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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Friday, October 24
- Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Watch Jerry on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Sarah appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- John Mulaney (Mulaney) - John is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Melissa appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil discusses his new autobiography on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
- Sean Hayes (The Millers/Sean Saves the World/Will & Grace) - Sean visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Amy Yasbeck (Wings) - Amy talks about the legacy of her late husband, John Ritter, and the foundation created in his honor on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Suzanne Somers (Three's Company/Step by Step) - Suzanne chats on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
- Analeigh Tipton (Manattan Love Story) - Analeigh is a guest on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
- John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John talks A Delicate Balance on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
- Jenny Slate (Married/Parks and Recreation) - Jenny chats about her book (Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I've Ever Been) on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
- Laurence Fisburne (black-ish) - Laurence appears on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 2am on BET.