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Monday, February 20, 2006

JAG still on target after nine years

December 22, 2004

I owe the Navy an apology. Like indoor plumbing and fat-free potato chips, I’ve taken JAG for granted.

If you must know, I was home Friday night. And just as I was settling down for a long winter’s nap, I rediscovered one of my favorite shows that, frankly, I’d forgotten. I’m sorry Harm, Mac, Bud, and Sturges. You deserve better. I’m ashamed you’ve been swept aside for Lost, Desperate Housewives, and The O.C. But I’m back to give you my full attention.

I hadn’t watched in a while, so a few things came to mind:

  • Note to Lt. Col. Sarah Mackenzie: Stop obsessing over Webb, your dead boyfriend. He’s alive and kicking over on Wisteria Lane married to Desperate Housewives Bree Van De Camp.
  • I miss the Admiral. It’s just not the same without him. How can you not love a guy who named his dog Damn-It?
  • Where are Tiner and Victor? These two made up a stellar supporting cast and provided some light-hearted humor.
  • What the heck is Zulu time? All these years, and I never investigated that term until last weekend. After a quick trip on the information superhighway, I found out that it’s one of the world’s 24 time zones and actually refers to the time at the prime meridian.

    It’s hard to believe JAG has been on the air for nine years. It’s a miracle the show found viewers at all, considering it’s been scheduled on five different nights during its run. But slow and steady wins the race, and JAG has remained consistently good drama, flying under the radar.

    I’m a sucker for a man in uniform. And when that man looks and acts like Naval lawyer Harmon Rabb Jr., well, forget it. He plays guitar, flies fighter jets, and defends the innocent. He even cooks.

    After being diagnosed with night blindness, Harm traded in his bomber jacket to work for the Judge Advocate General Corps, to defend the law of the sea. The show tackles complex military cases, often ripped from the current headlines. Whether it’s overworked soldiers, insufficient equipment, friendly fire, or women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, JAG doesn’t back away from controversial stories.

    If the military plots aren’t gripping enough for you, there is the underlying romantic tension between Harm and Mac. The writers have been tormenting viewers for years with the will-they-won’t-they subplot. This show is still a pleaser, after all these years.

    In my opinion, JAG is still top gun. Catch it Fridays at 9 p.m. Eastern time. For those of you on the Zulu clock, you’re on your own.

    Originally published 12/22/04 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


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