Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ALPHABET SOUP: Even though it's the #4 show on TV so far this season (and the #2 scripted show), we have apparently never blogged substantively about NCIS. My Dad is a fan, and between the DVR, USA's constant repeats, I was subjected to multiple episodes over my trip to Houston for the holidays. And you know what? It's not that bad. Heck, it's actually kind of enjoyable. Let's see why:
  • Like CSI: Original Recipe (but not CSI: Extra Tasty Crispy or CSI: Now More Morose), we have a number of characters who are unabashedly dorky. And dorks are represented both in the younger sphere (Field Agent McGee, Forensic Specialist Sciuto) and the older ("Ducky," the medical examiner). Heck, even Mark Harmon gets to indulge his dorkiness from time to time.
  • However, we don't just limit it to dorky. Even though NCIS is an old-skewing show, it has the only regular Goth character on television in Abby Sciuto, who's the perkiest Goth you could ever imagine.
  • The show doesn't take itself too seriously, but rather has a sense of humor about itself. It's neither self-consciously wacky (I'm lookin' at you, Psych) nor so ponderous and self-important that it's no longer fun to watch (L&O:SVU). The mysteries are generally solid.
  • Even though it's filmed in Los Angeles, it's set in DC and generally looks like it rather than LA passing as DC.
  • Bonus points? GFTJ! The NCIS team has a female Mossad liason who's consistently portrayed as the most competent of the bunch and certainly could kick the ass of any of the other team members.
Is it Great Television? No. But it's a reasonably diverting way to spend a half-hour, and with Hizzy vacating the timeslot and other options being decidedly mixed--According to Jim, Idol, 90210, and Biggest Loser--especially for those of us not Idol oriented, it's not a bad choice at all.

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