NCIS Los Angeles Review: The Bare Necessities

March 22, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

NCIS LA: Monday 22nd March, Sky One, 10pm ALERT ME

I think at this point we all know how successful American crime fighting shows can be. Law & Order, CSI, Bones, Without A Trace etc, are all long running programmes with a healthy line in conflict, dramatic action and interesting characterisation.

Unfortunately, NCIS: Los Angeles is a carbon copy of the original show, NCIS, but fails to bring anything new to the genre.

For those that are already fans of the show, firstly, why? There are other things on television which do the same thing – only they’re doing it better.

Secondly, how on Earth is it keeping your interest with such bland characters?

In tonight’s episode, Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and his team are investigating the death of a petty officer who was hit by a car that ploughed its way through the wall of a strip club.

They soon uncover a blackmail scheme involving a stripper and a terrorist leader. Of course. Meanwhile, Sam (LL Cool J) tries to stop his friend Mo from getting in with the wrong crowd.

It’s not particularly well written but there are strippers, guns and terrorism, all of which seem to appear in place of any sort of high-end drama.

Chris O’Donnell is ridiculously miscast as team leader Callen, and fails to exude any kind of authority over the rest of the cast. LL Cool J does his best but still falls a little short of convincing us that his character has experience of Middle Eastern culture.

The show is devoid of genuine emotion and humour and the only way it gets a giggle is by putting Hetty (Linda Hunt) on screen. Her small stature and comical appearance is a tacky attempt at visual comedy and even that falls flat.

It’s a formulaic, harmless show that I’d watch it again if nothing else was on, but come on, when is that ever really the case?

Callie says:

All very true. NCIS Los Angeles was handed to hack, Shane Brennan by CBS in the hopes he could expand their line up. Brennan gets accolades, for basically nothing. He didn’t create the original NCIS, Donald Bellisario did. Brennan was brought to the US by the generosity of Bellisario to give him a chance, and Brennan stabbed him in the back, when there was a minor conflict on the series. Brennan is incapable of creating good characters, and stories. Perhaps if he’d had to earn his stripes, he might have improved, but instead he was allowed to climb on the backs of his betters and given unfair advancement. Many believe he’s attempting to sabotage NCIS in the hopes that if the original goes away, his baby, NCIS Los Angeles will inherit the loyal viewers. I’m an NCIS fan, as are many friends, non of us watch NCIS LA. It’s dull, a waste of an hour.