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What Only Hardcore NCIS Fans Notice About Abby From The First Season

Forensic scientist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) is one of five characters in "NCIS" to have been around since the series' initial pilot of sorts. Said pilot was not the first episode of "NCIS" but an episode of legal procedural "JAG" titled "Ice Queen" (via IMDb). Whereas the general focus of "JAG" is intra-military court cases, "Ice Queen" introduced the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, responsible not for the litigation of crimes but their investigation. Obviously backdoor pilot "Ice Queen" was enough of a success that it was ultimately spun off into the "NCIS" series fans still enjoy today.

Some new players introduced in "Ice Queen" didn't ultimately turn out to be major characters in the resulting series, like Thomas Morrow (Alan Dale) who only went on to appear sporadically, or Vivian Blackadder (Robyn Lively) who never even made it into the series proper. However, alongside Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), Donald Mallard (David McCallum), and Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), Perrette's Abby quickly became a series mainstay.

Despite Abby's prominence over the course of much of "NCIS," some fans have noticed a distinct decline in her characterization following the series' first season.

First season Abby is best Abby

Reddit user SirFister13F pointed out what they perceive to be a decline in Abby's characterization in response to a thread on the NCIS subreddit sharing details from the series' first season that might now stand out to seasoned fans. They describe Season 1 Abby as the most likable version of the character. By comparison, they argue that she becomes more childish in subsequent seasons.

Their comment is the most upvoted reply in the resultant thread, seeming to indicate that plenty of other long-time NCIS fans have noticed the same decline in how Abby is depicted as the series progresses. User BonesOnly linked to a TV Tropes entry for a perceived TV phenomenon called "Flanderization." The term derives its name from "Simpsons" character Ned Flanders becoming increasingly defined by his religiosity and thus less three-dimensional over the course of "The Simpsons." Abby, by this logic, becomes more defined by her countercultural, goth-inspired outer appearance than by her more universally human wants and needs.

Perrette left "NCIS" in the midst of its 15th season. She stated no dissatisfaction with her character but rather cited physical assaults she suffered on the set of the series as the reason for her departure. A 19th season of "NCIS," meanwhile, is currently forthcoming.