Why watch NCIS?
Besides you and me, over 19 to 21 million people catch it each week. That is million with a capital M. NCIS consistently beats other scripted dramas such as House, Lost and Law & Order SVU in over-all ratings. Why?
Let's be honest here, the show isn't exactly breaking new ground. It uses the same formula week after week.
A Marine or Naval seaman is found dead. The team dispatches to check the crime scene.
Dr. Ducky Mallard does the autopsy. Forensic scientist Abby Sciuto analyses the evidence. Agent Tim McGee does something geeky with a cell phone or computer.
Agent Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David investigate suspects. Leroy Jethro Gibbs leads the team, demands answers and smacks some heads.
There will be false leads, additional evidence found, and then in the last ten minutes the case is solved. Funny business will ensue between the team. Roll credits and get something to drink before NCIS Los Angeles.
Do we expect something earth shaking to happen? Nope. We expect what we get. It's the tried and true formula. The adage 'If it ain't broke don't fix it' applies here in spades.
So if all the above is true why do so many watch each week?
I think the shows familiarity is comfortable to viewers. It's been seven seasons. We know these characters. They're each likeable even adorable, like Ducky.
They all seem the kind of person you'd want as a friend.
Have coffee with Gibbs. You and Tony could see a movie. Tweet McGee. Listen to Ducky's stories. Go bowling with Abby. You're on your own with Ziva. Darts perhaps?
The stories can be off beat. Take this season.
What bad guy goes to the trouble of making a scarecrow out of a dead marine? Same episode we were treated to a precocious girl who made collages hiding secret code. Not your average who-done-it. But audiences won't sit still for 'average' any more. Surprise us we say.
The scripts still go A to B to C. And there's nothing wrong with that. Would you throw away your most comfortable shoes?
We watch NCIS because we want to see the interaction between the characters. We're curious about their private lives. It's only natural. Don't you wonder about your co-workers, club members or classmates? Sure you do. We all do.
That's what a good show does. It makes you interested in the characters. You want to watch the next week to learn more of their lives. And this crew can be funny when interacting with each other. We like that.
NCIS holds our interest, and makes us come back each week.
Why do we watch? Simple. We like it.
Jackman, BuddyTV Fan Columnist