Sunday, November 1, 2009

NCIS: I Came, I Saw, I'm Going to Pass

A reader named velvet74 was kind enough to respond to my query: Who watches NCIS?

She (I'm assuming it's a she) said that among other things, she watches NCIS because the team feels like a family, and because of the many funny moments in the show. Intrigued, I asked her to recommend an episode or two to start with. She recommended two episodes, both of which she said were representative of the series.

I'll be honest--I was pretty excited to see what this show was all about. This crazy show that snags 17 million viewers with a rerun.

Ultimately, I did not like the show enough to continue watching. It had its positives, and I could definitely see the family appeal. Also, Mark Harmon is pretty hot for someone my dad's age. But alas, it was just "too" a lot of things:

1. Too light. velvet74 said this show was not your typical criminal procedural, but even so, I expected it to stick to the crime du jour more. At several points, I completely forgot what the plot was supposed to be. Who died? Who's that girl? What does the license plate have to do with anything? Now granted, I ask these same questions watching my beloved CSI: Miami and Law & Order: SVU, which have more twists than a TCBY pretzel. But with Miami and SVU, at least it's 40 minutes of crime and 2 minutes of everything else (characters' relationships, etc.). When I watch a crime drama, I expect it to feature crime. Prominently. With NCIS, the crime took a backstory to the characters.

2. Too much immature behavior. Coincidentally, both episodes I saw featured Abby dressing up in something other than her usual Goth getup. Both episodes featured McGee and Tony staring appreciatively at her body. Over and over. While she was rattling off theories and putting together clues. It made me uncomfortable. And worried for our nation's security.

3. Too white. One episode I watched was from 3 seasons ago, the other from 4 seasons ago. Fairly recent. I Wikipedia'd this show and saw that a black actor, Rocky Carroll, is now part of the main cast. Woot. But NCIS still needs more diversity.

Now for the things I liked about the show:

1. The theme song. It kicks butt. I watched it all the way through both times and got annoyed at my fiance when he started talking in the middle of it. The only thing I would say is the theme song misrepresents the show. NCIS's theme song suggests the show sizzles with action. Bombs. Guns. Fires. Karate kicks. Man, I hate when a theme song lies to me about the show.

2. The cast. I liked each of the characters individually (though I could've done without all the antics). I can see how people who have watched this show for 7 seasons would fall in love with the characters and all their quirks and backstories, and why they would even watch the reruns. It's like your crazy lovable uncle telling that same story at every Christmas dinner. Somehow, it never gets old. And did I mention Mark Harmon is hot?

I really wanted to like this show. I love when everyone and their mother says "Watch this show, watch it, watch it" and I'm like "Okay, but no promises" and then WHAMMO I get socked in the face by the realization that I really, really like it. I also wanted to get into a show that doesn't face the cancellation jury at the end of every season (I'm looking at you, Chuck, and you too, Ugly Betty). Wouldn't it be great to start liking a show that would definitely be around for a while?

If there is nothing else to watch and I know it's on, I may watch it. That's about it. Sadly, NCIS just isn't for me. But I thank you, velvet74, for your valiant effort!


  1. No problem. :) I appreciate your effort to get through it to get your point, and I understand your concerns, too. Clearly, NCIS is more about characters than about solving a crime.
    Maybe I was just wrong to recommend 2 episodes that had the same lightness, and very true, a little similar. I thought it would be easier than to watch the more dark episodes for someone who didn't know it (yes yes, there are very dark episodes too ! I promise ^^)
    But at least, we agree on something that is essential: Mark Harmon is hot !

  2. I'm so glad you understand velvet! I wouldn't have minded a dark episode, especially one that focused quite a bit on the crime itself. If you can suggest one, I'd check it out. :)

    Happy viewing!

  3. OK, now, I'm really embarassed. Because the dark ones, really dark ones, are often end of arcs, and so hard to choose one where you would feel at ease instantly.
    As it is, Ok I'll try this one: 6x08 (Cloak).
    There is humor, but less antics (I hope, but maybe I'm too contaminated by now to be entirely objective), there is action, there is some dark sides from lots of people (some shades of grey, maybe, bad guys being not so bad maybe, and good guys, not so good) but as it is, I think you could have the desire to see the following episode (Yes, yes I know ! I'm entirely too hopeful for my own good).

  4. Ok the one I gave you was more about espionnage, an other aspect of NCIS (it's part of their job, after all). So for a more basic crime scene, Episode 6x06 "Murder 2.0"

  5. Thanks for the suggestions. I will download those episodes for a rainy day. By the way, how did you get into NCIS? Mark Harmon? Or by randomly flipping through channels?

  6. Randomly at first. I had seen Harmon on other shows, but I was not quite a fan of him then. My boyfriend was watching TV and so I blame him for that. After first episode, I said, well, ok no too bad, but I had to watch one or two episodes more to get really into it. After that, well, it sort of became my favorite show, although I watch other shows like flash forward... ^^