Does NCIS: New Orleans Have You Jazzed?

NCIS New Orleans SpinOff recapCBS’ NCIS this Tuesday embarked on a two-part trip to New Orleans. Based on your first impression of the planted spin-off, are you jazzed for a potentially extended stay?

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The murder of a congressman/former mentor of Gibbs’ reunited him with Special Agent Dwayne Cassius Pride (played by Scott Bakula), another member of the “Fed 5″ who served alongside Mike Franks and the newly deceased.

At first, there’s the usual jockeying for jurisdiction, when the FBI lays claim to the case. (Turns out, the G-men are leery of it getting out that the congressman appears to have been a victim of The Privileged Killer, who long ago was nabbed by the Fed 5, and has since died.) When an FBI agent turns up as the next victim, Gibbs heads to NOLA, with Bishop in tow, while Tony, McGee and Abby stay behind to work the D.C. angle with Fornell.

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In addition to Pride, we met his No. 1, Special Agent Christopher Lasalle (played by Lucas Black). This character seemed a bit flat/overly brooding at first, though by the end of Part 1 of “Crescent City” he had livened up some. (Short story shorter: Lasalle credits Pride with “saving his life” in the wake of Katrina.)

Lasalle and Pride in turn met Special Agent Meredith “Merri” Brody (Zoe McLellan), who, based out of NCIS’ Great Lakes office, somewhat curiously volunteered to give the NOLA boys an assist. Thus, Pride is left to wonder — which he does, aloud to her — if she is running from something. With Lasalle, meanwhile, Brody “proves her mettle” when she gets rough with a smartass during an interrogation. Also: Brody and Gibbs know each other, but the circumstances of that working (?) relationship are “classified,” Gibbs says. (Visually, I couldn’t tell if I was getting an Eva LaRue vibe from McLellan, or if my deja vu came from watching her on Dirty Sexy Money.)

We only got small snippets of CCH Pounder’s Dr. Wade, and via MTAC, so yeah — we need more CCH Pounder. And always more Paige Turco.

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Filming the pilot on location of course gave the New Orleans scenes a lush, colorful and tactile feel; let’s hope that if it goes to series, they set up shop down there (versus trying to build a mini version in Valencia). At first blush, I was highly disappointed with the actual New Orleans NCIS office (Pride tells Bishop he isn’t a “federal building” type of guy), seeing as it was a darkly lit, ruddy, Mardi Gras beads-littered mess when first we saw it. But once Brody initiated a quick facelift, I warmed up to it and could see spending time there every week.

I’m far from an expert on regional accents, so I will leave that discussion point up to the smarter of y’all.

What was your first impression of NCIS‘ latest (prospective) spin-off? Any retooling (like, I dunno, a Tom Welling recast?) you’d suggest before sending it to series? “Crescent City, Part 2″ airs next week.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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307 Comments
  1. carolgrover says:

    Matt – please add the word “ziva” to your list of terms that will get a comment bounced from the server. I am sick to death of hearing the name of a character that has been gone for 6 months and I don’t care whether it’s from those who loved her, hated her, want her back, don’t want her back, like Bishop, don’t like Bishop, like NOLA, don’t like NOLA, etc. They are all obsessing and it is so boring I could scream!

  2. SALLY says:

    NEED A BETTER LOOKING MALE AND FEMALE ASSISTANT. LUV SCOT B BUT REST OF CAST NEEDS REPLACING.

  3. I think Lucas Black gets dropped if CBS picks this show up, just like Robyn Lively did from NCIS’ pilot on JAG

  4. cherry says:

    I to enjoyed the show last night. It kept my interest, more than red did. I know everyone has a right to their opinion, but why does every conversation have to go back to cote/ziva. She comes back, she comes back, there is nothing no one can do about it. I say, just grow up & get over it. There are more important things in life, than cote/ziva.

  5. Libby says:

    I’ve been reading a lot of the comments and wonder why, it seems, that anyone who doesn’t like the Bishop character or Emily’s acting gets labeled a Ziva nut. That is not a fair argument if anyone is trying to make one for Bishop. They are two different characters, two different styles of acting and it is not unreasonable for some to not like the new one. Please just give it a rest on the ‘Ziva nut’ excuse and let people freely state their opinion.

    • Pete says:

      Because a small group of ‘Ziva fans’ have been complaining long and loud all over the internet since de Pablo’s departure was announced. They have been hating on Bishop from the moment the character’s name was made public (if not before then!) and jumping on to every comment page to diss the character and then the actress.
      In all of this, viewers who genuinely dislike the character for who she is have been somewhat drowned out (and or tarred with the same brush as the nutters) – especially as many of the ‘Ziva fans’ are also loudly proclaiming that their opinion has nothing to do with Ziva and everything to do with the inability of the replacement actress (their views, not mine).
      The language used to complain about the character has not helped, either, as much of it has been petty stuff aimed at Emily Wickersham’s physical appearance and nothing to do with the character or the portrayal.

      • Libby says:

        So you agree it is fair to say that there are many who really just don’t like the portrayal that Wickersham gives to Bishop and the character itself, regardless of Ziva? So it is too bad that many can’t take it for what it is. I do disagree that physical appearance comments are petty unless done in a cruel way because an actor’s appearance, projection, voice can all have an affect on some as to whether the character is believable or not. Agreed the eyebrows thing is not relevant even if disconcerting to some.

  6. Libby says:

    I liked the NO spinoff cast, but don’t think the show will grab me like the original NCIS but I will tune in to watch, at least initially.

  7. Judy Sandberg says:

    NICS NO is a “no”. Not interested. I watch NCIS because of Tony and he was relegated to the background. Weatherly is so talented. I fear he’s being wasted. These 2 episodes could have been better spent developing Tony or Tony & McGee’s friendship.

  8. Sara James says:

    I was really bored by it, which surprised me. I cringed a bit at the attempts at Louisiana accents. I won’t bother to watch if the series gets picked up, because my interest in NCIS itself is waning. None of the plot points I hoped to see develop ever really panned out in the long term. I will keep watching NCIS: LA, though. I’d rather see CBS renew Intelligence than do another NCIS spin-off. It will probably tank like the Bones spin-off tanked on Fox.

  9. It was painful to watch. The writing was horrible. The regular characters were “out of character” and the “new” ones were not at all credible. The accents were ghastly. I lost count of the number of times we cringed watching this mess. A huge disappointment — but the cast can only deliver what the writers give them and the writers gave them garbage.

  10. Add my name to the teeming masses who want to see more of the NCIS:Nawlins crew. That first hour was a corker!

  11. Francis Alston says:

    I thought it was great and am looking forward to the conclusion. Everyone who I usually talk to about NCIS, loved it as well. A friend of mine, recorded it and is keeping it until next week so she and her husband can watch it all at once–something I wished I had done. If it makes it as a show will definitely add it to the list.

  12. leia says:

    I’ll give you a name to explain all you need to know about a famous example of an La accent. James Carville. Enough said. I’ll forgive any attempt to try an accent. I really did enjoy the episode. The time seemed to pass so quickly, I was bummed when it ended. I want that fishing pole game!

  13. BJ says:

    I forgot how much I loved SB until he showed up here :) I’m cautiously optimistic!

  14. Damian says:

    Ncis Los Angeles now Ncis New Orleans. They better not lose focus on the original NCIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Jim Lohman says:

    I enjoyed the show very much. I like all of the characters, including Brody. (Hope she sticks around.) I personally see this as another winner.

  16. Ree says:

    I’m from Baton Rouge and I agree with most of Walrus’s comments upthread. Lucas’ accent was explained by his being from Alabama. Scott Bakula, whom I adore, needs to lighten up on whatever accent he is trying to channel. Someone said he doesn’t need to be from N.O. to be that character, so just drop all of the accent acting, Scott. While I loved that they filmed on location, the people in charge of production should remember that there isn’t a jazz funeral every day of the year, nor a Mardi Gras parade, or any of the other cliche’ things on a daily basis that people think about as being New Orleans centric. Back off of some of that stuff. It’s like they tried to cram everything from a tourist brochure into one episode. The references to the local eateries were spot on for the most part. Also, in addition to heat and humidity in the local NCIS office, there would also be roaches, mosquitoes and rats and mice to contend with. NOLA isn’t California where outdoor living is year-round. There are only a few days of the year that you can open doors and windows here in the coastal south, and if you do, you should have screens in place. Air conditioning is a must for comfortable living here. I’ll watch the show if it becomes a series.

    At the risk of being criticized, I’m not a fan of the Bishop character as written. I think the character of Ziva was a better fit for an NCIS agent. The Bishop character needs some refining, IMHO.

    • Dennise says:

      Ree, I am in Baton Rouge too and your analysis is excellent. I can ignore the accents. Even though I enjoyed the cultural references it will be too much if they keep it up.

  17. Hattie says:

    I’m shocked. I thought the show was hilarious, in a bad way. I thought it was bloody awful! Bakula’s fake accent? All the cheesy NOLA references? The characters all fell flat for me, except for the female agent from Chicago. I guess it’s a good thing others liked it. Maybe the show will stand a chance. I will NOT be tuning in though.

  18. Kate says:

    I could handle everything except Lasalle’s crossword puzzle thing. First of all, who can’t get a 3-letter word for mistake? And secondly, who pronounces it “er”?!? Gah.

    • John NYC says:

      Except that.crossword bit wasn’t played by Lasalle. That was played by Special Agent Meredith “Merri” Brody (Zoe McLellan)… right from their first scene together in that she’d of an office.

      So what’s a seven letter word for that?

      Correct: mistake.

      To err is human…. 😇

      Made such a huge impression that did eh?

      • Kate says:

        You’re busting my chops over not knowing one character’s name in an episode in which a whole bunch of new characters are introduced, but have no comment about the fact that nobody on the set knows the proper pronunciation of “err”??? Alrighty then…

        • John NYC says:

          Voicing a complaint based on ignorance just strikes me as weak. Plus he’s one of the new leads how hard can it be? There’s only three.

  19. Greg says:

    Clearly the killer is Felix botts the member of the fed 5 no one is talking about.

  20. Talullah says:

    I really enjoyed this episode. The plot was a bit thin; however, that often seems to be the case when introducing a new spin-off. The primary focus is on introducing the characters, filling in just enough of their back story to interest the audience, and setting the geographic backdrop. I thought the cast mix was great. I’ve been a fan of Lucas Black since he was a little boy in American Gothic and Sling Blade. I loved seeing “N’Awlins” and all the hot spots there. Overall, I think I’ll be adding this to my TV line up. The only thing I’d say to the producers/directors is this – y’all find Don Yesso and add him to the regular cast. There’s an authentic Louisiana actor that we need to see more.

  21. lame says:

    Big NCIS fan and I understand that Cote leaving was her choice. But the writers seem to be having trouble filling the huge hole Cote left. The dynamic still doesn’t feel right and I don’t remember the writers having this problem when Sasha Alexander left. Brody with NCIS seems like an interesting suggestion but I’ll wait and see how this plays out.

  22. Ben Carson says:

    Lucas Black is a scene stealer every time!

  23. Lohocla says:

    Not all that sure about this one. I don’t mind NCIS:LA but it’s a “nothing better on” choice for me, where as just NCIS is a must watch.

    I feel the producers are spreading it out too much and it will suffer in the end. Keep in mind, there’s a reason why Law and Order and CSI are mocked so much.

  24. Mike says:

    For me, just have Paige Turco on screen for an hour and I would be happy.

  25. John NYC says:

    Happened to have some spare time, Texas raining out nascar, so I rewatched the pair. Fun ride. Good NoLa team chemistry as Lasslle loosened up in the second half.

    Liked the locales and atmosphere. The old high ceilinged barn of an HQ was fun. All those pole stand fans must help stir a breeze…. nice detail.

    Brody’s written nice and independent.

    Overall a keeper. Actually I’m more positive on this edition than I was with the initial NCIS:L. A. , though L. A. has grown on me.

  26. Kenneth Q says:

    Love the names!!

    Being a lifelong resident of Louisiana(NOLA-born). I really enjoyed the episode and it’s references. Not sure about the spin-off. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  27. Steph says:

    Put Scott B in it and I’ll be sure to watch. Love everything he’s been in. A good quality actor!

  28. k. karlstedt says:

    My wife and I loved it from the first scene. The setting in New Orleans is great, and since I understand LaSalle is based off an original character from the NOLA office, it also gives credibility. All the characters are great, Lucas Black always a favorite, and Zoe Mclellan was a perfect add to the mix and made it all come together. The show is different enough to make it a hit , even though all you spin-off haters do not get it …….How can more NCIS not be better.

  29. Dave says:

    two words: “oh, Boy!:.

  30. Arnie Walker says:

    With Bishop totally wrecking NCIS, making cardboard characters of Magee and De Nozzo, the NCIS episodes in New Orleans had a fantastic cast and would make a wonderful, strong, interesting series as a spin off NCIS. Advice—get rid of Bishop and save NCIS and add NCIS NOLA.

  31. Michael says:

    I don’t know what was worse….Scott Bakula’s on and off horrific fake New Orleans accent or Lucas Black’s real Alabama accent. Throw in an endless supply of nonsensical clichés, and they’ve managed to come up with one of the most annoying spinoffs ever. It’s along the lines of a Gilligan’s Island spinoff.

  32. Andres says:

    Gary Glasberg should leave, ^^ NCIS would be a better place

  33. j.j. says:

    so tired of the hollywood new orleans accent. all you idiots have to do is have them talk like normal people. not everyone.from louisiana lives in the swamp back in the woods alone

  34. marti gaige says:

    I think it’s a fantastic idea! Great casting, and the way they brought it in through NCIS certainly gave them the “Seal of Approval” so to speak

  35. Pamela says:

    I like the Tom Welling recast or add-on to the show!! Please!!!!!!

  36. Leo says:

    They never get New Orleans right.
    I’d prefer no accent to that fake Alabama drawl they try to pass off as sounding New Orleans.

  37. Nancy says:

    I’d love Scott Bakula as a dear and true friend, but not as an actor in a CSI spinoff that takes place in New Orleans, my last frontier.

  38. NOLA says:

    Please stop embarrassing New Orleans with NCIS NEW ORLEANS. The cliches have to stop. Creole eggs, cold drinks, rue and banjo music. Please be more creative with your writing.

  39. D.berels says:

    Lukus Black needs to drop the accent. It’s terrible. I Have always liked Scott Bakula and CH?. Pounder. Writing for the show not great. Hope it all improves. Enjoy the other 2 NCIS shows. Loved JAG.

  40. Todd in SF says:

    If anything gets me to stop watching NCIS: New Orleans, it’s going to be Scott Bakula’s horrible southern accent, which doesn’t resemble anything you’d hear from someone resident in New Orleans. I’m willing to go along with Lucas Black’s accent. Agent LaSalle, as we have been reminded several times, is from Alabama. So is Lucas Black — born and raised in Alabama, in fact — so his natural accent is fine with me. Too bad about Scott Bakula who has long been a favorite actor. Someone should have worked with him to coach him as to how to speak with an accent actually used in New Orleans, and to use it consistently for all his lines. As it stands, he sounds like someone in a high school drama production trying to sound like a southerner — it’s annoying to hear him.

  41. Daniel says:

    Acting is awful! Accents are awful! This is a very poor morph of the other two NCIS!

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