JAG (TV Series 1995–2005) Poster


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good, quality programming
MeBDev12 March 2003
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 show.)

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.
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Law and Order meets Top Gun!
Metrocrash21 May 2002
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 Jr (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, playing 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!
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Action Packed, and Intense!
Lassie-523 April 2000
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.
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Great Show!!!
sawyertom22 April 2003
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!
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A Few Good Men + Navy Seals = JAG
caspian19784 July 2004
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.
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Military coutroom drama in which two officers investigating and litigating crimes committed by Navy and Marine personnel.
ma-cortes29 November 2018
Decent series created by Donald P. Bellisario, Dana Coen, Stephen Zito , it was produced by by NBC , but due to low ratings , it was left , then it was picked up by CBS , it became a success soon afterwards. Being on the air for ten seasons, and two hundred twenty-seven episodes . It deals with the cases of Harmon Rabb (David James Elliott) , former Navy fighter pilot, as he was originally an F-14 Tomcat pilot , and crashed during heavy seas, and after being diagnosed with night blindness, he joined JAG . He is accompanied by Lt. Sarah Mackenzie (Catherine Bell) and other fellow (Patrick Labyorteaux , his wife Karri Turner , Scott Lawrence , among others) lawyers and assistants of the U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate General's office , and in their twisted cases they intervine as defender lawyers or prosecutors . They work under direct orders of A.J. Chegwidden (John M. Jackson) and Major General Gordon Biff Cresswell (David Andrews) . In every episode Rabb and Lt. MacKenzie have new cases to resolve. As their defense never rests and occasionally, they engage into dangerous missions , and risked adventures especially in Iraq and Afganisthan . All of them investigate and litigate crimes and misdemeanours committed by Navy and Marine personnel .

Good but overlong series in which two officers carry on the trial cases , at the same time they become involved into adventurous activities in order to solve them . They form a charming and enticing hot team , both in and out of the courtroom. ¨JAG" stands for "Judge Advocate General". The office of JAG , is a part of the Navy, which according to their official website "provides legal and policy advice to the Secretary of the Navy in all legal matters concerning military justice, administrative law, environmental law, ethics, claims, admiralty, operational and international law, litigation and legal assistance . In many episodes, the screen types out the location and 'zulu' time. 'zulu' time is the same as Gmt and is five hours ahead of Falls Church, Virginia time .It stars Commander Harmon Rabb, Jr. : David James Elliot and Lieutenant Colonel Sarah Mackenzie : Catherine Bell , they are JAG lawyers, both of them deliver the necessary as well as enjoyable chemical and interweave good looks to get a nice show . David James Elliot (227 episodes, 1995-2005) plays Harmon Rabb, Jr. who at the beginning used to be a fighter pilot until he and his co-pilot were in an accident , from then, he became a Jag . As a Jag he was a hard-working Lieutenant , by the time the series ended, he was promoted to Captain, and was being transferred to London. David James Elliot gives an agreeable acting , he shows up in every chapter of Jag , he is the only regular cast member to appear in all episodes. His partenaire the attractive Catherine Bell (206 episodes, 1996-2005) who is very fine as Lieutenant Colonel Mackenzie , she investigates and defends complex criminal cases and she has to choose in love either the attractive wealthy Lt. Cmdr. Mic Brumby : Trevor Goddard and his faithful and good friend Harmon Rabb: David James Elliot . For the aerial scenes and others about airport bases and planes was used footage from known Paramount films as Top Gun , Hunt of Red October , Flight of the Intruder , Crimson tide , and Clear and present danger . And a lot of their submarine and underwater footage is from either or both the movies The Hunt for Red October (1990) and Crimson Tide (1995).

Here appears important secondaries as Patrick Labyorteaux as officer Bud Roberts, Jr who lost his right leg in a mine accident , his wife Lt. Harriet Sims performed by Karri Turner with whom has various children , Zoe McLellan playing Jennifer Coates , Chuck Carrington as Jason Tiner , Randy Vasquez as Gunnery Sgt. Victor ¨Gunny¨ Galindo . And other notable secondaries appearing here and there include the following ones : Sean Murray, Muse Watson, Terry O'Quinn, Steven Culp, Michael Bellisario, Joe Spano , Tracy Nedham , Anne-Marie Johnson , Isabella Hofmann , David Andrews , Mel Harris , among others . Rating . 6/10 . Acceptable and passable series but overlong . It had several Awards: it won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 8 wins and 17 nominations.
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Great Show!
jlthiessen15 May 2002
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.
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This is a good program
navygurl3332 April 2002
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.
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great show that went bad the last 2 seasons
rgomberg59 October 2014
I started watching JAG in 1997 and it immediately became my favorite TV show. Vietnam era vet in the USAF too bad they didn't have more interaction with the Air Force. Anyways, a GREAT show. But then, because of circumstances I missed seasons 8, 9 and 10. Just recently I've been watching them on-line, and sadly, I have to say this great show got bad by season 9 and season 10 was almost unpalatable to watch. Why and how could this have happened. 1) Too soap opera, where there was more emphasis on the character interaction than the court cases, but the worst reason was 2) the characters became hokey and silly. Unreal. Like "check me out, aren't I neat?!" The only ones who had any sense of original propriety were Harm and MAC. The worst one was this Vic. It's OK to have some "Hollywood license" but what makes a character great is when they display INTEREST, in their lives, their work, with others. But when they become INTERESTING with their silly overdone personalities and quirks, they become a distraction and annoying and that's EXACTLY what happened. (this by the way, was WAY worse with NCIS - I couldn't get thru one episode the characters were so overdone and "interesting" instead of being interested. Only Mark Harmon was good) If they had just kept the brashness of Vic and used JUST that with his interactions that would have been good. But he became so overbearing. The new Marine JAG also didn't have to be so serious. In it's favor, the character development of Bud from bumbling geek (too overdone) to competent lawyer was good Also, so many handsome men and gorgeous women. Yes, to be expected from Hollywood but too unreal for the military. MAC is a little chest-heavy but has the face of an angel, she is so beautiful, although the short-crop hair of season 10 was a detraction. In any case, the 2 very best plot developments was the interaction between Harm and Mac AND the intricacies of the court cases. By the 10th season that got lost with the silliness of other characters and sub-plots. Season 3 through 6 were the best. All in all though, a TREMENDOUS show. Thank you Mr. Bellesario for your creation. Now if you can make a series of my book Point Of Return about the attempted assassination of President Reagan, THAT would be great!
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Another superb Belisarius Production
Mark-19218 November 1999
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 with).

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!
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Good show - need more like it.
jacksonc3 March 1999
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.)
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Highly recommend-Great Show- Good plots- Doesn't feel fake
DarthMAD28 August 2001
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 the Navy, the Marines, the Military in general, military law, civilian law, good 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 have watched the show regularly for several years, and the stories seem real, not 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 already, JAG stands for Judge Advocate General, the legal branch of the military. The 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 affairs 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 became 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 EST 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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Excellent show...worthy of birthing NCIS
monkeyjb198827 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I'll be honest; I was only interested in JAG because it gave birth to my favorite show NCIS. I rented the two DVDs that contained the pilot episodes. Since my family liked NCIS, I waited to watch the pilot for NCIS and watch them with my family. In the meantime, I watched the episodes before the first part of the pilot (I got the discs one at a time). I got hooked fast. I liked how each episode felt interconnected, with either some plot points being set up before the episodes where they were center stage or past ones have at least a minor effect on the current episode. I also got to loving the characters. Harm and Mac are a great combo, with them fighting each other outside or inside of the courtroom one moment and buddies the next. I enjoyed Admiral Chegwidden and Bud, as well as Harriet. There was a great sense of humor. It may've been a little more serious than NCIS, but I say JAG is just as funny as NCIS. It got to the point where when I got to the NCIS pilot episodes, the reasons I even gave JAG the time of day, (SLIGHT SPOILER) I had hard time deciding who to root for: My old friend Gibbs, or my new one Rabb. Needless to say, JAG is an awesome show. I guess I shouldn't be surprised since NCIS is so good that JAG is good. I highly recommend this show. I think it's better than both Law & Order and CSI (no offense meant to fans of those shows).
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Good action, and accurate
apollyon4829 January 2001
JAG started out as a total shoot-'em-up, dynamic show on NBC. It lasted almost a season, and was cancelled; CBS took it, and cleaned it up. Now, what you see is a relatively accurate view of life as a staff corps officer in the US Navy and US Marine Corps. Of course, it's still a little TOO action-packed for the real JAG Corps, in that most service lawyers will never take leave to travel into a foreign country to face insurgents or rescue POW's. However, the issues JAG raises can surprise you - Cuban immigrants, political power struggles in Congress and the Fleet, criminals in uniform (just your average old murderers, thieves, secessionists and militias), racism, sexism, tradition versus progress, and the like. People are always drawn to military dramas, to action, and to law-inspired entertainment; JAG wraps them all into one. The idea of having a gorgeous co-star, who is arguably tougher than the lead, and does NOT expect her looks to get her her way, is groundbreaking, which is unfortunate to happen this late. As far as work goes, it's good to be attractive, but better to be good. JAG illustrates this well. Or, alternately, it's better to be right than popular, or, sometimes, the good guys win!
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Not Quite "Top Gun" Meets "A Few Good Men": Suffers From Too Much Military Cliché
classicalsteve13 March 2010
Is this an original show or the television equivalent of an army-navy recruiting poster? What made the movie "A Few Good Men" such outstanding cinema was its willingness to steer clear of obvious military cliché. Sure you can have the fanatical colonel who was a disciple at Patton's knee but there's also ingredients in his character that makes him different. Jessup certainly had the passion of a Patton but also the contempt for authority of a Nixon. But JAG offers the hot-headed and sweating military officer whose veins pop out of his neck ad infinitum that has been seen so many times that it's a textbook study of stereotypes to avoid. Budding screenwriters take note. (Take note of a similar character in the recent film "Avatar".) But in JAG few characters are anything more than these caricatures who are exactly as you would expect them.

The opening pilot episode wreaks with so much wall-to-wall story cliché, it seems a collage of scenes from other films and shows. From the strands of trumpet fanfares accompanied by snare drums at the opening (my kingdom for different music) to the flashback of the main character as a naval pilot, JAG never quite transcends to an original story. I couldn't help but think of the parody "Airplane!" with the flashback sequence. There's the tough butch woman out to prove she's as good as men, the hot-headed aircraft carrier captain, the obnoxious guy in the officer's lounge who knows the investigator, the sexual innuendos between the two investigators who just happen to be a male and a female, and the creme-de-la-creme: the main character's father was also a naval pilot who died on a mission. If I had $100 for every time someone referred to his father, I could probably buy a Carravagio. I guess you just had to have the obligatory "Your father would be very proud of you." Give me a break. Were the writers sick the day they taught how to avoid hackneyed dialog? This came off like a by-the-numbers approach to film-making that you could probably purchase at a game store for about $10. There's "Patton", "Top Gun", "Moonlighting", "A Few Good Men", almost any western of your choice where there's bar or saloon, and of course almost any over-the-top war movie of your choice, like "The Longest Day".

The plot of the first episode is somewhat interesting: a woman naval pilot on the verge of an outstanding career goes missing from aboard her aircraft carrier. The two JAG corps investigators, a boy-girl team in the style of "Hart to Hart" and "Moonlighting", board the carrier to reveal the truth. Of course the implied sexual play between the two leads is so over-the-top I expected them to be leaping into a bunk together by conclusion, which is against naval regulations. At first the female character states that this is strictly a business-investigative relationship. However, when the male lead is speaking to her in private, he gets closer to her than would be necessary to kiss. And she lets it happen as if she can't refuse him. So much for the rhetoric of the show. (One thing I liked about "A Few Good Men" is that the young leads, Tom Cruise and Demi Moore, never got together.) The only notable performance of the entire episode was by Terry O'Quinn, playing a military colleague of the lead investigator's late father. He's tough, smart and not entirely sold on the idea of women naval pilots. Simultaneously he doesn't come off cliché or stereotypical.

Unfortunately the pilot episode of JAG collapses under its own weight. By show's end I knew who did it. The acting is marginal, except for O'Quinn. There are too many badly scripted, acted and directed sexual innuendo scenes in the vein of Moonlighting but not nearly as good or believable. They just came off contrived as if the producers are showing us what we want to see. Also, too many cliché characters, too many other cliché scenes, like the chewing out of an inferior officer by a superior. And the hot-head in the lounge/bar. How many times have I seen this? And that's the problem with cliché. It starts seeming like a cartoon and not something real. And I begin to lose interest because I've seen it before. Good writing avoids cliché because we want to see something new, not just a jigsaw puzzle of worn-out scenes. Strangely enough, I think cliché is less believable.
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First five seasons were great, the second five were second rate
cosmic_quest9 March 2006
When 'JAG' first aired on British television back in early 1996, I was hooked. As a huge fan of shows such as 'Law and Order', it was a dream come true finding a series that had all the action of a military programme and the intelligence of a courtroom drama rolled into one. The characters were also likable and well-portrayed with David James Elliott's Harmon Rabb being stubborn yet just and dedicated to Navy and his country and Tracey Needham's character Meg Austin being his talented, determined partner who, after the first season, was replaced by Sarah Mackenzie-- a tough, aggressive Marine-- played by Catherine Bell. It was always thrilling and engaging to watch Rabb and co investigating various crimes involving the Navy and Marine, often cases that bore resemblance to military news happening in reality, then having to argue their case in court.

However, this once great show went downhill by season five when the military-based story lines quickly gave way to plots that would have been more suited to a daytime TV soap. Instead of seeing Rabb and Mac striving to see justice done, we had excessive time wasted on which man Mac liked and, worse, whether she wanted to have babies. There were times I honestly felt I was not watching 'JAG' and had accidentally switched over to 'Neighbours' or 'Sunset Beach'. As the show lost sight of its original genre and became less of a military series and more of a soap, it lost its appeal with me although I still enjoy watching the earlier seasons when it was at its best. I only hope 'JAG''s producer Donald P. Bellisario doesn't make the same mistake with his other series 'NCIS'.
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America, F... yea!
wolf_rahm28 July 2005
This has to be the most awesome series ever made for TV. I am not really sure what its about anymore, but it certainly rules. It seems like the authors don't give a f... about the continuity of the series, and just write whatever they think is cool, and that is AWESOME! Thumbs up. One thing that never changes though, is the expressions of the actors. Rabb: I'm thinking really hard, and I am really concerned. Mac: I'm cute, and I'm also smart. Bud: I'm confused :(. I love that. Then they go from being layers to superheroes who save the whole world. You could argue that it's unrealistic, but hey, it's America!

As I'm writing this, the magnificent Rabb has just punched his way out of a 10 vs 1 situation.
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Twisted propaganda
bleed-418 July 2006
I've seen jag before and it was funny, unreal and very proamerican. But the last episode I saw, at least half of it (couldn't watch anymore) was as disappointing as well as stupid, inaccurate and totally offensive. The story of this episode (I can't remember the title/number) was about a pilot, that shot an armored car, because he thought that the Serbs were in it. It had a flag on it and wasn't shooting at anyone ;>

Well let me tell you why is this very wrong: Even though I'm not a Serb (I'm Slovenian) and I know very well about mass murders or genocide that happened in the 90-is, it is very clear that: 1. Russian and Yugoslavian flag do have the same colours but NOT the same flag. Comm'on, don't you remember the red star? in the MIDDLE of the flag?? 2. Killing someone just because he's of a certain nationality is wrong, even if, at the time, he's involved in a large scale war. Yeah, than the character stated that he had to kill them, because they were probably headed to make another mass burial site. Aham... like only the Serbs did that. Wake up! There was no good/evil here! Just too much propaganda, just like in USA and Cuba nowadays...

I don't get it - I know that "history is written by winners" but here was nothing to win. The real truth about the wars aggressors will show: a) when enough time passes, so most people involved in it will be dead and b) that "evildoers" weren't only the Serbs but all nations that were part of that big old Yugoslavia.
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Good Military/Lawyer Fun!
flybrian12 January 2002
Yes, JAG is cliche. Yes, the characters and plots are often predictable. No, this show won't win an Emmy, but so what? Can't hour dramas be fun?

David James Elliot (Cmdr. Harmon Rabb) and Catherine Bell (Col. Sarah MacKenzie) -- and don't forget Adm. Chegwidden, both Lt. Roberts, and the rest -- play the roles of lawyers in the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps. The show explores the intricacies of the legal system (esp in the military world) and the military itself in a nice fashion, always with topical storylines. Everything from the recent V-22 crashes to the Chinese EP-3 incident to the sinking of the Soviet Kursk has been explored, albeit with different conclusions and scenarios.

For me, watching Law & Order and having a pretty good knowledge of the military makes me view the legal side in a different tint, but that's just me. Also, virtually no ship in the show actually corresponds with a real one name-wise (i.e. the "Carrier" Patrick Henry; the Patrick Henry was a ballistic missile sub long since retired). And are we STILL using F-5 Tigers as stand-in MiGs? Oh well...not a big deal really.

The apparent solving of the mystery of Harm's father and the axing of some cast members (Australian Mic Brumby and Gunny Galindez) makes me wonder how much longer the show can go on. My theory is that it will conclude with Harm and Mac getting married. In a sense, I hope it won't happen because this is a very nice show all to itself that's always new. It's great to watch once in a while or all the time (like your's truly).
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Best military series next to M*A*S*H
LiquidSnake369 June 2003
To me this is the best military series since MASH. I like the plot twist and the characters. The characters are acted very well by the actors/actresses who play then. David James Elliot is a good actor its like he was meant for the part. I also like Cathrine Bell not just becasue she is beautifull but becasue she gets into the part and plays it well. I also like the admrial and Bud and Buds wife Harriet not just becasue she is beautifull to but she is very talented. I like the episode when she punched out Lt. Singer. I kind of liked Mic Brumby. I liked his character and I think he played his part well. I also heard that the guy who played Brumby died a few days ago of a drug overdose. RIP.
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The First Season: A Revelation
schappe128 April 2007
When JAG first came on the air, I didn't watch it at all. My politics are a little left of center and I was not impressed by the first Bush administration sending our people to secure the Kuwaiti oil fields. I felt American lives were worth more than that. When a show came on a couple of years later that was advertised by seemingly endless shots of people in uniform saluting planes that were taking off, I just wasn't in the mood for what I took to be a John Wayne vision of the military as a bunch of patriotic action figures with no real depth as human beings.

A couple of years later I was visiting my parents and they had begun watching JAG, scheduling their Tuesday evening plans around it. This was not surprising for my Dad, an ex-marine and a solid Republican. It was surprising for my Mom, a Democrat with the same opinion of military adventures that I had. The first episode I watched was the last episode of the third season, "To Russia With Love". It seemed reasonably entertaining and certainly wasn't' "jingoistic". The characters were multi-dimensional, (I certainly noticed that Catherine Bell was!). Since it was a cliff-hanger I naturally had to watch the first show in the fall and slowly became hooked, making the show part of my own regular viewing schedule.

I found it a solid, if flawed, drama focusing primarily on the effort, through law, to keep the military on it's moral compass. I'd always liked "The Caine Mutiny" and also liked "A Few Good Men", which seems to have inspired the series. The concept of judging a severely hierarchical organization using a set of standards that ultimately supersedes the hierarchy while continuing to respect it is dramatically interesting and the show drove home the point that military power itself is not enough: it has to have a moral reason for its existence and use.

When I used to watch "Star Trek", I presumed that a civilization that could travel across the distances of space would probably be militarily superior to anyone they encountered and that their dilemmas would tend to be moral, (how to use their power wisely), more often than physical, (how to get more power to defeat a threat), and I preferred the "moral dilemma" episodes, even though they were in the minority. In JAG, those episodes seemed to be the norm and the "action" episodes the exception.

There were two things I didn't like about the show. One was it's non-linear format, jumping from the main story to a romantic or comical sub-plot or into a continuing background story. I prefer shows that stick to their subject. JAG seemed to be a half-hour drama padded into an hour format by all the "other stuff". I came to resent the "action" shows. They seemed to be a rather silly divergence from what the show was really about, certainly from what a JAG lawyer's job was all about. I remembered watching "Homicide", which was supposed to be an examination of the day-to-day lives of Baltimore homicide detectives but which occasionally was interrupted with episodes the network insisted they make about serial killers, drug kingpins and arsonists so they could advertise it with titles like "City on Fire", etc. It seemed to me that the "action" episodes of JAG, with their "Hunt for Red October" plots, CIA undercover work, continuing stories about Harm's father and brother and mysterious, recurring villains served the same purpose for the network and served little purpose on the show itself.

The show went off the air after a decade and I was recently walking through a record store and saw the DVD of the first season of JAG for sale. I bought it on a whim, just to see what the show was like at its beginning. It was a revelation. The shows take place almost entirely in the field and are about JAG investigations. Those investigations inevitably lead to action-packed sequences but at least they grow logically out of a JAG investigation. The show has a completely linear format and thus has a much faster pace but still has more time to tell it's story because it's not cross-cut with sub-plots or ongoing stories. I like Catherine Bell but I like Tracey Needham even a little better. She seems very soft and sexy, (especially with that watery voice), and yet can be tough when the occasion demands. "Tough" is a personality trait but not a type of person and those who have to be hard-boiled to be tough really aren't very good at it. Meg Austin demonstrates that very well.

The production values are amazing, especially since the show at that time had no Navy co-operation. Clips and even sets from several movies, (Top Gun, The Hunt for Red October, Crimson Tide and isn't the ambush in "War Cries" from "A Clear and Present Danger"?) are skillfully integrated with stock footage and scenes shot on an old carrier and in a studio give each episode the look of a movie.

It's one of the most entertaining shows I've ever seen. Even if there are only two episodes with courtroom scenes, the "moral dilemmas" are still there: the show is all about right and wrong. Even though I liked the later JAG, I'd have to say the original concept of the show was much superior. Apparently the public, (the show was ranked 77th in the ratings that year) and the networks didn't agree. The show got canceled, picked up by CBS and changed considerably and wound up in the top ten, lasting a decade, something very few shows have ever done.

At least we've got the DVDs of the first season to see what it was originally supposed to be like.
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The Best In Television
Tommy N2 October 2000
Love the show, characters, and look forward to every episode's different dramas that unfold.

Why did they remove Tracey Needham from the cast?

Great actress and dynamite babe. Quite obviously, her character also rates high on my list. Don Bellessario, HOW ABOUT BRINGING HER BACK!!!!! Or at least a few guest appearances! :)

Also, David James Elliot's real life wife has been a terrific addition to the cast and storyline.

I can hardly wait for every Tuesday night @ 8:00PM! Keep up the good work!

The Southern California location "shoots" are terrific.
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JAG (1995-2005/225 episodes) Provides Great Inside Look At Officer Level Military Politics And Behind The Scenes Military Life
texallennyc23 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
JAG (1995 - 2005/ 225 episodes) depicts the professional and personal life and adventures and work of US Navy Judge Advocate General lawyer Harmon Rabb, Jr., portrayed by David James Elliott.

It provides a very well written, acted, and expensively filmed look at inside politics in the US Military at the officer level......Lawyer Rabb is an "O-3" or "Full Lieutenant (he out ranks Ensigns, beginning officers in the US Navy, and Lieutenant Junior Grade officers, "O-1" and "O-2" Navy officers respectively).

Lt. Raab is a junior officer, not yet a "field grade" or senior officer (Lt. Commander or "O-4" is the start of the world of senior officers which includes the top officers, Admirals in the US Navy). He's been around awhile, is no longer a novice, yet is young enough and physically fit and vigorous enough for the sort of physically demanding work only young adult males are capable of, for the most part.

Who is new and who isn't is always a big issue in the world of career (and non-career) military officers and men. Loyalties and internecine battles within the service are labyrinthine in the military bureaucracy world, and sorting all this out is critical to understanding what goes on in the military, and why things happen the way they do (or sometimes don't) in the military.

The military is always dramatic, and thus often used by Hollywood for dramatic presentations filled with electricity and tension between military players who are supposed to be on the same side, fighting for the same cause, but who are often at odds and in personal combat with each other.

One particularly good example of all this is presented in JAG Season One (1995), Episode Four titled "Desert Son." (Originally aired on Oct. 7, 1995).

The "Desert Son" story is about tragedy and death which results from a human error (later intentionally covered up by the guilty Marine Corps. junior officer perpetrator) during a 29 Palms Marine Corps. base field base artillery exercise .............wrongly calculated and targeted artillery fire injures seven Marines, one of whom later dies. The accused (later proven to be guilty) is a son of a former commandant of the Marine Corps.

The 2 Star Commanding Marine Corps. General in charge of the 29 Palms (California USA) Marine Corps. Base is good friends with the retired Marine Corps. Commandant General. Both Marine Corps. generals are very well acted and realized characters seen during the "Desert Son" episode.

The story unfolds to present the troubled and errant junior Marine Corps officer son of am apparently retired Marine Corps. Commandant (probably retired, but maybe not.....not clear if the man is retired.......he wear civilian clothes, and walks with a cane due to a permanent battle injury.......however, he gives orders to uniformed personnel during the episode and his orders are obeyed). The story takes several confusing twists and turns, and finally reveals the "Desert Son" junior officer to be guilty of serious misconduct including attempted murder of a fellow junior officer toward the end of the episode.

The entire episode is very, very well done, and could easily have been a movie house theatrical feature film of great success. The quality of this episode at all levels, including writing, acting, direction, special effects, action, and camera/ editing work is superb to a level rarely seen in television dramatic series presentations. The "Desert Son" episode (Season One, Episode Four) of JAG (1995 - 2005) is memorable and unusal for its high quality.

The famous true life Marine Office, Oliver North, appears briefly in civilian clothing, and does a remarkably creditable job as a movie/ television dramatic actor. North became a radio talk show host after the famous Iran Contra Scandal he was part of during years of the Ronald Reagan US presidency. And earlier episode during Season One of JAG also include then USA President Bill Clinton seen jogging with Secret Service guards, and stopping to speak briefly in a friendly way to JAG star David James Elliott. Former USA President Bill Clinton is presently (2017) credited with 101 different appearances playing himself in various TV shows. Use by Hollywood of actual USA political celebrities and media celebrities who were reporters covering the USA political scene was common in the 1990's when JAG first appeared.

JAG (1995 - 2005/ 227 episodes) is a very high quality series worth obtaining and screening from Episode One through 10 years worth of production to Episode 227. It is clearly one of the high water mark shows produced during Hollywood dramatic television history. ------------- Written by Tex Allen, SAG-AFTRA actor and movie historian. More details about Tex Allen on WWW.IMDb.Com -----------------------------
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Sandman-6827 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I came to JAG in the middle of season four, and was immediately hooked. I found the characters just a shade idealized, but still eminently believable. Needless to say, I was smitten with Mac MacKenzie. She was the most realistically human of all the characters in the series, having strengths and weaknesses, heroism and frailty. The chemistry between Mac and Harm resonated with me. After following the show for half a season, I had to begin collecting the DVDs as they became available, pre-ordering the next season every year. Then I discovered that Mac was the heiress and successor to two equally vibrant female officers, both having been Harm's partners, Meg Austin and Caitlin Pike. And both equally delicious. Which brings me to a question. If anyone reads this, I'd like to know if anyone else noticed: about the middle of season 1, Harm is suddenly portrayed as a Lieutenant Commander; but in the next episode he's a Lieutenant, and remains so for several episodes. Then he is promoted to Lieutenant Commander with all due ceremony and congratulations, and the promotion is reinforced by congratulations in a following episode. Were these episodes produced, or aired, out of sequence? It bothered me only minimally, but I'd be interested to know if anyone else noticed.
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rebuttal to....
Slink-429 September 1999
To Jeff Cross: In "Bridges of Toko-Ri" in response to the question, "Where do get such men?" by the Admiral, the answer is: in a Denver law office, as William Holden's character was a Denver lawyer, called to active duty. Also, categorize staff personnel as REMF, not heroes. Lighten up, it's entertaining, not an op order. Naval fighter pilots. by their nature, are imaginative and and are non-conformist and the ones that I spoke to at "Tailhook '99" were enthusiastic about the show in spite of a few inaccuracies.

"JAG" is great entertainment and enjoys considerable support from the Navy brass and carrier pilots.
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