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I was watching NCIS on Tuesday and pondering one possible reason why the show's so dang popular, especially after so many years: the actors' ages. At this point, there is no lead character under thirty. Cote de Pablo (Ziva) and Sean Murray (McGee) are the youngest at 30 and 32. Michael Weatherly (Tony) and Pauley Perrette (Abby) are 42 and 41. (I've posted about the cognitive dissonance of that before.) David McCallum (Ducky) is 77.

The show's star, Mark Harmon (Gibbs), is 59. And with him comes a whole host of recurring characters of similar age (Fornell, 64, and Franks, 62, for example). I've noticed, especially in recent seasons, that a great number of episodes focus on this cohort as the primary characters, with younger characters in supporting roles. There have also been a lot of focused-on older actors as guest stars--Gibbs's dad, 82, Gibbs's mother-in-law, 76, Tony's dad, 80, and last week, the lead guest stars were 70 and 87. That's a lot of silver hair, especially for an action-focused military/police procedural.

But more important is not just the ages of the actors, but the storylines they get. It's pure male wish fulfillment. Almost all of the older featured actors are men. And they frequently get much younger female love interests. Gibbs's antagonistic love interest last season was a decade and a half younger than him. Sometime a few seasons ago Ducky got a romance storyline with a girl several decades younger than him. The two older women stars I can remember (Gibbs's mother-in-law and Ducky's mother) were both un-sexualized maternal figures.

In last week's episode, we had the other half of the wish fulfillment fantasy. Spoilers for Worst Nightmare, or the writers saw Taken and decided it would make a good NCIS episode )

I don't see too many other action shows on TV that have baby boomers as their action leads--the contrast with NCIS:LA coming on right after it is jarring. So maybe that's the secret to their success. They're practically the only show exploiting that market.
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You know how characters on tv are always too young to have the professional experience they're supposed to have? (With the flip side of everyone in high school being way too old--with the net result that everyone's in their twenties.)

Well, I just had that driven home to me. I'm watching NCIS:LA, completely non-specific spoiler )


Jan. 13th, 2010 01:25 pm
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I stayed home sick yesterday, which was definitely a good choice, but am now back at work, annoying my neighbors with coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose every five minutes. Yesterday I watched WALL*E, which is definitely a comfort movie, but maybe not the best choice for when I have a sinus infection. In the theater, the end of that movie had me shedding a tear or two. In the privacy of my own home? Bawling. And making my nose even more stuffed up.

You know what the suckiest thing about staying home sick is? Even though you're home from work, you can't actually make a dent on your list of chores. Because of the whole sick thing. Curses.

In random segue, NCIS! The episode that jossed a thousand fanfics )

In conclusion, I think that may be the happiest-making NCIS episode yet. It was a total validation of fanon Tony. I loved it.
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Drive-by reviews of the new NCIS's...


NCIS:LA, now with more letters! )

Oh, NCIS, never try to figure out why you are popular, because you clearly don't have a clue.
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NCIS is the most ridiculously overwrought angsty fandom, and yet every time I see a rec, I click the link, only to turn away in disgust two paragraphs in when Tony starts crying in the squad room cause Gibbs never tells him he did a good job. God. Why do I keep clicking? Why?
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I am continuing along in my viewing of NCIS. I just got to the season 5 episode "Requiem," which is apparently the highest rated episode of the show. I'd noticed before there seemed to be a lot of episode tags for this episode, so I hunted some down.

Here is what baffles me about these tags. With spoilers for the episode )

more NCIS

Oct. 30th, 2008 03:27 pm
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So I've watched some more NCIS and read some more fic, and here's the thing about my favorite pairing:
-Gibbs is a bastard. In the show, it seems that he kind of loves this. And it's not just that he's hard-nosed and not political, he actually does lash out at people without justification when he's unhappy.
-DiNozzo is an immature asshole. Michael Weatherly said in an interview, "he's that guy at work that's repellant in every way but somehow manages not to get fired."

Now, I've seen plenty of fics where Tony and Gibbs are in a relationship and Gibbs being a bastard drives Tony away and he has to come crawling back, begging for forgiveness. Aside from being generally unrealistic and badly characterized, these fics almost always portray Tony as someone whose childish behavior is a front. In fact, practically every NCIS story I've read that features Tony starts with some long explanation about how he lets people only see what they want to see about him and he isn't actually that immature and petty, he's actually a tragic, brooding, misunderstood hero. For most stories, then, the point where Gibbs commits to a relationship with Tony is the point where Tony casts aside this persona, and becomes the thoughtful, dedicated, self-confident man he is deep down.

Having seen almost two seasons of the show so far—that's bulls***. Tony is compulsive about annoying, belittling, and pranking the people he cares about. Though he does have occasional moments of seriousness, it seems like the only he can show affection is by being annoying. Any time he has a moment of vulnerability, he usually immediately follows it by trying his hardest to piss people off.

Tony is an "asshole with a heart of gold." And here's the thing with people like that, of which I have known several. Even when you uncover their hidden depths of caring and loyalty—they're still an asshole. Just because you now realize there's no malice behind their actions does not mean they now act perfectly tactful, mature, and kind. They still cancel your print jobs or bribe you with cookies not to talk to a co-worker, to pick a totally random absolutely didn't happen to me example.

On the show, Gibbs pretty much turns a blind eye to all of this unless it directly affects Tony's job performance. He likewise ignores Tony's not-so-subtle jockeying to be Gibbs's favorite. Tony also seems to handle Gibbs bastard behavior pretty well—far from the delicate flower Tony so often is in stories, in the show when Gibbs comes down on him when it's not warranted, Tony stands up to him.

So what I'd really like to see in a fic is where they're in a relationship and Gibbs is still a bastard and Tony is still a brat, and this causes major issues between them (I can see Gibbs just losing his temper with Tony's behavior and Tony, now that he's in a relationship and expects to be shown favor, being hurt when he isn't), but is resolved without Tony getting a character transplant. I'm not sure if such stories exist, though.
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That cold that's been going around got me on Thursday, so I stayed home Friday and watched lots of NCIS. I have now realized that Ziva looks scarily like my cousin. She makes the exact same facial expressions. Of course her voice is entirely different and my cousin's got a good five inches on her (yes, my cousin is six foot), but all she needs is a mole on her cheek and they'd be identical. It's kind of mesmerizing to watch. Or maybe that's the cold talking.

Goth Puck

Oct. 14th, 2008 04:34 pm
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Abby Sciuto as Puck )

[livejournal.com profile] trinityvixen, yes this post is for you, though I don't know if you watch NCIS and couldn't find a link to your previous post about age gap romances.


Oct. 13th, 2008 12:54 pm
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I have started being sucked into NCIS fandom. Despite having only seen a dozen or so episodes (it's a procedural—not like there are major plot arcs I am unaware of), I have already discovered a few things:

- Though I am very OTP already (DiNozzo/Gibbs – bastards FTW!), the fandom has quite a few dominant pairings, far more variation than you find in most fandoms.
- Despite the fact that the show is a procedural, there is a ridiculous amount of Tony apologist fic. You know, the kind where Tony's underappreciated and cuts himself and everyone realizes how awful they've treated him and has to beg his forgiveness and he has so little self-worth that he doesn't believe anyone could love him… Really, fandom? Have you seen the show?
- I've now run across three fic that were over 100 pages long that started out with a major conflict/misunderstanding between Tony and Gibbs that was resolved with mutual declarations of love and shmoopiness less than halfway through. I can only conclude that the rest of the fic was them going on dates and making moony eyes at each other because I stopped reading. Don't people understand that once you've resolved the major conflict, the story is over?

I've found a few really excellent stories (mostly revolving around Tony having an unhealthy obsession with earning Gibbs's approval and Gibbs being completely uncommunicative) but far more fic of the bad variety. It's like Sentinel fandom all over again. Anyone want to rec me NCIS fic/writers/rec lists?


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