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JAG (Judge Advocate General) is one of my favorite shows. Week after week
we see our invincilble-gungho hero and somewhat aloof romatic Harmon Rabb
(David James Elliot), pursue terrorists, prosecute, convict, defend and
acquit: not-always-innocent scumbags, incompetent sailors and marines, and
even his best friend. Its hard to believe Elliot is Candadian born,
a top American Hero.
I first saw JAG (although I did not really care about it) way back in 1995 when it first aired on NBC, but after 21 episodes (out of 22) and less than spectacular ratings, NBC canned it in the Spring of 1996. NBC refused to air the (still somewhat unresolved to this very day) season 1 cliffhanger finale, although it did air in other parts of the world (More on this shortly). I was a late comer, only captivated by summertime boredom and thus watching reruns on USA network, I realized I loved the show's premise, Law and Order meets Top Gun. Harmon Rabb Jr (Elliot) is Mavrick (Tom Cruise), almost to the letter. He's a tomcat pilot, he's a gorgeous hunk to the ladies, and he's arrogant and reckless. But at the sametime he couldn't be more different from Mavrick: he's a topnotch investigator and litigator, he's determined, he's sophisticated, and he's calm, calculating and sometimes vengefull.
Ironically, JAG's creator, Donald P. Bellisario, himself an former US. Marine, had previous successes on NBC with the Miami Vice predecessor Magnum P.I., and the scifi adventure series Quantum Leap. CBS saw potential in Bellisario's dream, even if NBC did not, and picked it up for a 2nd season, which began airing in 1997, realizing that JAG had a large (and potentially lucrative) following. For years, CBS had been trying to pull itself out of the ratings shawdows cast down on it from NBC and ABC as well as staying ahead of the upstarts FOX, UPN and WB. Today, JAG is among the Top 15 highest rated shows on TV. NBC execs shot themsselves in the foot with JAG's cancellation and are still shaking the heads over.
The show contains stories of American hero's in the Navy, taking real events and writing them into interesting epiodes with war stories and POW tales from Bosnia, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the Cold War with the extinct USSR. It also writes in media feeding frenzies such as Elian Gonzalez, protests involving live fire exercises in Puerto Rico, and last year's Spy plane incident with China. With the tragic events of Sept 11, and subsequent military involvement in Afganistan, JAG's latest season (season 7) now focuses almost exclusively on the continueing military effort to weed out world terrorists writing it into an intricate tale that could be very real in spirit.
The show contains plenty of fascinating film sequences which are often pulled out of cinematic features, to give the stories colorful and exciting action sequences, transitional scenery, and location. The show's producers also insert actual footage recored by the US Military from training exercises, sometimes sending their own photographers to on-duty warships.
Throughout, the show's first season, most episodes were straitforward and hostile. Rabb just did his job, with fire, on the run, never having any remembrance of the previous week's adventure, and a blond female partner, Meg Austin (Tracey something). The season ended with a cliffhanger that never aired in the US, as NBC cancelled JAG. But by the 2nd season, we never knew what really happened in the show's S1 finale (it was later explained, albiet badly in a "flashback" episode in S3). That explanation is: a female officer and lover of Rabb's is murdered, presumably by a stalker. What diehard fans know is that the woman who was murdered happens to be a "twin" of Rabb's new partner, except that they have no familial relations whatsoever to one another...that we know of at any rate. This twin is Rabb's counterpart and princpal character: Sarah "Mac" McKenezie (Cathryn Bell). At first, Rabb had trouble accepting Mac, but gradually a best friend relationship grew between them, for the uncanny resemeblance Rabb sees in Mac to that of his deceased love, but now its created a hell of a sexual tension between the two. Mac herself show's remarkable vulnerability and defiance to Rabb. She's tagged along on his personel "Mulder-like" mission to Russia to learn the truth about Rabb's father who dissappeared during the Vietnam War. In almost every way possible she has kept him inline whenever he screws up, yet when she screws up, she wants nothing to do with Rabb. An interesting tale of melodrama.
Great show, check it out!
I love "JAG." That's just about all there is to say. I got hooked on it
one night after seeing the episode of "Maggie Winters" on which David James
Elliott guest-starred. The show has given me a new appreciation for the
military, and I really like the diversity of the characters and storylines.
(Of course, being a "shipper," I love the UST between the two main
characters, but that's not the only reason I watch the
As I once said to a friend to whom I was recommending the show: "It will give you a new perspective on the military side of our socio-political system; it will open your eyes to the travesty around you, with storylines weekly pulled from the headlines; it will offer you several pieces of eye candy, varying in gender, age, and race; and it will broaden your horizons when it comes to what types of quality programming you permit yourself to watch. . . . With creative episodal writing, there are references to many past episodes, keeping the regular viewer constantly on his or her toes."
Really, though, "JAG" is a very enjoyable show, something that I can sit and watch with my parents and still talk about with my friends. It's really just a great show, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
This is one of the few shows I make an effort to watch every week. I like the interplay and chemistry between the characters, whether it is the leading two or the rest.The lesser known characters and guests stars play their roles well. Whethger it's Bud, Chedweggen, Singer or Gunny I like the roles and the characters. In fact the less popular characters are as neccessary to the show as the two leads. Who didn't feel sad for the pain of his character and his family when Bud lost his leg in Afghanistan? You get the chance to know and in some cases not just love, but strongly dislike the characters.While I am not big into lawyer shows, the military aspect and background makes it much better and different with political,military and possible combat situation. I was a fan of the show before Catherine Bell arrived and have remained so. The chemistry between Mac and Harm is great. I just hope they don't kill one of them off when the show has run its course. The show is a sterling example of our best and brightest doing their jobs day in and day out where the rules are different and its in a realm many Americans do not understand or know about. This has to rank as one of the best tv series' about the military.JAG is A1 in my book. I hope it goes on for a few more years!
JAG is one of the better military dramas on television. The cast is as good as the weekly story lines and production value. Although many are not a fan of the series, its hard to say that the series hasn't produced a number of quality episodes. Also, Catherine Bell is amazing! Eye candy with a pulse, Catherine Bell is fun to look at and can act. Her Demi Moore character as the pretty but witty lawyer adds to the series. Many leading women who are considered to have amazing physical assets are not always terrific actors. Catherine Bell is an exception. Although she is a supporting character in JAG, she could have been the star of the series and had just as good reviews. JAG is a fun and also serious television show that has a strong audience base of fans.
JAG is very accurate in terms of the military point of view but also is very exciting and leaves you guessing to the very end. I see very few errors in the military sense, i almost never see any problems with uniforms and the such. Cmdr. Rabb and Lt. Col. MacKenzie make a great team and if they aren't on the same team it leaves things even more exciting! Great show, and well worth an hour each week.
I've always been a huge fan of Don Bellisario's creations, starting with
'Airwolf' (still my all-time favourite), and then 'Quantum Leap', but J.A.G.
is really Don's excuse to get back to what he does best... military-based
drama series (preferably with some big aerial toys to play
I loved the 1st Season of J.A.G. especially... the scripts and cast were at their best (with Andrea Parker - who later moved on to one of the main roles in 'The Prefender'), Tracey Needham and Andrea Thompson, but a network & cast change at the start of the 2nd Season brought about a slight watering down of the show [the same happened after the superb 1st Season of 'Airwolf'] increased the ratings - so much so, that by its current 1999-2000 5th Season, it is now a Top 20 Nielsen show.
The show has returned more to its action roots with the 4th and 5th Seasons, so I'm happy again.
Some of the 2nd & 3rd Season episodes are terrible though - including the one based in Northern Ireland, which was completely unrealistic. Like the Russian post above this one, the producers/writers of the show should visit other countries first before using every foreign stereotype they can come up with.
But, in the end, I still wouldn't miss this show (the only one I currently even make time to watch regularly) as it is, after all, a Belisarius Production!
I started watching JAG about a year ago. I fell in love with the show immediately. The episodes are well written, humorous, and sometimes controversial. I am also a huge Navy fan, so it definitely attracts my attention when shows revolving around the military air. However, please don't let that last comment sway you if you are not as gung-ho about the military as I am. The show is essentially "Law & Order" (another one of my favorites) with the Navy as the backdrop. The characters are very well developed, and they grow with each episode. Too often, shows err by keeping their characters stagnant. If you haven't watched an episode yet, try it! I don't think you'll be sorry.
When I started to watch this show I fell instantly in love. The action, adventure, court-room drama, and the hidden love between Mac and Harm was, and still is, stunning. It introduced me to the Navy and gave a little view into Navy Life. I believe that even though this show may seem unsatisfying to some, there are still thousands, if not more, fans like me.
It surprises me (assuming the show is reasonably accurate) how relatively little the Navy has changed since I got out of it 31 years ago. I assume the show gets some cooperation from the Navy, anyway it's worth watching. I have yet to see a bad episode. My only criticism is there is a tendency to wrap up an episode too quickly sometimes and there is too much time spent on romance and not enough on action (wow, I sound like I am about ten years old. Hmm.)
First, I would like to say that if you have never seen "JAG" before, you
need to watch it, especially if you are even just remotely interested in
Navy, the Marines, the Military in general, military law, civilian law,
stories, Catherine Bell or any other of the actors/actresses. The stories
are very interesting, especially so in the last two or three seasons. I
watched the show regularly for several years, and the stories seem real,
just a lot of shooting and talking with no plot, like some other
shows(cough..Pensacola..cough..). Watching this show has given me insight
into how many things work in the military, and also it has many cool things
that fit into the story without making it plotless-like SEALs, Naval/Marine
Aviation, and even Russia and the KGB. If you hadn't figured it out
JAG stands for Judge Advocate General, the legal branch of the military.
show centers on a group of Naval/Marine lawyers and legalman(somewhat of
researchers and assistants to the Judge Advocates(lawyers)). The characters
evolve over time, and you see their characters change. For example, Lt. Bud
Roberts, a junior naval officer that debuted on the show as a public
officer or something on an aircraft carrier that Harm(David James Elliot)
and Mac(Catherine Bell) are sent to to investigate a crime. Bud later
a regular on the show, transferring to the office of the JAG and becoming a
legalman. Later, he goes back to the carrier with Harm and Mac(this is much
later), and falls in love with then-Ensign Simms, who has replaced him in
what he did on the carrier, who later does what Bud did and transfers. Bud
becomes a lawyer and is promoted to Lt. jg and later Lt., and the two are
married and have a child together. The characters are also developed
somewhat more subtly, such as when Bud's father, Master Chief Bud
Roberts(Sr.), Ret. is court-martialed(is charged of a crime and brought to
trial in military court. The Master Chief is a drunk and abused Bud and his
brother Mikey when they were children. Bud Sr. didn't show up for his son's
wedding. Mikey is eventually coerced to enlist in the Navy, becoming a fire
controlman, and is eventually charged with crimes himself(Bud Sr. and Mikey
both are found innocent). I went to all the trouble of registering and
writing this so the least you can do is watch the show once. It's on 8pm
on CBS(new and recent re-runs) Tuesdays, and 7pm EST every night on
USA(re-runs from past seasons), excepting for special shows/events such as
Big Brother and the Grand Open. It's a great show and I think you will like
it, so at least watch it.
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