It’s a spin off of a spin off! (NCIS & JAG) It is crime-time comfort food for mystery minded fans of the police procedural. It is yet another city orientated acronym show and for that you just want to hate it. But there is something fluffy and endearing about NCIS Los Angeles that not only sucks away your ire but draws you back for yet another weekly installment of unlikely super-cop antics.
The charismatic cast have much to do with the shows appeal and the carefully engineered characters are designed to draw in as wide a viewing demographic as possible. There is Linda Hunt as the diminutive and quirky boss lady Hetty. There is former rapper LL Cool J as the big muscled and tight sweatered Sam Hanna. There is b-list former Batman side-kick Chris O’Donell, as regular guy heartthrob G Callen. Then there is the will they- won’t they love interest, between tousel-haired Marty Deeks, played by Eric Christian Olsen and the smouldering smart-mouth Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah)
Naturally this cast of pulchritudinous sauce-pots are supported by the usual crew of back room computer nerds and boffins. A yawnsome and irritating cliche, undoubtably sourced by focus group marketing dorks at the major networks, who seem to think such cookie-cutter characterization will endear this show and others like it to the more socially inept members of their target audience. Gimme a break.
NCIS does of course stand for Navel Criminal Investigative Service, but there are precious few jack -tars or roistering shore leave shenanigans here. Rather it seems the super sexy NCIS LA crew are in heavy competition with the other acronymed crime shows for the same rapidly dwindling pool of Russian mobsters and gun toting business big wigs. It is of course all very silly, but silly in an engaging way and you get to see a whole bunch of Ooo look at that! views of LA. Although the car strangled streets of Santa Monica always seem uncharacteristically quiet when our heros are screeching after the bad guys. Go figure.