I LOVE this show. I got the DVD today, and have watched the first four episodes. I have never seen season 1 (and most of season 2). I got into the series just as Kate dies (season 2 finale).
The point you make about not liking crime shows, but loving this show is true. My brother hates crime shows (like CSI) but LOVES this show. I really think this show is mostly about the characters (which I like).
Kate is a good character, but I do like Ziva more.