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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: NCIS: New Orleans

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS










Starring: Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan, Rob Kerkovich, and CCH Pounder

Created by Gary Glasberg
Written by Jeffrey Lieber, Directed by Michael Zinberg

THE PREMISE: Well, the title pretty much says it all. The show follows an NCIS team operating out of the Big Easy. The Special Agent in Charge for this one is Dwayne Cassius Pride (Scott Bakula). His team consists of Senior Special Agent Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black), Medical Examiner Dr. Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder), newcomer Special Agent Merri Brody (Zoe McLellan), and, of course, the lab assistant. This one is Sebastian Lund (Rob Kerkovich)

THE GOOD: This seems like it would be catnip to NCIS fans: a leading man appealing to the generation of NCIS fans in Scott Bakula, a decent story that has some suspense but isn't overly violent or shocking, little banter between the agents, and a decent backdrop. The decision to set an NCIS in New Orleans was a good idea as the city has such a unique feel. It feels southern and cultured and the dixieland music doesn't hurt either. All in all, it's very safe and that might be a pro to many people. I liked Bakula in this but he wasn't asked to do much.

THE BAD: The problem for me is I'm not an NCIS fan. I tried to watch it once years ago and found the same problem I found with this show. It is the definition of a generic procedural to me without the thrills and suspense of a show like Person of Interest or the creepiness of a show like Criminal Minds or the great characters of a show like Blue Bloods. I don't actually get what makes these NCIS series so popular except that they go down easy. I know there was a backdoor pilot for this show (which I didn't watch), but it just felt like another episode. The cold open was boring and extremely quick and didn't hook me into the crime. It was all so generic down to the "team hanging out at a bar after the case is solved" ending that ends so many procedurals like this. Do all the NCIS shows have freezes before and after commercial breaks?

BOTTOM LINE: This show was betting on people knowing and liking the NCIS format and that's not a bad bet. But it's also not going to be a show for me because I just can't get into it. I was so bored during this episode that I kept realizing I wasn't really paying attention. I'll be curious to see what NCIS fans think of this show in the weeks and months to come.

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