Saturday, March 17, 2007
JAG - The Complete Third Season (CBS, $64.99) brings us third season of this long-running Donald Bellisario classic! This is the show’s 2nd season on CBS--and the first I watched in original broadcast, so I am obviously going to remember it quite fondly. That said there are some episodes from this season I REALLY like. The season starts strong with “Ghost Ship,” in which Harm finds evidence that his father -- MIA from Vietnam -- may be alive and under KGB control in Russia. Harm and Mac investigate the murder of a Navy pilot whose body was found in a decommissioned aircraft carrier. They discover a motive, which involves a lit of MIAs and POWs supposedly still alive and under KGB control – including Harm’s dad. In “The Stalker,” Mac’s ex-boyfriend is gunned down, and Mac has to stay one-step ahead of someone who is determined to get her too. Then there’s “Death Watch.” This episode recycles footage, in flashback form, of the episode “Skeleton Crew,” which never aired in original broadcast due to NBC’s cancellation of the series. The plot was changed, but much of the footage is from the first season episode. Ending season 3 is To Russia with Love, in which Harm & Mac go to Russia to discover the fate of Harm’s father once and for all.
While the shows themselves are good, Paramount still needs to work on the aesthetic side of their releases. I know JAG probably is not a priority release for them, but for a $65 MSRP I expect...something. Menus are still relatively simple, a disappointment. Video quality and audio quality are good. Sound mixes well. Vocals are crisp and clear, music mixes in nicely. Video does look about ten years old, but I have seen similarly aged video on DVD look worse, so props to Paramount for that.
One negative is the text on the back of JAG -- and pretty much every other Paramount release in the last several months, kindly telling us that music may differ from the televised version. Unfortunately, USA Network is currently in season 8 of the show’s run, and won’t be back to season 3 for some time, thus preventing me from checking to see what has been replaced. With most releases, I can look past music replacements, but if I’m paying MSRP for this DVD release -- and let’s be clear, some will -- SIXTY FIVE DOLLARS -- I want original music or a price drop. That sticker is INSANE for that price. SNL Season 1 by NBC Universal stickers for $69.95, but it has EVERY song. Worse still, unlike previous releases, this is a “Plain Jane” release -- no features *I* could find.
I pretty much worship every bit of television Donald Bellisario has put before us in the last 30 years -- JAG is probably third after Quantum Leap and NCIS to me. I WANT this set to do well, obviously - but $65 is INSANE for what you get. Paramount, either put more effort into the set, or drop the sticker. That said, for how much the sticker may be you can order the set at Amazon.com for a bit over $40 -- a 33% saving -- via the link below. Order that way, I recommend. I, however, under NO circumstances recommend this set at MSRP. Purchase this set ONLY at a retailer selling below MSRP.
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
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New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)
10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
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10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series / Read Our Review
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
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Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Tuesday, November 25
New Girl - "Thanksgiving IV" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
With winter coming and everyone still single, Schmidt initiates a “Bangs-giving”-themed Thanksgiving dinner party, to which everyone must bring someone compatible for someone else.
The Mindy Project - "How to Lose a Mon in Ten Days" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Mindy sets up Danny’s mom, Annette, (guest star Rhea Pearlman) on a blind date that leads to a crazy sequence of events culminating in a date – and possibly even true love.
Marry Me - "Bruges Me" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
After a meeting with Annie (Casey Wilson) and their wedding officiant Dawn (guest star Mo Gaffney), Jake (Ken Marino) decides he should get to know Annie’s dads better. When Jake and Kevin 1 (Tim Meadows) bond over their love of motorcycles, however, it leads to some pretty serious family trouble, particularly with Kevin 2 (Dan Bucatinsky). Meanwhile, Gil (John Gemberling) is very excited about his booth at the annual Flemish Pride Parade and enlists Annie to help him prepare a special musical production.
About a Boy - "About a Balcony" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Marcus (Benjamin Stockham) is ecstatic when a popular new teacher, Mr. Chris (guest star Chris Diamantopoulos) casts him as Romeo in the school production of notable Shakespeare scenes. Marcus asks Will (David Walton) to build the balcony set for his scene, however Will is more interested in watching “The Three Stooges” marathon with Marcus instead. Threatened by Mr. Chris’ growing relationship with Marcus, Will tries to impress them with the construction of his balcony. Elsewhere, Mr. Chris not only has gained a fan in Marcus, but Fiona (Minnie Driver) as well.
Benched - "Shark, Actually" (USA Network, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Nina worries that she is being played; a stenographer rejects Phil's advances because he is too immature.
Family Time - "Powering Down" (Bounce TV, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Tony feels his family is drifting apart so he bans technology in the household.
Tuesday, November 25
- Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) - Catch Aubrey on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zooey appears on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Breckin Meyer (Married to the Kellys/Inside Schwartz) - Breckin is a guest on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin stops by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS. She discusses her new album (Coming Home) and performs live on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
- Jennifer Aniston (Friends) - Jennifer visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Cheryl Hines (Suburgatory/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Cheryl talks about marrying a Kennedy and love scenes with Larry David on The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
- Jim Gaffigan (My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim is a guest on a repeat of @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Keke Palmer (True Jackson, VP) - Keke chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael delivers a special message to this parents on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Valerie Harper (The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Rhoda/Valerie) - Valerie continues to stun doctors on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your local listings.
- Candace Cameron Bure (Full House) - Candace weighs in on Dancing with the Stars performances on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. She will also be on VH1 Big Morning Buzz in the 9am hour. Candace's Christmas Under Wraps premieres on November 29 at 8/7C on Hallmark Channel.
- Tony Danza (Who's the Boss?/Taxi) - Tony will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- John O'Hurley (Seinfeld) - John is a guest on HuffPost Live at 2:00pm. He will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm.
- Michael J. Fox (Family Ties/Spin City/The Michael J. Fox Show) - Michael appears on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
- Marlo Thomas (That Girl) - Marlo will be on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.