30 Days of TV – Day 10

Day 10 – A show you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

My family has this odd exchange of television shows: I turned my uncle on to Futurama, Arrested Development, and Rescue Me, and he got my parents hooked on House and NCIS. Thanks to the trickle-down effect while visiting them—and the fact my dad is hard of hearing, yet refuses to admit it, meaning I can hear the TV from anywhere in the house—I was slowly pulled into the NCIS web after watching a couple of episodes.

In hindsight, either element should be a great hook: military plus police procedural. Not that I’m obsessed with either, but despite my previous bias to SF shows I do enjoy procedurals. Yet my first thought upon hearing my parents’ newest fixation was along the lines of Really? NCIS? That Navy CSI show? This is, after all, the show where the episode summaries are roughly “Marine found dead; NCIS investigates.” (To be honest, I actually prefer NCIS:LA, where the episode summaries are roughly “Marine found dead; NCIS investigates; prevents terrorist attack on Los Angeles, saving day and/or world.”) The last thing I expected I’d want to watch was yet another police procedural, no matter what color uniform they’re wearing.

But the show/s are actually pretty strong; the NCIS cast is likable enough that you want to see how things go, even if they almost always solve the case, and it almost always involves a dead Marine. (Sometimes it’s a sailor or a coastguardsman, just to keep the viewers on their toes.) And the actors mesh really well together; NCIS looks like a family and feels tightly knit, with good balance in each of the characters’ roles. The NCIS:LA cast isn’t as tight, but LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell make it like the ultimate buddy-cop movie, and the rest of the cast (including Linda Hunt) give great performances.

All in all, that’s what sells me on NCIS: the characters. What sells a police procedural isn’t the strange and wacky cases—there’s only so many times you can find out the butler/wife/mistress/boss/commanding officer/drug dealer did it. Good characters are what sells a police procedural for 8+ years. (Also, having Donald Bellasario at the helm helps; seriously, this guy has had his finger in the metaphorical pies of so many hit TV shows: Magnum P.I., Airwolf, Black Sheep Squadron, Quantum Leap, JAG, the original Battlestar Galactica…)

Spoiler/Preview/Recap:
Day 01 – A show that should have never been canceled – Jericho
Day 02 – A show that you wish more people were watching – Fringe
Day 03 – Your favorite new show (aired this TV-season) – Game of Thrones
Day 04 – Your favorite show ever – Battlestar Galactica (2004)
Day 05 – A show you hate – various micro-rants
Day 06 – Favorite episode of your favorite t.v show – The Oath/Blood on the Scales
Day 07 – Least favorite episode of your favorite t.v show – Black Market
Day 08 – A show everyone should watch – Better Off Ted
Day 09 – Best scene/episode ever – Out of Gas
Day 10 – A show you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving – NCIS
Day 11 – A show that disappointed you
Day 12 – A TV show you’ve watched more than 4 times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood show
Day 14 – Favorite male character
Day 15 – Favorite female character
Day 16 – Your guilty pleasure show
Day 17 – Favorite mini series
Day 18 – Favorite title sequence
Day 19 – Best t.v show cast
Day 20 – Favorite kiss
Day 21 – Favorite relationship
Day 22 – Best pilot episode
Day 23 – Most annoying character
Day 24 – Best quote
Day 25 – A show you plan on watching (old or new)
Day 26 – OMG WTF? Season finale
Day 27 – Favorite series finale
Day 28 – First t.v show obsession
Day 29 – Current t.v show obsession
Day 30 – Saddest character death


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