Tag Archives: Mark Harmon

Lustbox: Men who can sign

sign languageNow, PLA and I were having a bit of a collective swoon about men who use sign language yesterday, and I suggested lustboxing the lot of them.

Then I worried that perhaps it was offensive or patronising or something. Anyway, after a lot of thought (and, I’ll be honest, there’s not usually a lot of thinking going on when lustboxing) I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just a variation on finding bilingual men sexy.

Leroy Jethro GibbsThe conversation started with silver fox Mark Harmon, who as Special Agent Gibbs regularly (though not regularly enough) converses in sign language with Abby Sciuto (who proves that signing women are sexy too), and moved on to Connor from Waterloo Road who signed his wedding vows.

Then there’s double signing with Guppy Sean and Sam Colloby from Casualty in the late nineties and more doctors signing in ER – proving that sign language can make even doctors Benton and Romano seem a lot more human.

Josh LymanSadly I couldn’t find you links to the rare bit of signing we get from my favourite West Winger Josh Lyman (Season 2, Episode 20 – thank you Twitter hive mind), though I can give you Joey Lucas and Kenny signing AND annoying Josh at the same time. What’s not to love?

And then of course there’s CSI’s Gil Grissom. Smart, geeky and a signer. Not to mention William Hurt in Children of a Lesser God. Who have I missed? Let me know. And feel free to share more sexy signing women too.

Finally, why not follow @BritishSignBSL on Twitter and learn a new sign every day?

[NB I nearly included Benton Fraser here, but although he understands ASL, he doesn’t actually sign for us in Due South, and semaphore may be a niche attraction even by my standards…]

Posted by Jo the Hat

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NCIS’s 200th episode: Nearly as good as a slap to the back of the head

Leroy Jethro GibbsNow, just because I don’t write up every episode of NCIS for you, don’t go thinking I’ve missed a single one of its 200 episodes. I still love this show, and if you haven’t seen it yet, check out my first love letter to the best-looking navy cops around. There just isn’t time for me to blog it every week I’m afraid. However, this week is different. Not because it’s a milestone for the show, but because they chose to mark the moment with a very different kind of episode.

[Kinda spoilery from here on in…]

This isn’t the first time NCIS has entered an alternate reality (see the first two episodes of season three when the entire team have a Sixth Sense thing going on), and I have to confess the idea of Gibbs being in limbo while his life flashes before his eyes had me a little anxious. I should have known better.

Life Before His Eyes is not just fine by the show’s usually high standards, it’s full of rewards for the long-time viewer. The diner in which reality is temporarily suspended for Gibbs is packed with familiar faces from the present and the past. Jenny Shepard, Mike Franks, Joan Matteson, Ari Haswari, Caitlin Todd, Anne Gibbs (she’s a redhead, naturally), McCallister, Pacci, Pedro Hernandez, and, of course, Shannon and Kelly all make appearances at some point.

It’s also a Gibbs-centric episode, and who’s going to complain about that? And, in addition, it may just let the man heal a little. Lord knows he deserves to. As Mike Franks tells him, “You solved hundreds of cases, you helped families get over burying their dead by putting away murderers and terrorists.”

You could see this as a loving riposte to all the NCIS fan fiction/forum wishlists as it answers a whole lot of “but what if?” questions along the way. What if Cait hadn’t died on that rooftop? What if Gibbs hadn’t killed Pedro Hernandez? What if Shannon and Kelly hadn’t testified and been murdered? I, naturally, blubbed more than once.

And if all that isn’t enough, we also discover that Jimmy Palmer is absolutely ripped beneath those scrubs. As Gibbs murmurs at the end of Abby’s disclosure of her progress on this week’s case, “Who knew Palmer had abs like that?”

It’s not the perfect episode to start watching NCIS from, but it is a lovely present from NCIS to its fans – the next best thing to a personally-delivered Gibbs slap… Here’s to another 200 episodes!

Posted by Jo the Hat

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Kick ass women: Abby, Ziva and Kate too

There is much to love about NCIS (note to self, why isn’t Mark Harmon in a Lustbox yet?) but we come together today to celebrate its kick ass trio of women: Kate Todd, Abby Scuito and Ziva David.

Even though she’s the least kick ass of the bunch, Kate is still cool. She had to suffer DiNozzo at his most frat boyish, not to mention being held hostage (twice) by bad Ari (and eventually shot by him for reasons I’m still not entirely sure of despite Five showing it at least three times now).

To be fair, if she hadn’t been replaced by Ziva her kick-assedness wouldn’t be in question. Because she always held her own in the macho military world and would have taken a bullet not just for President Bush, but certainly for Gibbs (and we all know which of those we respect the most…).

While Kate pushes up the daises, we can examine our second kiss ass woman, one of my favourite fictional TV females ever: Abby Scuito.

She’s not just incredibly intelligent and good at her job. She’s a geek and a goth and takes no crap from anybody.

While usually confined to the lab with Bert, her farting hippo toy, copious (possibly even criminal) quantities of Caf-pow and her beloved machines, she’s proved herself more than capable of kicking butt too.

There was the unwanted lab assistant who found himself trussed up in duct tape after trying to frame Tony for murder and threatening Abby with a knife when she worked out his plan.

And, more spectacularly, the sight of Abby repeatedly tasering the man who kidnapped her, while wearing her hated court suit and glasses.

There can be no doubt. Abby rocks. Whether in those stack-heel PVC boots or in her coffin bed.

But pushing the kick ass-ometer up to eleven is Ziva David. She’s Israeli. She’s Mossad. She really can kill you sixteen different ways with a plastic spoon while wearing heels (not that she wears heels unless she’s undercover). She killed her half-brother Ari (in that weird season 1-2 plot that we’ve already established I can’t quite follow) to save Gibbs. She’s single-handedly immobilised numerous muscly, tall men (often anti-Semitic rednecks – yeah as opposed to the Zionist rednecks, I know) – usually after they have scoffed at the notion of being arrested by just her and Dinozzo. Tony just gets to stand back and admire her handiwork before throwing out a cool one-liner. She will inevitable have barely a hair out of place by the time the badass guys are moaning on the ground in agony.

But, here’s another thing to love about her. She’s clearly drop-dead gorgeous – but that’s not what you notice about her. What stands out – apart from the beautiful mangling of American-English and the roundhouse kicks – is that Ziva is smart, loyal and passionate. Let’s hope she doesn’t get sent back to Israel anytime soon!

Posted by Jo the Hat.

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NCIS: Almost nothing like CSI

Actually NCIS (that’s Naval Criminal Investigative Service for newbies) and CSI would seem similar to the casual observer. Both series are packed to the gunnels with ridiculously good-looking staff and both are crime dramas – but NCIS is greatly superior.

Mark Harmon and the NCIS castFor one thing we have trained investigators investigating and forensics experts staying in the lab with the mass spectrometer and microscopes where they belong.

For another it’s actually properly thrilling, moving and funny. With the exception of the time Quentin Tarantino buried CSI Nick alive under a Las Vegas garden centre, I’ve never been really bothered about the outcome of a CSI episode. And while CSI can do funny, it saves the humour up for one special episode per season. NCIS makes me laugh at least once per show. For example, the female agent asks lead agent Gibbs (the still extremely dishy Mark Harmon) what their medical examiner Ducky (David McCallum) looked like when he was young. Gibbs’ reply? “Like Illya Kuryakin…”

I love the way the writers use Agent DiNozzo’s obsession with movies to acknowledge plot similarities (or rip-offs). I love the fact that the forensic specialist Abby plays loud music in her lab, dresses with goth cool, and is incredibly smart. I love the sly nods to the actors’ real lives (see above). I love it so much that I only started getting bored with the repeats after the fifth viewing. In fact the only times I lose the love a little is when they get a little too reverential for the military.

The good news is that brand new season six is showing now on Five on Wednesday nights. And Five USA has just started reshowing from the beginning for anyone who wants to get all the gags.

Posted by Jo the Hat

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