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Posted on 2008.08.03 at 15:50
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: NCIS Theme
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My wife voraciously consumes entire seasons of television on DVD. I'm usually ignorant of the details, but there have been a couple of shows that I've actually sat down and participated in if I happen upon her in her zone. One of these shows I took more than a passing interest in was NCIS. Those of you who are around my age no doubt remember Mark Harmon as the no-talent heartthrob women were swooning over back in the day. And while he may no longer be the 'Sexiest Man Alive' they finally found a roll for him in which he excels.

Mark Harmon plays an aging Naval Criminal Investigator who leads a young. bright team. Most of the stereotypes are here, not unlike any other television show on the planet (with the sole exception perhaps that the lab tech is over-the-top goth, and is permitted to dress as such OTJ) but I enjoy the chemistry nonetheless. It was a spin-off of JAG (a show I couldn't stand) with a focus of field investigation rather than courtroom drama. Not only did I not care for the cast of JAG, but I was still in the military when it aired and its inane glamorizations grated on me. To boot, every series I can think of eventually falls subject to itself if it runs long enough. That is, rather than airing episodes of what the series is about, it turns inward, creating a drama of the characters until it disintegrates. I'm sure this one is also headed that direction, but I'll watch it until it does.

This show has supplanted Criminal Minds (Much love for Mandy Patinkin!) as the single series I will allow myself in the limited time I spend watching a network television series. Season six premiers this fall, and I'm doing my best to catch up.

HOWEVER, at the end of Season 2, the cliffhanger episode, one of the main characters was shot and killed. I have not had a reaction like this to a television shooting since Adama caught two in the chest at the end of Battlestar Galactica's first season. I was beside myself. One of the things I do enjoy about serial stories is their ability to take their time in character definition, and I was really enjoying the maturity of the show - they'd found their groove. BUT THEY KILLED ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS! IN THE SECOND SEASON! I rushed out and purchased Season 3 at a whopping $50 only to be gravely disappointed. The next two episodes were designed to deal with the death of the agent, but they did so in classic Scooby-Doo style storytelling with unrealistic emotions, wacky scenarios, and ultimately, forgettable writing. I found the entire thing disrespectful [to the memory of the agent] and disingenuous.

Worse still, they replaced the dead agent who was beautiful and funny and had a sexual tension with one of the other characters, with an agent who was beautiful and funny and has sexual tension with the same agent.

And even worse still...the writers fell subject to my personal bane of television-show equations: "six degrees of separation" in order to explain everything away. Reprehensible! You see, the agent was replaced by a girl who was the murderers half-sister, brought in by the lead agent's ex-lover who's now...their director!

Tidy. Completely unbelievable, but tidy. Yeah, I'm bitter.

And I sure do miss her.

Season three is shaping up quite nicely, though - they're back to doing what they do - that is, the reason I watch the show - and as soon as I finish up the box set I'm going to mail the first three seasons to galinda822. I think she'll enjoy them, and she'll finally be able to see what catttitude was referring to in the mannerisms and attitude of the character that reminded her of her.

Visiting my folks this weekend we had a great time - it'd been too long since I was last there. Dad took us out for Mexican at our favorite restaraunt in Decatur, I got plenty of visiting in with each of my parents individually, and the hotel had a widescreen LCD television in it, so we bought a cheap DVD player to hook up to it and spent our evenings watching NCIS while the kids stayed with them. Life is good.


(Deleted comment)
ehowton at 2008-08-03 21:57 (UTC) (Link)
I can bring by all the box sets when I get them back from galinda822 if you like. Just in case you missed an episode.

I'll likely want to purchase Season four when I'm done with this one. Target has it for $42.
David Alexander McDonald (Steven E. McDonald)
wyldemusick at 2008-08-03 23:40 (UTC) (Link)
I like NCIS, but I suspect Pauley Perrette is about 77% of the reason. She's actually a mad Goth poet in her life outside of the show, too.

NCIS wobbles a lot unfortunately, and there's coming character drama of an eye-rolling kind on the way once Lauren Holly gets there. One fairly nice thing, though, is that the UST between Ziva and Tony mostly goes away in favor of a brother-sister thing that's sometimes quite funny, and sometimes quite touching.

As for Cait, the character was killed because the actress wanted off the show, and liked the idea of her character dying in the line of duty. Unfortunately, "Kill Ari" sucked as a storyline -- and I always found Ari to be annoying.

The end of the fourth season is when show co-creator Bellisario was booted off the production (well, agreed to leave due to tensions in the production office.)
ehowton at 2008-08-04 01:45 (UTC) (Link)
My wife enjoyed the sibling rivalry between Cait & Tony - moreso than what we're seeing now (Season 3) with Ziva, so that's good to know. And in trying to find the reason the character was killed (thank you very much) without wanting to gleen future spoilers (thanks again) I did happen upon the Bellisario angle and wonder if that is going to be the nail in its coffin for me. As far as why</> Sasha Alexander wanted off the show - any ideas? I greatly enjoyed her participation.
David Alexander McDonald (Steven E. McDonald)
wyldemusick at 2008-08-04 02:07 (UTC) (Link)
I tried to avoid spoilers... :)

Sasha Alexander wanted of the show because the workload was too heavy for her, basically, and she had a lot of difficulty coping with the physical demands of the action -- essentially just a bad fit between show and actress. There's never been any indication of bad blood between her any anyone else on the show.

Contrary to what might be expected, Bellisario's departure has actually helped the show in terms of what they're doing, and it gave them an opportunity to close out some storylines through the last season. I don't know whether you've come to that point yet, but there's a somewhat amusing (in the end) bit of meta in the series regarding Bellisario's tendency to hire his relatives for his shows -- the character of Chip is played by another of Bellisario's relatives (just as Tim McGee is), but his brief storyline is pretty much the other senior staff screwing with Bellisario.
ehowton at 2008-08-04 14:40 (UTC) (Link)
You're a fount of knowledge!
prog_guy69 at 2008-08-04 10:41 (UTC) (Link)
I thought you were going to be "unplugged" until the second week of August? You just can't stay away from us...
ehowton at 2008-08-04 11:47 (UTC) (Link)
Check your calendar, dude ;)
catttitude at 2008-08-04 17:33 (UTC) (Link)
Hon, it is the 3rd of Aug. Not the second week of Aug, that would be Aug.15th I think. Anyway, you did a really good job. I am proud of you.
ehowton at 2008-08-04 19:04 (UTC) (Link)
Well, yeah - I had this convo with galinda822 - I knew we were going to be busy this weekend and through today so...seeing how the 'first' week started on Friday, I was counting the following Sunday as the 'second' week; not the second full-set of a seven day period.

My bad.
catttitude at 2008-08-05 13:17 (UTC) (Link)
Why do you make everything so complicated?
ehowton at 2008-08-05 13:28 (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea.
prog_guy69 at 2008-08-05 11:32 (UTC) (Link)
You beat me to it. Apparently he has a different definition of what constitutes a week than you and I. He did go a number of days without posting. That is why most recent post was titled "In the absence of thine friends."

ehowton at 2008-08-05 11:36 (UTC) (Link)
That is so sweet!
catttitude at 2008-08-05 13:06 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, he went about 4 days. It seems like 2 weeks to him. Heheee.
prog_guy69 at 2008-08-06 11:25 (UTC) (Link)
So 4 days in ehowton/lj time is equal to 14 days to other people? Sounds similar to the old 1 year is like 7 years to a dog.

And no, I'm not comparing your husband to a dog. :-)
catttitude at 2008-08-07 15:31 (UTC) (Link)
Very good, it is true my man has no since of time. He is in E time.
galinda822 at 2008-08-04 22:54 (UTC) (Link)
I look forward to watching the series. I might not like the episode where "I" get killed though. :(
ehowton at 2008-08-05 04:39 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, thats a real bummer. I hope you take it better than I did!
galinda822 at 2008-08-06 00:20 (UTC) (Link)
I shall try!
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