Originally Posted by keg in kc
It's an extremely formulaic show that follows the exact same pattern every week (unless it's a multiple-parter). So don't mistake what I said as meaning it's on par with the best shows on TV. But it's popular for a reason: the good part of the show is the great cast dynamic, the ongoing season- and series-long arcs and the fact that they're not afraid to knock off important characters. It gives it a little bit of gravitas that you don't expect from a program that on the surface appears so formulaic and even simplistic.
As far as being accurate to Naval reality, well, I have to be honest and say I don't particularly care. I don't watch it for that, any more than I watch The Following for insight on the mind of a serial killer, or the X-Files because I wanted to know about FBI procedure when hunting bigfoot. I watch shows because they have interesting plots, have characters that I come to care about, or, in the best (and unfortunately rarest) cases, both. In the case of NCIS it's definitely the characters. It's not a high concept show by any means. It's definitely an entertaining one though.
I like Vegas a lot. I'm pretty convinced it's about to get shit-canned, unfortunately.
Having been in the military, I judge military-based shows and movies a bit more harshly than others. Sometimes they're fairly accurate - A Few Good Men, for example, definitely captured the feel of the JAG Corps, and right up until the very end was fairly accurate. Sometimes they're complete shit - like the great shipboard heroic rescue scene from No Way Out.