NCIS – Catching up with the past?

I suppose it’d be too much to ask that more recent scriptwriter recruits sit down and watch the 350 odd episodes of NCIS they haven’t been part of? Just so they know what they are supposed to work on? Ten a day and you’d be done in a month. Almost.

Daughter and I tore NCIS to shreds on the phone a couple of days ago, and this is something we don’t do lightly. We love it too much, or have loved it too much, to want to do it. But what are they doing? Her theory for the lack of old favourite recurring characters not – well – recurring so much now, is that they don’t want to.

The actors, that is. They can’t all be too busy; Borin, SecNav, and so on. Fornell was there this season, but his part is getting too ridiculous, and maybe he only joined in out of kindness.

If there are some serious issues to do with Mark Harmon and why Pauley Perrette left, then it would explain a lot. Give rumours – or truth – enough of an airing and no one will want to touch what was until recently such a successful and happy show. Or was it?

We’re assuming there will be no season 17.

There could be. Get rid of Gibbs, tell McGee to mature back to where he was before, and give him a shave, and find a new boss. Borin, maybe. She’d work well with Torres.

I think I know why the acting is bad. The longer serving actors can’t be bothered, and perhaps neither can the directors. And could it be they no longer take on really good writers, or that there aren’t so many like that to choose from?

If this is the end, there’s probably no point in killing people. Otherwise I’d say kill a few to spice things up and have them replaced. Currently my favourites are Torres, Bishop and Kasie. Palmer when he’s allowed to be Palmerish rather than a pale copy of Ducky.

The threat against Vance; has it been forgotten or are we building up nicely to something magnificently bad? Two threats now, but not even a reminder of what might be coming, if only as a hint.

Kill Gibbs. That way Mark Harmon can keep his civilian hair, and I’m sure the man can negotiate enough money without actually appearing.

NCIS cast season 16

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I was trying to have my hair cut, when

the fans phoned. I’ve never forgotten the constant ringing of the bloody phone, but assumed it was ‘normal,’ somehow. And here I discover in this morning’s television interview with Gyllene Tider’s Per Gessle and Micke Andersson, that it’s not been commonly known… According to Micke his mother was furious. No, more like annoyed, I’d guess. Siv’s too nice to do furious. She had to hire someone just to answer the phone, because it seems the fans didn’t want to book themselves in for haircuts.

Sorry about the interview, by the way. It’s in Swedish. But you can still enjoy it. Per looks a little wrinkly, but Micke has his parents’ good looks. (I know, because he posted a photo of them on facebook last week, and they haven’t aged at all.)

I was too cool back then to have much interest in Gyllene Tider. And it’s weird to think they are now breaking up for the last time (?) and will set out on their 40th anniversary tour this summer. I suspect I will miss it, just as I have all the others. I don’t do crowds well, nor standing for hours.

I – almost – share their accent, and I believe them when they say that they were always a ‘good’ band. It’s what happens when you have cows outside your house.

Gyllene Tider

NCIS: Los Angeles back-to-back

What kind of rubbish is this?

I left NCIS: LA a few weeks before Christmas, because I was busy and because they ceased to excite me even slightly. So the episodes started piling up, waiting to be watched, but I was in no hurry, and it was only a lull in life in general that got us going, watching three episodes this last week, ending with the Christmas one.

Even this close to February, I can be a sucker for a Christmas episode; a little too sweet and a bit soft. But this was ridiculous, and not eased by the team drinking to Hetty and Granger.

While not averse to some team romance, there is too much of it, and it is too silly. Our previously normal people act like idiots over extremely minor aspects to life and love. OK, I know not everyone can be Gibbs of over ten years ago, but the restrained way he and Hollis Mann conducted their affair is to be admired, and copied.

And the crimes! There isn’t much to them, and they might not be ‘easy’ to solve, but some of the clues are obvious, but the agents still labour over them forever.

As for their succession of bosses, they ought to be embarrassed. Retire Hetty in an official way. There is no reason not to. Mosley, well, I don’t know. But she’s not there, is she? Ochoa? Nice looking. Too nice. Rogers could be good, but they are not letting him. He could be a new Granger if he hadn’t been made to look like a fool.

Is there a reason to continue watching?

And for anyone who thinks I like nothing, I do. The green booths in Deeks’ and Kensi’s new bar look fantastic!

Farewell to Ray Sawyer

I was sorry to hear that Ray Sawyer died today. He was 81, which seems almost impossible when you think back to his image in earlier days.

Having been a great fan of Dr Hook & the Medicine Show decades ago, I liked both Dennis Locorriere and Ray. Both had gorgeous voices. Very different voices, but which made Dr Hook what they were.

I have always loved the solo album Ray recorded back then, even if in later years I was concerned about his view of women. But I decided you can like someone’s singing, and the song [the music] but still disagree with how women were portrayed in those songs.

I particularly like The One I’m Holding Now, while it illustrates what I say above.

From me to you

Happy Christmas!

Postbox in snow

NCIS – What Child Is This?

What kind of writing is this? Meant to be cute and Christmassy. I get that. But it was so poor it even made Gibbs looks good. I couldn’t work out why it was so weak, apart from the plot, until it occurred to me that where they used to ‘show’ they now ‘tell.’ And that’s not what a top television show does.

OK, we had a newborn baby. Sweet. And Torres and Bishop got to do the parenting bit, giving each other eyes. Gibbs and Sloane turned into grandparents, and Palmer and McGee showed the world how to change a nappy and swaddle a baby.

McGee, Bishop and Torres

But, even if having a baby adopted is best for the baby – which I don’t agree with – I don’t feel a television show like NCIS should preach this message to its vast audience. Nor should agents at NCIS tell someone adoption is for the best, whatever their own experience might be.

Palmer and Kasie telling each other about homelessness and veterans of wars deserving better? Very true, but should have been shown, rather than have them discourse on the matter, explaining away. Are audiences supposed to be that stupid then?

Were we not told that Kasie was a very experienced forensic scientist, when she first turned up? Now we suddenly find she was busy dropping out of grad school a year ago. They could have placed her personal trauma a little further into the past, and it would still have worked.

But I suppose all is well that ends well? Baby Cody-Logan-Luke has new parents and Gibbs and Sloane look all lovey-dovey.

(Photo © CBS)

Warming hearts before Christmas

Well, that’s what we needed in a cold and dreary December!

After an uncomfortably long break from Bull, there was some pre-Christmas cheer. Not too much, but enough to convey hope. And that’s with them tackling US immigration policies. I could see it had to come, but couldn’t quite see how you’d get a decent outcome without distorting reality.

Bull - Separation, portrait

Two stories that ended up a lot closer to each other than you might have thought to begin with. The main characters were sympathetic people; the official ones less so.

Warming to Gabriel even more. The question is whether he’s a keeper, or if he’s done his bit by now. Bull’s employees don’t have marvellous track records where partners are concerned.

But it was at least a little bit Miracle on 34th Street.

(Photo © CBS)