The Weatherly glue

Watching Bull this week I had a bit of an epiphany. I’d merely hoped to be entertained, something I was in much more need of after this week’s NCIS. Home of the Brave was a dreadful episode, even if they were dealing with a worthwhile topic like the right for soldiers of non-US nationality to live in America.

They tried. But the writing was poor as was the acting. Although I did come up with a purpose for Quinn. She could be there to be got rid of. The token sacrifice that needs to be made, but which doesn’t upset too much when it happens.

So, Bull. It wasn’t marvellous. But it told me one thing, and that is that Michael Weatherly has the ability to pull a whole team together; on screen, and possibly off screen as well.

I’m pleased to see him, because over the 13 years he was with NCIS, you get used to a person, even when they are not actively admired by you.  I am discovering a long term fondness for Michael.

The loss of him as DiNozzo is not the loss of one character. It’s the loss of the glue that held NCIS together. It’s often been said that Mark Harmon is that person. If so, he’s become unstuck. But I suspect it was that pesky joker, DiNozzo/Weatherly, all this time.

He took his superglue and went off to be Bull. It’s not award winning stuff – yet – but it’s a first season, and they are trying. His old place of work ought to give that a go, because they need it. Glue. And good writing. Maybe even a little good directing and good acting.

4 responses to “The Weatherly glue

  1. Thanks for pointing this out. I loved Michael, and his character, in NCIS. But the appeal and complexity of Michael’s Tony REALLY grew when he was paired with Cote de Pablo. They elevated show, and maybe it was they who really helped make magic happen there, Tony wasn’t really Tony after Cote departed, IMHO, nor was the Gibbs/DiNozzo dynamic there anymore. And I found S1-2 Tony sort of obnoxious.

    I have said goodbye to NCIS, it’s like the air was leaked out of the tire and they are limping along on a flat. Dour Gibbs is not what drove me to watch.
    Happy to Watch Bull, though. And Michael.

  2. I think he was OK in season 1, but the interaction with Kate the following year was infantile. And you’re right about his pairing with Ziva. I still feel that NCIS survived without her. Bishop was no replacement, but on her own didn’t ruin the team.
    What we have now is on the one hand two or three newcomers, and that is too many all at once. And on the other hand, the existing team have been diluted and at the same time Gibbs and McGee have both gone weird, and Abby and Ducky are given less time and less importance.
    I liked the dour Gibbs, but he’s lost even that now. Either Mark Harmon can’t care less, or he’s lost his marbles. The only way the episode with Quinn this week could have been made to work was if he’d been his old self.
    DiNozzo would have laughed at her.

  3. Spot on. While it was the team that initially brought me into NCIS, and I was quite fond of all the characters, I soon realized it was Tony, and Weatherly, that kept me watching, long after all the shininess wore off. S12 everything felt off, and S13 was painful to watch, mostly due to Gibbs’ distance and coldness. It seemed so polarizing. There was no team-feel anymore. And I felt as you did that Harmon seemed bored witless. Once Weatherly left, I did as well, and not with a small amount of relief.
    I followed Michael into Bull and never looked back. I’m enjoying the show immensely, and feel it’s starting to hit it’s stride. The writing gets more interesting with each ep, and characters feel more and more like a real team.
    To be honest, I’m not the least bit surprised that Weatherly has shown that he can carry a lead and pull a cast together, because I saw this quality while he was on NCIS. But it’s great to see him get to work his magic in Bull, after being wasted his last few years on NCIS.

  4. The more I think about it, I can only assume Michael saw where it was heading and spent some time working out how and where he could escape to. Bull is a sort of DiNozzo meets The Good Wife.
    Bull’s team seem quite normal, and they are allowed to develop as characters, and we will come to love them as we find out who they are and why they work well together.
    Be grateful if you didn’t see this week’s NCIS. It was so embarrassing. Robert Wagner probably wondered why he bothered to come back.

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