Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blog DVD Review: JAG - The 8th Season (March 17)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for our weekly Blog DVD Review! Today we take a look at CBS DVD's Eighth Season of JAG. JAG was a huge hit for CBS. If you are a fan of Navy NCIS, you know that NCIS is a spin-off of JAG. See Seth Thrasher's blog DVD review of JAG - The Eighth Season:

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
(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
JAG TV.com Page
NCIS TV.com Page


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Sunday, April 21

The Simpsons - "Cremains of the Day" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When someone in Homer's life passes away, he and some guys from Moe's go on a road trip to scatter the ashes.

Krapopolis - "Muse Your Illusion" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
A plague of Muses descends upon Krapopolis; Deliria struggles to endure Shlub's centennial molting.

The Great North - "High Expectations Adventure" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Judy and Kima accidentally get high during a school field trip, they are sent on a mission to find treasure by a talking tub of cottage cheese named Beth; Wolf's signature sandwich is removed from the menu at Lydia's sandwich shop.

Grimsburg - "The Big Trouble With Lil' Betsy" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Marvin and the team investigate the death of a morning TV host, in which former child star Lil' Betsy is the main suspect; Marvin becomes consumed with his newfound celebrity status.

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Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 15)

Sunday, April 21

  • Selenis Leyva (Lopez vs Lopez/Taina) - Catch Selenis on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen at 3:30am on Bravo.


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