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|Index||73 reviews in total|
As opposed to other reviewers who are sadly so limited they can only
conceive of Linda Hunt as an object of derision, I tune in specifically
to see her. The show is adequate. I've always liked LL Cool J and it's
nice to see Chris O'Donnell again. (The nerds suck, especially when you
consider Abby from the original show.) But it's the presence of Linda
Hunt that elevates this show. She's a rich, interesting actor and her
character here has a great backstory.
Sure this team could be managed by yet another grizzled actor playing a tough as nails former Navy Seal type, whose life has been touched by tragedy because his wife died of breast cancer or his little girl choked on a marble. I'd rather have Linda Hunt because she is a true original. I've seen enough shallow cookie cutter actors with impossibly white teeth and ripped abs. Now I want to watch stories about people who are unique and unusual and earthy and human.
I watched the crossover (call it the NCIS:LA premiere) last season between the two NCIS casts and really enjoyed it. Chris O'Donnell has grown up and yet, there is still that juvenile offender on the loose quality to him. Teaming him up with LL Cool J was a stroke of genius. They play off of each other so well. Pulling in Oscar winner Linda Hunt to play Hetty was a masterstroke. This show is well cast and the writing is solid. I have to disagree with other reviewers about Adam Jamal Craig and Daniela Ruah. I think they put in very solid performances as supporting team members. And Barrett Foa is perfect as the somewhat geeky technical assistance. All in all, a fun show to watch. I look forward to it marking as many seasons as it's forerunner, NCIS.
I was skeptical when this new show appeared carrying the NCIS name, I
thought OK, csi done it,so why not this show? So I watched the first
episode and was happy it didn't bore me to sleep. Not as good as the
original ncis pilot but they seemed to have pulled it off imo.
Likable characters, plus at least two characters from ncis keep popping up and that mixes things up a little, so it seems more like the ncis we all love. True it has no gibbs, tony or elf lord, but the characters are growing on me, and Linda Hunt who plays the boss is a good actress and quite amusing in her role. I was expecting LL Cool J to be pretty bad but his character seems pretty cool and Chris O'Donnell reminds me of Scott Foley who played Bob Brown in The Unit, great character.
I give this show 7 out 10 because too me it's just as good as NCIS, the comedy between characters could be improved a little though.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
While this show isn't exactly like the original NCIS, I still
absolutely love it. There is still that dynamic of banter. Instead of
Tony/Kate(or Ziva)/ McGee, it's now Sam/Callen. While I do think this
might have been better set in San Diego, I still like the premise.
The investigation is quite different, but expected. They are not part of a MCRT, like the original NCIS, but rather OSP. They are undercover agents, more CIA then FBI, if you will. Their technique will be different. They don't wear badges, or ID themselves, because OSP 'doesn't exist'. This is referenced many times, especially when a story of their case comes on the news on TV, and Callen mentions that they never get credit, it's always the FBI or LAPD, and Hetti tells him that they can't get credit, because they don't exist.
I love that there is a hidden past for Callen, much in the way that Gibbs's bast was hidden for the first three years. And having Director Vance and Abby make short crossovers is excellent. While JAG ended just a few years after NCIS started, I would love to see more crossovers with the OSP and the MCRT.
For the people that have commented that this show is not a Bellisario production, perhaps you should realize that the original NCIS has dumped him as well. He is now simply a creator, but NOT an executive producer (and hasn't been for a few years).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the very hyped spin-off to NCIS. It was good. More hits than
misses. LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell play their parts like veterans.
Character wise you'll notice differences and similarities between this and NCIS obviously. There's a computer guru like Abby. There's a psychologist in the show where as in NCIS there isn't one. The main chief, Hetty, is an old woman who seems to treat her agents like their kids. In the first episode when Agent Callen (O'Donnell) arrives for his day back to work, Hetty makes sure he has everything he needs including a new wardrobe!!! She is definitely unlike Gibbs in many ways. Gibbs would never pamper his agents to that level. Gibbs is more direct and impatient. Hetty seems a bit more understanding. Hanna and Callen have a buddy buddy relationship in the tradition of Dinozzo and McGee. I found O'Donnell and LL's chemistry to be right on the money. Perfect casting here. They are creating a spin-off show with a couple of the same formulas from the original with an LA feeling. So far I think they've succeeded.
You'll also notice differences in the way of how the organization deals with cases. For the bulk of the pilot it was Callen and Hanna doing the bulk of the muscle for their investigation. Maybe this will change over time.
Story-wise the show seems to have a couple of stories to pursue. Callen still hasn't gotten his moment of justice for the people that shot him. In the the pilot is about a Navy Officer whose gunned down by people who are working for the drug cartel. There are a couple of twists to make the outcome not seem so obvious. OK sure it's a story that probably has been repeated many times but then again NCIS has plenty of routine stories that have been done to death.
"Identity" introduces the main characters of the show. They establish O'Donnell and LL as the main stars. We get a taste of the supporting characters but not enough obviously to let us know what makes them act the way they do. We also get a few characters making cameos for the show like Director Vance.
Overall, this so far is a nice spin-off. "Identity" was entertaining. There's a lot of possibilities here. As long as the show has character development and make stories interesting this could end up like NCIS having a long run.
What happened to Macy? She was an interesting and strong character,
certainly posed a mental challenge to Gibbs. Did I miss an explanation
of what happened to her? In the season preview, my impression was she
was the boss. The episodes so far, she is not even mentioned. Did she
leave after Calen got shot? I would love if someone has some insight
into this one.
I think this spin-off has some potential. The original is such a great show, one I wait every week for. I hope the can develop the characters of the LA team and put them in some of the more interesting situations the DC team finds themselves in.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Without her we wouldn't care for Callen or Hanna as it's her feelings
about them that motivate us. It's her support of Deeks that reluctantly
made us wait and see with him. It's her knowledge of Callen and her
willingness to go after his enemies that carried us through procedural
plot. Anyone sent to take her place is seen as our enemy and we long to
see them eliminated. We wait for the little sounds bits from this
diminutive character squirreling them away like precious nuts. Actually
the two information analysts add to Hetty's character in a remarkable
way. I was a little shocked when they added Nell as I thought Eric did
a fine job without her but Hetty really made the addition work.
A funny thing happened along our journey with Hetty Callen and Hanna won us over. Normally with chemistry we're worried more between a woman and a man but it's also important between partners, or rather actors portraying partners. Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J have chemistry. It was a great starting point because until we got to know more about this duo it's really all we had to go on. As we watched we found their characters balanced each other out nicely as well.
Callen is really the central character, before or after Hetty, depending how you look at it, whoever you love more. He doesn't know much about who he or his parents are, what his first name is beyond G or why people tend to try to kill him. O'Donnell plays the chameleon well even though he never really changes. I thinks this is so because it's about embodying the type of man you would imagine a chameleon would be rather than actively being a quick-change artist. His character arc was incorporated from the beginning, and you can tell, as it is worked very fluidly into the regular cases. I believe this is key to the popularity of the show as anything that shakes up the typical procedural format is looked upon favorably by television audiences.
Hanna is a straight shooter, a perfect foil for the silent Callen, and a strong, moral character in his own right. You can believe his background as a former U.S. Navy SEAL and yet delight in the fact his story arcs tend to be about doing the right thing. It adds a lot of depth that it's his ability to speak an Arabic dialect and his affiliation as a Muslim that leads him to these story lines. By taking this character another direction, having him have a rather typical background, as compared to Callen, we can explore how his skills take him places you wouldn't expect. O'Donnell and LL Cool J take turns as to whose story arc will take precedent and I really like the unexpectedness of this. You as a viewer aren't always sure where the story will take you as far as the personal stories are concerned.
At first, Kensi Blye was just the token female for me. She was hot, badass and skillful with guns what's not to like? It wasn't until one of her fellow secondary characters was killed that she really came into her own. Her development really kept you watching during the first couple years of the show as you could see her character come into her personality. I especially enjoyed her recent character arc while she dealt with her father's past and his death, working on her trust issues. Many times it's not until you are much older that you really see your parents for what they were/are. In my opinion it was smart to link her to the Hawaii Five-O crossover as of all the characters we knew the least about her and it immediately added depth to her character. Especially as Terry O'Quinn was the connection point, as her father being a friend of his makes total sense. Daniela Ruah does Kensi justice in all the right places.
I have to admit I hated Marty Deeks, though I wasn't sad to see the back of Nate Getz either. Eric Christian Olsen gradually won me over as his partnership with Kensi developed in tandem to the flourishing of her character. Deeks' personality is such that he's a great foil for the distrustful Kensi, he can wear her down and teach her intimacy. Do I want Deeks and Kensi to get together no, to be honest. As soon as they do I feel like it's the death keel of the show. They like each other, they even love each other as partners do, but as of now I like that they are motivated for each others' well being and otherwise keeping it on a professional level. Now Deeks is simply part of 'Kensi and Deeks the partnership' and I no longer wish for his sudden irreversible death.
The producers and writers are making good choices for this show as far as killing off characters, eliminating dead weight and developing the areas of back story and character that we love or have come to love. The one flaw of the show rears it's ugly head quite often when I'm watching this show it's a procedural with all the procedural faults. Yes, NCIS: LA has the characters to back the story up. The audience enjoys watching them no matter the current difficulties, whether it's just a threat to national security or literally saving the world. It's also repetitive and non-threatening since when has Hetty, Callen, Hanna, Kensi or Deeks not come through? And that's a problem.
To read my review: http://yaykisspurr.wordpress.com/
It took a while to get me interested in this series. Having been a long-time NCIS fan, I felt obligated to give it a fair shake. After the first few episodes, I felt bored and wondering if I should keep watching. Maybe it was because I was preoccupied when NCIS: LA would air. However, after settling down and focusing on the episodes, mainly the one where Dom gets kidnapped, I felt like they've hit their stride. There's no doubt this is a completely different show than the original NCIS. That's what makes it tolerable. They're not trying to copycat the other like the CSIs did in my opinion. They've got humor. They've got crimes they're trying to solve. They've slowly gotten some chemistry. Keep in mind, Shane Brennan is running both shows and he has yet to disappoint me on the original. They're in good hands and hopefully, they'll get even better. The first NCIS had a few bumps in the road during the first season and hit their stride in Season 2.
There's something special about the Hetty character - she is the center of the show in a unique way. The other characters look to her, respect her, protect her...for such a tiny woman, she packs a mighty punch...strength and wisdom and courage...the show needs her. She brings the team together, she brings cohesiveness and, despite her professionalism, she brings warmth. She hasn't been in the show for a bit and I know that I, and many others I've spoken to, just don't find the show as compelling without Hetty. The other characters are strong and well played, also essential but they are a team because Hetty centers them. We know this is only fiction but it's great fiction. I hope they bring Hetty back full time - she has everyone's back and they have hers...and each other's.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the season finales I have been looking forward to turned in a
completely unexpected direction.
One of the show's main ongoing plot lines is Callen's lineage. Last year we were left with questions about Callen's sister. We found out that she was in fact murdered. Callen went to his sister's grave and found a toy tin soldier. This flashed a recall memory of an older man with a circular tattoo handing the toy soldier to him on the beach when he was a small boy.
The season has come full circle, beginning with Hettie's resignation. This marked the entrance of Linda Florentine as the new satellite director. So everything is hush-hush, Hettie has gone rogue. I personally love Hettie, as she reminds me of Yoda when he kicked serious sith butt in Phantom Menace. So Hettie is going around Prague toting a 'message' for Comescuwhoever or whatever that is. She means business too, taking out two guys as a way to deliver her messageand then she sits down for a spot of tea. Can you not see why I love this woman! I want to be Hettie when I grow up.
This was the theme of the entire episode. Hettie's warpath, Cullen trying to find her, and Director Vance trying, albeit failing, to remain in control, as aptly demonstrated when all three agents resigned. Then Deeks piped in saying he would quit if he could.
When they finally track Hettie down, it is at a beach house. It is the home of the Comescu family, headed by scary Momma Comescu. This is where we are all left scratching our heads and feeling very displeased we have to wait four months until we get some answers. Why? Well, first when Callen arrives at the beach house he realizes it is the same beach where he received the tin soldier. Also we find out that Hettie created a death certificate for Callen, and is now presenting it and a video of Callen's shooting three years ago as proof that he is in fact dead. Last, but certainly not least, when Momma Comescu asks why she should believe Hettie's claim. This is when we get pushed over the edge of the cliff Hettie steps forward, raises the sleeve of her shirt and reveals a tattoo identical to the one on the man Callen encountered years ago on the beach. The last line of the season, "Because we are family."
And that is what I call a season finale!!
Amy Romine BellaOnline's Prime Time TV Editor
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