Since first viewing NCIS during December, 2009, I have admittedly become an NCIS fanatic. It airs on Tuesdays on CBS and I both watch and record it. At first, it was just to watch Mark Harmon as I had over the years. Then, it became more about the team and how they interacted and finally, it was all about Ziva, as played by Cote de Pablo. The characters are pretty much stock type, but each of the actors brings a vivacity and zest to the characters that belies the standard roles. During a moment on Facebook, I clicked “like” on the NCIS page. Now, I get updates on each week’s show as well as a commentary that provides a bit about each show posted by one of the writers.
Rather than get old from the repetition of the same story told over and over, the show stays interesting because the writers are constantly expanding the format interspersing scenes from the characters’ pasts with the current issues of today and by bringing in new or repeat characters. There doesn’t seem to be the need to go over the top with the story lines due to the variety of locations available for the scripts. But the best part of it for me is how they, without fail, honor the men and women of the military. They also ensure that the character is true to the Marine Corps as it really is and Mark’s character, Jethro Gibbs, is the best. It is never overtly done, but rather it’s just a moment here and there in each show. It is truly thrilling and makes me proud to have served in the military. There aren’t many shows that have accomplished that.
The writing is excellent and the writers really should be rewarded for their ability to keep the viewer following through the maze of clues until the situation is resolved. There are twists and unexpected endings as well as shows that will run over three or more episodes. It has also spawned a second show, NCIS: Los Angeles, which has it’s own charm, but is also more predictable. However, when it comes down to it, what I like best is that the show reflects men as men and women as women while writing their various duties or abilities without gender. The writing also allows all the characters to be really smart but also show a sense of humor throughout each episode. I also like that they have older characters who aren’t depicted as stupid or laughable, but rather as real people.
Perhaps, while respecting the military, it just became the norm to show respect to all their characters or perhaps it is a deliberate attempt to bring back some dignity and respect for others. If so, I hope they succeed and that the children of today can see that there are people who respect others and honor everyone for the life they have lived or are living. That seems to be lacking in most public venues today.