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NCIS' Brian Dietzen Pushes Against Heightened Romance Tropes For His Character

Ah, romance. It keeps audiences coming back to the theater year after year, and keeps you re-downloading the dating app where everyone is holding a dead fish because, why? People like kissing people who smell like fish? What even is anything?

Let's start over.

Ah, romance. It's complicated. Sometimes it can feel like a barrage of the same stuff, again and again. That's at least doubly true of fictional relationships, which can, when not properly tended by showrunners and screenwriters, wind up feeling more arduous than amorous. Maybe that's why Brian Dietzen, best known for his 19 years spent in the "NCIS" universe as Doctor Jimmy Palmer, wanted to make sure that his character's on-screen love life included "a mature, grown-up relationship."

That's what he remembers requesting, alongside co-star Katrina Law, when discussing the potential for their characters to become romantically entangled moving forward — not a perpetual motion machine made of drama and predictable heartbreak, but "something where they could back each other up and display something that was healthy," as he told Parade in an interview.

NCIS's Palmer and Knight: Still not crazy after all this year

Speaking to Parade, Brian Dietzen expanded on the concerns that he and Katrina Law had when the "NCIS" scuttlebutt involved those crazy kids getting up to some canoodling. He stated that they both wanted a more grounded approach to televised partnership and that he liked what the writers had come up with.

According to the actor, the maturity "was on full display" in an episode when Law's Jessica Knight told his Jimmy Palmer character that she didn't mean to pressure him. "That was on full display a few weeks back when her character came in and very lovingly said, 'I didn't mean to push you," Dietzen recalled. "And if I did, I'm sorry. I realize that by saying that I want to spend more time with your daughter that I might be pushing you too fast into this,' and Jimmy opened up and said, 'No, you're not. It's not your fault, it's just hard when you lose someone.' She's there for him. It was a very adult conversation and it showed how they cared for one another and had one another's back."

Relationships are hard, and there's an argument to be made that they get more difficult when every fictitious example in your periphery is based on bonkers drama. It's nice to hear about writers choosing relatable, difficult truths instead of cheap, dramatic tricks.

Or at least that's what your secret lover in the Cayman Islands probably thinks, Carl.