If I could use one word to describe CSI: Miami, it would be 'warm'. Both in color and character behavior, especially when compared to the original CSI. Immediately, I took a strong liking to Horatio and Calleigh when watching season one and over the next few episodes came to really get invested in each of them. To be honest, I'm not real sure why many people seem to prefer the original over Miami as I think they're both very similar shows, yet totally different. Where CSI is literal and very technical, Miami is more about the way Horatio bonds with the victims and saves the day, while overall being a great and supportive boss. Gil in comparison, doesn't seem to have any feelings except when it comes to bugs. He is cold and rude to his fellow CSI's, especially Greg and it's very uncomfortable to watch. My least favorite character in Miami is still more likeable than my favorite in CSI. I also feel that the chemistry between each of the characters on Miami is significantly stronger. Horatio is a friend and a good boss, never berating his CSI's for mistakes and praising them for a job well done. Some have criticized the show for precisely that, stating Horatio is "too perfect" but I think he's just a kind person.
This season is a very, very solid kickoff to the second in franchise of the CSI series. It is also my favorite reincarnation. Miami "officially" begins with a Las Vegas episode titled "Cross Jurisdictions" where we are introduced to each of the main characters and they are given ample screen time. It's also a great taste of what is to come for the whole series as throughout the show's 10 season run, the characters stay mostly to true form. CSI: Miami is known for being very colorful, and highly saturated and while compared to even the original and CSI: NY, this season is not as colorful as it will be in later seasons. And that is also another aspect that really drew me to Miami in the first place. I like high saturation, bright lights, and beautiful scenery. Miami delivers on all accounts. For the first season, we don't get the brightness we are usually accustomed to. This is very evident in their interrogation rooms where it is dark and cool, with blue being the main component. We do see plenty of the beautiful city of Miami though, each episode has some amazing shots.
While this is a great introduction to the series and you will love it if watching for the first time, when you compare it to CSI: Miami's nine other seasons, it's a little dull. The series definitely gets more exciting and character driven as it goes on. As being the show's official series premiere, "Golden Parachute" is very exciting and showcases what each and every character does the best. Eric being the resident diver, recovering underwater evidence, Calleigh examining bullet holes, Alexx caring for the dead and so on. There are a few duds ("Wet Foot/Dry Foot", which also provides some political leanings I don't care for and "Breathless", just generally boring) but these occur early in the season so as it continues, it just gets better. The good definitely outweigh the bad here. "Kill Zone", "Dispo Day", "Ashes to Ashes", and particularly "Broken" are just a few of the season's best. "Broken" is uncharacteristically dark for Miami, which makes it overall one of the series best. And in the season finale "Body Count", a prison breakout has occurred which sparks an exciting few episodes manhunt.
As for the product itself, the season one dvd is in a plastic case that flaps open and goes into an outer cover insert. Special features and a list of every episode is included on the back of the outside case, clearly stating which disk they are on. The dvd's themselves have nice cover design and are in a very sturdy and protective holder. For being the first season, there are a decent number of special features, each of them being fun and informative with behind the scenes sneak peeks and cast interviews. Four audio commentaries are also available. If you are someone who likes fun dvd menus (as I do), then you will be a little disappointed in this one. It's just like CSI: Las Vegas first few seasons with a boring background. Just go straight to the episodes! The show is presented in widescreen format, and unfortunately does NOT have subtitles! The quality of video and audio is exactly how you would have viewed it on tv, not diminishing the overall product.
If you are a HUGE CSI: Las Vegas fan, you might be a little biased and not care for Miami. If you're like me and feel neutral, you might love Miami. It is definitely worth a shot and this is a great product.