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Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

A very special Christmas, er, special

Posted by Lissa on December 18, 2008

Believe it or not, I’m not a huge fan of Christmas specials.  I think I saw It’s a Wonderful Life once when I was younger, but all I remember is the bell ringing.  Likewise, I’m pretty sure I watched the part of A Christmas Story where the little kid licks the flagpole, but the rest of the movie is a blank.  I don’t think I’ve ever watched A Charlie Brown Christmas; I’ve got no idea what that one’s about.  My idea of a Christmas special is Scrooged, seriously.  It’s not that I’ve got anything against any of those movies, but I think it’s similar to the Beatles — if you were exposed at a young age, you often love (or DESPISE) them for the rest of your life.  I neither love nor hate the Beatles; I think I could name you three or four songs they sang, but that’s it!  So be forewarned that I don’t have any classical or high-faultin’ taste in Christmas shows.

That being said, I give big Christmas (and Chanukah) mistletoe berries and stars to the NCIS Christmas special I watched last night (it ran on Tuesday). 

We all know I have a thing for Ziva, but the show in general deserves its own laudatory post.  Like CSI and Law & Order SVU, each episode can stand alone.  There are overarching story lines, sure, but you’re not kept on tenterhooks for the next FOUR FREAKING MONTHS or so.  (Damned, DAMNABLE 24; I only watched the first season, on DVD, and I avoid current showings like the plague.  Or Barbra Streisand.)  But unlike SVU, they don’t make an effort to infuse politically correct debates into the show; rather than arguments about whether the death penalty is moral, or abortion is evil versus only-common-sense, NCIS just concentrates on catching the bad guy.  What a blessed relief!

But there’s more.  Marines are portrayed as moral and upstanding people, not monsters (good God above!).  Military folks are to be emulated, not despised (Halle-freaking-lujah!).  It’s taken as a matter of course that everyone reveres the recipient of a Medal of Honor, because he is a hero (omigod you don’t say!!).  It’s a given that the Medal of Honor recipient loved his wife of sixty years and mourns her loss (it’s like he’s an ACTUAL PERSON OR SOMETHING!).

That’s not to say that the show portrays military folks as demigods.  After all, a decent portion of the time the bad guy turns out to be military as well.  Gibbs has been divorced three times, for goodness’ sakes.  DiNozzo was a misogynistic womanizer for the first few seasons.  And Abby is a freak.  (An adorable, endearing, cute-as-a-button freak, mind you; no knockin’ on Abby!)  But the bad guys in the show are the CRIMINALS, not conservatives.  Sometimes that feels like a really nice change ;-)

I’m not going to give any spoilers on the Christmas episode, since I know a lot of folks won’t have seen it yet.  But I definitely recommend it; set your Tivo!  It’s a lot of fun, and it reminds you of what’s important around the  holidays. 

P.S. Does anyone else get teary whenever Gibbs’ lost family comes up?

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4 Responses to “A very special Christmas, er, special”

  1. Mike said

    I do!

    By the way, the medal of honor recipient thing (for those who may want to track it down) was from the episode “Call of Silence” in the second season. The ending scene (with multiple surprise twists) was a really well-written emotional conclusion. Great episode, unless you hate America.

  2. wolfwalker said

    NCIS is also THE BEST SHOW ON TV [ahem] about illustrating the Four Rules in action. Take a close look at any scene where the agents’ weapons are visible. They are handled safely, without exception. Fingers off triggers except when they actually fire, weapons are always ‘broken’ when being passed from one person to another, and so on. NUMB3RS is the same way, although not quite as rigid about it.

  3. wolfwalker said

    I submitted this last night and it hasn’t shown up yet; apologies if it now appears twice.

    NCIS is also just about the BEST show on TV — maybe the best show in the history of network TV — for showing the Four Rules of Gun Safety in use. Watch any scene where the agents’ guns are in view: they follow the Rules. Fingers off triggers until they actually shoot, any weapon is ‘broken’ before being passed from one person to another, and so on. Even knives. There’s a shot from one episode where Ziva has to hand over all her weapons to Gibbs: semiauto, sock revolver, belt knife. Pistol — magazine out, slide locked back. Revolver — cylinder open, held by one hand above the cylinder. Knife — reversed, blade in her palm, haft toward Gibbs.

    THAT is weapons safety.

  4. [...] wit: I’ve mentioned before that I have a hatred for 24 that lives deep within me like a flaming, golden hawk.  However, I [...]

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