Among the highlights - the characters and the acting are outstanding -
Mark Harmon as Gibbs is in the role of his long career. He has just the right mix of toughness and twinkle-in-the-eye humor. And a lot of heart and soul.
Michael Weatherly as DiNozzo is a breath of fresh air. He has just the right mix of humor and toughness. His encyclopedic knowledge of movies and television shows, cited by him in every episode as he tries to put the case in context, is genuinely instructive, and delightful.
Cote de Pablo as Ziva David is spectacular. A former Mossad agent on loan to NCIS, now an outright NCIS agent, she's the best fighter on the team, as well as the best marks-person. It's a pleasure to see her. Not only that, it's a pleasure to see her wiping out a team of bad guys, when DiNozzo has all he can do to take down one. Her replacement of Kate, who was killed at the end of the second season, electrified the show.
David McCallum as Ducky is wonderful to see back on the screen. Illya Kuryakan, 40 years later, in a lab coat!
Sean Murray as McGee, and Pauley Perrette as Abby, are also excellent.
The show has given its characters considerable depth. The fathers of Gibbs, DiNozzo, and Ziva have all played crucial roles in stories. The killing of Kate gives NCIS a 24-like edge - a major character can be killed, unexpectedly. The stories are often riveting, and always entertaining. Even the music is great.
Especially appealing to me is the "meta"-commentary on the shows - not only from DiNozzo about other television shows and movies and their characters, but, for example, when Gibbs is asked what Ducky looked like when he was younger, and Gibbs says "Illya Kuryakan," or when Gibbs, in true McGarrett style, says "Book him, Dano-zzo".
I'll be watching every episode from now on, and posting reviews right here.
5-min podcast review of NCIS
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