Saturday, February 06, 2010
JAG - The Final Season (CBS, $55.98) is coming to DVD with its final season onto DVD this Tuesday (February 9, 2010). With this set the long running Donald Bellisario classic has finally completed its run on DVD, and the show goes out first with a whimper, but then finally a bang.
In the interest of full disclosure, I had long since stopped watching the show by this point. Really, everything between the 8th season's NCIS pilot and this season's series finale is all a blur to me as I've only seen the occasional episode in reruns. Nonetheless I did follow the general goings on of the show, so I know enough to know I probably wouldn't have liked the show anyway. The focus of the show really began to move away from the classic characters in earnest for most of the season, with more and more emphasis being placed on new characters.
Indeed, had the series been picked up for an eleventh season it's likely the show would have been completely retooled around the younger characters and many of the older ones would have been written out. Indeed, then, CBS' cancellation of the show after 10 seasons was, if anything, a mercy-killing. It also allowed the show to wrap up properly before wandering into the ether. Ultimately, the show ended with Harm and Mac being assigned to separate stations. They decide to get married, and flip a coin to decide who will give up their career to join the other at their new posting. The episode ends on the coin flip, with the answer left deliberately unresolved. Some fans may have preferred a bit more finality, but oh well.
The packaging wrapping on this set on DVD also means we're approaching the end of an era on the technical side of things. Along with sister-series NCIS, JAG was one of the last TV DVD sets to be packaging in traditional slim cases instead of the now-semi-standard thick plastic case packaging. I like slim cases so it's slightly sad to see their use among publishers wane and decline, but that's the nature of the business. Package art features Harm & Mac on the cover and the same patriotic theme as the other DVD sets. Discs are your usual silver with the show logo being slightly debossed and showing the actual disc surface.
Menus are pretty much just, well, there. They're not going to wow anyone in their complexity but they're not particularly bad either. They do their job, they get in and get out. Menu design follows the same basic patriotic theme of the box art. Episode list is contained on the main menu against a dark, gold-framed box in a highly readable white-colored Impact-style font. The menus for the set are just sort of, well, there. Which if anything is a bit of a metaphor for the show itself in it's final season.
Video and audio qualities are nearly flawless, and are about the best you're going to see unless the series is re-released onto Blu-ray. Audio is a standard English stereo track, which for a dialogue-heavy show like JAG is certainly acceptable. Chapter stops are placed at the end of each act. And the episode runtimes are similar to previous seasons.
If you're going for completion then buy the set, obviously. If you're just curious about the show, buy an earlier season or catch reruns on cable. This is the worst season of the show I think, finale aside, and is not the way you want to be introduced to the series. Technically the set is more or less solid. The problem is simply the show itself. Other seasons are better, overall, and I just can't recommend *THIS* season to anyone but the die-hard JAG fan who have all the previous seasons on DVD. The series itself, though, is great and I highly encourage you to give earlier years a look!
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
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New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April)
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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
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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
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Wednesday, April 26
The Goldbergs - "Fonzie Scheme" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Murray is honored as one of Jenkintown’s top businessmen, his plaque is hung on a wall with all of the other honorees. And soon Beverly is dismayed to learn he has no discernable hobbies, and her attempts to help him find some backfire. Meanwhile, Barry creates a scheme stealing golf carts, but the situation goes awry and Erica comes to save the day.
Speechless - "R-U-N-- RUNAWAY" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Maya learns JJ attempted to run away, she is determined to help him complete the task as any able-bodied person could, but her actions exasperate JJ, as he longs for independence. Meanwhile, Jimmy struggles to have hard talks with the kids without Maya, and Dylan tries to get Kenneth to revive his glory days as a high school sports star.
black-ish - "Sister, Sister" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bow’s sister comes to town after filming a stint on a reality show, and they couldn’t have less in common. Meanwhile, Zoey suggests that Dre spend more time with Junior since she’s leaving for college, and Jack and Diane decide to rebrand themselves.
black-ish - "All Groan Up" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Zoey gets into several colleges around the country, Dre and Bow begin to feel worried and sentimental. They reflect back on memories they’ve had with the family and wonder what life will be like without her around all the time. Pops enlists the twins to try and sway Zoey to go to college in a city they want to visit.
Nobodies - "Not the Emmys" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
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Lopez - "No Country Club for Young Men" (TV Land, 10:30PM ET/PT)
George gets Hector a job at his country club, but he falls in with a bad crowd of rich kids. Olly's little sister rolls back into town while Manolo struggles to stay focused in his GED class.
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Jodie must choose between a sports car and a minivan; Christine's dream of participating in an exclusive yoga class is thwarted by a loud-breathing celebrity classmate.
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Wednesday, April 26
- Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Watch Chris and the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- America Ferrera (Superstore) - America is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) - Thomas visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Maria Bamford (Lady Dynamite) - Maria appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Henry Zebrowski (A to Z) - Henry is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Molly Ringwald (Townies/The Facts of Life) - Molly stops by LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Anna Chlumsky (Veep) - Anna stops by Harry, so check your local listings.
- Sherri Shepherd (Trial & Error/Less Than Perfect/Sherri) - Sherri talks about the disease she won’t let destroy her on The Dr. Oz Show, so check your loclal listings.
- Felicity Huffman (Sports Night) - Felicity makes pecan bars on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Morris Chestnut (Out All Night) - Morris is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
- Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
- Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Full House) - Jodie is a guest on The Real, so check your local listings.