Saturday, March 14, 2009
JAG - The Eighth Season (CBS, $55.98) is coming to DVD for the first time on March 17th -- St. Patrick's Day. St. Patrick's Day is pretty much entirely unrelated to the series, but as a fan of the holiday I thought it deserved mention. Anywho, this long running Donald Bellisario classic has nearly completed its run on DVD -- this season is the show's 8th, from the 2002-03 TV season; we're in the home stretch!
My attention from the series had well already drifted by this point in the run, but a couple of episodes piqued my interest. At some point in the season, word got out that a backdoor pilot was being tried, and depending on how it played out it may well develop into a series. As a fan of backdoor pilots I was naturally curious to see what would occur. What resulted was a two-part episode that led the way to one of my favorite series, and based on the ratings, one of yours too: NCIS. The two-part episode "Ice Queen" and "Meltdown" serves as an introduction to the NCIS team, albeit one somewhat different from what you see now. The Kate character had yet to be introduced, but the episode features the rest of the season one cast -- everyone from Mark Harmon (Lt. Leroy "Jethro" Gibbs) to David McCallum (the inimitable "Ducky") to Pauley Perrette (Abby). If you like NCIS, you need to own this set, period. The season also features appearances by Quantum Leap alum Dean Stockwell in a recurring role, Gavin MacLeod, and political commentator Bill O'Reilly.
Moving to the technical side, packaging is, still VERY thankfully, the traditional outer box and slim cases; they haven't gotten around to tinkering with this one yet. Many CBS DVD titles are moving to those horrible translucent plastic cases with the fragile disc holders. Luckily, the slimcases-in-box setup is the ideal arrangement for sets with, say, 5+ discs -- so hour-long dramas such as JAG stand the best chance of continuing to use this preferred packaging type. I know I have a tendency to repeat myself in regards to this packaging thing, but those fragile plastic cases annoy me about as much as DVD packaging can be considered annoying. Cover art is a continuation of the patriotic theme, with the background color this season being purple.
Menus, while nothing to write home about, are certainly functional and effective. As the episodes are from the HD era, video is sharp and well-defined, with few video issues. Audio is an adequate English stereo track. I was really hoping for a move towards surround audio, but you take what you can get and the stereo track is a workhorse. Runtimes are in the mid 40's, a proper time for shows from the era. The episode edits disclaimer appears, but you should be used to that by now. It's the nature of the beast. There are no special features on this set.
If you like JAG, OR NCIS, you need this DVD set as part of your collection, and I highly recommend it. For those of you unsure of the series, I know the Sleuth channel is giving it heavy airplay ever since they ripped Miami Vice and other series off the schedule, and for those without the channel you can catch it mornings on USA. Recommended.
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
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New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)
12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One / Review
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two / Review
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
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Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Tuesday, January 24
The Middle - "A Tough Pill to Swallow" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When a devastated Sue discovers that she has been kicked out of college because she forgot to renew her financial aid, Mike tries to come to her rescue and convince a tough college bursar to reinstate her. Meanwhile, having only taken oral liquid medication all of his life, a frustrated Frankie does everything in her power to teach Brick how to swallow a pill when he gets an ear infection; and Hutch becomes angry with Axl after he keeps driving the Winnebago without permission to Orson to visit new girlfriend April – leaving Hutch without any means of transportation to get to class.
American Housewife - "Art Show" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Anna-Kat draws a super plus-sized portrait of Katie for the school art show, Katie sets out to retrieve it by any means necessary. Meanwhile, with Katie away, Doris is left in charge of Oliver and Taylor. She’s determined to whip them into shape with her Tiger Mom skills, but she may have met her match.
Fresh Off the Boat - "Coming From America" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Louis flies the entire family to Taiwan in an effort to make things right with Gene (Ken Jeong). Upon meeting Gene’s beautiful fiancé, Margaret, and seeing the wonderful life he has built for himself, Louis questions whether his life in Orlando is just as great as it could be in Taiwan. Meanwhile, Jessica takes Eddie, Emery and Evan to her favorite childhood locales, including Dihua Street and Shilin Night Market.
The Real O'Neals - "The Real Match" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Jimmy recruits a reluctant Kenny to join his wrestling team for a one-time match, a surprise victory gives him the confidence to join the team full time to become the first, openly gay athlete at St. Barklays. Kenny’s newfound stardom makes Jimmy feel a bit replaced, but when an opponent refuses to wrestle his brother, Jimmy puts his feelings aside and rallies the team around Kenny. Meanwhile, Pat injures his back trying to help Eileen prepare for a weekend getaway, but things only get worse when she tries to be the perfect caregiver to impress VP Murray but fails miserably.
New Girl - "The Hike" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
While on a day hike, Jess and Robby (guest star Nelson Franklin) discover something unexpected about their relationship. Also, Winston throws a surprise welcome home party for Aly (guest star Nasim Pedrad). Meanwhile, Schmidt and Cece fail to impress their new neighbors.
The Mick - "The Master" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
All hell breaks loose, as the kids fight over who will take the master bedroom. Also, Mickey pursues a wealthy businessman who quickly discovers that she is not the prize he thought she was.
Teachers - "Stranger Danger" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
There’s a trespasser at Fillmore and a new security guard is hired. Ms. Snap and Ms. Bennigan hold a “Women Empowering Women” workshop, Mrs. Adler takes stranger danger too far, and Ms. Watson purchases a male safety dummy.
Tuesday, January 24
- Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Catch Retta on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
- Claudia O'Doherty (Love) - Claudia is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- John Goodman (Roseanne/Normal, Ohio) - John talks about Patriots Day on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette visits Harry, so check your local listings.
- Jennifer Esposito (Samantha Who?/Spin City) - Jennifer appears on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
- Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) - Justina talks about the new Netflix series One Day at a Time on the AOL Build Show at 12pm.