NCIS: Hawai’i premieres September 20, 2021. Here are five things on our wish list for the new spinoff series, featuring the franchise’s first female lead.
BALANCE… OR IMBALANCE
It’s a procedural. We get it. In fact, considering the recent television landscape, as well as what’s going in every day in the world news, that can be a comforting thought. A procedural guarantees that we get a win, some sort of hope, in 42 minutes. Is it realistic? Nah. Can we suspend disbelief for the escapism? You betcha.
So, why do we say balance? Easy. Vanessa Lachey (Dads, Truth Be Told), who will be portraying Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant, says her character comes into the series “juggling life and love and work.” If that’s what she’s dealing with, likely unsuccessfully in certain moments, we want to see the series do the same. It’s realistic, which makes it all the more interesting.
PURPOSE FOR CASTING
We have been gifted the first female lead actor in the NCIS franchise, which is both amazing and a long time coming after almost 20 years. What we want is for it to make sense. Give us a leader who is competent and excels at her profession, who has the job because she deserves it, and not simply because she’s a woman.
Make her stand out, while at the same time making sure she could stand toe to toe with any of the male leads in D.C. or Los Angeles. RIP New Orleans.
BACKSTORIES AND RELATIONSHIPS
Some case-of-the-week shows are excellent at weaving character stories through cases that get a bit personal, and some are… not. We want to see these new characters and then we want to get to know them. Give us something to root for, a reason to care about THEM, and not just the cases they’re solving.
We want friendships and fights, trust and tension, bonding and bickering. Show us these people matter to one other outside their jobs. Give us moments of doubt and heartbreak without making cardboard cutout characters that happen to have names.
While having the guest star villain can sometimes be entertaining, if for no other reason than to see excellent character actors chew scenery, we’d like to see some long term friction as well. To that end, it’s promising to see that Enver Gjokaj (Dollhouse, Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) has been cast in the recurring role of Navy Captain, Joe Millus, who will most certainly be a thorn in Tennant’s side. While Tennant’s team will be trying to get to the truth, Milius will be attempting to protect military personnel with, perhaps, less than pure motives at times.
Recurring characters with priorities in direct conflict to the main team are always more interesting than watching someone who’s simply “bad,” and we look forward to how this dynamic will shape up.
HAWAI’I AS A CHARACTER
Wait, a location as a character? Yes! Hawai’i is as unique as New Orleans, in that much of its rich history and culture is distinct from that of the mainland United States. We want to see the writers and producers use that to the show’s advantage.
Alex Tarrant (Filthy Rich, The Lord of the Rings) has joined the cast to lead opposite Lachey as Kai, a local who was raised on the island and returns to his home as a NCIS Agent on Tennant’s team. It’s a good indicator, having someone who’s aware of the complexities of the area that may elude some of the other team members and will almost certainly play a key role in many cases.
Hawai’i is so much more than pretty beaches and we want to see it shine at the foreground of the show’s foundation. Otherwise, they might as well release NCIS: Poughkeepsie.
Listen to what Vanessa Lachey has to say about her upcoming role as Jane Tennant.
NCIS: Hiwai’i will air Monday nights on CBS at 10/9c (directly after season 19 of the original NCIS series), starting September 20th.
Will you be watching? What do you want to see from the new series?