December 18, 2013

December 18, 2013

Investigate THIS, NCIS

I don’t mention it a lot, but NCIS is one of the shows in my regular rotation. I enjoy it for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that I’m secretly 65 years old. It’s generally light in tone (I had to stop watching CSI after the hundredth incestual blood splatter), it’s got great characters, and it’s set right here in my backyard.

As a bonus, the show is generally phenomenal at paying attention to detail. When they mention a place, it’s a real place. When they show a CAC (Common Access Card—the ID used to enter DOD facilities), it looks like a real CAC. Their technical advisor is on the ball, and I salute him or her along with the people who research and create props and graphics and things. I totally believe all of this is real.

Well, okay, except for this one little nitpicky thing I noticed in the most recent episode. Note the comparison of a dude’s Virginia driver’s license and his CAC:

While the format of each card, from the colors to the fonts, is perfect, take a look at the pictures. Even pretending for a moment that each card would use the same color blue background, and that he would have the exact same facial expression and appearance, WHO WEARS A SHIRT AND TIE TO THE DMV?

I’m working through this by telling myself the guy used the Pentagon branch of the DMV* to renew his license, so he was in work attire for the photo. They just didn’t have time to mention that in the episode.

Whew. Close one.

(P.S. What are we thinking of Ellie Bishop so far? I like her, but she's no Kate.)

* I’m told it’s real so let’s assume it’s real, okay?

2 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke:

you're right she's no Kate! I honestly think she looks like a cross between Ziva and Hermione Granger. haha

It's amusing that you comment on their attention to detail when NCIS is one of the most egregious offenders of "magic computers" (look up double-keyboard hacking on youtube for an example).

That isn't to say that they're not accurate on other things (and I remember reading one interview where a writer for the show said that they actually compete with each other to get the most ridiculous examples into the scripts sometimes), but I'd mostly assumed that the level of accuracy on almost any shows like this were abysmal to anyone with any level of in-depth knowledge of the subject.