Did the NCIS: New Orleans Premiere Trot Out Too Many Big, Easy Tropes?

NCIS New Orleans Review

TV’s most watched drama officially made camp in Crescent City this Tuesday night, with the premiere of the spin-off NCIS: New Orleans. Will your DVR continue to say yes to NOLA?

RELATED Fall Preview 2014: Your Handy Calendar of 99 Premieres

One thing is for certain, coming out of the series opener: If you had a Bingo card listing every New Orleans stereotype/calling card, the pilot checked many of ’em off in short order – including but not limited to:

“Mardi Gras”
Victim’s dad plays trumpet, at a jazz club
Jogging under the Greater New Orleans Bridges

Bonus points if your Bingo card also had squares for:
Male Agent Playfully Teases Female Newcomer
Female Agent Boasts Ninja Skills
NCIS Character Makes Cameo

RELATED NCIS: New Orleans Plots Multiple NCIS Crossovers

Starring beloved TV vet Scott Bakula and filmed on location, NCIS: New Orleans picks up not long after the two-part NCIS that served as a planted pilot, with aforementioned “Midwest transplant” Agent Meredith Brody (played by JAG alum Zoe McLellan) still on the hunt for a proper place to live. (Cue Agent Dwayne “King” Pride’s checklist of many a N’Awlins nabe.) The Case of the Week revolved around a Petty Officer whom PrideNCIS New Orleans Review onetime mentored and now has turned up dead – the only clue to his grisly demise found in a fresh gang tattoo.

That ink paves the way for Lucas Black’s Agent Christopher LaSalle (laid-back, a bit too soft-spoken) to show off some of his connections with local hoodlums (and ability to stare down a threat), while city councilman Steven Weber leans on Pride to sew up the investigation if not also join his Anti-Gang Task Force. But after video-chatting with Dr. “Ducky” Mallard in D.C., M.E. Dr. Loretta Wade (CCH Pounder, doing her best with a supporting role) and forensics whiz Sebastian (Rob Kerkovich, playing the latest member of TV’s Socially Awkward, Overly Chatty Geniuses Club) realize that the vic’s tat had been applied postmortem, meaning it was intended as a misdirect.

By hour’s end, and thanks in part to Brody’s ability to recognize a random shipping code for bananas pineapples (“It’s a NIN!”), it is deduced that the vic had caught onto a drug-smuggling operation, and paid for that discovery with his life. And seeing as precious few people would know to plant the false clue that the kid had re-upped with a gang, Pride finds and warns Councilman Weber: I’m onto you.

What did you think of this first official trip to NCIS: New Orleans? Unique enough to keep around? Or would you rather NCIS: Los Angeles Flavor had stayed in the cushy time slot?

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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  1. Tran says:

    I give the premiere of NCIS: New Orleans an A. They say in the Big Easy: LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL. If I was watching it, I’ll be eating jambalaya, some craw-fish and even fried chicken from Popeye’s.

  2. Walter Freeman says:

    Comfortable and familiar. Maybe not a must see, but likely DVR’d.

  3. Robin says:

    It was okay, but it felt a little too laid back. Will give it time, but it will be DVRd.

  4. Karen says:

    Not judging on an early episode. Realize characters need to be developed, etc. Will definitely continue to watch.

  5. opus says:

    I never could get interested in NCIS:LA but NCIS:NO has great possibilities. I will definitely continue to watch.

  6. Cindy says:

    I could watch Lucas Black all day long….and that accent slays.

  7. jim riberdy says:

    Thought the show was very good.Will watch regularly.Lucas Black a good actor.

  8. Glenn Delatte says:

    HOKIE. As said all the typical stuff was brought out and it felt embarrassing to watch as a local. Maybe it will get better now that Mardi Gras , a few trademark foods, etc have been introduced and we can go on from there.

    • MM says:

      God, yes. Ducky even mentioned the Christmas 2004 snow which I remember very well. And the characters just casually walking down the street talking–past the cemetery. Seriously…Have they saved any clichés and local references for future shows? Seems like they already used almost all of them.

  9. Daren says:

    What a disappointment. After Treme just ended, I had hope for this series. That ended with not a single NoLa accent & all the terrible local cliches. Pathetic! First time I’ve watched the NCIS franchise and it’s also the last.

    • Dahlia Blair says:

      Daren: Please don’t use NCIS:NoLa as a barometer for NCIS, the original. I highly recommend it.

    • lastone65 says:

      Daren, what NCIS LA – it has more humor and the relationships are more believable than the NCIS and this NCIS NOLA stinks to high heaven.

    • Julia says:

      Ideally on an NCIS show you’re not supposed to hear much in the way of local accents; the agents are assigned to stations, they don’t join like a police force. And they’re investigating crimes committed against or by the Navy and Marines, also a transient population. I can’t really speak to the rest of your issues with the show, except to say that if you expected a network show to be at all reminiscnet of an HBO show…I think you’ve been hitting the Hurricanes a little too hard (cliche intended )

  10. Dr. Phage says:

    It was ok. But it’s always hard to judge by the first episode of any show because they have to lay the groundwork for the characters so you will care about them. My worry is that Glasberg isn’t very good at long-term planning, so I hope the writers are good and can develop something.

    And by the way, it was pineapples, not bananas :)

  11. Karenkol says:

    Do I care if these characters live or die? Absolutely not! Chemistry? NONE. Didn’t even learn their names. Dump the girl – this isn’t SVU. WHAT A YAWN

  12. marlene says:

    Too many commercials.

  13. Dave Lizotte says:

    Scott Bakula is incredible as the leader of the new NCIS team!! Go Scott!!

  14. Song4Ten says:

    NCIS: LA wasn’t missed at all. I get tired of the terrorism plot-of-the-week EVERY week. The show just never has developed the chemistry of the original.

    Oh, and I might just skip it in favor of Castle…

  15. Lynne Miller says:

    pineapples…. not bananas… good to see the reviewer was actually paying attention.

  16. Steve t says:

    Trying too hard but not succeeding. No chemistry with the characters.

  17. Bring Back Ziva says:

    They should bring Ziva in, then I’ll watch.

    • Dahlia Blair says:

      There you go! Yes!

    • Jerri says:

      Oh enough with the “Bring back Ziva” comments, geez! Can we have an NCIS-related thread without Ziv-ites coming in and crying about Ziva not being on the show? Cote chose to leave, so she could do something else, like take another role. They should’ve just killed her off so all this whining about bring her back would stop already.

      • Mrs. Rabbit says:

        Cote did not leave to take another role. I guess you forgot the problem with gary glassberg and the money. I also suspect that someone there (another girl) was jealous that she had so much time on the show…Wonder Who?

        • Connie Edwards says:

          Well–who, since you seem to have all the answers? Are you Cote’s lawyer? I’m assuming so since you seem to have all the scoop about what went down in negotiations. Considering Cote is doing a mini-series for CBS–I guess all those “problems” just went up in smoke, huh? Yeah, just like the smoke you are blowing right now. She quit–how hard is that for you to understand? She didn’t want to play the part anymore–she wanted to grow as an actress–yet, after a year the fabrications continue….

      • Even though I loved the Ziva character, I have to agree with you. She left of her own volition and shows no signs of wanting to return, so we need to move on. However, I do wish they would have replaced her with a better character than Bishop. She is very annoying and needs to go.

    • Dmac says:

      Seriously, isn’t it time to move on? Life is passing you by while you are obsessing over a character on a TV show that you apparently care about more than the person who played her. At first it was a bit irritating having you and your kind name drop her into every NCIS article…now it is just sad and pathetic.

      • Jerri says:

        It’s not like “Bring Back Ziva” and others like her/him, have anything else to do with their lives, it seems. I run a fan NCIS account on Twitter, and every time I tweet out news and interesting bits of info about NCIS, I get numerous tweets from Ziva-nites demanding to see Ziva back on the show. It does get tiring and at this stage sad and pathetic to see “WE WANT ZIVA” from the same bunch of people waving their imaginary pitchforks at every piece of NCIS news.

        Respect the decision of an actress to leave the show and move on. I liked Ziva on the show, but Cote chose to leave and I respect her decision and am looking forward to seeing her in other roles. We the fans don’t own the actors who play the characters we enjoy seeing onscreen. If people want to see more of their beloved characters, there’s always fan fiction and there’s plenty of that out there!

    • John NYC says:

      Recast with Josie Loren?

      Sure I’d watch that.

    • Gey says:

      Oh that would be a twist, wouldn’t it? ;-)

  18. J Winters says:

    Did not like at all. I wish NCIS :LA was still at this time.

  19. Nancy Wells says:

    It has a different feel to it and I liked it. I can’t judge about everything yet, because the first episode is always the worst. It’s being filmed in New Orleans, so yes, there will be much local color, but, am hoping after a while it will find it’s own pace. Love the cast and am so glad Scott Bakula is back on TV.

    • It wasn’t really the first episode. There were 2 episodes of it last season as a crossover with NCIS. Judging by these 3 episodes, NOLA stinks. And the men’s accents sound so fakey, I can’t stand it. I will not be watching.

  20. Pat says:

    I must say that I liked it. This was the first show of the season and sometimes it is hard to judge what the rest of the season will be like so I will stick to it and keep my fingers crossed for them.

  21. Kathy says:

    I am sure as with any new series take a few episodes to Blossum . After all it’s following the original NCIS. I love New Orleans, but I hope the show settles down to be more about the characters and plot. It was still a B+. Scott Bakula is A+.

  22. Hege says:

    I enjoyed it. Thought it was interessting and a good cast of characters. I will watch a few more episodes before I decide to continue to watch or not. It isn’t very original but it doesn’t have to be either if it’s done well. Solid B from me. Mostly due to a solid cast and good actors.

  23. Bob Smith says:

    Loved it! Much better than the original. Looking forward to more NCIS NOLA!

  24. KC says:

    I enjoyed it, I’ll keep watching.

    I never could get interested in NCIS: LA, and the original NCIS is just getting old at this point.
    Good timing to bring in the NO crew.

  25. Andrea says:

    I like pieces of it. I like Zoe McClellan. I like Lucas Black. I like CCH Pounder and the vibe of the show. I do feel that Scott is trying too hard, but it’s a new series. I’d like James McDaniel’s character to recur.

  26. ann says:

    Will Steven Weber be a regular? I really like him.

  27. Lorie says:

    Enjoyable. It’s not as good as NCIS, neither is NCIS:LA, but I’ll continue to watch both spin-offs. I can’t help but wonder why CBS didn’t decide to air all 3 NCIS shows on Tuesday nights and move POI instead.

  28. spdavid says:

    This was the set up episode,the meet and great,so it’s too soon to tell if there’s real staying power.My guess would be yes there is.

    There’s a bit of chemistry work needed here,some of the interaction seemed a bit stilted.And yes we got a lot of standard issue stuff but again this was the first one.I’ll keep watching.

  29. agent 86 says:

    If James Mcdaniel can actually play the trumpet.and Bakulla play the piano, let’s have more of that

  30. Carole says:

    As with any new show, it sometimes takes time to get to know the characters and decide if you want to watch them every week. In this case, what’s not to like about any of them? It just will take above-mentioned time to decide if the story-lines are interesting enough to tune in and so far, I do like the characters, locale and interactions.

  31. TDXI says:

    I have a feeling the ratings will drop faster than Obamas approval rating. It’s hard to understand how or why they made it so painfully bad.

    • Connie Edwards says:

      Probably to annoy the Hell out of you. Judging by all your repetitive comments they did a crackerjack job. I think everyone gets it–you didn’t care for it–sheesh…….

  32. EJ386 says:

    I like this show okay, but I still prefer NCIS:LA. however, the show seems more fun than the original. I know that many of you will think this blasphemy, but I like what I like. I will watch all of them.

  33. Gale Moose says:

    It was okay but I wouldn’t watch it over NCIS. Will continue to watch it though. I do like their accent and I like it much better than NCIS, LA. Never did really get into it.

  34. TDXI says:

    I was almost praying for Al to turn up and Sam to leap into a different show, just for it to be over.

  35. Ray says:

    Unlike the first episode of NCIS where I liked each and every one of the cast, I am not fond of any of the main characters or the medical examiner’s office. Maybe it’s because of the constant “Hey, look at us, man, we’re in New Orleans” kind of remarks that turn me off, especially on the part of Scott Bakula’s character. I will keep tuning in because I am a fan of the franchise and, hopefully things will sort themselves out. Honestly, though, it is my considered opinion that this show-NCIS:NO-was miscast from the start.

  36. lsperling says:

    I think I’m going to like this show. I do like the interaction between Chris and Brody and I like the medical examiner. For some reason, I find Scott Bakula’s character a little arrogant and stiff. Maybe another episode or two will meld all the characters better. Worth waiting to see.

  37. Pam goodley says:

    I love NO and like seeing the places and references to It. CCh Pounder was very good, being a little lighter personality than I have seen before. I will watch , bit I don’t think it will stay on, even though it entertaining. I could ensure that it does stay on by saying it is great because usually that is a death notice -if I like it

  38. Pam goodley says:

    I mismanaged that last statement- If I think it is good and like it- it is usually cancelled

  39. rudsta says:

    Too laid back and slow moving. Pride has to be hard edge and more of a boss instaed one of the gang. Writers have to do a better job.

  40. Bill Clark says:

    CBS must be trying to kill off the NCIS brand with this mess of a show.

  41. Gail Boutin says:

    I live in south Louisiana, please change the accent of the young guy on the team. He sounds like he comes from Kentucky instead of Louisiana. We have a flat accent.

    • Cindy says:

      I have a much bigger problem with Scott Bakula’s accent, LOL! Lucas Black is from North Alabama and has been in numerous movies and starred in American Gothic on TV. You may remember him from Sling Blade and Friday Night Lights – his accent is the same in every role. In Alabama several regional accents exist – we don’t all sound the same.

    • lastone65 says:

      Well, ya’ll know that people do MOVE to New Orleans from other areas, right? His speaking with a different accent is not a problem. I live in Florida – lots of New Orleans people with their accents moved here after your little hurricane. Shall I tell them to change their accents?

    • Ree says:

      The character he is playing is from Alabama, not New Orleans. He referenced his “Big AL” tattoo – Bama. His accent is correct for the character he’s playing.

  42. Paul says:

    I heard they were filming the Halloween episode in front of the Old Absinthe House, so at least they’re going to mix up the locations a bit.

  43. Mrs. Rabbit says:

    I will probably never watch this New Orleans show again. “let the good times roll”. What is good times….I like a nice interesting story with good action and good actors,, not Scott Bacula.
    He cannot hold a candle tto Mark Harmon. I hope they don’t get rid of the original show in Washington and you actually new they are interested in people not just jazz and good times.
    I don’t think the show will last but it is something new and people are watching just to see what it is like. But after one show, I am bored silly.

  44. lastone65 says:

    It stunk. Bad acting, stupid dialogue. Tired way too hard to be hip – with jazz, the boss cooking breakfast, walking by the above-ground cemetery, etc – trying way too hard to get in all the New Orleans “culture.” Also the conversation between Luke Black’s character and the much-too-professionally-made-up and perfect hair for humid New Orleans “Midwest transplant” was cliché and predictable. The first victim HAS to be a black male and the white cop HAS to be best friend with the victim’s dad – please! I turned it off after 15 minutes – won’t be watching.

  45. Sandy says:

    I love NCIS & NCIS:LA. Good stories, great cast, fun to watch. New Orleans was so boring, too cutesy, and instead of a good storyline & investigation, it became a travelogue for NO with Scott Bakula (whom I like) trying to be the cool, buddy NCIS Agent instead of a professional Naval Agent solving a crime. I tried to get into the story, but they were more interested in highlighting wonderful NO, and gave up before half the show was over.

  46. The problem with NCIS New Orleans is not with is language…it’s the atmosphere. The true New Orleans is not known for it’s drive by shootings…as shown in the first episode, but it is known for its atmosphere. Everyone getting together after work, having a drink and then having pot luck is not the correct atmosphere. Too much togetherness is not a good thing on a NCIS show. I want to see more clinical scenes and less “after work chit-chat.” They make us believe they pull everything out of a hat and come up with miracles. In real life it takes hundreds of hours of interviewing, and testing forensic evidence before they can discover who “done it.” The producers had better get it together, or I only give the show three years at best.

  47. debbie Scott says:

    I liked it cuz it is CLEAN TV. Too many shows are so whacked out unreal, so vulgar, or insulting to our intelligence. This one showcases NO well. Made me miss Louisiana and all its culture, great food and many festivals. Will be fun when the regular NCIS crew comes to visit next week.

  48. bleacherbabe says:

    I enjoyed it. Is it everything it could be? Not yet but I’m more than willing to continue watching. Scott Bakula and CCH Pounder are just wonderful. I hope they have more scenes together. Lucas Black’s accent, while natural, is sometimes hard to decipher. Can’t wait to see more of the chemistry develop. And more of Scott on the piano, please!

  49. John S says:

    NCIS: LA is the same way. Almost every episode takes place at some LA landmark like the beach, the Hollywood sign, the Capitol Records building, etc.

  50. Fay Nancy says:

    No, CBS should not have moved NCIS LA. 10:00 at night on Monday? Preceded somewhere in time that night by the Big Bang Theory??