NCIS: Los Angeles – Season 2

A screenshot from the truly terrible opening titles.

NCIS Los Angeles is a show of fairly modest ambitions which means never in a million years will it win an Emmy, but it’s ability to consistently deliver on its promises clearly resonate with the viewers who place it as the 2nd most highly rated non-reality show of the year (behind NCIS original). For me it’s one of a relatively few number of shows (particularly procedurals) that never fails to entertain me. For season two it’s almost as if the writers read my review of the previous season and went out of their way to fix the things I criticised – most notably the relative weakness of the supporting cast who were being overwhelmed by the superb central partnership.

The writers somewhat ruthlessly shuffled a couple of the weaker characters out of the way and brought in more interesting ones to replace them. This season has been about partnerships – new and old, easy and hard. Callen and Hanna’s well established relationship continued to grow, and contrasted nicely with the newer relationships that were being introduced. Most of the season was spent with Kensi and Deeks working at gradually becoming partners, poking and prodding at each other until they could really cover and rely on each other. Even Eric got a partner in the rather adorable Nell, and the two cheerfully work together in the background. By the end of the season those pairs fit together perfectly, and the three pairings form a team around the centre point of Hetty and god help anyone that goes up against them.

On paper this is an action based procedural with utterly unmemorable plots, frankly I never have much of an idea about the plot while it’s actually going on, let alone after the episode ends. Every week there are the requisite number of twists, set pieces and cliff-hangers to match the advert breaks and keep everything moving along. None of it matters, I wouldn’t care if an entire episode was about trying to buy milk, because the writers would make sure that the banter was entertaining, the emotions subtle and over all that it was a bunch of people working together to achieve something – even if that something was just a chocolate milkshake.

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  1. August 29th, 2011
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