Wednesday, November 01, 2017


Disappointed .......VERY disappointed.

Last night, I got the rare opportunity to actually park my carcass on the couch in order to enjoy a little television.  No meetings, no having to drive the kids anywhere, no chores - just a chance to relax. I was tuned into TVLand and was watching an old episode of M*A*S*H, because quite frankly, there isn't much on TV that satisfies me these days.

I had my tablet in hand and was half-heartedly scrolling through Facebook, when all of a sudden, I was made aware by several Amateur Radio ops and the ARRL that our hobby was going to be featured on "NCIS" on WCBS TV.

It was already about half way through the show's time slot when I noticed this, so I quickly changed the channel.

What a disappointment ....... what an utter, abject disappointment. To be honest with you, I was glad I didn't see this from the beginning. That probably wouldn't have dome my blood pressure any good.

The only thing the writers got correct was to use authentic Amateur Radio gear in the show.  Other than that, everything was bogus.  I don't know what formula they used for call signs; but it wasn't anything remotely close to what we use here in the US.  I know, maybe they didn't want to take the chance using a real call, but the format they used was ridiculous.

Then, they made special effort to involve "handles".  My goodness, I was swept immediately back to the '70s and Citizens Band radio.  Every now and then you'll hear a Ham refer to his first name as his "handle" or "personal" (which makes me cringe), but even those folks actually use their names in a QSO.  Nobody gets on the air and uses names like "Ricochet" or the garbage they put into last night's episode.

The final straw was how they portrayed the Amateur Radio ops that they featured in the show. To put it bluntly, the Amateur Radio characters were portrayed as losers.  I know that the world of Amateur Radio is a microcosm and that we have our share of kooks and odd balls, but the Hams portrayed on "NCIS" were ridiculous.

What steams me the most is that all the good press that Amateur Radio has garenered lately due to our involvement in assisting with or providing communications during the hurricanes and wild fires could be potentially nullified by this portrayal of Hams as nerdy, unkempt individuals who are nothing more than social misfits ...... at best.  I doubt I've seen a better instance of stereotyping in a long time.

I can only hope the show got lousy ratings last night.

A much better critique has been offered by Don Keith N4KC, who is a light years better wordsmith than I. His opinion piece on this debacle can be read here: The only consolation is that if N4KC thought last night's episode was a piece of ........, well then, it was.

Thanks NCIS and WCBS .... for not much.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more Larry. NCIS is one of my favorite show s and I watch every episode. They really blew it with this show. I have no idea who they used to research Ham Radio for this episode, but whoever did the research is a complete nut case.