If you had told me last year that Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J were going to star in a TV show together, I would have laughed in your face. And now, here we are, on the day of the official premiere of NCIS spin-off, the creatively titled NCIS:LA, and that’s just what we have! Chris O’Donnell plays G Cullen, an agent who, if you remember back to NCIS in the spring, was gunned down in a stream of bullets. LL Cool J is his partner, Sam. The pilot starts off after some time has passed – it’s G’s first days back on the job, and they have a pretty intense case of hostage taking and Mexican drug wars on their hands. There are some fun red herrings and a nice twist towards the end of the episode; nothing I didn’t see coming just a little bit.
As far as the show itself, O’Donnell and LL Cool J seem like they might be good friends in real life, so their friendship seems genuine on the series, but everyone else seemed a little uncomfortable in their skin. I felt like they tried almost too hard to establish relationships right away. Linda Hunt is always great in anything (my favorite, naturally, being Kindergarten Cop), so she’s pretty great here. If you like NCIS, this is a show that’s obviously right up your alley. What NCIS: Los Angeles lacks in humor and warmth to the characters, they make up for in flashy technology and exciting action sequences. If NCIS was CSI: Las Vegas, then NCIS: LA is a hybrid of the glossy shiny imagery of Miami, and the grittiness of NY. It’s not a show that needs to be avoided, but not one that I’ll watch week to week!
Series Premiere: Tuesday, September 22nd on CBS 9:00/8:00c