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 (March/April)
03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
03/14 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
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Thursday, April 27
The Big Bang Theory - "The Cognition Regeneration" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Leonard isn’t thrilled when Penny considers taking a new job offered by her ex-boyfriend, Zack (Brian Thomas Smith).
The Great Indoors - "The Heartbreaker" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jack sets up a double date to get Eddie out of a post-divorce rut, but the night gets awkward when they run into Denise (Essence Atkins), Eddie’s ex-wife. Also, when Emma decides to breakup with her boyfriend, Greg (Andy Ridings), Clark is torn between making a move on her and salvaging his friendship with Greg.
Mom - "A Cricket and a Hedge Made of Gold" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Marjorie takes a break from the group, Bonnie becomes the go-to for everyone’s problems, and Christy tries to overcome a painful memory from her past.
Life in Pieces - "Ear Scorn Registry Manuscript" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Colleen goes to Tim for help with an embarrassing ailment, she begs him not to tell the family. Also, Dougie (Fortune Feimster) enlists Joan to help her buy a gift for Matt and Colleen’s wedding; Heather gets jealous when her friends want to include Jen in their mommy group; and Professor Sinclair Wilde (Cary Elwes) encourages Joan to ask her family to read a draft of her book.
Superstore - "Ladies' Lunch" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
During the morning meeting, Glenn (Mark McKinney) accidentally tells the employees the real reason Amy (America Ferrera) has been late to work lately. Meanwhile, Dina (Lauren Ash) tries to cheer up Amy by kidnapping her for a "ladies' lunch." Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Garrett (Colton Dunn) invent a game to pass the time, tricking Glenn and Mateo (Nico Santos) in the process. Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) helps Amy take a fearless step with a dramatic new look.
Superstore - "Cheyenne's Wedding" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
It's Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) and Bo's (recurring guest star Johnny Pemberton) dream wedding, but not everything goes according to plan. Meanwhile, relationships unravel as Amy (America Ferrera) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) dodge relationship rumors. Glenn (Mark McKinney) tries to change Jeff's (recurring guest star Michael Bunin) mind after learning of upcoming layoffs, Dina (Lauren Ash) talks her way into the wedding party and Mateo (Nico Santos) dodges Jeff throughout the wedding.
Thursday, April 27
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Seinfeld) - Catch Julia on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Kevin Nealon (Man with a Plan/Weeds/Hiller and Diller/Champs) - Kevin appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) - Thomas stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Patton Oswalt (The Goldbergs/The King of Queens) - Patton is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- John Benjamin Hickey (The Big C/It's All Relative) - John visits Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- America Ferrera (Superstore) - America chats about Superstore on NBC's Today in the 10am hour and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Geoff Stults (Enlisted) - Geoff is a guest on Harry, so check your local listings.
- Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael plays Pyramid on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Perrey Reeves (Entourage) - Perrey makes a kale salad on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Jenna Elfman (Imaginary Mary/1600 Penn/Courting Alex/Accidentally on Purpose/Dharma & Greg) - Jenna will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
- Geena Davis (The Geena Davis Show/Buffalo Bill) - Geena talks about A League of Their Own on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
- Anna Baryshnikov (Superior Donuts) - Anna talks about Superior Donuts on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.
- Christopher Meloni (Surviving Jack/The Fanelli Boys) - Christopher appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.