Tag Archives: Maria Bello

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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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)

NCIS – Love Thy Neighbour

‘How do we beat the meat puzzle?’ they asked. And then the NCIS scriptwriters came up with a sort of slow cooked meat soup. It did quite well, as long as you remembered to avert your eyes and perhaps not think about it too much.

Torres, Palmer and Gibbs

I am so proud of Palmer. He relished that soup. He really did. And then he went out and got involved in a fight. Go Jimmy!

‘Mummy Sloan’ and ‘Daddy Gibbs’ taught Torres a lesson. Because they care.

And then for good measure Gibbs stuck a knife in the interrogation room table. Someone must have realised that back in the day it was a fun thing when Gibbs did something a bit unusual or unreasonable. Although, he’s gone soft. Before, he’d have ordered someone to step into that hot tub.

Reeves got remembered and tears were almost shed. It’s as if someone went to some pains to think back to what has happened in the years since 2003. Remember it? It was a long time ago. Even Bishop has had five years.

And Ducky is back; almost his old self, while letting Palmer take the lead. I don’t know what full time acting does to David McCallum, but I am glad to see him.

Kasie is all right. She’s not Abby, but she’s not wrong.

And those neighbours. They were seriously weird.

(Photo © CBS)

NCIS – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

After suspecting the scriptwriters on NCIS: Los Angeles of being on drugs this week, it looked rather like their colleagues over at NCIS had taken some as well, even if the effect was short-lived. That was one unlikely and jolly poker game chez Gibbs!

Then it turned more into a greatest hits, with every Fornell, former dead agent and every jailed bad guy doing a cameo. The more the merrier?

They did their best to scare us into thinking the worst, but I can see through those tricks by now. Doesn’t mean there wasn’t bad stuff happening. In fact, are they reading this blog? If not, it’s either a case of great minds think alike, or that the world is full of people putting forward the same opinions as me. That’s two characters I’ve been wanting to see off, who are now gone. Not saying I dislike the actors; just that their characters have been a bad fit.

Well, either Gibbs really did come to Abby’s sickbed, or they did ‘it with mirrors’ the way I suspected earlier. Last week there was another kiss. From McGee. And apart from the hospital scene, Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette stayed firmly separate to the bitter end. That teary goodbye at the Navy Yard, but without Gibbs? Expected, but wrong.

I hadn’t wanted to speculate on how Abby would leave, but this felt just about right. At least it suited her personality.

And oh, that coffin! Priceless.

(Shame that they waited so long before inviting us into Abby’s home. That was a lot of gothic for a few minutes’ worth.)

NCIS – Sight Unseen; 350 and counting

After 350 episodes, they decide to ‘celebrate’ by having Abby not know how to break into a mobile phone? Is she not the genius forensic scientist who has hacked her way into every techy item she’s been brought for the last fifteen years?

I ask, because at times maybe it was made to look too easy, but in fiction we don’t mind this, when it’s someone we love. What’s more, after the difficulty of accessing the information hidden on this phone, it proved to have almost no relevance, but was mainly a way of using up screen time for Abby.

If this is her level of [in]competence, it’s easy to see that they will need to replace her. But please God make it someone other than Ducky’s friend from a few weeks ago! I liked the actress well enough, but once the scriptwriters have ruined her character’s personality, it’s too late to make a first impression again. Hugging everyone in sight is not a prerequisite for a forensic scientist. It’s an Abby thing.

I can’t help but think back to the 100th episode, or the 250th, and the pride we felt at having supported NCIS this far. Compare that with my reaction on reading that season 16 had been given the go-ahead. I wished they hadn’t.

And was that some possible true romances for Bishop and Torres, or were they merely making each other jealous? We don’t need more team romantic entanglements.

Leave of Gabse-sense?

We made you big. Now it’s your turn to honour that, by providing us with NCIS episodes worthy of your fans’ devotion. Instead you are ‘thanking’ us by invariably serving up complete rubbish, with the odd silver nugget every now and then. I put those good moments down to unexpected good writing coupled with appropriate directing.

It just doesn’t happen often enough for a number one show.

Because it could do. It used to. If anyone on NCIS or CBS had time and inclination to revisit the past, you’d see how it ought to be done. You’d see what made you number one.

You made the show. Us, the fans, made you number one. We deserve better. Hell, even you deserve better.

Instead of this gradual weakening, which means you’ll go out with a whimper at some point in the future, you could make us one last terrific season of NCIS and go out with a bang. Something to remember you by. Something that would make some of us sad, and make us miss you.

Get it right!

As I understand it, the actors get paid well enough, although I suspect the male actors might be paid more. Mark Harmon is certainly rumoured to make a minor fortune for every episode. I almost wrote ‘earn’ but realised that he doesn’t earn anything the way he’s forgotten to act, or even caring about the show or the fans.

This week’s dance around Fornell? Embarrassing.

McGee has let himself go completely. It’s not the twins; it’s something much deeper that’s wrong. The beard, obviously, but there’s more to it. Or less, depending on how you see it.

Bishop is mostly the way she was, but comes across as quite mature by comparison. Torres is a treasure. He’s cool in way DiNozzo never was (although I recognise that Michael Weatherly was what kept people together), and kind at the same time.

Palmer is good, managing to be a cross between his old self and Ducky. I’m a bit disappointed now with Sloan, who seems to forget how an agent behaves and babbles about things all over the place, getting emotional. But that will be the script writers, not the actor.

Finally Abby. She’s not quite herself, but based on the rift between Pauley Perrette and Mark Harmon, that’s hardly surprising. I can’t work out how Abby’s going to go, but that almost doesn’t matter now. If the show is to continue (please no!) there needs to be a forensic scientist, but how they could make that work, I’ve no idea.

Back to the money. NCIS must make a fair bit of money, being number one and all that, and managing to pay its actors handsomely. I can’t help but feel that this means they have responsibilities too, to the viewers, and to their advertisers. It’s time you all worked for that money. It’s clearly too late for mature behaviour on the set, but I feel the money should pay for that as well.

So, you can’t – or won’t – have Abby and Gibbs on at the same time. If one or both of them is dangerous and a risk to others, the police should be told. If there is ‘merely’ a quarrel of some kind, a major CBS show like NCIS should be strong enough to make two actors work together like the adults they supposedly are.

Fixing it so they are never together is ruining not just season 15, but it really does take pleasure away from past seasons. Somehow you can’t un-see what is going on now. Watching season 14 backwards, you discover that the rift was already there. The last two episodes are almost totally free from overlap between the two, and the episodes before them have a really weird feel to them.

It’s too late to put all this right. I wish you could, because we really do deserve better. The odd, almost OK episode would almost make up for it, were it not for the Gabby split.

But what about the dead marine?

Gibbs, Gibbs, you’ve lost your sense of proportion here. There is hardly ever anything more important than a dead marine. You need to find out who killed him or her, and get justice.

But no, once we knew who had done the killing this week, however un-intentional, it seemed to get lost in the general cuteness of how to achieve a happy end for all. Apart from our dead marine.

So yes, it was a sweet – if not necessarily terribly realistic – ending.

The mix of two pairs of misbehaving teenage girls was a clever one, though, and kept us guessing a while.

And this was surely another new Kayla Vance?