Tag Archives: Adam Jamal Craig

New girl in NCIS: Los Angeles

Renée Felice Smith as Nell

It’s funny, but I greeted the news that Renée Felice Smith is joining NCIS: Los Angeles permanently as Nell Jones, Eric’s personal sidekick, as something positive. Then I turned to various forums and found that at least half of viewers hate her.

I know it’s upsetting when a favourite character goes, and most are assuming Nell is replacing Nate. It certainly looks like it. I don’t know whether CBS do audits to see who the fans like and don’t like, and the losers have to leave. But it wouldn’t surprise me.

They got rid of Macy even before series one proper started. That was because viewers felt she wasn’t right. And whereas I liked her, I think Hetty is more right. And Dom went halfway through series one, only to return to be got rid of again. They tested Deeks before deciding on Dom’s fate, and we appear to like Deeks better.

Now we have seen Nate go off to somewhere, and Nell turned up a little later. The fact that she’s now permanent doesn’t rule out a return for Nate. But I’d say it gets more unlikely. We can have lots of characters in a show, but ultimately they can only afford to pay for so many actors.

Other than that, I have to say how much better I’m finding NCIS: L A to be this season. The weeks are running by me at great speed and I won’t cover every episode here. Suffice it to say that the other week when I felt big brother NCIS was short on humour, that L A had plenty to offer.

Back to Los Angeles

Just because I haven’t blogged about NCIS: Los Angeles for some time doesn’t mean I’ve not been watching. I have. I sort of just decided to bide my time and wait and see. I have waited. I have seen.





Dom and Sam

And they are being brave-ish over in LA. It would have been too much to expect a happy ending for poor Dom, even though Daughter liked him so much. But now at least we have closure, as people like to say. First they went and got themselves a replacement for him. That was a big hint. And then when we knew they’d find Dom again, they sent replacement off on some undefined case somewhere, so that there would be no embarrassment.

In Found they seemed to be recycling parts of something like five different episodes of NCIS. There was the rooftop shoot-out. Ended no happier than it did for Ari and Kate. There was the feel of Truth or Consequences and Good Cop, Bad Cop. And a variety of others. It would have been a letdown to have Dom safe and sound and everything back to normal.

And in Hunted I wondered if they wanted to put Letty out to pasture as well, but maybe not. Getting close to the end of the season and we viewers need to feel the pinch a wee bit. Will it all go well? Will we see him/her back in September? And I do love it when Hetty stares into Director Vance’s stomach. Small and fierce.

Quite like Dom’s replacement Deeks. There was a certain feel to him even before we knew he was a ‘good guy’. Name suggests he’s Dane.

(Photos © CBS)

Past Lives – NCIS: Los Angeles

NCIS: LA was a surprisingly civilised affair for us this time. We had some nice food at home, for a change, and ate a lovely meal in front of the television with the latest instalment of LA. That, too, was pretty good, and certainly made more sense than the week before.

A bit sad for poor Callen again, but he’ll get there eventually. It was clear from the start that such a nice extra as Jeffrey Pierce had to be bad, deep down. He was. Recognised him from the ‘real’ NCIS, and by pure chance he was in the episode shown on television at the same time. I need to keep stats on whether they get to be good on one and bad on the other. He was good on NCIS, but a suspect. Obviously.

Not much more to say, unless someone wants the menu.

Actually, there is. Why are all children in series like these so cute?

Oh yes, and there was one more ex-NCIS actor on-board. Both he and the bad one looked so much better this time, which goes to prove that marine or navy haircuts give you a bad hair day. And my stats theory is working. Good today, bad the other time.

Palms in LA, NCIS style

There is no reason not to have a Christmas palm instead of the traditional spruce. At least not if you’re in California. So I think Callen was allowed to have his own style Christmas tree and we know that Hetty can deal with almost anything. But to follow on from my thoughts about her and clothes; can anyone imagine Gibbs decorating even his desk? He certainly let Daddy Gibbs down with the lack of seasonal cheer in his house last week.

Other than the tinsel on the set, it’s hard to fit California and Christmas into the same thought. It looked as sunny as ever, and they weren’t warmly dressed. (It must be sitting in a cold-ish house surrounded by snow that makes me crankier than usual.) But you could tell that they were aiming for some Christmas good will and soppiness quite early on, which rather helped in deciding who was naughty and who was nice.

Call me childish, but I like a seasonal flavour to my television series. What I like less, is having to wait three weeks for next time.

Los Angeles is improving

I decided to leave NCIS: Los Angeles alone to mature for a while. I don’t mean I didn’t watch it. I did. I just felt I wasn’t getting as excited as I’d have liked. The last three episodes have been markedly better, so I’m wondering whether the writers are learning as they go along, or if they use feedback? Could be sheer luck, I suppose.

NCIS: Los Angeles

Pushback and Ambush were both quite good, but now that I’ve watched Random on Purpose there’s no reason to hark back even to last week. We’d been waiting for this one, as Abby from NCIS was going to be in it for longer than just an appearance on screen from ‘Washington’. I still think Abby was scheduled in order to boost interest from original fans of the motherseries, except by now it was less necessary than it might have been.

Abby, NCIS: Los Angeles

Still find Hetty strange. Can you really have senior people in federal agencies quite so concerned with clothes?  I mean the stains on clothes and stuff like that. An interest in fashion is fairly normal. But, she is motherly, too, which I suppose is nice.

Anyway, back to Abby. She is called to Los Angeles to air her expert knowledge on a killer who leaves no traces. At all.

I knew that bar would be trouble. At least Abby kept her cool when things got hot. I was afraid she’d be more like she was at the nun’s house a couple of years ago.

Abby, NCIS: Los Angeles

Sam and Callen were almost as useful as Gibbs. I’m surprised Gibbs let Abby go. He won’t next time.

(Photos © CBS)

The second biggest show

The Guardian’s Will Dean, who writes their ‘Watch This’, asked ‘so what do we know?’ this week. Not much, but it’s always fun to say clever and sarcastic things about that which we don’t know all that much about. Just watch me!

We’re gratified, but surprised, to find that Sky have bought NCIS:Los Angeles. I suppose that once they discovered the number of viewers, they felt it was a ‘must have’. Or perhaps FX didn’t want it. Who knows? Channel Five openly admit to not knowing much on their website. They only know two weeks in advance they say. I’d say they are only willing to tell their customers two weeks in advance. That’s different. And if it’s not under FAQs, then don’t bother asking, because they won’t know either.

I wonder if Sky realise that NCIS:Los Angeles have all these people watching, because they have just watched NCIS? They are sandwiched together for a reason. As Will Dean says ‘it’s easy to sneer – and the clunky dialogue and daft edits seem designed to elicit such a reaction – but this is currently the second biggest show in the States.’ So what does he know?

It is well done, but you have to fall in love first. And that may be harder if you jump in somewhere in the middle of it all. You can do with some background. What I thought as I watched last week’s episode – the one with a ‘second Callen’ type – was that it’s a bit like doing something in the company of your best friend’s other best friend. It can work just fine, or it can be a little tricky to get on.

And no, I won’t be putting any pictures up here of any of the actors if they are not wearing clothes, so just go away if that’s what you came for. Honestly! Search engines!

NCIS: Los Angeles continues

I’ve not yet fallen for the LA characters, as I did with NCIS. Actually, that’s inaccurate. It did take a while to become friends with Gibbs and Co, but I loved Ducky from the start, and what’s more; I felt the characters were trying to act normal. I also felt they were recreating as normal an NCIS setting as possible. LA is beginning to feel fantastic and unreal.

Or is it just me?

The episodes are well written, so are worth watching. But they don’t have that extra special something, yet.

NCIS-Los Angeles

The office. What kind of office is that? (Photo © CBS)

And that tune. I barely notice it, and I wouldn’t recognise it. I gather it’s great. Daughter wanted it as her ringtone. So she set about getting it, only to find when she had done so, that Son already had it as his.

Oh well. At least they agree on something.

Oh G!

So now we know part of Callen’s secret. The rest will no doubt come at a slow dribble. Female viewers will love Callen even more than before, and then we had the scars from when he was shot…

NCIS: Los Angeles is not NCIS. But it’s pretty close. Given time we can love these characters (almost) as much as we do Gibbs and co. Personally I’m partial to Agent Hanna, who is not a woman. I have this slight problem with Hanna as a surname, but I’ll get used to it one day. It beats Sam Hanna’s real name of LL Cool J. I mean, how do you even begin to call him in when dinner’s ready?

NCIS: Los Angeles

Linda Hunt as Hetty was good. Maybe every series needs a grumpy, but heart-of-gold type, individual. It was a little disorientating to find they had changed their ‘office’ from the last airing on NCIS in the spring, but at least the changes deal with the loss of Macy.

I quite like Dominic, too. Readers of books are good. But psychologists with guns in their boots? I don’t think so.

The adventure for the first episode was fairly ordinary, but fine for setting the scene. Not spectacular like Yankee White, but you can’t always have the President of the United States at the beck and call of CBS. (Though just think what Obama could do!) And what a relief it must be for them to film California as California, with no need to pretend we’re in Washington.

(Photos © CBS)