You know, Mark Harmon, I really used to like you. You always seemed to be the affable, laid back guy. Your first big impression on me was one of my favorite classic summer 80s film, Tuff Turf. Er, no wait a minute, my bad, wrong movie. No, your first big role to me was Summer School. What a great movie, and those of you old enough to remember it probably to this day wonder whatever happened to the lovable Chainsaw. Or the kid who never showed up to class. That was a great movie, and I am sure Mark counted himself lucky to be acting with a young Courtney Thorne-Smith and a pre elephantine Kirstie Alley. Even Saw cutie Shawnee Smith was in this flick. Day-um, stupid girls sure were hot back in the day.
He would continue through more TV and movie roles. He married –and apparently is still married to-Mindy from Mork & Mindy. He was voted People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 1986, the year People also suspiciously disqualified me, for some bullshit reason of ‘not being even remotely famous’. Fuckers. Anyway, Harmon all but disappeared from my consciousness, to be replaced by such happy things as orange creamsicles and Tetris.
Recently, Mark Harmon has reappeared in my life in a big and negative way. In fact, I now hate you Mark Harmon. I see entirely too much of you. Apparently, he’s been on this show called NCIS, which I believe stands for ‘now can I speak’. And this show, unbeknownst to me, has been on the air for quite a few years. I didn’t know this until the show started rerunning on USA. I know all of this because my wife is addicted to this goddamn show.
At first it was just on USA and whatever other channel it first airs on. Life was good, life was tolerable. But that has all changed over the last year. Now, NCIS is omnipresent in my house. We have 3 TVs in the house. At any given time, all of them are on channel 13 (aka USA, aka NCIS central). This pisses me off more than when they all used to be on the Food Channel. It’s not like she ever made me any of that stuff…
Since then, I have clearly been put in my place. I know between the hours of 5-7, I am second fiddle. I am third wheel. The house can be on fire, and upon telling her this fact, I will get scolded, “WAIT FOR A COMMERCIAL!” If this was only contained to scheduled intervals, I am laid back and accommodating enough to work around it. Hell, I’ll even give her the big TV-you know, the B&W one-to watch all the nefarious goings ons going on. But it has grown worse. It appears NCIS spreads quicker than the swine flu.
Now it seems NCIS is on 4 channels that I am aware of. Which I believe still pales in comparison to how many fucking channel show Scrubs. That was her previous crack TV. I think I’ve counted Scrubs on no less than 6 fucking channels. It’s now gotten to the point that I can watch Scrubs rather than NCIS. But Elliot is still fucking annoying.
Also, USA appears to be so devoid of alternate programming, test patterns and infomercials that it now runs NCIS marathons. So imagine my shock as all day yesterday-a Wednesday-USA went all NCIS. Surely somewhere, there must be unaired Billy Mays commercials. Fuck me.
I’ve arrived at the point where I am familiar with the characters and certain storylines. Me. But she can sit there and watch the whole damn thing all over again. Yesterday, I hit a new low. “We” were watching the show, and about 15 minutes in, I realized I fucking saw this show before. Yet, her gaze was the gaze of a traveler spotting water after a week in the desert. Ambrosia to the angels and such shit.
I don’t like the show, for a few reasons. Chief amongst them is she likes it so goddamn much. But there’s more to it than just that. (And I am ashamed I can go into this much detail of a show I don’t even watch.) First of all, Mark Harmon’s character is named Jethro. Right, Jethro. That’s his first name, too, not his last. It’s hard to buy an action hero as a ‘Jethro’. A Clampett? Sure, but not a federal agent. Unless he was the federal agent of moonshine. So Gibbs (Jethro’s last name, the name most people use to call him.) is one of those smarmy types that is always fucking right. What’s that? All the evidence points to the husband as the killer? No, because Gibbs is Gibbs, he has some sort of ESP that actually tells him the real killer is the neighbors’ gardeners’ cousins’ eighth grade teacher! Alas, how could we not have seen this? We all must bow to the knowingness of brother Gibbs. Gibbs always knows where the bad guy is hiding.
Gibbs is a maverick. Gibbs will only use your last name, even if it’s Gibbsisapedophile. OK, that was a funny episode. Gibbs thumbs his nose at his superiors, he disobeys orders, he ‘goes dark’. I believe he even has a pristine copy of that Erin Andrews video. Gibbs can anticipate the bad guys’ next move. Gibbs is a deadeye. Gibbs. Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs. Enough fucking already!
Sure, he is surrounded by less smart characters as well. There’s the suave guy, the nerd guy, the chick, the goth forensic chick, the weathered coroner. Every week, it’s a new struggle against evil. And my sanity. I don’t like the slickness of Gibbs. It gets quite tiresome to see the same general scenario week in and week out. Right, I can see all of you rolling your eyes-you know your webcam is on, right?-thinking, “Well what about your hero, Jack Bauer?”Jack Bauer is far more hardcore than fucking Gibbs. Take away seasons 5 & 6 (please) of 24, and 24 is the far better show.
But, boom there is NCIS on just about every damn channel we have. Look, we’re poor, we just have basic cable. And at the rate they’re taking away my channels, we’ll be lucky to have 20 left. And Mark Harmon will be on at least 5 of those. Maybe T snuck in some sort of NCIS channel unbeknownst to me. All I know is I have 20 channels-16 if you take away the Spanish speaking ones-and I am pretty sure I’ve seen NCIS on 4 of them. And one of the Spanish ones. Eh, Senor Gibbs?
I can see by the hour upon us, that soon, the NCIS channel will be on, and any actual conversation must take place between the commercials. Even if it’s a rerun. Even if it’s a rerun I’ve seen, I’d best not spoil the ending. Sure, you can argue the same thing with me and The Simpsons. Yes, true, I’ve seen the majority of the shows, but not all of them. And since it’s only a half hour long, I get 2 episodes for the price of one measly NCIS. Plus, with all my drinking, my memory is spotty, so sometime it really is like watching a brand new episode. And it’s all about escapism for me; it makes me laugh, and my troubles vanish for a brief, fleeting amount of time.
Besides, if Gibbs ever got bonked on the head with a transmission, I would laugh my ass off. Hey, I am starting to hear a certain theme song right now….