1. The fundamental basis of the show is that it is the naval criminal investigative service, so the show has to start by proving to us what this crime has anything to do with the navy’s jurisdiction. Often, it’s a stretch at best.
2. Yes, some of the characters are great, but the plotlines are…
1. All of the crimes have to do with the Navy or Marine Corps. It’s not a stretch, because if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be investigating them. And NCIS keeps it realistic by sometimes having episodes where they have to fight for jurisdiction on a case when it is a ‘stretch.’
2. CSI and Law and Order are nowhere near the success of NCIS for the specific reason you just mentioned— the characters. The characters and relationships and bond between the agents combined with the action and drama of the cases are what keeps people tuned in. So you might be better off changing the channel to Date My Mom or My Super Sweet 16.
3. Abby may be the most loved character on the show, but that’s because her character has virtually stayed almost the same since Season 1. And she’s specifically built to be likeable. That’s her thing. There’s even an episode in which it is mentioned multiple times that no one could ever hate Abby. The reason many of the other characters have so much debate and controversy surrounding them is because they are a lot deeper and more complex, and are developed and explored to renew what could easily become a stale show. If all the characters were still the same as they were back in say, Season 3, there’s no way NCIS would be No. 1 on TV today.
4. Sometimes crime shows need a bit of humor to lighten up what is otherwise a horrible scenario. That’s where the characters and relationships come back into it. Yes, they have the sometimes cheesy recurring gags, such as the Gibbs-slap, but you know what? It’s part of what makes the show what it is. The writers aren’t afraid to bring things back, to mention them again or revisit a storyline that may have been lost seasons ago.
5. First off, I’m going to completely disregard what you’ve said about their acting skills, seeing as it’s so impossibly ludicrous that it doesn’t even warrant a comment. But I will lastly reiterate this— you say that you don’t care about their personal lives and that they visit and explore them too much, yet you also say you don’t understand the success of the show. Maybe because that is the success of the show. The characters, the family aspect and even the romance and tension between a few. Law and Order and CSI will always be good, standard case-of-the-week shows to watch, but in the end they will ALWAYS be the same— inundated with the same generic, two-dimensional characters that you could see a million clones of on a million other programs.
Yes. Sounds to me like you, OP, are watching the show with expectations and for reasons that differ greatly from those of the loyal viewers. Most of them don’t really care about the crime of the week (although I’d disagree here with you, too, and say that some of them are actually pretty damn smart). Most of us care about this show so much because it *isn’t* your run-of-the-mill crime show of the week. We do care about the characters, for lots of different reasons, and we love the fact that this show gives us more than cold, hard crime-solving.
As for their acting abilities - I’m sorry, but right now I feel like slapping you up the head for that remark. But instead I’m gonna breathe out, not call you bad names and just tell you the thing I’m telling other people who keep complaining: you wouldn’t know quality if it bit you in the ass.