Wednesday, September 23, 2009

AND MACHINE WASHABLE, DARLING, THAT'S A NEW FEATURE: Part of the reason we settled on Wednesday as weekly Humiliation Day is the lack of bloggable television the preceding evening, but there were a couple of things I wanted to say about NCIS: Los Angeles, which is much improved from the backdoor pilot shown last season, having now at least an effort at a sense of humor and embracing the dorkiness that makes original recipe NCIS so entertaining.

1. Clearly, the pattern for NCIS: LA is "buddy cop," with Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J as the buddies. The standard racial paradigm for this is, of course, that the white guy is the uptight one and the black guy is the loose cannon (see, e.g., 48 Hours, Tracy Jordan in Black Cop/White Cop). The show, like Lethal Weapon before it, turns the premise on its head, with Cool James playing the stable one, and O'Donnell playing the relative loose cannon. It's an interesting subversion.

2. While billed as a "guest star," thank the lord that Linda Hunt is apparently a regular, since her character (who's basically Edna Mode from The Incredibles if Edna worked for the military cops) is made of win and provides a nice temper to the relentless "cool" vibe that O'Donnell and Cool J try to give off.

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