NCIS is one of the most popular long-running series on the air right now. It recently entered it’s 13th season and it pulls in bigger ratings than the majority of its rivals. In 2009 the series launched its first spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles, which has been running for 7 seasons and stars Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J. In 2014 the second spin-off NCIS: New Orleans made its debut and the show has firmly established itself as a juggernaut in terms of the ratings. Currently in its second season, NCIS: New Orleans arrives on DVD for the first time with the release of its first season.
NCIS: New Orleans – The First Season features all 23 of the show’s debut season along with the two part back-door pilot that formed part of the 11th season of NCIS. Crescent City Parts I and II introduced the New Orleans division of NCIS headed up by NCIS Special Agent Dwayne ‘King’ Pride (Scott Bakula). The original NCIS team joined forces with Pride’s team to solve the case of a congressman murdered in New Orleans. Those episodes also introduce Agent Meredith Brody (Zoe McLellan), who becomes a permanent member of the team prior to the first episode of the first season, Agent Christopher LaSalle (Lucas Black), and Dr. Loretta Wade (C.C.H. Pounder).
If you’ve seen NCIS or NCIS: Los Angeles before then you’ll know exactly what to expect from NCIS: New Orleans. The show basically uses the same procedural template from those shows but puts a new set of characters in a new city to give it a slightly different twist. The end result isn’t all that much different to be honest but there’s no denying that NCIS: New Orleans is a bit of a guilty pleasure.
The season opens with Musician Heal Thyself centres around the case of a petty officer that was murdered. The case has personal ties for Pride, who used to mentor the former gang member turned victim. Over the course of the season the team investigates a wide array of cases including the murder of a Navy officer with high-level secret clearance (Watch Over Me), a double homicide aboard a research boat (The Abyss), and a Navy Commander who is given a lethal does of radiation (The Walking Dead).
Performance wise the cast do decent enough jobs. Scott Bakula, formerly of Star Trek: Enterprise and Quantum Leap, still makes for a great leading man and he carries much of the show on his shoulders. Lucas Black, perhaps best-known for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift brings plenty of charm as Lasalle and he has a great chemistry with Zoe McLellan’s Brody. The obligatory team geek is played by Rob Kerkovich in an entertaining performance and the always reliable C.C.H. Pounder brings a bit of weight to the otherwise quite fluffy show.
Special features on the release include the two NCIS spin-off episodes and a series of behind-the-scenes featurettes giving you a good look at the show’s cast and crew.
Part of the charm of the NCIS series is that they are really easy to watch. They don’t particularly command any brainpower and each week is a little whodunit mystery that the viewer can try and work out. Honestly NCIS: New Orleans, like its parent show, caters to the lowest common denominator, which is probably why it pulls in the huge ratings. If you prefer your TV shows to make you think and feel then I’d suggest looking elsewhere but if you like to put your brain into neutral while you unwind NCIS: New Orleans is a good choice.
Watch a behind-the-scenes clip from NCIS: New Orleans – The First Season:
Cast: Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan, C.C.H. Pounder, Rob Kerkovich Released By: Universal Pictures (UK) Certificate: 15 Duration: 921 mins Release Date: 8th February 2016