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Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs: Don't Call him Sir!

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 I love Gibbs. I admit, part of it, heck, most of it is due to Mark Harmon and how he plays him.  I remember, back on that other site, we had talked about who DPB originally had in mind to play him, and I don't recall who it was that said it was Don Johnson. Which, just no.

 

I find Johnson, pretty much plays all his roles as the same. He'd just be an older version of Crockett. HIs Nash Bridges was just a more charming version, less gritty one of Crockett.

 

That said, let's talk about why we love/hate Gibbs/Harmon, etc., etc. here!

 

For me, Harmon is Gibbs. I can't imagine anyone else playing him, and though he's been a "functional mute" for most of the seasons, Harmon gives him layers. But I do wish some of his SOBness would come back.

 

Yes, I'm a contrary wench, heh.

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I love Gibbs. A lot of that is love for Harmon dating from Chicago Hope, Stealing Home (one of my favourite movies ever) and The West Wing. Because the writers made Gibbs a functional mute he needs a great actor who can say thing without them actually being in the script and Harmon can do that. 

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Oh absolutely, ! My love for Harmon goes all the way back to 240-Robert, and admittedly, my most favorite movie with him was Summer School.

 

I've always wished that DPB would have done some *wink* *wink* line in the NCIS backdoor pilot when Gibbs had scenes with Bud, because the actor who played him, was one of his students in that movie. Or even when Bud appeared that one time on NCIS.

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Speaking of The West Wing, it could be fun if they could get Allison Janney to play Gibbs's next redhead, maybe in the series finale.

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I have a lot of love for Harmon since he was Dickie in the show that I can never remember the name of with Marlee Matlin. He wasn't as stoic as he is as Gibbs but close. I really liked that show.

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I have a lot of love for Harmon since he was Dickie in the show that I can never remember the name of with Marlee Matlin. He wasn't as stoic as he is as Gibbs but close. I really liked that show.

Reasonable Doubts?

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My love for Harmon started at Reasonable Doubts. It's also the show that got me interested in ASL. Well the show or my age-inappropriate crush on Harmon. The man can have chemistry with a brick wall.

 

I really enjoyed Gibb's past with Jenny (the rest of the arc was questionable) and was pleasantly surprised when I found out there was only a 12 year gap between Harmon and Lauren Holly. The show-runners seem to cast  "age appropriate" interests* for Gibbs and I wonder if any of that has to do with Harmon's input (because I don't have that much faith in Hollywood casting).

 

*Even though Abby behaves like she's 25, Perrette and Harmon are just 18 years apart which isn't awful in the grand scheme of things (if you ship that way). Though I think they tried to close that door when she begged him to tell her she's been like a daughter to him and opened the door wider when Gibbs didn't reply.

Edited by theredhead77
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My love for Harmon started at Reasonable Doubts. It's also the show that got me interested in ASL. Well the show or my age-inappropriate crush on Harmon. The man can have chemistry with a brick wall.

 

 

This speaks to why I want an explanation for why Gibbs knows how to sign.  Language acquisition is complex once you go beyond your mother tongue.  There's usually a reason associated with knowing how to communicate in more than one way.  Bilingual parents, need to speak language for a job, dated someone who knew the language, etc  I don't need a long explanation, but it'd be nice to know that piece of information about Gibbs: used it on sniper missions, was learning it with Kelly, whatever.  Just something like that.

 

As to Lauren Holly, sorry,...don't miss her at all.  She's on Motive at the moment (playing a medical examiner).  She's onscreen about 5 minutes an episode, which is enough for me.  I think of her as a "one-hit wonder."  I thought she was excellent in Picket Fences but has been mediocre to awful ever since.  The writing for Jenny did her no favors as well, as far as I'm concerned.

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I remember  Mark Harmon first from the long, long ago St. Elsewhere, mostly because he was the son of local legend Tom Harmon.  Always happy to see him turn up in a show ever since. 

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Hee! I read somewhere that it's a top piece.

The back and sides are his but not the top :p

 

I think it's what "High & Tight" looks like when it grows out a little. I always assumed the character was given that cut because he was used to a Marine's cut and, being Gibbes, he'd have no reason to change (just like he has no reason to get a color tv) And with the idea that there are no "ex-marines", he would always be most comfortable with something approaching the "look" of a Marine.

 

Maybe at some point a woman in Gibbes' past convinced him to go a smidge longer, or maybe Harmon just doesn't want to live his off-screen life with a cut as extreme as a genuine H&T shave. I'd like to think the actor isn't so vain that he wouldn't just incorporate baldness into the character if his own hair was gone. (I guess he might feel too locked in to that whole "Silver Fox" identity at this point though)

 

I always got a kick out of active duty people giving Gibbes a hard time about his "unruly mop". I can't remember which characters did so, but I recall it happening more than once. (Mike Franks for sure) By any OTHER standards, his hair is quite short.

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Well, I believe that ALL of it is his own hair.

 

I remember, in Season 3's roundtable special features, Harmon said how he got a lot of shit for his hair 'cut' in "Hiatus."  To quote, he did an impression of someone asking "What did you do to your hair?"

 

Cuz, if you'll recall, Gibbs got up, used a razor and shaved off the sides of his hair. That was no cap or wig. He actually did that. And I've seen him in interviews, and that's his hair.  Why yes, I've done a study of memorizing everything about the man. And if it turns out it's not his hair, I'll wait until Harmon actually says it's not. Or someone who actually would know and not hide behind the "inside source" or "anonymous" label, thankyouverymuch.

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Well, I believe that ALL of it is his own hair.

 

 

Agreed. While he has changed the length of his hair and it has greyed with age, the way Mark's hair lays on his head is very consistent with the way his hair looks in his previous shows and magazines.  That would have to be a seriously good piece to be that similar.  Mark could undoubtedly afford it, but I find it odd that he would buy such a piece and have it be made as grey as it is.  I think it's his real hair.

 

Now, it's still as unsubstantiated as it is when it's applied to Mark, but I have heard the top piece rumor in reference to Gary Sinese.  Since Gary was also on a CBS show for nine years, perhaps the information and shows got crossed up.  CSI: NY and NCIS did air during the same period of time.

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Hi all! I am more of an NCIS LA fan (for the LL and my lingering teenage obsession with Chris OD) but over the past few weeks have caught maybe 10 eps of original flavor. Labor Day marathon was season 10 and this past week was season 1 with Sasha. Besides my astonishment that Mark Harmon has not aged A DAY, I NEED TO KNOW  how the f**k he gets the damn boat out of his basement!! And, is it even the same boat over the seasons? does he then dismantle it to carry it up the stairs?

 

And what law enforcement official leaves his front door unlocked?

 

While I find his relationship w Abby adorable (fatherly-adorable, not shipper-adorable), is it not a sexual harassment suit waiting to happen when he kisses her on the cheek every day???

 

Or is this all part of the Gibbs mythology...?

Edited by betsyboo

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No, not the same boats. Over the course of the seasons, he's built like 3 boats, one of each of his ex-wives, PLUS one for his daughter, Kelly. Okay, four boats. Apparently, there is a huge garage like opening down thar  in the basement...or...mebbe that was just us speculatin'...

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In NCIS fanfic, how Gibbs gets the boats out of the basement is an ongoing thing. But, no, they've never addressed it on the show, other than other characters wondering exactly how he does it.

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In NCIS fanfic, how Gibbs gets the boats out of the basement is an ongoing thing. But, no, they've never addressed it on the show, other than other characters wondering exactly how he does it.

 

In a related mystery, when Abby had to take apart Mike Franks' boat (which I believe Gibbs made) in her lab, how did they get it into the basement?

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I don't think she took it apart in the lab. I think she did it in that rather large evidence/analysis room that they use for vehicles. I'm pretty sure it has good sized loading doors since that's what it's for.

Edited by slothgirl

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Ok, I'm back. Have since watched a few more random episodes sprinkled throughout the seasons. Again, Mark Harmon is AGELESS. And he has a pretty good gig! i mean NO disprespect to him or the show here - but Jethro L. Gibbs only has about 15 lines per show! And they are all the same! "We got a dead marine, let's go." "What'd you find Ducky?" "McGee, put it on the screen." "Director, let me handle it." Or variations thereof. I enjoy that the character is gruff and hard on the outside with the gooey center. Mark Harmon's got it made - #1 drama, 10 years, and no end in sight!

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Ok, I'm back. Have since watched a few more random episodes sprinkled throughout the seasons. Again, Mark Harmon is AGELESS. And he has a pretty good gig! i mean NO disprespect to him or the show here - but Jethro L. Gibbs only has about 15 lines per show! And they are all the same! "We got a dead marine, let's go." "What'd you find Ducky?" "McGee, put it on the screen." "Director, let me handle it." Or variations thereof. I enjoy that the character is gruff and hard on the outside with the gooey center. Mark Harmon's got it made - #1 drama, 10 years, and no end in sight!

I'd say he has more lines than that, but that reminds me of this one episode where Abby somehow records what Gibbs typically says to her (even a moment of silence for when he glares at her!) and the entire thing works seamlessly.

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The thing I really like about Mark Harmon though is that while he doesn't have many lines, and many are the same, he has an awesome ability to say a TON with his eyes, body language and actions.  I think frequently more lines would be superfluous.

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I can't believe no one mentioned the movie The Presidio (unless I missed it).  Harmon was a cop in San Francisco.  Med Ryan was Sean Connery's (?!?) daughter.  There was a little of Gibbs in the Harmon character, but he was lot younger (obviously).  But if you watch the first 2-3 episodes of NCIS, you'll see that character from The Presidio.  Gibbs (to me) had much more of sense of humor early on, and his eye strayed more towards pretty women.  I guess the producers decided to take him in a different direction.

 

I really liked Reasonable Doubts, but if it were me, I would have changed my name.

Edited by JackONeill

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Amazon Prime Video currently has the 1986 TV movie Prince of Bel Air  (IMDb ) currently available free for Prime members, which like the following year's Summer School stars Mark Harmon as the main protagonist with Kirstie Alley as his love interest and features JAG's Patrick Labyorteaux as a supporting character.  Harmon stars as the owner of a pool service company who takes a sheltered boarding school student (Labyorteaux) under his wings after being asked by the student's rich father (the late Robert Vaughn) and meets the student's artist cousin (Alley) in the process.

It's a light and predictable romantic comedy, but still fun, and worth watching, especially for fans of Harmon.  Two technical caveats:  As mentioned, it was a TV movie, so the aspect ratio is 4:3.  And, at least when I streamed it, the audio was signficantly out-of-sync in spots.

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On 7/31/2014 at 9:37 AM, jaytee1812 said:

I love Gibbs. A lot of that is love for Harmon dating from Chicago Hope, Stealing Home (one of my favourite movies ever) and The West Wing. Because the writers made Gibbs a functional mute he needs a great actor who can say thing without them actually being in the script and Harmon can do that. 

Stealing Home is one of my all time favorites, too. I remember MH talking about it in an interview at one time; I got the impression that he doesn't care for that film too much. But I do; great cast and great story, not to mention great music. 

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On 9/22/2014 at 8:30 AM, betsyboo said:

I enjoy that the character is gruff and hard on the outside with the gooey center. Mark Harmon's got it made - #1 drama, 10 years, and no end in sight!

It's been almost five years since you posted this, and it's still true today.

I finally recorded and watched the two episodes of JAG that introduced Gibbs and company. They definitely set the stage -- Gibbs is good with kids, tough on Tony, stern with the woman agent, needed everywhere, both in the states and abroad, all in these two episodes. I enjoyed the early introduction to him. 

I have to say...it didn't leave me wanting to watch more of JAG. I've only seen a couple of episodes ever, so I never became acquainted with it, but it felt flat to me. Maybe the focus was on Gibbs and so the JAG characters had nothing to do, but the legal representation during Harm's case was laughable, to me, although maybe I've been watching too much Law & Order.

Interesting to see Ducky hitting on the female agent and babbling on the witness stand. It was interesting to see the early Abby, too.

All in all, an enjoyable introduction to NCIS.

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3 minutes ago, ForReal said:

I have to say...it didn't leave me wanting to watch more of JAG. I've only seen a couple of episodes ever, so I never became acquainted with it, but it felt flat to me. Maybe the focus was on Gibbs and so the JAG characters had nothing to do, but the legal representation during Harm's case was laughable, to me, although maybe I've been watching too much Law & Order.

Because it wasn't a JAG episode. It was the backdoor pilot for this show. Even the music wasn't JAG's. Except for the last two seasons, and the first, JAG was a very good show. But I'm biased.

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Yeah, Season 4 is where we get the emotional mute, forgot how to smile, moody, broody Gibbs. I don't know if I should blame Shane Brennan for this, since he joined the list of writers this season. And Bellisario clearly knew and did write a more smiling Gibbs in seasons 1-3; even post Kate's death.

This should probably go in the Unpopular thread, but it dovetails with Gibbs, so I'm just going to say that I LOATHE Jenny and her Director constantly name dropping all the real life top politicians and/or public figures as if she's one herself. She comes across more and more as an agent playing at Director and it's clear, at least to me, that she would have been better off in one of the admin offices with no supervisory authority whatsoever. She screwed over Gibbs when they were partners in Europe. I don't know HOW she could have been on the fast track from the beginning. And then using Tony for her own personal vendetta.

But, back to Gibbs. I adore Mark Harmon. And he's the only reason, along with Tony and Ducky that I'm watching this horrific season. Because this was the season where Tony had growth (before they destroyed him in next two or three seasons) and there were some pretty good episodes.

But I still fast forward any time Jenny/Holly is on my screen.

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