NCIS: New Orleans – The First Season

NCIS: New Orleans – The First Season
Paramount Home Entertainment
Released: August 18, 2015

 

NCIS: New Orleans follows the cases of the smaller office introduced in the two-part “Crescent City” episode of NCIS Season 11. Having watched “Crescent City” when it aired, I was impressed that the same interrogation goals Gibbs accomplishes with aloof distrust, his friend Dwayne Cassius Pride (Scott Bakula) accomplishes with openness and empathy.

 

Pride’s protege, Chris LaSalle (Lucas Black), while rivaling Tony DiNozzo for looks and charm, also showed gravitas DiNozzo seldom does. The character I wasn’t sure about was Meredith Brody (Zoe McLellan). I am a fan of McLellan from JAG, but Brody was introduced with a classified past, and I didn’t think “Crescent City” revealed enough about her.

 

The main complaint about previous spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles in early seasons was that it didn’t feel enough like classic NCIS. NOLA executive producers Mark Harmon and Gary Glasberg made a sometimes-too-obvious effort to show a strong connection between the new show and the original, bringing Gibbs, DiNozzo, Tobias Fornell (Joe Spano), and CGIS Agent Borin (Diane Neal) into multiple episodes. Meanwhile Pride’s rapport with Dr. Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder) is similar to Gibbs’ and Ducky’s.

 

This much said, the two shows do differ in tone. Perhaps taking cues from its location and Agent Pride, NCIS: NOLA seems a more relaxed and open show that may become even more character-driven that the original NCIS. The first season not only fleshed out Brody, but Pride and LaSalle, too, while introducing two guest field agents, Patton Plame (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell) and Sonja Percy (Shalita Grant), who became fast favorites.

 

Memorable guest actors such as Steven Webber, Callie Thorne, Stacy Keach, and Dean Stockwell in pivotal roles round out the reasons the first season set is worth owning. Bonuses include the “Crescent City” episode of NCIS, commentaries on Episodes 1 and 14 by showrunner Jeffrey Lieber and executive producer James Hayman, and several behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Gerald So 

 

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