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Running for a total of ten seasons, JAG proved itself to be a fan favorite for nine years on CBS, that is, of course, following its less memorable first season on NBC. JAG combines elements of mystery, action/adventure, courtroom drama, espionage, romance, a bit of comedy and the police procedural to create a highly enjoyable hour-long television drama. The series really come into its own after making its move to CBS, where it underwent a major retooling that scrapped almost its entire cast, except for the leading man. With a new ensemble in place, JAG won a place in the hearts of its audience and became a major success story.

David James Elliott stars in JAG as former Navy aviator and current JAG lawyer Commander Harmon 'Harm' Rabb Jr.. Catherine Bell portrays USMC lawyer Major Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie, with whom the series played up that "will they or wonít they" sexual tension, which has been ever so popular on television. The cast of JAG also features Patrick Labyorteaux as Navy Lieutenant Bud Roberts, John M. Jackson as the Judge Advocate General- Admiral A.J. Chegwidden, Karri Turner as Lt. Harriet Sims, Trevor Goddard as Lieutenant Commander Mic Brumby, and on a reoccurring basis, Steven Culp as Special Agent Clayton Webb.

JAG: THE FIFTH SEASON comes to DVD in a seven-disc set, which features all twenty-five episodes that were aired during season five. The episodes are as follows: King Of The Greenie Board, Rules Of Engagement, True Callings, The Return, Front And Center, Psychic Warrior, Rogue, The Colonel's Wife, Contemptuous Words, Mishap, Ghosts Of Christmas Past, Into The Breech, Life Or Death, Cabin Pressure, Boomerang Part 1, Boomerang Part 2, People V. Gunny, The Bridge At Kang So Ri, Promises, Drop Zone, The Witches Of Gulfport, Overdue And Presumed Lost, Real Deal SEAL, Body Talk and Surface Warfare. During season five, Harm briefly returns to his first love as a Navy pilot, while Mac becomes "involved" with Australian Mic Brumby.

CBS/Paramount Home Entertainment has made all of the episodes that comprise JAG: THE FIFTH SEASON available on DVD in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that feature the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. JAG was in production as television series were transitioning to wide screen HDTV broadcasting, and the presentations while very good, do reflect inconsistencies due to the transitioning of production methodologies. Principal photography always looks the best, stock footage is the weakest aspect of the presentation and process shots fall somewhere in the middle. At their best, sharpness and detail are at the television level, which is just fine. Colors are rendered with a good level of saturation. Blacks are accurate, as are the wholly stable whites. Contrast is adequate and sitcom flatness isnít too prevalent, although dark scenes can be a bit murky. The film elements from which the episodes are transferred appear clean, but there is some grain. Digital compression artifacts are reasonably well concealed.

All the episodes that comprise JAG: THE FIFTH SEASON feature Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtracks, which decode to standard surround. JAG is primarily a talky drama, but 5.1 channel encoding would have enlivened the occasional action and flight sequences. As expected, the forward soundstage is dominant, with the rear channels adding mild reinforcement to the music, as well as a bit of ambiance, plus an occasional active effect. Fidelity is just fine for this type of television production. Voices are cleanly rendered and the dialogue is easy to understand. No other language tracks or subtitles are provided.

The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as a Gag Reel.

JAG is an all around entertaining television series, pure and simple. CBS/Paramountís DVD collection looks and sounds just fine. If you are a long time fan, youíll want to add JAG: THE FIFTH SEASON to your personal library.



JAG (Judge Advocate General) - The Fifth Season



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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