'NCIS': Why the Love?

Boy, am I sick of hearing about NCIS. Every week, it's the same ratings news. NCIS wins. It's the highest rated show in the world. Millions are watching. Kajillions are watching. There is no one out there who's not watching. Aren't you?

Well, no. Generally, when I hear the words "police procedural," I see images of smart aleck cops exchanging light-hearted banter over corpses. Bloody corpses. For this reason, I didn't watch Jag, the show that spawned NCIS, nor do I indulge in CSI, or The Unit, or The Mentalist. But I gave in and watched NCIS last night, because I was curious. Kajillions of people can't be wrong. What are they seeing that's bringing them back every week, in droves?

When I tuned in, I discovered that there are some very attractive guys on this NCIS team, actually. Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) is the immature but lovable one. Special Agent Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) is nerdy but in a lovable way. Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is gray-haired and quiet, but still sexy, somehow. (In a running joke last night, he was the go-to guy for everything the team needed, from camera batterie s to Band-Aids to tuna fish in a can.)

And there are strong, unpredictable women -- including a pretty Goth girl/forensics expert, Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), who gets some of the best lines. After spouting off a bunch of technical-sounding science terms to solemn-faced Jethro, she sighs and says, "It's actually pretty funny if you have a PhD in chemistry."

If last night's show drew its usual numbers, then over a million people were watching NCIS along with me. That means it's attracting people in all age groups, from both genders. But I've also read that a substantial number of them tend to be male and/or "older." And wow, last night's episode explained that one. The pop culture references these Navy "cops" threw around were so male, so older, that I had to pause my DVR several times to figure out what they were talking about. A sampling:

"Hey, boss! I feel like Davey Crockett, trackin' 'em down."

"It's a contraption that Dr. Who travels through time in."

"[The plan] didn't work, but A+ for the MacGyver."

"Book 'em, Danno!" (If you are not male and/or older, I might need to flat out tell you: That's from Hawaii 5 0.)

As for the story, I wasn't interested enough to follow all the rapid dialogue and plot twists, but it had something to do with stolen National Security data. I knew that this nice-looking group with the witty repartee would crack the case in the end, and they did, right at 9 PM. I'm sad to report that the episode did, in fact, feature two scenes in a morgue, with special agents exchanging light-hearted banter over bloody corpses. Is this a commentary on what "older males" are into? Oh, don't answer that. I don't want to know.

Regardless, the show didn't rock my world. But maybe I'll give it another shot -- after I've had a chance to bone up on all the pop culture references I missed over the years by not having a brother.

Do you like police dramas? Chime in below!

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