Perry Mason Endurance Prize for which show can stay on TV the longest.  All three are generally boring, but at least they are not the usual outright stupid TV the networks keep giving us.



With the rumor of Scott Caan leaving dead, Hawaii Five-O: The Second Season shows CBS has successfully revived the older hit series that also ran long beyond the years it should have.  Alex O’Loughlin is back as McGarrett and Wo Fat has arisen, but the show (with the origins restart out of the way) is finally up to some kind of speed and if you missed the debut season, try this link:




Another plus is that Terry O’Quinn has joined the cast and that can only help matters.  I still don’t think the show looks as good as the best of the early seasons, but it is no worse than any of the CSIs and we’ll see if they can get better.  You get 23 hour-long episodes over 5 Blu-rays.


Extras for these four sets include select audio commentary tracks on select episodes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reels on all but regular CSI and four making of featurettes a piece, though regular CSI has six and Five-O adds the Touch Of Death NCIS: Los Angeles crossover episode.



Speaking of older shows, we have one classic in Rawhide – The Fifth Season, Volume One + Volume Two (1962 – 1963) celebrating 50 years!  We have only sporadically covered earlier half-season sets as follows:


Season 2, V. 1



Season 4, V. 2



This season is as good as the prior ones, demonstrating that the show was a better TV Western than I realized or that many people give it credit for, but it is usually remembered for being 5that show Clint Eastwood was on before he was a star than for the top-rate production it was.  Eric Fleming was the star and besides the memorable theme song, it was simply a quality production that might have had more money in it than the average Western.  The sets have 16 and 15 hour-long episodes respectively and some episodic promos are the only extras across both sets.



Finally we have the Kenneth Branagh in Wallander 3 (2012) which is a hit English language remake of a show we covered from the start, as you can see with the following links:

First DVD set



Second DVD set



The innovation here is that BBC Video has finally numbered the volume after not for some reason, as if they did not expect the show to last or maybe Branagh to be able to stick with it.  It is still a good show, but despite only offering three telefilms at a time, it is also starting to show some signs of wear.  Still, it is the best and smartest of the new detective shows here and the mysteries include An Event In Autumn, The Dogs Of Riga and Before The Frost.  There are no extras.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on all three CSIs can be soft and have detail, depth and color limits, but they are all still sharper than the still-too-soft Wallander playback in the same format.  Even the 1.33 X 1 black and white filmed-on 35mm film image on the two Rawhide volumes looks better than HD-shot Wallander, but they all take a backseat to the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Five-O, with even better color, but its use of digital graphics and styling down so many scenes still holds it back.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on Five-O are also the sonic champion among these releases as expected, followed by the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on CSI and CSI: Miami.  The same mix on CSI: NY is somehow weaker and too much towards the front speakers, pushing down to the level of the lossy Dolby 2.0 Mono on the Rawhide sets (which sound really good for their age) and lossy Dolby 2.0 Stereo on Wallander.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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