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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Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Tuesday, August 19
Family Guy - "Boopa-dee Bappa-dee" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Griffins take a trip to Italy and are forced to deal with annoying immigration laws after Peter destroys the family’s passports.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Fancy Brugdom" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Charles asks Jake to be the best man at his wedding, a role that requires Jake to be supportive in important wedding decisions, ranging from cake tasting to floral arrangements. Meanwhile, Terry, Amy and Gina support each other as they start a new extreme diet and Holt helps Rosa make a sincere apology.
New Girl - "Big News" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The morning after their break-up, Jess and Nick scramble to keep it a secret from the loftmates. Meanwhile, Winston passes his police academy entrance exam, and demands that the gang throw him a “Honey Roast.”
The Mindy Project - "An Officer and a Gynecologist" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (repeat)
Mindy has a run-in with the law when a surly police officer (guest star Tim Daly) admonishes her for giving his young daughter birth control pills. Meanwhile, Danny befriends a rabbi who offers to refer his congregation to Schulman & Associates because he thinks Danny is Jewish.
Sullivan & Son - "Monkey Plate" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Steve and Susan try to throw the perfect celebration for Ok Cha's birthday, but the arrival of Cousin Jenny (Margaret Cho) brings up an old family feud over a monkey plate. Meanwhile, Roy has once-in-a-lifetime field passes to a game, and Owen and Ahmed compete for the extra pass.
Tuesday, August 19
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock from the Sun) - Catch Joseph on The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Tasha Smith (Tyler Perry's For Better or Worse/The Tom Show/Boston Common) - Tasha appears on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
- Lena Dunham (Girls) - Lena is a guest on a repeat of Katie, so check your local listings.
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse gives the scoop on one of his coolest celebrity encounters on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Vicki Lawrence (Mama's Family) - Vicki appears as Mama on a repeat of The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 3am on BET.
- Malin Akerman (Trophy Wife) - Malin is a guest on a repeat of Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Kevin surprises a fan on a repeat of Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
- Jennifer Esposito (Samantha Who?/Spin City) - Jennifer joins the Chew Crew on a repeat of ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Ana Ortiz (A.U.S.A./Kristin) - Ana will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- The Cast of The Brady Bunch - Florence Henderson, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, Susan Olsen and Barry Williams reunite to celebrate Florence's 80th Birthday on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.