It’s time America confront one of the biggest moral conundrums of modern television today: the wild popularity of the CBS crime series NCIS. This show is misleading, derogatory, anti-American, counterproductive and sets a bad example for our youth. The plot is confusing and lazy, its actors two-dimensional charlatans. It is the liberal media’s attempt to use the coveted national network “Prime Time” airwaves to promote leftwing propaganda under the guise of “drama.” In essence, NCIS presents a relentless attack on the integrity of our men and women in the armed forces. Watching it, you’d believe our Navy is staffed by murderers, embezzlers, spies and rapists. This is all the more astonishing when you consider that the NCIS show infects tens of millions of Americans each and every week with its subliminal anti-Military bias, ultimately discouraging our young men from enlisting to protect this country from global terror.
The series revolves around the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The real-life NCIS is the Navy’s primary source of security for the men, ships, planes, and resources of US seagoing expeditionary forces worldwide. In truth, this is a sleepy corner of our armed services. Its employees are akin to port inspectors, without the suntans and rich parents of those in the Coast Guard. But in the CBS-produced version, NCIS is staffed by fast-talking models and millionaires who deal with a constant flow of front-page crimes and intrigue like FBI agents. These sharp-dressed, sexually overactive charmers put no trust in American laws or faith, but rather in their array of government-purchased sidearms. The show frightens you into believing that the American military has been infiltrated at the very highest levels by corrupt villains and that only a ragtag group of self-indulgent outsiders can save us.
Maybe I’m a bit of a curmudgeon for attacking a fictional tv show made up of character actors stumbling through overwritten and hyped-up storylines. You shouldn’t watch it if it offends you, people will say. But that’s not the point. I don’t watch NCIS. The truth I’m getting at is that this show represents the fall of American creative television ethical greatness.
We once had tv shows like the Rockford Files to turn to each week. This was a fabulous educational experience, with James Garner pursuing thrilling, authentic-feeling adventures while living in a trailer on a gorgeous California beach. He was strong and tough and wise and got beaten down a bit. There was an inexpensive taco shack a short walk away. He fought thieves, dirty land developers, the “syndicate,” drug smugglers and corrupt politicians but always had time to rescue a beautiful lady. The police, hardworking and underpaid, were always heroes in the end, too. Rockford’s father Rocky, superbly brought to life by veteran actor Noah Beery Jr., was a fantastic parental figure and even though this show didn’t air on Sundays, I liked to imagine they all went to church on that day.
Conversely, NCIS lead star Mark Harmon is simply unpleasant. He has devolved since his Chicago Hope and St. Elsewhere days. The name “Leroy Jethro Gibbs” is supposed to convey a down home Southern boy, but Harmon’s uppity demeanor is tiring. Frankly, he is the most annoying character on Prime Time today. You just want to see him pick his ear or sing a Bee Gees song– anything to show that there’s actually a human being within that sickly yellow crust. His two-dimensional shtick is that of a stern adult, hardened by dangerous international adventures but never adventurous enough to fall into a lice-infested bed with a third-world prostitute. Despite this, something about Harmon seems wrong and unfinished. The show taunts you with the idea that Gibbs has more backstory, but it never delivers on that promise. Instead we’re left with the antithesis of James Rockford– a shell of a man whose puzzling performances are robotic, devoid of hope and irritating.
THE REST OF THE NCIS CAST
- Timothy McGee: The dorky author. Surely he is the alter ego of the show’s very own writers. Why else would they make him out to be an intelligent and strong lothario who earns millions from his typing skills when in actuality he looks like he should be stacking Hostess Cakes in a blue apron at Wal-Mart? It’s called fantasy projection.
- Ziva & Kate: These two bellicose women, always ready with a waistband handgun, are not physically enticing. Their aggressive lack of prettiness and their overbearing superiority complexes are huge turnoffs. Is this the sort of girl a man needs beside him? I think not.
- Anthony DiNozzo: Overcompensating for his homosexuality by being a lecherous young man. What an example he sets for today’s youth! No one would ever let this oaf be a police agent in real life.
- Abby: That goth computer geek woman. Why is she here? Is she meant to be alluring to video gamers, aging lesbians or awkward teen boys? Or all three? I don’t understand the appeal. The talking car KITT from the popular show Knight Rider would work just as well and would probably cost thousands less in S&M wardrobe expenses. Anyone have David Hasselhoff’s cell number?
- Ducky: An overeducated Brit doctor making a meager living as a US military morgue rat? How much more implausible can you get!
Story-wise, NCIS never seems to add up. The crimes the team faces each week don’t highlight any interesting aspects of modern society. They aren’t “Ripped From the Headlines,” nor are they morally redemptive. There are no teachable moments. Just a lot of bombs on boats, dead marines on leave and Navy men in tight blue uniforms who have something or other to do with some government office in Washington. At the end of each episode, the regular cast members slink back into their own corners of the office, maybe with a little banter. But any repeat viewer will quickly see their cute little phrases (“Ya think?”) are repeated verbatim and ad nauseum each week. This begs the question: are the NCIS writers this lazy or is America this braindead? Regardless, each episode seems exactly the same to me. I could watch the beginning of one, the middle of another and the ending of a third and it would seem just as coherent as any complete episode.
Like some slimy pregnant alien, NCIS has just spawned. Its new spinoff show “NCIS Los Angeles!” is the first step in a proposed CSI-style takeover of America’s Prime Time and syndicated airwaves. For the sake of America’s men and women serving so honorably in our military, I hope and pray that never happens. This show is a disservice to the service.