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 (June/July)
06/14 - Ballers - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
06/14 - The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy
06/14 - The League - The Complete Series
06/14 - Maude - The Complete Fifth Season
06/14 - Survivor's Remorse - The Complete Second Season
06/21 - Workaholics - Season Six
06/24 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
06/28 - Two Guys and a Girl - The Complete Series
07/08 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/12 - Grady - The Best of Grady
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07/26 - Where's Huddles? - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
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Saturday, July 30
Last Man Standing - "Tanks for the Memories" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Mike is anxious to buy the miniature tank collection once belonging to the late husband of his neighbor, Helen Potts (Patricia Richardson). But when he discovers Helen already sold the collection, he goes to extremes to make the collection his own. Meanwhile, Kristin and Ed are concerned when a mysterious “Bubba X” posts a scathing review about their dining experience at the Outdoor Man Restaurant.
Dr. Ken - "Kevin O'Connell" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Ken is taken aback when he meets Allison’s former boyfriend Kevin O’Connell (guest star Will Yun Lee, “The Wolverine”), now a very hot and successful doctor. So when Ken is asked to speak at a banquet honoring Kevin, he uses the opportunity more as a roast. Meanwhile, Molly struggles with a school assignment asking for what she wants to be when she grows up.
The Thundermans - "Robin Hood: Prince of Heebs" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Chloe announces that Max is her favorite sibling, Phoebe tries to show her the "real" Max by telling a Robin Hood-style bedtime story about the great Phoebe Hood and the evil Maxingham.
Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn - "New Kid on the Block"
(Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The Quads try to make friends with their new neighbor in order to get access to the coolest treehouse ever, but soon find out she is not what she seems.
Legendary Dudas - "King Sam; Karate Kids" (Nickelodeon, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Sam impresses his new classmates with an epic birthday party, but his extravagance leads to a bill he can't pay. Hoping to earn a spot on a television talent show, Tyler convinces Carter to revive their old martial arts act.
Monday, August 1
- Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) - Watch Simon on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Florence Foster Jenkins on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
- Shiri Appleby (Sunday Dinner) Constance Zimmer (Entourage/Good Morning, Miami) - Shiri and Constance are guests on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. They also talk about UnREAL on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. Constance will be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
- Thomas Middleditch, Kumail Nanjiani and Zach Woods (Silicon Valley) - Thomas, Kumail and Zach are guests on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Jack Black (The Brink) - Jack appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Olivia Munn (Perfect Couples) - Olivia is a guest on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) - Will and the cast of Suicide Squad are guests on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- Jessie T. Usher (Survivor's Remorse) - Jessie shares his One Last Thing on People Now at 8:30am.
- Anna Gunn (Down the Shore) - Anna is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher (Take My Wife) - Cameron and Rhea discuss their new Seeso original comedy series Take My Wife on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm.
- John Corbett (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/United States of Tara/Sex and the City) - John discusses his role of Flash, the much-acclaimed former lead guitarist of The Heathens, the band he formed with Johnny (Denis Leary) in the FX hit comedy Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll on the AOL Build Show at 4pm.