Wednesday, September 23, 2009

NCIS: Los Angeles more of the same - quality television

I'm trying to finish reviewing the new CBS shows before I move onto ABC's The Forgotten and then to old shows, so please bear with me.

Imagine NCIS. Transport it all the way to the West Coast. Imagine bikinis and palm trees. Replace the characters. Now you have NCIS: Los Angeles.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, NCIS is the best crime procedural on television right now, but do we need a copy? Or more pertinently, do we want a copy? That's up for the viewers to decide, but I'm here for the review. If you haven't watched NCIS and don't want to catch up on 6 season and want to watch something similar from the start, here's your chance.

After a dead Navy intelligence officer is found after a shootout between the police and cartel members, Callan (Chris O'Donnell) comes in to the new headquarters which is much better than the grimy warehouse that was used in the 2 NCIS episodes. It turns out that he was in some business with Mexicans. After some digging around the team finds out that his daughter was kidnapped and the officer had to help them access satellite imagery before a joint US-Mexico operation along the border. There is a twist that wasn't particularly shocking. It turns out that the daughter's father, the officer's wife's ex-husband "kidnapped" her. How's that for apostrophes? I had a sneaking suspicion he was up to something after I heard his Spanish name.

Callan and Hanna (LL Cool J) walk into the house posing as people with access to satellites. The father already knows NCIS is involved, so the situation quickly escalates into a fight. The good guys win and the bad guys die. Not particularly original but it was still good. The thing I liked about NCIS being spun off of JAG is that the 2 shows were fairly different. In the case of NCIS and NCIS: LA, they are pretty much the same.

LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell have great chemistry and we'll probably be seeing them together for most of the episodes which is a plus. The other characters took a back seat as Callen and Hanna did most of the legwork. There wasn't anything particularly interesting about them, but if anyone catches my attention in later episodes, I'll be sure to bring it up. Linda Hunt's character Hetty was a new addition replacing Louise Lombard's Macy. I'm not sure why everyone had so much problems with Macy. I rewatched the 2 episodes featuring them, and found nothing wrong with the acting or the character. Hetty is eccentric and really short. If you've seen the Disney movie The Incredibles, she looks almost exactly the same as Edna Mode, the gadget lady.

I thought the addition of Vance was useless since he'll be on a little screen all the way in DC. I don't like Vance anyways and a double dosage of him is even worse. Depending on how much time you have, it might be better spent watching NCIS. I have lots of time, so count on me for another review next week.

Score: 8.6/10


Anonymous said...

The embedded pilot was great - it was NCIS:Special Operations. Now it's NCIS: Los Angeles - where by the way there is no Navy or Marine base worth investing in.

These guys still "act" like they are under cover, but are doing police work and usually without any real association with the Military and while DARPA may have some relationship - it wouldn't be NCIS that gets called in!

There is no energy between the characters. No humor to speak of either.

I watched the first show of the season and was greatly disappointed (much of the original pilot was dropped) I watched last nights episode because Abbey and Vance were supposed to be in it.

Abbeys part was pretty pitiful and Vance was trying to pursue a vendetta against an old adversary.

Then the gunfire with more bullets flying than a magazine can carry and shooting up a car that was "assumed" to be carrying the "bad guy".

There's no police work, no investigation, no plot and I suspect that soon there will be no show....

It was a waste of my time and I won't be viewing it again

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