Thursday, January 7, 2016

Midseason Review: Scorpion and NCIS

Scorpion, a CBS show that tries to go out of its way to break up the usual CBS patterns. On a network that likes to stretch out sexual chemistry between characters far beyond the breaking point (see: JAG, or the original NCIS), Scorpion seems to work hard on establishing chemistry early on, and develop it in a semi-natural manner (or at least natural for a collection of fairly broken oddballs).

If you don't recall my review / know this show offhand, Scorpion is a collection of geniuses working as contractors for the government, putting them on a wide variety of tasks -- working on space satellites to drone uplinks. and, like most tv shows, each character has a specialty, even the two relatively normal people who work with them (their FBI doorkicker and their handler).

However, the nice thing about the show is that everyone is allowed to be smart. In an age of shows like Unforgettable or other scripts when one person is smarter than everyone, and everyone else is too stupid to live, it's so nice when everyone is allowed to, you know, have a brain.

There's even character development and growth. Sometimes to comedic effect, but often in ways that are strangely touching.

In short, who knew?

The NCIS franchise, on the other hand, is mostly strong and pushing forward.  NCIS original is fun, with relatively good character development. Gibbs is finally allowed to look more like his age, after taking several bullets to the chest in last season's finale. Tony DiNozzo is finally going to be leaving the show, after his character has finally decided to grow up at age 40-something.  McGee and Bishop are still some of the more interesting characters, and may be some of the last people standing.

NCIS LA has gone through a serious down trend in writing lately. Honestly, I have no idea what happened to the people writing this show, but there was a slough of terrible episodes that made me want to give up on the entire program. Despite it having two former stars on its roster, Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J are possibly the least interesting people on this show, and I look forward to the day when their characters are axed off.

However, NCIS LA still has more and better quality episodes than NCIS: New Orleans, a show that is bordering between mediocre and just okay. In its second season, NO still feels like it's trying to find its general identity.

Yes, you really can follow the general trend.  The NCIS franchise really does feel like it's finally starting to slow down, and maybe they're about ready to shut it all down. Which, to be honest, would make my tv viewing life just a heck of a lot easier.

In a world where the TV competition is getting harsher, NCIS seems to have given up. Maybe they should have more crossovers with Scorpion


  1. Ahhhh, go write, then...I'm still enjoying all the NCIS programs in between reading, but my top favorite is Scorpion so you're forgiven...What do you think of Blacklist?

    1. Here you go.


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