NCIS: Red – The Power of Three?

Law & Order had three (the original, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), technically five if we count the short-lived Law & Order: Trial by Jury and Law & Order: LA

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation had three…  (the original Las Vegas crime drama, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY)…

So, why shouldn’t NCIS (technically a spinoff from JAG) have three?  We already have the original and NCIS: Los Angeles… and now CBS hopes to launch a third—NCIS: Red.

First introduced to NCIS: Los Angeles audiences via another backdoor pilot double feature in “Red” and “Red P2” (these backdoor pilots appear to be the way of the future…), Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and Sam (LL Cool J) joined the “Red Team” in Moscow, Idaho to investigate the murder of a marine, while Deeks (the adorable Eric Christian Olsen) and Kensi (Daniela Ruah) stayed behind to check out another man’s death via the same style—execution to the back of the head with a small-caliber round.  The cases led back to one really bad man, so the teams united and worked together to take him down.

If the series makes, NCIS: Red will follow a group of Naval Criminal Investigative Service officers as they travel around the country as a mobile unit.   The team consists of one analyst, four agents, and one “tech” guy:  Analyst Roy Quaid (John Corbett, the ever-adorable Aidan from Sex and the City), Agent Claire Keats (Gillian Alexy, McLeod’s Daughters), Special Agent Dave Flynn (Scott Grimes—I knew this guy looked really familiar, and now it makes sense… he has starred for multiple seasons on two of my favorite shows- ER and Party of Five, and he was in one of the best miniseries ever made-Band of Brothers), Special Agent Danny Gallagher (Kenneth Mitchell, Ghost Whisperer), and Technical Assistant Kai Ashe (Edwin Hodge, Cougar Town—and yes, he is the older brother of Aldis Hodge from Leverage) all report to team leader Agent Paris Summerskill (Kim Raver, 24).

The Red Team… Kai, Claire, Roy, Paris, and Dave.

And I could be wrong, as I’m just guessing here, but I think NCIS:Red will also borrow Owen Granger (Miquel Ferrer, Crossing Jordan) away from his recurring role on NCIS: Los Angeles and give him a bit more air time… the new show’s Hetty, if you will.

The “Red Team” travels together and lives together on two mobile units known as “Laverne and Shirley.”  Once connected together, the trailers of two eighteen-wheelers transform into the team’s headquarters, lab, and living quarters.  And don’t think the mobile unit is just a set—the art department for the show actually built the unit, consisting of hydraulics and lots of other technical bells and whistles.  It’s pretty cool when we get to see the transformation in action in “Red P2,” but it’s not all that nice and pretty like LA’s home office.

Paris…

During the two-hour special, viewers learned quite a bit about Paris (Raver)… with the most important being her muddled history with Roy (Corbett).  The two previously worked together as partners, with Roy serving the superior role.  On a case, ordered by Heddy, Roy was shot and blamed Paris for not being where she was supposed to be.   With Roy temporarily back on the team (until Gallagher returns from a gunshot wound), Hetty and Granger wonder if he will ever trust Paris again… and if Paris will ever trust herself again.

Agents are trained to shoot for the chest; it’s a bigger target; but Paris tends to shoot and nail enemies in the head.  Why?  Because when she finally arrived to the wounded Roy’s side on that old assignment, she shot a bad guy sneaking up behind them in the chest.  However, the man was wearing body armor and didn’t stay down, almost killing her.  But Roy saved her life, and now it seems she simply takes the headshot to avoid the headache.  Not only that, but Paris likes to decompress on the firing range, something I would assume is very normal for many agents.

There were also a few hints that Paris and Callen might be a good fit together, leading me to believe the two might have a cross-series romance brewing… if the show makes.

Has Callen found a love interest in Paris?

Audiences also learned a few things about the other members of the “Red Team.”  Claire tends to have a weapon of some sort or another in her hands in most of her downtime; maybe that’s because she’s an ex-smoker and this keeps her hands busy.  Dave is obsessed with food allergies, despite the fact he doesn’t have any.  He’s also not very good with Spanish—that was a comical scene.  Kai not only handles all the technology on “Laverne and Shirley,” but he’s also tasked with the joyful role of emptying out the trucks’ septic tanks when full—a nauseating but necessary job.  And well, Gallagher hasn’t been all that developed yet, considering he was injured in the first hour and only talked about by his other teammates in part two.

It is rumored that if the new NCIS: Red is picked up, CBS will host a one-night, three-hour event each week with one NCIS following another.   But is the new series worth a watch?

One thing’s for sure—I will definitely set my DVR to pick up this new show!  However, I don’t think any of the characters will replace my favorite NCIS member… okay, so Deeks isn’t a NCIS agent, he’s a detective who works with the team; however, he’s still the reason I watch NCIS: Los Angeles every week.

How about you?  Did you catch the two-part backdoor pilot?  Does CBS need a third NCIS program?  Does casting come into play when choosing a new TV series… or is it all about the genre?  I’d love to hear from you!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The Art of Finding

This week Amber West and I review two of Fox’s new dramas on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday: Alcatraz and The Finder.

Bones is a favorite in our household, which is why we felt a tad bit robbed last season when “The Finder” pilot episode aired in Bones’ timeslot.  Of course, the introduction was rather genius – the Fox network was testing the waters for the potential Bones spinoff, and briefly introduced the series by interweaving the Bones protagonists.

In the episode, Booth and Bones travel to Florida to consult with a former acquaintance of Booth’s (Walter Sherman played by Geoff Stults).  Walter is a former war veteran with the ability “to find” anything.  Along with his bar partner (Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile) and colleague (Saffron Burrows, Boston Legal), Walter takes over the case for Booth and Bones.

Despite feeling robbed, as mentioned earlier, the pilot episode showed promise.  However, airing the “backdoor pilot” did suffer one casualty – Saffron Burrows did not resume her role.  Instead, The Finder introduced two new characters this season:  Deputy U.S. Marshal Isabel Zambada (Mercedes Masohn) and a young gypsy/criminal on probation, Willa Monday (Maddie Hasson).

Geoff Stults is adorable, for those who aren’t familiar with 7th Heaven or Happy Town.  The character of Walter Sherman is just as adorable.  Walter suffered a brain injury while in combat, and has since been tested by the FBI in order to resume his consulting work for other federal agencies.  Keeping with the Bones family lineage, Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley) administered Walter’s test and “gave” him a passing score, despite the fact Walter didn’t really pass the psychological exam.

To reiterate, Walter can find anything.  He feels “finding is an art,” and once he’s hired to find something there is no firing him.  Walter becomes obsessed with whatever he is tasked to find – person or object.   He finds things using unorthodox methods and manners, whether it be lying on the tarmac pretending to be an airplane, or wearing insanely huge glasses or a hat made out of bar cherries and toothpicks.  Walter is fun; he leaves the professional side of the business to his “Ends of the Earth” partner (the bar) and a type of “handler” of sorts, Leo Knox (Michael Clarke Duncan).

Leo is a former attorney who lost his family (wife and daughter) years earlier when a company didn’t properly recall a spoiled meat product.  He is a caretaker; Leo takes care of Walter and now he also takes care of Willow while she works through her probationary period.  He may be large and intimidating, but Leo has a soft heart and the simple joys in life bring a monstrous smile to his face.

Walter appreciates Leo, but usually has a hard time showing it.  But at the end of last week’s episode, viewers saw a different side of Walter.  Walter is usually carefree and boisterous, and uses Leo to ground himself.  But this past week, Walter shared his innermost thoughts that portrayed exactly how he feels about Leo: “Find someone you can trust.  It’ll change your life.”

Actually, the foursome is one great, big love fest (Walter, Leo, Isabel, and Willow).

Apparently, Walter and Isabel literally have a “friends with benefits” agreement that includes a special “paragraph C” for when one of the duo actually finds love elsewhere and plans to sleep with someone else.    This new development shocked us; we’re about six episodes into the season, and this was the first we could recall an actual relationship between Walter and Isabel being confirmed…not to mention the way it was written into the storyline made it seem like this has been understood from the beginning.  Who knows? Maybe we missed something early on?

As far as Willow goes, she adores Walter and Leo just the same and wants desperately to prove her worth and to find a permanent home with them, regardless of whether or not she admits it.  She also feels a tight bond with Isabel that allows her to open up and share parts of her life (her Gypsy life) that she’s never told anyone before.

The foursome of The Finder is really just one big, unrelated, dysfunctional family.

I know we’re approaching week seven this Thursday night, but I find myself bouncing back and forth between assigning The Finder with an SSTV rating or a JFTV rating. The fact that it doesn’t sit long on our DVR queue has me leaning more toward the JFTV rating, but I’m still not 100% sold; after all, my guy is usually more eager to watch than I am.  I do like Geoff Stults quite a bit too, another for the plus column under our JFTV scale.  So why not – let’s award The Finder with the JFTV rating.  We have yet another tasty chocolate bar waiting for us in the pantry for a once-a-week indulgence.  It’s not great for us, but it does satisfy us for a sixty minute interval every seven days.

The Finder does leave us wondering one thing: what happens when Walter can’t find something?  His friends appear to actually fear the day this occurs, more than likely for the psychological toll it will take on him.  But really…what will happen?

What do you think? Do you watch The Finder?  Will the Bones spinoff see the same success or be one-and-done?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and read her thoughts on Alcatraz.   We practically had to play tug-o-war to review this one; Amber won.  Why did we fight?  Okay, we didn’t fight… but considering we’re both caught up on Alcatraz, either of us could have shared our thoughts for our WatchWed viewers.  Hardly ever do we find a show that we’re both caught up on…so what does that tell ya?

Come back next week when Amber and I flip networks and review two of NBC’s new dramas: Smash and The Firm.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

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