NCIS Los Angeles Review: Go West

October 20, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews


ncis300x210NCIS Los Angeles: Wednesday 21st October, Sky1, 9pm ALERT ME

If Biggie and Tupac were to be believed, the differences between Eastside and Westside were chasmic.

NCIS producers obviously don’t agree.

The Los Angeles spin-off delivers pretty much the same package as its New York counterpart, which might please or disappoint fans, depending on how attached they were to the original.

This opening episode of the first series centres around the murder of a fellow agent. When our razor-sharp team discover that he might have been doing the dirty on America by helping out an evil drug-cartel, we are on the edge of the sofa – well we would be if it wasn’t a weeknight.

From the explosive introduction in which a group of prosaic drug dealers meet a violent end among a ‘lead storm’, we recognise the tried and tested formula which cemented a solid fanship and racked up quite a body-count back in the big apple.

The tone is light, the banter is plentiful and the investigatory script is rudimentary, but at its core this is a decent TV show.

Admittedly, this version is less gritty than the original – but this is LA after all.

In place of the old partnership we have Chris O’Donnell – that bloke who was in Batman during the franchise’s awful spell (you know, the one after Jack Nicholson and before Heath Ledger) – and the fabulously named LL Cool J.

The story flows nicely and we get the standard three or four heavily emphasised plot twists per hour – “…So he wasn’t caught in the cross-fire. He was executed!!!” – well we know that tune.

Nevertheless, this is very watchable television, and amounts to nothing more nor less than what fans might expect. It takes no risks, but also manages enough cleverness to keep us guessing.

While it breaks no boundaries, the NCIS format is head and shoulders above some of it’s genre rivals.

Sean Marland