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Has been working for years on a theory to explain the "Kelly/Tori Paradox." Check out BadlyDrawnBible.com and follow him on Twitter @JaredHollier

The Caricatured Characters of NCIS

I’ve got a friend who is a caricaturist. He’s one of those guys you’d see at the state fair, drawing exaggerated pictures of young couples and families. The eyes are too small, the head is too big, the smile is too wide. They’re holding tennis rackets, or driving a convertible. They look silly, and they’re supposed to.

He knows that his drawings are silly, and that’s fine with him. He would be stupid, though, to submit his drawing to the Louvre and get offended when they passed. “How dare they! I am an artist!” He wouldn’t do that. He knows what he’s capable of, and he’s fine with it.

I bring this up because there’s a show on TV right now that wants very badly to be taken seriously, but it doesn’t have a single character in the cast. Instead, it is an hour long crime drama filled with caricatures.

I’m talking about NCIS.

There’s not a believable, or relatable character on that show. It’s like they took one person, cut him into a bunch of small parts, then stretched those parts as far as they could, and said, “Boom. There’s our show.”

One dimensional, exaggerated, stereotypical caricatures. Let’s discuss:

Leroy Jethro Gibbs – First of all, they want to make sure you know he grew up in the sticks, so they literally gave him the most huckleberry name imaginable. His first name is Leroy, and his middle name is Jethro. Might as well call him “Skoalface McHicky Britches” or “Moonshine Hogswaller.” He’s the boss on the show, so naturally everyone just calls him “Boss.” And I guess he has a rulebook of some sort? They’re always referring to his rules- “Rule #9, always carry a knife. Rule #24, if you don’t have enough candy for everyone, don’t bring it to class.” He can do no wrong. His word is law.

Tony DiNozzo – The streetwise, smart aleck frat boy. He’s always got a smirk on his face, one eyebrow raised, his head is cocked a little to one side, his feet propped up on the desk. Constantly flirting, winking, trying to sweet talk anything with estrogen. Lots of eyes get rolled at him, but he thinks he’s ultra-cool.

Ziva David – You’ve got to have pretty lady with an accent. (Right, Modern Family?) Well, here you go. She’s super educated, so she puts that jerk DiNozzo in his place on a regular basis. She does her job, and knows a lot about everything that isn’t American, which comes in handy. But other than that she’s just the pretty girl in the office.

Abby Sciuto – “But how will we reach the kids?” Enter: Abby Sciuto. Pale skin, black hair, red lips, leather boots. Wait a minute- am I watching L.A. Ink? She’s the goth girl who listens to heavy metal while doing her lab work. Don’t be frightened by her appearance, though- she’s super sweet. Which just goes to show you can’t always judge a book by its terrifying, tattooed cover.

Timothy McGee – The Power Rangers had Billy, the Ninja Turtles had Donatello, NCIS has McGee. Nerdy, uptight, gets picked on by the cool kids in class (DiNozzo). He probably has a coin collection, and wears whitey-tighties, and takes a week off every year to go to ComicCon. In costume. As the kid from Pokemon.

I know TV is supposed to be an escape from reality, but they’ve gone too far with this show. Let’s reel it in, CBS. Things are getting out of hand.

Am I wrong? Prove it. Talk me into liking the show.

  • http://twitter.com/amympayne Amy Payne

    “Skoalface McHicky Britches” – excellent. :D I don’t watch it, but isn’t this, like, the #1 show on TV? :)  

    • http://www.badlydrawnbible.com/ Jared Hollier

      That’s what they say. (sigh) Our future is very bleak.

  • http://twitter.com/mgd723 Mark Davis

    I’d prefer you leave Donatello’s name out ya mouth. He held the TMNT team together. I also prefer that you dont pull the Michael Bay “Ninja Turtles” so soon. Still TMNT


    Child of the 80′s

    • http://www.badlydrawnbible.com/ Jared Hollier

      You’re right about my abbreviating TMNT. Sorry about that. But surely you recognize Donatello for what he was- a supporting player. I think it’s universally agreed that the order of importance/popularity is: Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Donatello.

  • http://chrystalmurphy.com/ Chrystal


    Ok, ok…I’m a fan of the show. A huge fan. I could sit for hours watching NCIS marathons of old episodes I’ve already seen. BUT I’m a fan because it’s corny rather than in spite of it. I disagree that they want to be taken seriously. I think they know the show is goofy and the characters are shallow. It’s an escape – a shallow, no-brain-power-needed escape.

    And rule #9 is a really good rule.

    • http://www.badlydrawnbible.com/ Jared Hollier

      If that’s the case- if they’re self-aware and recognize what they’ve got, I might be willing to cut them a little slack.

      A LITTLE.