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 (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
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Thursday, January 19
The Big Bang Theory - "The Romance Calibration" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Penny feels that Leonard is taking her for granted, she decides to go on a spa weekend with Amy. Also, Wolowitz and Koothrappali try to fix a squeaky floorboard in the baby’s room.
The Great Indoors - "Mason Blows Up" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jack tries to reassert his dominance as a reporter after Mason scores an investigative coup that turns him into an overnight celebrity. Also, Clark’s low self-esteem causes him to give Emma relationship advice about other guys instead of asking her out himself
Mom - "Good Karma and the Big Weird" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie encourages Christy to pursue Marjorie’s charming nephew, Nick, despite the fact that he’s been declared off limits. Chris Pratt, husband of MOM star Anna Faris, guest stars as Nick, Marjorie’s nephew.
Life in Pieces - "Tailgate Spiral Souvenir Seating" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Colleen and Matt host the family tailgate party at the L.A. Rams game, they invite former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner to spice up their so far dismal event. Also, Tim’s in danger of missing the game when Sophia makes him take her to the restroom and they get sidetracked returning to their seats; Joan and Jen try to sneak into seats closer to the field; and Greg wins a chance to participate in a halftime contest involving a football toss.
Baskets - "Freaks" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Chip has to decide between a tarp and snacks.
Friday, January 20
- Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Catch Anthony on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - JoAnna visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Nicole Byer (Loosely, Exactly Nicole) - Nicole appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Bernadette Peters (Mozart in the Jungle/All's Fair) - Bernadette is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Andrew Dice Clay (Bless This House/Hitz) - Andrew stops by Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory/Roseanne - Johnny discusses his role in the new film, Rings, and dishes on this season of The Big Bang Theory on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.