Day 6 – Abigail "Abby" Sciuto.
Nobody is really going to care about this, because top-5 in the ratings or not, there are only, like, four of you who watch the show in the first place. (And at the moment, I'm actually over a year behind myself!)
Before I began watching, about the only knowledge I had of NCIS to distinguish it from any other dime-a-dozen procedural out there was "it's the one with the goth chick"
But Abby is much more than "the goth chick"
She may wear dog collars and spiked boots and heavy eye makeup. But she's also a talented scientist as well as something of a computer hacker.
She hangs extreme closeups of crime scenes and evidence slides around the lab as art. And she goes bowling with nuns (dressed in a pink poodle skirt ... with a skull in place of the little dog!)
She makes her own gunpowder-scented perfume. And she volunteers with Habitat For Humanity ... as an electrician.
It's true she may have been stalked/attacked/held hostage/kidnapped on more than one occasion (of course, it would be hard to find a character on the show who HASN'T had at least one kidnapping/framed for murder/hostage experience) but for all her little-girl affectations, she is no damsel in distress.
Despite being the only team member with no military or police training she has overpowered kidnappers/villains entirely by herself in at least two separate incidents. (Another time everybody else was around but she was the one who decked the guy)
If you couldn't tell from the reference to multiple framed-for-murder/hostage/kidnapping plotlines, NCIS is NOT a show that takes itself seriously. At ALL. Which is nice because you avoid some of the darker, twisted elements found in the procedurals attempting to be more "realistic" (SVU, I'm looking at you).
On the other hand, you also have to deal with plotlines and scenarios and character attributes that occasionally approach the outrageous. And be willing to deal with character development that sometimes backslides to caricature.
But, as my general rule for this month has been: let's ignore the weaknesses for now and just sit back and enjoy the ride!
Abby is a complete collection of character quirks.
She listens to loud deathmetal bands while running her lab tests. Drives a hearse as her personal vehicle. Named many of the machines in her lab and holds conversations and pep talks with them. Multiple tattoos (nine, I believe, at last count) of everything from a ornate cross down her spine to a spider web around her neck. Raised by Deaf parents, she's fluent in ASL.
Has a stuffed hippo named Bert (complete with his own studded dog collar) who farts when you squeeze him. Oh yeah, and she sleeps in a coffin. (Her explanation being if she has to pay for the thing, she'd like to get some use out of it)
Considering her interest in the macabre, Abby is extremely upbeat and ...peppy. In fact, her natural energy and enthusiasm fueled by a major sugar-and-caffeine addiction lead to one black-and-white energizer bunny of a forensic scientist.
But she has deeper personality qualities as well.
She is encouraging and sympathetic, albeit with a wicked sense of humor. She can definitely be petulant and a master champion at holding a grudge. But deep down she's the affectionate heart of the team.
What I think is probably the most admirable quality about Abby is twofold.
First, she is almost completely blind to prejudice, accepting people for who and what they are, without noticing the things others might consider handicaps or abnormalities. (A few seasons ago, she met and fell in love with a Little Person - tragically, the story arc was cut off abruptly when the other actor died.)
Second, she not only is comfortable with who she is in life - she revels in it, refusing to alter or subvert who she is for the status quo.
Sung by Abby herself, actress/singer Pauley Perrette.