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So much better than its parent show
Finally Bellisario got it right. Gibbs and his gang are first and foremost investigators, not hoity-toity staff officers who moonlight as stereotyped combat soldiers with thickly-laid-on patriotic dogma that would make Ward Carroll vomit with rage. At no time do they ever try to borrow an F-14 to go on some bombing raid over the international hot spot du semaine; they stick to their job descriptions the whole time. They also have personalities and eccentricities that make them a better ridealong than overstarched Harmless Rabbit and whatever babe he happens to be working with this season, such as Gibbs' coffee addiction, Ducky's intellectual ramblings, DiNozzo's attempts at being a cool womanizer, Abby's interesting blend of science nerd and goth grrrl, and Kate as the token vaguely normal neophyte thrown into the mix. Too bad this couldn't have been done with JAG in the first place.
I love it! I took a course on forensic chemistry in college and found it to be a whole lot of fun, and this show just took me back. In addition to seeing all the cool ways the crime scene unit can place you at the scene and ultimately prove you did the crime, it has gallows humor/sarcasm and edge. I hope they don't cancel it.
It should never have left drydock
I knew I was going to hate this show the minute I saw the commercial for the pilot movie. It casts a boatload (pardon the pun) of shame upon the Navy, which suffered enough from Tailhook, as well as being woefully inaccurate.
First, another way of describing the Navy's JAG Corps is "Navy Bar Association." It's just the lawyers. They don't have any investigative power; that's reserved for the Naval Investigative Service.
Second, JAG lawyers are staff officers, or "rear area heroes." They stay behind the lines. Our hero Harm began his career as an aviator, which is classified as an unrestricted line officer or "command" posting. As someone who nearly joined the Fleet as an aviator myself, I find it very hard to believe that someone who wanted to fly as much as Harm did initially would chuck it all away to be a lawyer when he could have been recycled into a naval flight officer, maintenance officer, or go into surface or sub warfare (all unrestricted line postings). The only time I've even heard of a fighter jock becoming a lawyer is in the case of James Huston, author of BALANCE OF POWER, and he did after leaving the Fleet.
I still can't figure out how this show made it past the pilot ep, much less multiple seasons. Must be due to how good-looking the cast is. I feel that this show should be cancelled immediately and all evidence of its existence destroyed.
Spenser: Small Vices (1999)
Good film, bad casting
I loved how true to the book the film stayed, thanks to Parker himself writing the script. My only problem is that none of the actors from the original series and Lifetime movies were brought in to reprise their roles. I could live with the recasting of Frank Belson, (done once before) Susan Silverman (done twice before) and Martin Quirk, (Richard Jaeckel's (qv) dead) but not bringing back Robert Urich (qv) and Avery Brooks (qv) made the film suffer. Sheik Mahmud-Bey (qv) struck me as someone I'd like to marry into my family rather than as a mysterious mercenary/crimeland enforcer. I was even hoping they'd bring back Carolyn McCormack (qv) to play Rita.
Starship Troopers (1997)
God-awful what-not-to-do flick
This flick was like a spaceborne version of Vietnam. It should be shown at West Point as a cautionary tale; the humans placed way too much faith in intelligence reports, never used air power despite their air and space superiority, and didn't see fit to equip their ground-pounders with anything more powerful than what amounted to an M-16 grafted to a Remington pump. Three hundred years into the future and they're using bullets against ten-foot-tall spider aliens that are a mix of scorpions, Jurassic Park velociraptors and M-1 tanks? Gimme a break.