In fact I feel most of the cast was chosen to enhance the stupidity of what the industry feels they can subject us to. I was a little shocked when they added Nell as I thought Eric did a fine job without her but Hetty really made the addition work. After the first few episodes, I felt bored and wondering if I should keep watching. I love that there is a hidden past for Callen, much in the way that Gibbs's bast was hidden for the first three years. She was an interesting and strong character, certainly posed a mental challenge to Gibbs.
Callen is really the central character, before or after Hetty, depending how you look at it, whoever you love more. It adds a lot of depth that it's his ability to speak an Arabic dialect and his affiliation as a Muslim that leads him to these story lines. Also, McGee visits an elite technology company in Silicon Valley that is offering him a highly paid position. Gibbs is more direct and impatient. As opposed to other reviewers who are sadly so limited they can only conceive of Linda Hunt as an object of derision, I tune in specifically to see her.
You can believe his background as a former U. There's something special about the Hetty character - she is the center of the show in a unique way. At first, Kensi Blye was just the token female for me. The main chief, Hetty, is an old woman who seems to treat her agents like their kids. This one won't last the season, if they don't make sweeping changes, like losing the cast, firing the writers, and getting someone who can direct. They like each other, they even love each other as partners do, but as of now I like that they are motivated for each others' well being and otherwise keeping it on a professional level.
Maybe this will change over time. There's a computer guru like Abby. Without her we wouldn't care for Callen or Hanna as it's her feelings about them that motivate us. This show is well cast and the writing is solid. Also, Vance continues physical therapy for the injuries sustained when he was held hostage. And having Director Vance and Abby make short crossovers is excellent.
You'll also notice differences in the way of how the organization deals with cases. I also get the feeling that this is a two-parter. For the bulk of the pilot it was Callen and Hanna doing the bulk of the muscle for their investigation. However, after settling down and focusing on the episodes, mainly the one where Dom gets kidnapped, I felt like they've hit their stride. Daniela Ruah does Kensi justice in all the right places. Also, Gibbs and McGee must pass a psych evaluation with Doctor Grace Confalone before officially resuming all work responsibilities.
The second major flaw is that somehow this got made. They play off of each other so well. Tonight sees Kasie solve a 30-year-old cold case but the murderer may still walk. I think this spin-off has some potential. All in all, a fun show to watch. Why not call it whatever cool title they have laying around waiting for the next macho-man cop-show?.
That's what makes it tolerable. We also get a few characters making cameos for the show like Director Vance. I have never in my life ever wished failure on anyone or anything and I don't feel I need to now. If only things were that easy, right? I thinks this is so because it's about embodying the type of man you would imagine a chameleon would be rather than actively being a quick-change artist. As soon as they do I feel like it's the death keel of the show. It was a great starting point because until we got to know more about this duo it's really all we had to go on. Their technique will be different.
Did it really get through trial screenings? Now I want to watch stories about people who are unique and unusual and earthy and human. But it's the presence of Linda Hunt that elevates this show. The original is such a great show, one I wait every week for. Hanna is a straight shooter, a perfect foil for the silent Callen, and a strong, moral character in his own right. I especially enjoyed her recent character arc while she dealt with her father's past and his death, working on her trust issues.
In the the pilot is about a Navy Officer whose gunned down by people who are working for the drug cartel. She brings the team together, she brings cohesiveness and, despite her professionalism, she brings warmth. It is unbelievably entertaining and fun to watch. The producers and writers are making good choices for this show as far as killing off characters, eliminating dead weight and developing the areas of back story and character that we love or have come to love. If we needed another mindless cop show, this would be perfect! There are a couple of twists to make the outcome not seem so obvious. The audience enjoys watching them no matter the current difficulties, whether it's just a threat to national security or literally saving the world. However, there is more than just the casual element.