NCIS, CBS Television Network

At some point, I've watched all of the shows of the CSI franchise: Las Vegas, Miami, and New York, (not to mention the spin offs like Cold Case, and Without A Trace). After a few episodes, at least to me, they start to all become the same- another sex crazed serial murderer on the loose, terrorizing the citizens of (fill in the name of the appropriate city from the name of the show here), and the crime lab one step behind, busily snapping pics, swabbing blood, running fingerprints through databases, and waiting for DNA matches that almost never get done until more than halfway through the show. Once in a while things are a little different, but for the most part, I'm not that intrigued with the whole lot of them and don't currently watch any of them.
The one standout among the CBS network's crime scene shows is NCIS. From the first episode, I was hooked and still am. NCIS stands for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the show started as a spin off from CBS' JAG series, which I never liked. When a crime is committed by or against a Navy or Marine service member, NCIS are the ones that get involved to solve it. On this show, we focus on one team based near our nation's capital, so that the settings often involve Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland (with an occasional field trip to Guatanamo Bay, or an aircraft carrier).

I think the reason that NCIS is far better than the other CSI shows is the actors involved, and their chemistry which is just right. Mark Harmon, who plays Jethro Gibbs, is a former Marine sniper, whose past is always shrouded in more than a little mystery, and has had more than his share of pain and dysfunctional relationships through the years. He is the lead investigator for the team, and really makes the show what it is, as he is the guy that you want in your corner in a crisis. The rest of the characters mesh very well including the street smart former cop, Anthony Dinozzo, the computer savvy “probee,” Timothy McGee, the Goth lab technician, Abbey, the wise British pathologist, Duckie, and the Israeli secret service member, Officer David (although Kate from the 1st two seasons was MUCH better than her).

As we finish up the fourth season with two episodes left, once again it's been a great show to watch and follow. The plots have been relevant and could be taken from today's headlines The acting is well done, with dialogue that is believable and reveals the characters as the shows progress. I also like the way that that NCIS has ongoing plot lines that show the personal lives of the agents, which gives them far more depth than is often found in television drama, and keeps in the human element.

If you haven't seen the show yet, be sure to take a look. I'm sure there will be repeats this summer, and also on the CBS site the entire season can be viewed currently. NCIS airs Tuesday nights at 8 PM, and is one more good reason to not watch American Idol.

Overall Grade: A

1 comment:

James Lynch said...

I watch NCIS, but it is something of a guilty pleasure. Much like JAG, it's more about the love-hate (or teasing-respect) relationships between the team members. There are few realistic elements to procedures (very little in terms of warrants or paperwork) and lots of silliness (McGee's novel where all the characters are based on coworkers, the junior agents having a secret affair behind Duckie's back in the morgue). It's fun, but it's also silly.