Friday, November 20, 2009

Must Watch Friday - NCIS

Fiona Harper tells us about her must-watch Friday – because every Friday night she really is glued to her television, waiting to catch the latest instalment of her favourite TV show: NCIS.

NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and this show is about a team of specialist investigators who work for the US Navy. Oh no, I hear you all cry. Not another CSI-type programme with moody lighting and people who use torches to look at things in broad daylight. And you’d be right. It’s not another show like that (although I do confess a weakness for CSI as well). The cases are clever and the forensics complicated, but what makes NCIS is the characters and the wonderful interaction between them. I honestly can’t pick a favourite character out of the cast, because they are all so compelling.

Team leader is Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon (see above). He’s an ex marine sniper who says little and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He’s fiercely loyal and protective of his team, even if he has to give them an ‘affectionate’ slap on the back of the head every so often, just to keep them in line. If you like tough mavericks with slow-burning sex appeal, Gibbs is your man.

Senior field agent is Tony DiNozzo, played by Michael Weatherly, who has filled the Male on Monday slot more than once here at the Pink Heart Society. He’s one of those irresistible charmers who seems completely shallow and full of himself, but underneath there is tenderness and depth – he just doesn’t let anyone see it very often. Although he paints himself as a playboy, he fell in love with a woman he’d been told to date so he could gather information on her arms-dealer father, and he’s been guarding his heart very carefully ever since.

Tony sees it as his job in life to torment junior agent Timothy McGee, or “McGeek” as he calls him, played by Sean Murray. McGee is a super-brainy computer whizz-kid, who secretly wrote a thriller based on his colleagues and gets plenty of stick for it. His writing almost gets one of the team killed, as a stalker who thinks his books are real tries to defend his writing hero.

Last member of the field team is Ziva David, a former assassin, played by Cote de Pablo. She’s a feisty lady who drives like she has a death wish and knows how to handle herself. There’s been plenty of sexual tension between Ziva and Tony since she joined the team, and I keep watching hoping that one day they might get together. Ziva has a long and complex history with her father, the director of the Israeli security agency Mossad, and underneath the tough exterior she’s much more vulnerable than anybody realises. Ziva is a tough and multi-layered woman. Sometimes, I would just love to be her. Although I might draw the line at sleeping with a gun under my pillow.

Down in the lab is forensic scientist Abby Scuito, played by Pauley Perette, the sunniest, most affectionate goth you are ever likely to meet, even though she sleeps in a coffin and drives a hearse. She talks to her lab machines as if they are her babies and is the only member of the team who can get away with hugging Gibbs without losing a limb. I love Abby. She rocks.

And I can’t leave out the wonderful David McCallum who plays Dr “Ducky” Mallard, the teams’ medical examiner, who is a fount of useful (and useless) information. The episode where Ducky had to bring his rather senile elderly mother in to work with him has to be one of the funniest I have ever seen!

I could go on for pages about the wonderful, fast-paced dialogue, the quick humour, the gripping storylines that keep me rooting for the characters week after week, but the best way to share the magic of NCIS with you is to leave you with a fast-paced clip that sums up the sharp writing and humour that makes me love this show so much:


  1. You KNOW how much I love this show. Very cool how we bonded over NCIS epis at the Vietnam Memorial!

    Do you get the new spinoff, NCIS LA? It's not as good, but it's getting better and I'm half in love with Chris O'Donnell.

  2. NCIS is my favourite show. It's telecast on Tuesdays here in my neck of the woods (Canada). I tape it faithfully (although I still haven't seen this year's episodes or the new LA show tapes yet). It is the only show where I watch every single word, often rewinding to repeat certain parts, and I sit on the edge of my seat throughout the whole show. I love how well written the show is, I enjoy the quick wit and humour (and even the head slaps), and every actor is an entity unto themselves.
    Mark Harmon is both a man's man and a woman's man, whether in real life or with his character. David McCallum's character has a special part in all of our hearts, probably more so than when he was on Man from Uncle in the seventies. (Hard to believe he's in his mid seventies, eh?) I could go on and on about all of them, but I DO believe the script is extremely well written most nights and well written the remainder of the nights. The interplay between characters is SOOOO enjoyable to watch. We feel like we know all of them and would invite them into our homes gladly (even with Ziva's gun and knives and all of Abby's goth things).
    Thanks for blogging about such a great show.

  3. I absolutely love NCIS and am torn between Gibbs and DiNozzo as to which I love more.
    Ziva is fab, Kate - they shot her, was great too but Abby drives me insane as did Lauren Holly's character.
    NCIS LA is heating up nicely, chris o'donnell and LL Cool J are proving to be interesting viewing material.
    Love it!

  4. Great to find others who love the show as much as I do! Who to choose between Tony and Gibbs...hmm, that's a tough one.

    I think my current hero has a touch of Gibbs about him, come to think of it. He's uncompromising and taciturn, and he doesn't like it one bit when people are disloyal.

  5. Great show, Fiona. Thanks for picking it and reminding me I have several seasons to catch up on -- oh, the joy to look forward to when the book is finished!

  6. Fiona,
    Love your choice. NCIS is my 'favorite' all the characters as you said. Gibbs and Tony have both tried out as my heros...and Abby as a heroine. Just realized I haven't cast Ziva, and she would make the perfect take charge heroine. Soooo glad Laurn Holly is gone. The new LA version is sadly lacking...getting better, but the cast will NEVER measure up to Gibbs, Tony and Co. Thanks for the fun post.