27 September 2012

Guilty Pleasures: My Secret Love Affair with Gibbs

"Should I call you Leroy?  Or Jethro?"

Pause.

"Gibbs it is, then."


What amazes me about this show is that the season premier this week had me on the edge of my couch cushions and it's the tenth season!  A crime drama centering around the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, it got its start as a spinoff of JAG, or Judge Advocate General, a military courtroom drama.

What sets NCIS apart, for me, is the strength of the writing and the rapport between the characters.  The shows from week to week aren't the same-old, same-old.  Each time we get a little glimpse into the lives of each of the people we've come to love and, unlike some other cop shows that I've enjoyed but then found to grow dull, we are kept interested by the development of those characters.  Tony Denozzo, for example, started out as a cad and has become a well-rounded man with a yearning for a real relationship but a fear of being hurt.  Each of the characters has matured and changed, evolved, if you will.

I find it useful to watch these kinds of shows because a) they have to tell a tight story in a specific time frame, which is good discipline for a storyteller and b) because they have to keep the audience engaged over time, even with the same characters.  That isn't easy to do and I think those of us who write in series can learn a lot from these shows.

And besides, am I the only one that has a crush on Gibbs?  Come on, ladies, 'fess up.  Who's your favorite?
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