Acknowledging the pandemic is kind of a hotly contested debate right now. Some love it when their favorite shows address the pandemic and write the pandemic into the show. It shows an acknowledgment of the times and realism. Not to mention, it’s often a way to pay respects for all the lives lost.
On the contrary, some feel like they turn to shows for escape. And the pandemic was such a horrible ordeal/ It’s not always pleasant to confront it in the land of fiction.
Both sides make a lot of sense. Wherever you land on that argument, Dietzen’s reasoning for acknowledging the devastating effects of COVID-19 is incredibly touching. NCIS has definitely done so without hesitation. And Dietzen’s character, Jimmy Palmer, has been hit the hardest, with his wife dying of the illness.
“I heard from a lot of people saying, ‘I’m so glad that you did that and you paid respect to those who passed during this time,’” Dietzen said in an interview with Variety.
Brian Dietzen Is Grateful ‘NCIS’ Allowed Him To Explore Grief
“I think that definitely deepened who Jimmy was and is — when you have a loss like that, it’s a demarcation line. ‘This is me before this happened and me after this happened.’ I felt that when my mom passed away about six years ago,” he continued.
“It’s like when someone’s born, too — you have a life before kids and life after kids. And that stuff is addressed in this episode that I wrote with Scott as well. There’s a lot packed in there, and I’m really glad that not just our show runner but also the network have been so supportive of telling those stories, because they’re important,” he said.
While COVID-related storylines are always difficult to tackle, it’s important that at least some shows have opted to include the pandemic in their story. And for Dietzen, it gives the show space to acknowledge the impact of loss.
If you want to catch the next episode of NCIS, the show is now back to its weekly schedule. It airs on Mondays at 9/8 central on CBS and is followed by new episodes of its spinoff, NCIS: Hawai’i.