Tag Archives: Michael Weatherly

Almost forgetting

I’ve done that summery thing and watched old episodes of NCIS every now and then. Somehow it gets boring when all current shows come to an end every May, and there’s only so much Good Wife-watching a witch can do in one fell swoop.

I’ve been quite lucky, remembering the odd old episode that I’ve barely, if ever, watched a second or third time. This week I misremembered which episode I was after, meaning I got to watch both of them, and both were great, especially for not being worn out.

And then, as I was seeing the credits flash by, I suddenly remembered Quinn. It’s amazing how both season 14 and Jennifer Esposito had totally slipped from my memory.

I need some more oldies. And it seems as if the later episodes of most seasons are the least likely to have been watched too much. Take season 12, episode 21. It was one I was reluctant to return to for various reasons, but when I did, I discovered it was virtually perfect!

Bull’s first season

Bull has been light entertainment this year. But at least it has been entertainment. That’s more than can be said for Michael Weatherly’s last workplace on occasion. One evening recently I returned home late to an empty house, and I made myself lots of tea and sat down to unwind and feel good with the latest Bull. And I did. Bull has that effect.

I didn’t even hate J P Nunnelly these last three episodes. She was meant to be annoying. She was, wasn’t she? But it worked.

Bull

There is something relaxing about the way Michael doesn’t take himself seriously. And is Benny supposed to be Bull’s Cary Agos? They are alike both in manner and looks, setting aside that one is dark and one is fair.

I see Bull has been renewed for next season. This was something I didn’t believe in when I started watching. Well, I was barely expecting to continue to watch. It looked as if we’d have a possibly boring row of successful jury outcomes. What has happened is that, yes they are – successful, not boring – but it’s the how Bull gets his results that matters. That, and the fact that when someone goes free, they find the guilty one after a bit.

Here’s to more relaxing evenings with Jason and the gang!

(Photo © CBS)

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.

NCIS – Bête Noire

I’ve been relaxing with some top-notch season one NCIS. Well, someone has to!

Having previously complimented them on the line ‘I can’t wait to weigh your liver’ there is no reason to mention it again, except I just did, and for the reason that it’s a terrific line. They might not have fully worked out where NCIS was going back then, but they knew how to get there. It’s for stuff like liver-weighing lines and the plot of Bête Noire in general that the early fans were quite so fervent.

I can’t stop being fervent even now, but only as regards the older seasons.

And if part of the reason for writing Bête Noire was to get rid of Gerald, he certainly got a good start to his send-off, without having to be killed. At least, I’ve heard there was someone they couldn’t wait to write out, and Pancho Demmings is the only one who fits the bill. Shame, as I liked him (but clearly slackers can’t be tolerated), but then he was replaced by Palmer, and we like Palmer.

Gerald and Ducky

The plot is very good. The writing and the acting likewise. Kate has warmed up as an agent, and how perfect her love affair with Ari would have been had they both not, well… you know. Gibbs talks about ‘his people’ which is only slightly clichéd. Abby gets to be weird, but she has to do that every now and then. And several of the recurring agents like Paula Cassidy and Pacci have cameos.

Not only are they beginning to show Gerald the door, but for Ari the door opens a little. Enough to invite him back in later. He’s crazy and violent, but in a nicely restrained and almost British way. The type who ‘gets’ steam trains and old cars.

Can’t help but wonder if Gibbs would have got on better with him had Kate not been in the middle.

But we know how that ended.

What’s worse, we now know what they are like today. As Son said recently, when he’d finally caught up with season 14, he wondered if they are ‘taking the piss’ and he has no interest in getting to know the new people. He’s lasted this long, but I agree; it’s not new people we don’t like. It’s having these particular new ones thrust at us in one fell swoop.

So, taking a leaf out of Gerald’s departure, maybe someone could be swiftly despatched elsewhere. No need to kill them.

(Photos © CBS)

How to introduce new NCIS team members

The most disappointing thing about the lack of a new NCIS episode this week was how little disappointment I felt. Where once I would have waited for a new episode with baited breath, and would have been quite upset at a delay (I’m guessing we might have to miss next week too, for some reason…), I barely minded. All I felt was that I had expected to watch something that evening, and I had a slot to fill.

So I watched Silver War, episode four from season three. It’s where Ziva becomes the new member of Gibbs’s team. We’ve already met her, but this is when she starts work.

Ziva

Silver War was never a popular episode with me, so I’ve watched it less than many other episodes. But hindsight is a beautiful thing, and it was amazing how great I thought it was. Well written, and reasonably well acted. It has a lot of little sub plots, which give it some depth. And whatever you thought of Ziva, she was well introduced. She behaved like a creditable addition to the team, albeit a foreign newbie. No particular hang-ups that disturb the pace, and the viewer isn’t left wondering what on earth possessed them to create Ziva, or to hire Cote de Pablo to play her.

NCIS was still having to prove itself back then. Presumably that’s why they took care in choosing a replacement for Kate. They needed to persuade fans that this was good.

It’s a pity they forgot this. I’m almost tempted to say we need Donald Bellisario back.

I love the way DiNozzo comes into work to attend to his morning ablutions. Jenny Shepard’s reaction to Gibbs giving her his coffee. The involuntary ‘bath’ for McGee and Ziva. The latter’s dangerous driving. The way Ducky actually doesn’t remember the beautiful doctor, or falls into her trap.

Abby © CBS

OK, there were inconsistencies. Clearly DiNozzo Sr has never been into Civil War Reenactment, but it fitted the plot, so he was. Abby has been given orders to dress properly. She is devastated, but recovers unusually quickly after that. And you knew from the fact that Gibbs handed Ziva her weapons back that they’d be needed.

But, looked at from the height of season 14, this was one fabulous episode. The way things are going, I’ll be sticking to season three.

(Photos © CBS)

Bull

Put glasses on Michael Weatherly and he will look intelligent. I assume that’s the thinking behind ‘DiNozzo’ as a psychologist. I was – almost – convinced I wouldn’t watch his new show Bull. I don’t exactly need more series to follow.

BULL

But curiosity won, and the thing is; if you want to fill the hole left by DiNozzo leaving NCIS, you need Bull. At least for a while. I accept that this show might get boring and samey, but right now I think it’s fun.

Second-guessing juries in trials is an interesting concept. I’m thinking someone went looking for an angle on law to make another Good Wife without it being about lawyers.

What I can’t work out yet, is whether the concept will allow for failure from Bull’s team. If you get a new story every week, but he always wins his cases, some of the suspense will disappear. Or so I believe.

But I’m open to persuasion, so will hang on and see.

NCIS – season 14 start

‘What’s wrong with his face?’ Daughter texted me last week, as we both watched the new NCIS; same time, but separately. I wasn’t sure who the ‘he’ was, being busy wondering about McGee’s face. Seems she was mostly intrigued by Mark Harmon’s eyes, which appeared to have shrunk.

So, had I not been a regular viewer, but had stumbled onto an episode like the second one, I’d have wondered where I’d ended up. There are too many new faces for a show we come to for our long-standing relationship with the team. Old friends, as they have been for many years. Ziva leaving was tough, but she was one person.

DiNozzo was also only one person, but they have dealt with the loss of his mega-personality by giving us two new agents. It’s too much. They are very nice, I’m sure, but this feels like returning to the school or the job you left a few years ago, expecting – hoping – for everything to be the same and finding it’s not.

And it’s not. Not at all. Especially with both Gibbs and McGee as the old squadroom faces not looking quite themselves. Gibbs in a suit on an everyday basis is too formal.

Bishop, McGee, Torres and Quinn

I’m hoping things will normalise. So far we’ve had one introductory episode, letting us know who the people who joined are, except I don’t feel we learned anything much. Too bland, too handsome, no real background. And one episode that looked quite promising to begin with, but lost its zing about halfway.

This way I reckon we’d do better to concentrate on Palmer in jail.


And Gary Glasberg has died. He and his writing will be missed.

(Photo © CBS)