NCIS: A Tale of Two Alphas
In the last year, I’ve begun watching the top show on television, NCIS. Like most TV shows nowadays, I only encounter it in reruns, either on USA marathons (a desperately undervalued channel), on DVD, or else on the web—Hulu, Netflix, or network television websites. Most TV, as the great [[LINK TO WHISKEY]] has pointed out, is a gay-female ghetto, with implausible and unmanly TV shows directed towards beta males (aka left-wing men), faggots, and broads who enjoy emasculated and emasculating men. But I caught it on a late-night marathon on USA one insomnia-fueled night and realized it wasn’t the usual faggot TV show.
Yes, for the most part, its just a lighter weight police procedural—chock full of witty (for TV at least) banter and massive plot holes, and the stories tend to get wrapped up in a rush to hide the weak logic, no CSI-sciency graphics, etc. It’s hook—and by “hook” I mean the twist that is designed to draw viewers initially into it—is that it’s about the police detective force for the U.S. Navy (hence the name NCIS—Naval Criminal Investigative Service), and not the run-of-the-mill city (especially NYC) cop show. Oh, and the title was a deliberately misleader—CSI was a big hit at the time NCIS came out, so NCIS was slapped on the title to get some confused viewers to tune in. In a non-CSI world, I can see this being called “Navy Cops,” “Naval Blue,” “Sea Blue,” or some other variation.
Ok, enough with the apologies.
NCIS is character driven—viewers tune in weekly not for the freak-of-the-week crime (though they can be lurid), but for the character interactions and quips. This didn’t surprise me when I learned that the show’s creator was Donald P. Bellasario, who created the great 80’s series Quantum Leap and Magnum, P.I. While I was not a watcher of Magnum as a child, I was a fan of the great sci-fi/time travel/history trip that was Quantum Leap, which, even as a child, was a show short on plot, and long on character interaction. The great dynamic between Sam and Al—the main characters from Quantum Leap—and Sam’s acting befuddled, intelligent, and angelic in his various time-leap situations were perhaps the only things holding the show together at most times—which says a lot about a show on network TV for five years and is a prominent hit in reruns and DVD. Bellasario is great at creating shows with very good actors and very good character dynamic, but tends to be poor to lousy on plot holes and logical leaps. And NCIS follows a similar pattern—good acting with great dynamics, but as for the plots…well, it’s not exactly the tales of Sherlock Holmes.
Now, a lot of shows on TV have shitty plot holes. However, they fill them up with typical shitty-fag fillers—sexy people getting it on in exotic scenery; “moral” stories where every white man is a racist and every woman/faggot/nigger is a wrongly-accused innocent; quick cuts and flashy fades; special guest stars; etc.
Not NCIS. NCIS instead plugs the holes with an alpha male leading a team like a hardass and an underling alpha hotstepping it with every hottie he sees.
The head of the investigative team is named Jethro Gibbs [[link]], and is played by [[Mark Harmon.]] Most modern male authority figures on TV seemingly have to be portrayed as nurturing, understanding, mothering types: Gil Grissom on CSI, Donald Cragen on Law and Order: SVU, etc. You know: they treat mistakes as “learning moments,” hug their guys and give them time off for “emotional issues,” compliments the fuck out of “his guys” for a job well done, and seem to be about three more sensitivity classes from being Oprah with a penis. They’re also very loquacious, p.c., and polite.
Not Gibbs. Gibbs: 1) rarely compliments; 2) if he does compliment, it’s a terse, two word praises; 3) physically smacks his guys around (including girls) if they fuck up; 4) isn’t afraid of sexist language to female subordinates; 5) doesn’t exlain things; 6) tells his guys to get over his emotions; and 7) emits little emotion besides anger. Gibbs, in short is a male leader—a true male leader of the old school—stoic, aggressive, and demanding, without a hint of apology. And his staff (even the girls) love him for it, as does the audience; respect with Gibbs is truly hard-earned and performance-based (one episode even had Gibbs berating a black NCIS subordinate throughout for sloppy, lazy work. That’s right: Gibbs called a black co-worker lazy and sloppy on national network TV. And the black guy was ultimately proven to have done a crap investigation and agreed with Gibbs’s assessment). Gibbs’d punch out a faggot like Gil Grissom in a second for his touchy-feely sensitive guy approach.
Mark Harmon, who plays Gibbs, is an old school guy himself. He transferred his way onto the UCLA football team in the early 1970s and won the starting quarterback position (when quarterbacks got hit like all football players were, and weren’t protected by weak-ass rules limiting contact with them to merely tag football). Afterwards, he drifted to acting (his mother was a semi-famous actress), and actually got named People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 1986 (when desirable men weren’t hairless bisexual faggot whiggers), but his career became spotty after that till NCIS hit it off in the early 2000s. Harmon’s stolid, solid, laconic leader on NCIS is a throwback, as is Harmon himself.
However, this is a tale of two alphas. And the other alpha on the show is Gibbs’s second-in-command: Tony Dinozzo, played by Michael Weatherly. Dinozzo, unlike Gibbs, is an uber-loquacious sexaholic. Although a good worker, he often unleashes sexist and put-down lines multiple times in scenes, openly leering at pretty girls in his wake. Of course, Dinozzo is very good-looking, so his cocky asshole routine is allowed by the ladies; his act reminds me of that SNL skit “How to avoid Sexual harassment”, step one being “be attractive.”
How can there be two alphas in a group, you ask? Simple, he answered: what kind of alpha-ness appeals to a given female. Gibbs is an old school guy; his character is a Marine veteran who enjoys building boats with his bare hands, riding on barren cargo jets, and being a loner. Dinozzo is a cocky asshole with a taste for fine suits, flashy cars, and witty repartee.
Michael Weatherly, who plays Dinozzo, seems like he has this attitude in real life. Talentless nigger-fucker Jessica Alba dated him for decent period when he was nothing and she had name recognition, which takes a lot of game on his part, since that cunt “hates white babies” and will go home with any brother who can dance decently at a club. That’s like getting Joy Behar to read a book with facts in it; just accomplishing the task has improved her as well. Well played, Weatherly.
What’s very interesting to me (aside from the dual alpha interplay) is how the show began. As I got into the show in reruns, I decided to go back and watch the earliest seasons to see how it all began. What I saw in the first season was this: early in the series, there was a main agent character named Kate Todd (played by Sasha Alexander). She was youngish (early 30s/late 20s) and hot, in that TV-career-girl way. She later gets written out (by mutual agreement) via an assassination and replaced by another cute-career girl agent.
Anyway, she and Dinozzo usually had a flirty, will-they-or-won’t-they relationship; constantly “annoying” each other, but with clear sexual attraction—Sam and Diane, etc. Gibbs, like any other male-TV boss of females, treated her as an underling and didn’t trifle with her. No chemistry beyond tough boss/good employee.
However, in the very earliest episodes—the first half of the first season—it isn’t Dinozzo, but Gibbs who has the sexual chemistry with Kate. In fact, Kate is shown to have something of an obvious crush on Gibbs. The first episode is about Gibbs hiring her after her resignation from the Secret Service (don’t ask), so she immediately owes him, but the first episode also has them flirting, and locked into close quarters with each other where they wrestle and expend a considerable amount of heat (body and otherwise) between each other. In another episode, when she gives a particularly sharp answer to a Gibbs question and he praises her, she sexually bites her bottom lip while gazing wet-eyed at him. In still another episode, she’s shown doodling a flattering sketch drawing of Gibbs, like a teenage girl in “love.” In still another episode, when on a submarine and thrown at each other due to a ship’s maneuver, they are seen holding each other tenderly and, when the maneuver is over, they exchange sexualized banter about their embrace. During all these episodes, Dinozzo’s sexual chemistry with Kate is nil.
So why the big shift later from Kate-and-Gibbs to Kate-and-Dinozzo? Demographics and feminism. Gibbs is a 50+ man and known to older audiences as the Sexiest Man Alive in freakin’ 1986. Dinozzo and Kate, meanwhile, are within 5 years of each other, agewise. I think its clear; about halfway through the first season, some TV exec went to Bellasario and staff and said something like this:
“Look, the show’s a hit, we want to keep it, but the feminists don’t like this hot chick going all gooey over a man in power more than 20 years her senior. Yeah, it’s a bullshit gripe, because ladies do like older men in power, but the feminazis’ll make some noise and we might lose some sponsors. Feminists like to make women date men their own age or lower so as to keep them in contempt of men and loving feminist dogma—to prevent them from going all gooey and weak-kneed like little girls and forgetting their indoctrination. And the older women viewers who aren’t feminists will be mad too, remembering all the sexy older men like Gibbs who’ve rejected them for hot young fertile tail. So put Gibbs with more “age-appropriate” pussy and make the sexual tension between Dinozzo and Kate, since they’re closer in age, and also because 30 year old spinsters (who listen to feminazis and won’t go after the older men they really want) want to see a hottie alpha like Dinozzo with someone his own age like Kate (and also like thr 30 year old spinsters) and not banging the 18 year olds you know he would rather have.”
And Bellasario and staff did. Or something like that. I’m sure it wasn’t that explicit. But moving on…
Now, which alpha do I think a man should emulate to get girls? The answer is the old law school device: it depends. Gibbs and Dinozzo are alphas with different styles wholly their own. Gibbs is old school tough; he doesn’t have huge muscles infused with steroids; he has a Marine Corps background, a love of working with his hands, and a laconic, abusive attitude. Think an old Western hero. Dinozzo, in contrast, is David D’Angelo cocky-funny, a whirlwind of silver tongued lines and sexist jokes. But he’s also good looking, well-dressed, and has social proof by being constantly with good-looking women and being second in command.
You can take either or neither as a hero to emulate. But be warned each comes with its own faults. Gibbs flirts well when aroused, but if you’re not the actual rough type (and not NWA-fake-ass-shit rough; I mean taciturn rough), girls will see through you and walk away. Also, your personality demands that you be in command of something or have obvious ambition and talents, even small, to garner respect; otherwise, you’re an angry dude at the bar who won’t talk to anyone. Dinozzo, meanwhile, gets through life on a shit-eating grin and his looks; like Hugh Grant, he in no way could away with the lines he says and his game if he looked and sounded like Joe Pesci (sorry Joe, much respect). Again, the aforementioned SNL sketch is informative: if you don’t look as good as Tom Brady, you can’t parade in front of a girl in your underwear at work making sexist jokes and get away with it.
Then again, even if you don’t fit their molds, you can still borrow their styles. Gibbs professes to love sawdust, hard liquor, and quiet nights; Dinozzo loves frats, parties, and the high life. If either of these suit you, you can express it in similar terms. If you love working with your hands, getting your fingers dirty, you can express this in fewer words than normal: “I like building things with my hands, feeling the raw materials becoming something real.” She’ll be intrigued if you’re her type and ask you what you make (be careful, however, if you’re a taxidermist). If you like the frat scene, ask her to play beer pong and then throw in a line about beer pong being the best way to get a girl’s shirt off while having a cocky grin on; if you’re on the right wavelength, she’ll definitely smile back.
Good game is about being true to your own personality, but highlighting the best parts.
Now, how does the television industry reward a show that brings masculinity to the table along with viewers? Trick question: it doesn’t. Thanks to the show’s unabashed masculinity and pro-military (usually) theme, the show consistently gets shut out of awards shows. Yes, the premium cable channel shows get love for more in-depth writing and more extensive budgets (Mad Men, Curb your Enthusiasm, etc.) but this is also a TV-awards world where crap like Desperate Housewives, Modern Family, Thirty Rock and, god help us all, Jay fucking Leno and Jimmy fucking Fallon all get awards for being there; NCIS should be making a ton of Emmy gold. But, you see, we can’t have an action show that celebrates men, masculinity, the military, and the US of A getting awards. We need more p.c., pussy, anti-male bullshit taking us home. That’s the ticket. Which is why, year after year, NCIS goes home emptyhanded
Bottom line: Watch NCIS for something worthwhile and manly. And some good lessons on good game.