Category Archives: Television

Washing and watching

Understandably Daughter and I don’t talk NCIS as much as we did. What with it having been something of a wash-out and that. She watches it sooner than I do, though. ‘I do the washing up and watch at the same time,’ she explained.

Now me, I can’t do that, however bad. It’s strictly one thing at a time. So for weeks on end this spring NCIS was kept in recorded format. Kept. Not watched. Until we suddenly did, as I felt some catching up might be warranted. The Resident IT Consultant didn’t mind as much as I’d thought he would, and when we’d caught up the other day, he expressed an interest in watching some more. I told him there was no more.

We watched Big Bang Theory instead.

But it gives me a little hope that the last two episodes won’t be washing-up material. The last couple were just about enjoyable, meaning that both the writing and the directing were OK-ish. Even the acting. And now everyone knows Gibbs’s dark secret.

Will that bother them? Or is there to be no cliffhanger this May? Can they fashion one out of nothing, or will they dig up some old stuff? I mean, one can actually go off for the summer break with not a single cliff in sight.

Because there is a season 17 coming… While Gibbs will be a mere 61, Mark Harmon is going to reach 68, and he ought to be retired. As an agent, if not an actor.

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Following more money

It’s been good to be back with the people of Bedrag/Follow the Money. If by good you mean that it’s good stuff to watch, not that it feels good. It feels dreadful. There is very little – is there anything? – that stands for promise.

Well, hair is good. I’m glad to see Nicky grew some during his time in Spain. He might be an ‘unpleasant little shit’ but hair helps, for those who have it. He’s lonely, but he has family, and sort of friends.

Alf, on the other hand, is lonely in such an awful way that you feel Wallander was all happiness and sunshine. I thought it was bad seeing him sleepless and alone at ‘home’ but seeing him try to build an IKEA wardrobe? With the drawer refusing to work…

Bedrag 3

I understand that for UK viewers it looks interestingly bleak and Danish, and presumably suitably different from their own lives. But I see only some place where I might have lived, not even managing to swear at a misbehaving drawer.

Don’t quite remember how things were left at the end of the second season. Were Nicky and Alf the only people left standing? Did the others quietly sign themselves out?

Anna at the bank, who understandably wants some action after 25 uneventful years at her desk, is awful, but at the same time you find yourself rooting for her. Wanting her money laundering to go well.

Perhaps that’s the charm? We watch Bedrag and turn into thieves, the lot of us, with some gratuitous bad language and violence on top. It’s anything but relaxing.

To LA or not to LA, that is the question

I’m feeling the pressure here, guys. Every Monday without fail, my stats explode. People clearly want to read my thoughts on the latest episode of NCIS: Los Angeles. And I rarely deliver. At least not with such speed.

To be perfectly open with you, I have the last six episodes just sitting here, waiting for my attention. I can’t decide if I’m going to watch, or if now is the time to give up. The whole show has gone silly.

Perhaps that is what my readers want confirmed? Or are we supposed to celebrate together, delirious with happiness over Deeks and Kensi getting married? Yes, I know they are. Social media has been all over this wedding.

It’s hard to decide. Or rather, I wonder if or when I will regret stopping. But I think back to NCIS: New Orleans. I carried on until Christmas. That’s the first Christmas. Then I stopped, half-heartedly believing I might start again if I grew bored. I haven’t yet. And I discovered recently that they are on season five, or some such impossible number!

Sam, Deeks, Kensi and Callen

I have invested a lot in LA. They grew on me. I carried on because the characters became my friends. I carried on when it became really far too silly. They rallied a little, and were temporarily better than big brother NCIS. And more recently they were not.

Not in the slightest. It’s become such an embarrassment I wonder the actors don’t refuse to work.

I’m being harsh, I know. But really, this is letting the fans down. It really is.

When I look at the piled up episodes, I feel no curiosity, which is usually how one gives in and starts again.

Yeah, baby

Do CBS scriptwriters not know the facts of life? The birds and the bees, and stuff like that?

In this week’s Bull Marissa’s husband – whom I can’t take to, no matter what – has opened her mail. He has found she has had her eggs frozen and wants to know if she wants a baby.

I can find no sensible reason for the frozen eggs, but never mind that for the time being. But when he reckons they might try for a baby, Marissa says they can’t. He has to go and artificially inseminate her frozen eggs!

But they have all the equipment they need, right there, in the marital bed!

It’s as with Palmer and Mrs Palmer in NCIS. They were going to start married life giving a home to a needy child, so instead of making their own baby, they enter into a contract with a surrogate mother.

Something’s wrong here.

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

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!

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)