Tag Archives: NCIS

Blog Meanderings

20 Jan

Dear Channel 10, I just thought you’d like to know that the NCIS fans here in Australia are getting restless.

How do I know that?  Because in the last seven days hits on my blog post from 3rd October 2013 ( https://margysmusings.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/ncis-in-australia/ ) have gone totally berserk.

The blog post in question was about why I didn’t think NCIS season 11 was going to be properly fast-tracked, unlike Homeland and assorted other pieces of drivel disguised as drama.

Oh, and I think people want more of the Graham Norton Show too, because he’s the other topic that’s been repeatedly hit on this last week.  All three blog posts I did on the Graham Norton Show have been read avidly.

Basically, viewers appear to actually want new shows… not the assortment of repeats 10 is currently inflicting on the viewing public.  Non-ratings period be damned!  Channels 7 and 9 are actually showing some new shows – so why isn’t 10?  Admittedly Channel 7 currently has the Australian Open Tennis, and Channel 9 is flogging the cricket horse to death – maybe 10 has just given it up as a bad job.

It’s nice to think that people might think I know what’s going on at Channel 10.  Personally I don’t think ANYONE knows what’s going on at Channel 10.

I’m just a woman with a computer and an opinion and I’m not afraid to wield either.

As to my opinion on new NCIS and the Graham Norton Show showing on 10 – I don’t think we’ll be getting much of anything until the end of February/beginning of March.  Why?  Because Channel 10 has the pestilential Winter Olympics from Sochi.  Boredom by any other name.  But until those are over we can kiss goodbye to any chance of decent programming on Channel 10.

NCIS in Australia

3 Oct

Season 11 of NCIS has started in the USA.  Usually, Channel 10 here in Australia fast tracks it.  Not this year.  This year we don’t even have an air date for it.

I think I know why.

Last season the ratings dropped considerably on previous years.  I can think of a couple of reasons for this. 

Firstly, I think the casual viewer base dropped.  Season 10 was very much a “fan” season.  Too much time was tied up with back stories and character based stories that there was nothing there for the casual viewer.  Fans drive a show’s popularity, but it is the casual viewer who drives the ratings.  A lot of shows with huge fan followings don’t actually rock the ratings world. 

I think the second reason for the ratings drop was the number of fans who illegally watched online or downloaded the show, not bothering to wait until NCIS aired here.  Having already seen it, they didn’t bother to watch on television (with annoying commercials)… so the viewer figures went down further.

We are seeing the results of these behaviours now.  The collective ratings are so low that Channel 10 has decided that it isn’t worth its while to fast track America’s most popular drama!

With the ratings season here in Australia ending within about 6 weeks, I will be very surprised if NCIS season 11 screens at all this year.  It will most likely not screen until February/March 2014.

That’s if they screen it on the flag ship Channel 10 at all.  By next ratings season Australian television will be all digital.  It is entirely possible that NCIS could be shifted to one of Ten Network’s other channels: Channel 1 or Channel 11.  Channel 11 makes the most sense, it is the channel they operate in conjunction with CBS.  It’s currently the home of less popular shows, extremely old reruns, and encores of more popular shows.

Whatever happens, it appears that the glory days of NCIS in Australia are well and truly over.

Fifty Shades of Blogs

16 Jul

Apologies for the title…I couldn’t resist it for this, my 50th blog post.

When I started blogging back in February I had no idea what I was going to write about.  Still don’t, really.

I never entered this with any clear idea of what I was doing.  I have noticed that many people write blogs on specific subjects.  I’m not expert enough in any one area to write exclusively on a particular subject.  My mind tends to wander all over the place like a ferret on acid, so my blogs tend to reflect this.

One thing I discovered very early is I really can’t write too much about Benedict Cumberbatch and Sherlock.  Blogs about either subject get very good readership.  Let’s face it, if people can’t look at the beautiful Benedict, they can at least read about what other people think about him.  And I hope like hell Benedict never discovers my blog.  I may just discover if it is possible to die from embarrassment.

Public transport has provided me with a few good blogs.  So maybe I’d best thank Yarra Trams for providing an entertaining traveling environment.  Without you etc, you know how it goes.

I think my biggest surprise in this venture came last week when Cote de Pablo left NCIS,  I wrote what has been my most popular blog post to date – 270 people read it.  The entry was also reblogged on a number of Tumblr accounts and the link tweeted a lot.  It is nice to strike a chord with readers.  I have also noticed the traffic on my blog steadily rising since then.  Come for Cote, stay for the comic relief.

So, here we are, at 50 blog posts.  Don’t know what the next 50 will bring.  I can guarantee you more book reviews, more dvd reviews, more shenanigans on public transport, more otters and hedgehogs…and lots more Benedict Cumberbatch.

Thank you for reading and commenting. 

Dear NCIS Fans – Grow Up!

11 Jul

I wasn’t going to buy into the controversy which is now surrounding Cote de Pablo’s decision to leave NCIS after 7 season with the show.  However, the behaviour of certain of the fan base has really left me with no option.

It may have escaped your attention, but Cote de Pablo is a grown woman.  She is old enough and mentally competent enough to make her own decisions.  Cote has decided she has had enough.  Be adult enough, and intelligent enough, to respect her choice.

Do not whine and sob to the other actors who are on Twitter begging them to get Cote to change her mind.

Do not threaten suicide if she leaves.  That is taking emotional blackmail to levels that go beyond pathetic.

Do not start useless petitions demanding that she be reinstated.  Cote wasn’t fired, you morons, she chose to leave.  And I suspect the attitude of some of the fan base may be part of the reasoning behind her decision.

Stop acting like a bunch of whining, spoiled nine year olds.  The world does not revolve around you.  Never has, and it never bloody will.  It may actually come as a shock to some of you, but the world actually revolves around the sun.

Now back off and give Cote de Pablo the respect she deserves.  She brought a wonderful, vibrant character to life on NCIS.  We have been privileged to watch Cote grow as an actress.

Cote has the right to get on with her life in any way she chooses.  And I hope we will have the joy of seeing her in other roles very soon.

New Adventures of a Fan Fiction Writer

19 Jun

Regular readers of my blog (thank you all) will remember my earlier blog post https://margysmusings.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/the-scary-adventures-of-a-fan-fiction-writer/ where I swore I would never write fan fiction again.

Well, never say never, as the old saying goes.

I am back writing fan fiction.  Mostly Sherlock fan fiction at the moment, but I will admit to having a Cabin Pressure plot bunny grazing by the side of the runway.

I have joined a fan fiction site and all future fiction will be published there. 

I still have no intention of ever writing my NCIS Mavericks AU fiction ever again.  I’m afraid I was too badly scared to even contemplate that course.

My future fics will be core characters with occasional original characters, where necessary.  But no long term original characters and no long term series.  I just can’t cope with that.

Thanks to everyone who gave me such wonderful support during the stalker shit storm.  You rock my world.

Should you be interested in reading my fan fiction you can find me at: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/4797350/MargyW

Fits Me To A Tee.

15 May

It’s time to come clean on the fact that I actually have another clothing addiction, apart from scarves.

I am addicted to t-shirts.  This realisation came rather suddenly when I received surprise gifts of t-shirts from two different friends in the same week.  One lovely friend who had been in London sent me a shirt from Speedy’s Cafe.  I will now pause to allow the Sherlock fans to squeak with jealousy.  The other wonderful friend sent me two NCIS related t-shirts.

It made me sit and look closely at my t-shirt collection, which made me realise one thing.  All of my t-shirts have meanings and associations for me.

My friends (and family) know my loves, and encourage them with t-shirts.  This is one of the reason I love my peeps so much.  They know me, accept my foibles, and damn well enable them. 

When I looked at the t-shirts I have bought for myself, I came to the conclusion that during the summer months I am literally wearing my life experiences on my chest.  The t-shirts I have bought for myself are from places I have visited, or theatrical productions I have been too, TV shows I love etc.

I don’t wear all my shirts at once.  I have about a dozen or fifteen I wear and keep the others spare to take out when one of the ones I am wearing carks it. 

Going through my collection I noticed that I have enough t-shirts from Orange County, California to keep me going for the next ten years.  Well, the t-shirt shop at Huntington Beach was having a sale!  And who can resist a t-shirt with a picture of a kitten in a deckchair with the legend “Life’s A Beach”?  Well, not me, anyway.

Also in my to-be-worn pile is a tee from an indoor rock climbing venue in Auckland, New Zealand.  My one and only attempt at rock climbing.  It was fun.  And I will remember it every time I wear the shirt.

Another shirt is from the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.  A reminder of another wonderful afternoon spent with a fantastic friend.  Oh the fun we had exploring the ships.

A look back at photo albums from my trip to the UK in 1996 show that even then I was proudly wearing my life experiences on my chest.  A t-shirt from a Billy Connolly show, one from a David Strassman one, another from a Star Trek convention.  Memories, memories, memories.  And yes, I brought back wonderful t-shirts from the UK too.

I know some people whine about t-shirts like this being free advertising for the companies and/or places involved.  I don’t care.  To me these shirts are another way of recording my life experiences.

Been there; Bought the t-shirt.  Lots of t-shirts.

The Scary Adventures of a Fan Fiction Writer

13 Mar

Why scary?  I’ll explain.  It all started last week when I attracted someone that has stalkerish tendencies.  But before I get into that, I’ll give you a little background.

I started writing fan fiction 30 odd years ago.  The first fandom I got into, and what started me writing, was Blake’s 7.  It was also the very first time I wrote a fan letter to an actor.  I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Paul Darrow.  Not only did he send me an autographed photo of himself as Kerr Avon, he actually wrote me a sweet little letter.  I was heartbroken many years later when I lost the letter whilst shifting homes.

I didn’t write much Blake’s 7 fan fiction as I was mostly writing for my own amusement.  Then an American penfriend pointed me in the direction of fanzines.  It is a mind blowing feeling to see something you have written in print.  I wrote a few more stories and gently drifted away from it.

Later I became interested in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Found writing ST:TNG fic too difficult as it was too technical for me.  Ended up doing book reviews for a local Star Trek fan club magazine.  Still writing, and still lots of fun.

Then NCIS came along.  I loved the show from the pilot episode, “Yankee White”, but didn’t get into the fandom until around season 5 when I discovered the NCIS fan wiki.  My latent interest in writing awoke and I started writing again.  Joking and larking around with two internet friends provided the genesis of my major fan fic work.  A NCIS AU (alternate universe) series called “NCIS: Mavericks”.  I had 3 original characters, all female, but the one who ended up centre stage was an Aussie cop named Samantha “Sam” Wallace.  I found that with writing and publishing online that I ended up being in an interesting position.  A fan with fans of her own!  Very strange and also very much a product of our internet age.  This could never have happened in the days of the old printed fanzines.

About a month ago a good friend lead me to Sherlock…and I was instantly smitten.  Started talking about my new discoveries of both Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch with great enthusiasm.  This obviously provoked the ire of the stalker creep I mentioned above.

Out of the blue I started getting messages from two people, whom in retrospect I believe was one person with two internet personas.  This person began accusing me of committing adultery!  Hello?  I’m not even married!  A cautious (on my part) exchange of messages revealed that in this person’s opinion I was cheating on Leroy Jethro Gibbs with one Sherlock Holmes!!!  My initial response was “What’s the weather like on your planet?”, then I started to worry.  How the hell could anyone believe that a real person could be involved in a sexual relationship with not one, but two, FICTIONAL characters?

I ran for my bolthole…the company of my very special friends, who even though they are scattered around the world, are always there for me.  It was one of these who got to the heart of the matter.  She pointed out that this person thought I WAS my creation, Sam Wallace!

I went from being very worried to being seriously freaked out!  There then followed a social media purge of the sort of epic proportions that would not have been out of place in Stalinist Russia!

And the results of all this drama and fear?  A real empathy for actors whose fans insist that they and their characters are one and the same.  Having been stalked in the past, my paranoia levels are now at danger levels, and nuclear meltdown is a distinct possibility.  The saddest result though is that right at this moment I feel like I never want to write any fan fiction ever again.  NCIS: Mavericks may never be finished.  The cute Sherlock plot bunny I had involving Mycroft’s umbrella and World War III, has curled up and died.

In a weird coincidence I came online this morning to write this and discovered that Benedict Cumberbatch is being stalked by his neighbor.  I understand his feelings all too well.  But don’t let her get to you, Benedict.  Stalkers are mostly cowardly arseholes  who, having no lives of their own, want to force their way into the lives of others.

NCIS – Shiva

12 Mar

After the first part of the two part story arc, “Shabbat Shalom”, I was really expecting great things from “Shiva”.  I was bitterly disappointed.

“Shiva” came nowhere near the standards of “Shabbat Shalom”.  It was messy, trite and horribly predictable.  I do wonder if over writing was the problem.  “Shabbat Shalom” was written by Chris Waild.  “Shiva” had input from Chris Waild, Gary Glasberg and Scott Williams.  Not so much too many cooks spoil the broth, as too many writers screw up the script.

After a brilliant performance the previous week, the writers gave Cote de Pablo absolutely nothing to work with as Ziva this time round.  By having Ziva close down emotionally they screwed it up.  There was no emotional hook for the viewers.  We couldn’t share her pain, because she wasn’t showing any.

The only great performance came from the actor who played Deputy Director Jerome Craig.  From ineffectual little dweeb to competent leader in the space of one episode.  Mind you, he did have Leroy Jethro Gibbs at his back.  That would give anyone confidence.  Or a nervous breakdown, depending on the circumstances.

For once the humor injected into the script felt false.  Usually it flows well and naturally, but not this time.  The only truly funny exchange jarred because of the subject matter of the episode:

Tim: Gabby is a spy, Tony.  Flirting is just another weapon in her arsenal.  Tony: And what an arsenal!

Note to writers.  You’d done a reasonably good job on making Tony gentle and understanding throughout the rest of the episode.  Then you had to throw Frat Boy Tony into the mix, didn’t you? *sigh*

Rocky Carroll gave a brilliant performance as Leon struggled to cope with the death of his wife.  His scenes with Mark Harmon were of the wonderful standard I have come to expect from both men.  Leon: Do me a favour, Gibbs.  Get these bastards!”

The great shame was that the episode concentrated too much on Ziva’s pain and Vance barely got a look in.  Lack of balance.  The death of Jacqui Vance was the greater tragedy.  Wantonly killed.  Collateral damage is the term.  Eli David courted his death with his life style.  That he would die violently was almost a certainty.  In my opinion the greater tragedy of the murder of an innocent should have been the focus of the episode.

Let’s get the the villain of the piece shall we?  The Deputy Director of Mossad and Eli David’s right hand man.  For a spymaster Eli David had lousy judgement when it came to picking subordinates.  The writers were also lousy in their creation of Elan.  He was so nasty, unpleasant, and bullying that it was obvious he was the villain, and behind Eli and Jacqui’s murders.  Elan was almost a cartoon villain.  I could almost see the dramatic black cape twirl behind him as he flounced about. 

The final scenes as the shots flowed between Jacqui Vance’s funeral and Ziva in Israel were beautifully done.  Problem is, it wasn’t enough to rescue a poorly written episode from the mediocrity it deserves.

NCIS – Shabbat Shalom

5 Mar

The NCIS episode “Shabbat Shalom”, written by Chris Waild, showed here in Australia last night.  This episode is probably one of the best to come from Chris’ fertile mind.

A journalist masquerading as a sailor is found dead in a river.  Was it an accident or deliberate?  Meanwhile, Ziva’s father Eli is paying a surprise visit.  Sounds like a volatile cocktail – and it is.

The character of Eli has always interested me.  Cold and amoral  In his mind nothing done for the sake of Israel is wrong.  Even to the point of using and destroying his own children.  A character who has polarized viewers since this first appearance. 

This time, however, some of the most thought provoking lines were given to Eli.  For example:

“Nothing is impossible, Ziva, only difficult.”

“Leon, my friend, you and I were forged in blood, but peace can be our legacy.”

“Ziva, the truth has many faces.”

Eli’s somewhat discordant appearances are offset by small moments of humor.  Not much.  This episode did not lend itself to the usual jokes and comments that have become the hallmark of NCIS.

McGee’s pronunciation of the work buttock (but -tock) was hilarious.  Leon’s acid comment of “Not exactly inspiring a chorus of Kumbaya” struck the perfect note.

Unintended humor for me was caused by my clash of fandoms, when McGee turned up wearing a purple shirt.  McGee in the Purple Shirt of Sex is a worry.  Sherlock fans will know what I mean.

The thing about this episode that blew me away was Cote de Pablo’s performance as Ziva.  Cote has really grown into the role since her first appearance in season 3.  Last night, she blew it out of the water.  Ziva’s distrust of her father, and her hoping that this time he was genuine.  Any illusions she had about him then being brutally shattered.  Then the final blow.  Eli David dead at the hand of an assassin.  Cote’s performance as she finds her father’s body is one of the finest pieces of acting I have ever seen.

Kudos need to go to Sean Murray and Michael Weatherly in this scene.  Both men said so much, without being given a single line of dialogue.  Their characters’ anguish and pain, as well as their love for Ziva, came through so clearly.  I am not ashamed to admit I was sitting there literally sobbing.

The final scene, however, was the emotional icing on a punishing episode to watch.  Leon walks out of the operating theatre, his face a mask of pain, and delivers the final horror:

“She’s dead.  My wife is dead, Gibbs.”



25 Feb

Now that the obligatory ockerism is out of the way, welcome to my blog.

I’ve decided I need an outlet for my musings, meanderings and generally wandering thoughts, that is slightly larger that 140 characters.  Twitter is a lot of fun, but terribly frustrating for the terminally verbose.

You will, I guess, want to know something about me.  40 something, female, Aussie with a reasonably original mind.  The subjects I will probably cover will include the things I enjoy, such as “Sherlock” (with Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman), NCIS, books I have particularly enjoyed, food, random occurrences, and also things that drive me totally crazy.

Given that this is a federal election year in Australia, and I loathe politics in any way, shape or form, the possibility exists of several half crazed political rants by the time the election has been and gone in September.

I probably won’t blog everyday, I don’t want to become predictable.  There’s no fun in that.

So, welcome aboard.  Take a seat.  There are oxygen masks above your seats in the case of any emergency.  Fasten your seat belts.  We’re off!

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