‘NCIS’ Fans Feel This Character Is “Bland” and “Annoying”

After sixteen seasons on the air, you may assume that NCIS knows the secret to success and has no noticeable shortcomings. Boasting scripts designed with narrative complexity, character development, and suspense in mind, NCIS ranks in an international viewership unrivaled by any other scripted procedural.

NCIS Cast
Brian Dietzen, Rocky Carroll, Mark Harmon, Emily Wickersham and Sean Murray, executive producer Gary Glasberg, NCIS Director Andrew Traver and actors Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette and David McCallum | Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Mark Harmon leads the series. As an executive producer and the man in charge on-screen, Harmon is the show’s lynchpin. Mark Harmon is Agent Gibbs, and thus, the face of NCIS. However, though Mark Harmon has stuck around for the long haul, many other NCIS co-stars have come and gone.

Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, and Cote de Pablo made NCIS the international success it was while in its prime. Cote de Pablo’s return will likely be responsible for catalyzing some nostalgiac reminiscence (and a boost in ratings if that’s even possible). However, Cote de Pablo is not enough to make up for the newer additions whom fans can’t seem to jump on board with.

While most fans are satisfied with Maria Bello as Jack Sloane and Wilmer Valderrama as Nicholas Torres, one “second generation” castmember irks audiences a bit more than the others.

Why fans don’t love Emily Wickersham’s Eleanor Bishop on ‘NCIS’

Emily Wickersham joined NCIS in 2013, following Cote de Pablo’s departure. Stepping into the shoes of the former Mossad agent, the odds were stacked against the young actress from the beginning. Who could replace Ziva? No one.

The writers scripted Emily Wickersham’s character, Eleanor Bishop, in stark contrast to Ziva, likely in an attempt to prevent fan comparisons; however, in doing so, they may have taken the actress’s “quirkiness” a bit too far.

One fan argues that the writers “missed an opportunity with Bishop,” going on to explain that her character was brought on to the team for her ability to draw connections between distant threads; however, goes on to note that the writers have seemed to abandon her data analysis capabilities, turning her into another uninteresting “probie.”

Other fans note that her specific skill set – and associated personality – deemed her a better fit as a “recurring” character as opposed to a consistent one. One viewer states:

“I think the Bishop character was originally developed as a recurring character, not a full-time character. She’s too quirky to be around all the time and it not get annoying. Now I think the writers are having to adapt her into that permanent role and they’re struggling.”

In short, the consensus seems to be the following: Bishop is too quirky to continue existing on NCIS in the very way she joined; thus, in an attempt to make her more palpable as a staple, fans believe that the writers have lost (or never found) their vision with the character. As a result, she remains quite annoying, lacking individuality and seeming purposeless to the narrative.

Fans on Bishop’s relationship with McGee in ‘NCIS’

As for Eleanor Bishop, the distaste regarding her character – as an individual – is not the only issue at play. Many viewers are dissatisfied with the relationships she is forming with the other agents, McGee in particular.One fan notes:

“They’re force-feeding us Bishop’s ‘troubled’ relationship with the only person we could care less about than her: Jake. This is also the exact same thing they tried with Ziva and it didn’t work then either – but at least we cared about Ziva (who was a great cast member until they neutered her into a boring seat warmer), so we went along with it.”

The reasoning above illustrates Emily Wickersham’s main hurdle from the get-go: her character can’t withstand comparisons to Ziva. And, if the script makes room for one, she’s bound to face criticism. However, the McGee debacle resurfaces in the forum as a major issue, for fans do not “believe” or co-sign the forced “camaraderie” that the writers keep pushing between the two agents. One fan notes that, together, they are simply two iterations of the “bland, nerdy type.”

Many viewers feel that Eleanor Bishop lacks intriguing dynamics with the other co-stars – an essential quality to survive on NCIS – and has a “quirky” personality that cannot withstand the long haul, leading to abrupt changes to her character, which quickly become obvious to the fan base.