Saturday, February 20, 2010

Revisiting NCIS: Los Angeles

I felt guilty about quitting NCIS: LA after 7 episodes, because I've watched all episodes of JAG and NCIS, so I've been considering watching the show for a while, but with a packed schedule on Tuesday, there was no time. Since there were virtually no new shows this week, I watched the remaining episodes I hadn't watched.

I'm surprised at the gap between Los Angeles and the original. Without NCIS, LA would surely be canceled by now. Shane Brennan can make NCIS work based on the framework set by Donald Bellisario, but the low quality of Los Angeles is a testament to Donald Bellisario and his amazing ability . He has the x-factor to make a show work. Shanne Brennan doesn't have it.

The concept of LA is the same with a slight deviation towards undercover work, but the comedy is a few steps below. The chemistry between the characters is uneven and the comedy is very forced, so they are just awkward moments. Hetty serves for no purpose other than mediocre comic relief, and the occasional expansion of backstory. The departure of Macy (Louise Lombard) after the backdoor pilot gives the rest of the team greater autonomy than the team on NCIS. The lack of a clear, strong leader makes the investigation unorganized.

It would be wrong for me to completely dismiss the show, so I do have a few positive comments. Dom getting kidnapped was a bold move so early in the series although it did come out of the blue. Daniela Ruah is the most consistent in both the dramatic and lighter scenes. She's a pretty face, but she can act as well.

Going forward, I'll probably keep watching when I have time, but I won't be reviewing any episodes.
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