NCIS Los Angeles
The original NCIS is one of my favorite tv shows. In fact, it sits at the top of my TiVo wishlist and hasn't moved from that spot in years. It never will move either. So I'm looking forward to seeing what the new spin-off series, NCIS: Los Angeles, has to offer.
Quite frankly, I wasn't overly impressed with the two episode introduction we got to the show during NCIS last season, but that may have been because I was obsessing a little bit about what's going on with Ziva and Tony and couldn't concentrate. Also, the series premiere in September was a bit formulaic, but I kind of expect that from a pilot and NCIS: LA has already suffered some cast changes which have left things a bit up in the air.
That said, I will give it several episodes to see if the characters and the storylines settle into something interesting. I definitely think it has potential and I don't actually get tired of LA as a setting for tv shows. I used to live there. I like to look at the city and recognize locations.
What's NCIS Los Angeles about?
If you know anything about the US military, you of course might be wondering why this is NCIS Los Angeles and not NCIS San Diego, since that's where the Navy is actually based in southern California.
The show seems to neatly explain that by being about a separate office of NCIS, called the Office of Special Projects. This is supposed to be an undercover surveillance division of NCIS. Pure fantasy, I imagine, but I think that you can potentially hand wave the location of LA as being a place where the office functions take place without danger of revealing undercover operations to those who are being surveilled.
But I'm probably putting more thought into this than I
should. At any rate, if Camp Pendleton and the Naval base in San Diego
aren't frequent locales for episodes, I will be surprised.
think the cast of this show will be fun too. You certainly can't go
wrong with LL Cool J and I've never held Batman & Robin against
Chris O'Donnell so I have fond feelings for him too, though I don't
think he's all that much of an actor in terms of talent. But I'm
willing to be surprised.
So let's take a look at the new NCIS: Los Angeles and see who is who.
Chris O'Donnell as Callen
Chris O'Donnell gets first billing in NCIS Los Angeles as Special Agent "G" Callen. The G apparently doesn'ts stand for anything, or rather, Callen has no idea what it stands for because he's an orphan and no one ever told him his first name. We learn this in the series premiere, so if you haven't watched it yet, I've just spoiled you. How horrible of me!
The character is fluent in a variety of languages and Callen is supposedely a natural at going undercover. We'll have to wait and see about that for ourselves since the first episode didn't feature an undercover assignment, but I do believe we can expect to see a fair bit of that in the future.
During the two episodes that Callen appeared in on NCIS last season, he was quite chummy with Gibbs, who apparently saved his life twice previously in Serbia and Russia. I'd love to know when Gibbs did this since he's been essentially serving exclusively in the US for the past seven years *g* Or maybe Chris O'Donnell's youthful looks are making me think that his character is younger than he may actually be.
LL Cool J as Sam Hanna
O'Donnell may get top billing in the credits, but if you've been paying attention to Twitter or any of the reviews for NCIS Los Angeles, it's all about the Cool J!
LL Cool J is playing Special Agent Sam Hanna. He's Callen's partner and a former Navy Seal who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He's also a surveillance specialist and seems to know his way around a computer (NCIS LA has some great new toys!) without being a geek about it.
While it looks like the show is preparing to have Callen and Hanna as
co-leads, unlike NCIS which revolves around Gibbs, I think they would
have been better off if they'd cast LL Cool J as Callen and someone
else entirely as Hanna. LL is simply a better actor with more presence
than O'Donnell. Or they could have killed Callen off when they shot him last season and then LL Cool J could spend the season tracking down his killer. Yes, I make my own fun.
Linda Hunt as Hetty Lange
I believe Linda Hunt is this spin-off's Ducky. She's already shown herself to be a bit quirky. As far as I can tell, Hetty is essentially the office manager of the Office of Special Operations. She doesn't appear to be in charge of cases and it looks like for the moment Callen and Hanna are just running themselves. I think Hetty takes care of funding and keeping the books in line.
I expect we will see more responsibility from her in the future, but right now, it just remains to be seen what they will do with Linda Hunt.
There are a couple of other regular characters on the show as well, but so far I just don't care about them at all, so I'm not writing them up *g*
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