Back when Meredith was attending Redlands Christian School, and 2-3 of the Harry Potter books had come out, I questioned another parent in the hallway about the series. "No!" she thundered. "I've NEVER read anything like that, and we WON'T have something like THAT in our house." I asked a few more questions, and she allowed that her family basically didn't read any fiction whatsoever. "We only read The Bible," she said.
O-Kay. So much for those kids' assignments in school . . . No Lassie, no Black Beauty, and for heaven's sake - no Cinderella. What about that wand, the pumpkin, and the mice?
Which brings me to this recent assault on NCIS, which is one of MY favorite shows, and I not only have family in the Navy, I have family who've previously served in the USN, good friends who are former Marines, and my most-greatly-loved cousin is serving in Afghanistan RIGHT NOW. And I am also a Bible-believing Christian.
So with authority, I can say that on every count, the columnist Stephenson Billings for "Christ Wire" is bonkers. How did I find this assault? By somebody coming to my blog - because I said NCIS Los Angeles was a pretty bad show, and not nearly so good as the original NCIS. My comments were based on story quality and show quality - not whatever anti-religious, anti-American straw man this Billings sets up.
I don't know what show he is describing, but it's not the NCIS I know and love. Worst of all? He's really got it in for Mark Harmon.
First things first, according to Billings, "This show is misleading, derogatory, anti-American, counterproductive and sets a bad example for our youth."
Misleading, maybe, because the real NCIS agents certainly do not have an HQ like the one depicted on the show. Probably, there weren't any Israeli exchange officers, like Ziva - but maybe there were. Probably the real forensic scientists don't look or act like Abby. Certainly the cases the agents work on aren't neatly wrapped up at the end of every "episode" - except NCIS does not "always get its man."
Derogatory - toward whom? Criminals? Terrorists? Troubled law enforcement from other agencies? A little bit derogatory toward government bureaucrats? Sometimes? This show is absolutely not derogatory toward the service - Naval and Marine. It always emphasizes respect for the Corps or the Navy. People's duties and roles in the service, as currently-serving, retired, or deceased in the line of duty, frequently are the center of the show's plots. Anti-American?
WT . . . FUDGE? This Billings has it in for Mark Harmon as the show's moral center, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. I don't care if Billings doesn't like Mark Harmon as an actor or his acting style, but Gibbs is a standup guy. Gibbs cares about right and wrong, and has a clear moral leadership. As to Gibbs' backstory, like many in the USMC, USN or other branches of the service, he's been married more than once. And he likes redheads. That much I gathered. Plus, he was young, innocent and awkward once, just like a lot of guys.
Like Mark Harmon, his dad, and the rest of his family, NCIS is a pure red-blooded American show, through and through.
As to "counterproductive," it's a very highly-rated, popular and productive show. And as to "setting a bad example for our youth," huh? I think NCIS is aimed at a slightly older audience than "youth," with its hero as Gibbs, who is in the baby boomer age group, Ducky for those at retirement age, and its younger actors often made fun-of for being "old" when teens are involved in the plot - excepting Abby, of course.
Billings has a problem with the two female agents, "Kate," who was on in earlier episodes, and who lost her life to the terrorist Ari, and Ziva, who is currently on (unless she isn't - I haven't watched so far this season). Sasha Alexander, who played Kate, left the show for personal reasons, but . . . Billings, you weenie . . . she was a Catholic young woman with high morality! Ziva is a "larger than life" character, but she brings Israeli ideas and experiences to the American television audience, which is educational, considering most Americans don't have a lot of contact with religious American Jews, much less with Israelis. Billings thinks both are "unattractive," and says, I'm going to boxquote this extreme sexism:
"These two bellicose women, always ready with a waistband handgun, are not physically enticing. Their aggressive lack of prettiness and their overbearing superiority complexes are huge turnoffs. Is this the sort of girl a man needs beside him? I think not."
As to Sasha Alexander not being physically enticing, there are dozens of photo pages of her on the internet. As to Cote de Pablo, born in Chile, but raised in Miami, she has even MORE photo pages than Sasha Alexander. Not to mention, both of them are talented, bright, and don't have to sink to the lowest level to get attention.
So, I guess what I have to say is, What the Fudge?? If this indeed is the junk that's going out under "Christian" labels, and this really is what the supposed "fundamentalist" community thinks, then I guess they do deserve the bad labels put on them by non-believers or those who politically fear them. Billings isn't even describing the same show that I watch - none of the plots, none of the stories, and none of the characters. As a Bible-believing Christian who is a single mother, who works 50-60 hours a week in 3 different capacities, and as someone who sees sexism for what it is - a slap in the face to every decent man out there as well as every decent woman - I'm appalled. This is ignorant, sick, and insulting. Anyone familiar with network TV at all can see that NCIS takes care to avoid topics and dialog that would be upsetting to children or more traditional viewers. This Billings keeps waxing on about how great the Rockford Files was. Yeah, it was a good show. And so is NCIS.
Here's what he says about DiNozzo:
And about DUCKY:
"An overeducated Brit doctor making a meager living as a US military morgue rat? How much more implausible can you get!"
What an ass.