“NCIS: New Orleans” is I’d say passable entertainment and an OK start for its first season thanks in part with some satisfactory storylines and story arcs to go along with the charisma Scott Bakula still possesses even in the much maligned “Enterprise.” This 6-disc DVD set is well done with some decent enough bonus features and good video/audio transfers.
“NCIS: New Orleans”: The First Season
Genre(s): Crime, Drama
Paramount | NR – 959 min. – $55.98 | August 18, 2015
THE SEASON – 3.25/5
Ah, the spin-off series. With the success of “NCIS: LA” and uber-popularity of parent show “NCIS”, I guess it isn’t too surprising that we get another spin-off, this time set around the color and uniqueness that is New Orleans. However, this wasn’t the first attempt at a second spin-off as a few years back there was going to be an “NCIS” series set around a mobile unit, titled “NCIS: Red” but fortunately it was ultimately scrubbed as it would’ve likely gone the way of “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.” In any case, “NCIS: New Orleans” is a fun if not routine series that has some interesting cases but the dialogue is downright grating at times and it doesn’t quite have the energy of the other two series.
“NCIS: New Orleans” centers around Special Dwayne “King” Pride (SCOTT BAKULA), leader of the New Orleans office alongside Agents Chris Lasalle (LUCAS BLACK) and Meredith Brody (ZOE MCLELLAN) who, in the backdoor pilot from “NCIS”, transferred from Chicago. Together, with brilliant Coroner Dr. Loretta Wade (CCH POUNDER), lab tech Sebastian Lund (ROB KERKOVICH) and techie extraordinaire Patton “PP” Plame (DARYL MITCHELL) tackles cases oft of the unusual variety.
In the pilot episode, ‘Musician Heal Thyself’, we immediately get a personal case for Pride when a navy Petty Officer is found murdered and sporting tattoos that make it seem like he joined a gang from his old neighborhood. Pride makes it his priority to prove otherwise and find the killer while also butting heads with city Councilman Douglas Hamilton (STEVEN WEBER) intent on exploiting the case to fight gang violence. Hamilton would make a few more appearance as an antagonist versus Pride.
The first few episodes are sprinkled with cameos from the parent series including David McCallum’s Ducky, Pauley Perrette’s Abby and Rocky Carroll’s director Vance via video conferences; Mark Harmon’s (who also serves as one of the executive producers) Gibbs makes an appearance to deliver a “top secret” document to Pride; Joe Spano as FBI Agent Fornell; and Michael Weatherly has a really dumb and pointless cameo. All of these I’d guess these were to draw in the audience in the hopes they’ll tune in.
Lasalle also gets a storyline of his own searching for his brother, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, who disappeared years earlier and attempts to find him have come up empty. Although I’m not a fan of Lucas Black on this show, to me he’s probably the weak link acting-wise, but I do like that the character at least has a little personal depth.
“NCIS: New Orleans” isn’t as sharp as “NCIS” or even “NCIS: LA” in their respective first seasons and while the dialogue is subpar and acting on the part of Lucas Black is at best uneven, I thought this was a somewhat entertaining show especially with the charismatic Scott Bakula in the lead. I only hope they hone in the writing in its sophomore season.
- Musician Heal Thyself
- Breaking Brig
- The Recruits
- It Happened Last Night
- Master of Horror
- Watch Over Me
- Love Hurts
- Chasing Ghosts
- Stolen Valor
- The Abyss
- The Walking Dead
- Careful What You Wish For
- Le Carnaval de la Mort
- My Brother’s Keeper
- More Now
- The List
- The Insider
- You’ll Do
- How Much Pain Can You Take?
- My City
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5
The 6-disc set is housed in a standard DVD case and slides into a semi-glossy slip cover. Inside there is a redemption code for the Digital Copy.
Spin-Off Episodes are available from “NCIS”: Season 11, ‘Crescent City’ Parts 1 & 2 where the three main characters are introduced. Accompanying them are commentary tracks by Actor/Executive Producer Mark Harmon and Creator Gary Glasberg.
Episode Commentary on ‘Musician Heal Thyself’ with writer Jeffrey Lieber and executive producer James Hayman.
Deleted Scene (0:36) – ‘Musician Heal Thyself’
Launch Promos (4:17)
Spooktacular (5:03) goes over the Halloween episode, ‘Master of Horror’.
Deleted Scenes (2:42) – ‘Chasing Ghosts’, ‘Stolen Valor’ and ‘Baitfish’
Episode Commentary on ‘Careful What You Wish For’ with Lieber and Hayman.
Mardi Gras: The “NCIS” Way (4:45) looks at filming the episode ‘Le Carnivale De La Mort’ with comments by the crew.
After the Storm (5:54) is a featurette on New Orleans and areas still in shambles but how Katrina was woven into storylines, even slightly.
Starting Up in New Orleans (14:07) looks at assembling a crew to work on “NCIS: NO” and coordinating between New Orleans and L.A. and establishing a certain look.
A Big Easy Success (30:04) – Here we get an overview of the first season and its successes in discerning itself from the “mothership”.
How Rob Got the Job (3:58) – This featurette talks about how actor Rob Kerkovich came to be on the series via auditioning.
Touring the Set (4:47) – The production designer leads viewers on a tour of the primary sets.
The Write Angle (21:30) looks at the writing on the series.
Strike Up the Band (8:33) covers the music that is so prominent on the show.
VIDEO – 4.25/5 | AUDIO – 4.0/5
Paramount releases “NCIS: New Orleans” in its original televised anamorphic 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and the show looks pretty darn good taking advantage of the bright colors of the Crescent City. There’s some minor aliasing but nothing terrible and detail for standard def is decent.
Each episode is accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 track which more than gets the job done offering clear dialogue while the more action-centric scenes as well as the occasional explosion provides some depth, though it’s not entirely robust but for a lossy track, it’s above average.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, “NCIS: New Orleans” is I’d say passable entertainment and an OK start for its first season thanks in part with some satisfactory storylines and story arcs to go along with the charisma Scott Bakula still possesses even in the much maligned “Enterprise.” This 6-disc DVD set is well done with some decent enough bonus features and good video/audio transfers.
Brian Oliver aka The Movieman