TV Show Review – NCIS: New Orleans, season 1

NCIS: New Orleans, season 1
Courtesy of CBS Television Studios
Release Date: August 18, 2015

NCISNewOrleans_S1

I got on the NCIS train late, and I have therefore only been a fan for a couple of years now. I’m not sure why I waited so long to watch it; my wife has been telling me about how great it is for years. But I’m glad she convinced me to give it a shot. It’s an excellent drama with a nice tinge of humor.

After I had watched the primary show for a few months, I branched out and gave NCIS: LOS ANGELES a look. It was ok, but not as good as the original. Thus, when NCIS: NEW ORLEANS was announced, I didn’t have high expectations. But, because I had given LA a chance, I knew I should check this one out too. Surprisingly, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS turned out to be a nice addition to the now-trio of Investigative Service shows. And while it’s still not as good as the original, the show is a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out.

If you are not familiar with NCIS: New Orleans, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of CBS Television Studios:

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS is a drama about the local field office that investigates criminal cases affecting military personnel in The Big Easy, a city known for its music, entertainment and decadence. Leading the team is Special Agent Dwayne Pride, aka “King,” a native of New Orleans who is driven by his need to do what is right. Working with Pride is Special Agent Christopher Lasalle, who plays hard but works harder; and Special Agent Meredith “Merri” Brody, a charismatic and tough interrogator who transferred from the Great Lakes office in search of a fresh start. Supporting them is coroner Dr. Loretta Wade, who is as eccentric as she is smart. This colorful city that harbors a dark side is a magnet for service personnel on leave, and when overindulgence is followed by trouble, Pride’s team is at its best.

Actor Scott Bakula has been hit-or-miss with me over the years. He’s done some really good stuff (such as the big screen adaptation of Clive Barker’s LORD OF ILLUSIONS and the Star Trek prequel STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE), but then he’s done some duds as well (I have to confess I didn’t like QUANTUM LEAP at all). He’s at top form in this role, however, and it’s nice to see him back on TV again.

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS looks good and appears to have a modest budget. The production value looks high, and the show doesn’t skimp on the details. The set locations are nice as well, as the show is actually filmed in New Orleans; I love seeing familiar spots I’ve visited personally in The Big Easy.

The acting is great, with the afore mentioned Bakula heading up a talented cast. Lucas Black plays Bakula’s right-hand-man, LaSalle. I’ve enjoyed Black’s work since I first saw him in FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS over a decade ago. And actress Zoe McLellan plays off of her male counterparts well as Brody.

The storylines in NCIS: NEW ORLEANS are well done and fleshed out. There’s plenty of tension, and the proverbial crap hits the fan from time to time, forcing the group into drastic actions. But, the day always manages to be saved, and the world moves on.

Which brings me to the slight negative aspect of the show: it’s hard to switch gears from the formality Mark Harmon’s character, Gibbs, brings to the original NCIS, to Bakula’s laid back, easy-going style. In many instances, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS doesn’t feel like a military-esque show, simply because it lacks the rigidity of discipline Gibbs instills in his team. But this goes both ways; sure, it’s hard to adjust to the change…but it’s also a welcome one as well. Sometimes Gibbs’ lack of flexibility gets downright annoying.

NCIS: NEW ORLEANS is a win for me, and I recommend giving it a look. The show has a lot of promise, and I suspect it will become more popular than it’s predecessor (NCIS: LOS ANGELES). Fans of the original should enjoy it, while newcomers to the series will probably find it entertaining as well. It is available now.

MSB

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