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 (September)
09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Saturday, October 22
Superstore - "Guns, Pills and Birds" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Amy (America Ferrera) assigns an uncomfortable Jonah (Ben Feldman) to the gun section of Cloud 9, Jonah abuses his right-to-refuse sale to anyone that causes concern, causing an open-carry protest to gather in the store. On principle, Glenn (Mark McKinney) attempts to purchase all of the store's morning-after pills, but finds himself in a moral dilemma when he can't afford them. Dina (Lauren Ash), Garrett (Colton Dunn) and Mateo (Nico Santos) hunt down a crow that has flown into the store.
The Thundermans - "Happy Heroween" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
It's a major Halloween storm outside, but inside Colosso keeps the family spooked by telling three scary stories that are sure to terrify even the bravest of superheroes.
School of Rock - "Welcome to My Nightmare" (Nickelodeon, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Mr. Finn's class decides to celebrate Halloween in school after Principal Mullins, who hates the holiday, goes home sick. When she returns sooner than expected, they have to scramble to keep her from finding out the truth.
Saturday, October 22
- Jim J. Bullock (Too Close for Comfort) - Jim talks about touring the U.S. in Kinky Boots on Oprah: Where Are They Now? at 10pm ET/PT on OWN.
- Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Catch Patti on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Watch Ricky on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zooey is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Michael Chiklis (Daddio) - Michael drops by Harry, so check your local listings.
- Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Aya Cash (You're the Worst) - Aya talks about You're the Worst on the AOL Build ShoW at 2pm. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary talks about The Last Man on Earth on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 12:30pm.
- Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Good Girls Revolt on People Now at 8:30am.
- James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.