Character and Situational Realism
JAG Episode Summaries had its beginning back when I first became aware of the series (season three). Having served in the US Navy, I was immediately intrigued by the obvious intent of the producers to make the series as real-to-life as possible and it rapidly became a favored “watch.” Plots were plausible (for the most part), settings were many places I’d actually been to or had friends from, systems and administrations used the REAL JAG policies and, at the time I began watching, the characters were people that I’d like to associate with after a busy day at the office. However, the real kicker came when, after I had seen enough episodes, I discovered that they were taking the effort to give each character a ribbon-rack which was an actual representation of that characters military history (even if we didn’t know it at the time.)
TIVO Made It Happen
Additionally, that was about the time that I got my first TIVO – a machine which has freed me from advertisements and enables me to see programs which air when I’m unable to sit in front of the TV. I realized that many of the earlier episodes were being shown during the day and I was able to “catch up” on the “history” – a mixed blessing! I rapidly became confused with all the interwoven plots, recurring actors, back references and subtle sub-plots. I began keeping notes, on the computer, merely to aid my memory – and stifle the urge to get up and walk around the room during the program, a tendency if I need to sit longer than 10 minutes.
JAG Website Born
Being a database of material already on the computer, it was only natural that it became “content” for use when my Internet Service Provider (ATT) began enticing us with suggestions that “Creating your own web site is fast and easy.” JAG Episode Summaries was born with ONE reader – ME. Telling a friend and fellow JAG watcher grew unobtrusively into a small following as the series progressed into season’s four and five. Then, when I delayed too long in updating a couple of episodes, I got a suprise email from my site chiding me for my laxity – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Scrapbooks were added when I got a “video dongle” and was able to capture images from the television. People suggested/complained that I hadn’t added certain characters, wanted information about navy ribbons, pointed me to other resources and the whole endeavor grew to much more than I had ever anticipated.
In 2009 I was notified by my long time ISP that they were getting out of the web hosting business (at least for the hundreds of thousands of “free” site customers). Because the series had ended many, many years previously I was disappointed, but resigned, to merely let the whole thing fade into the ether; except that readers of this and a couple of other sites balked and I was able, through donations, to obtain alternate hosting with “BlueHost.” In the interim, I had moved at least the summaries over to individual blog posts on Google’s “Blogger”; but, then I was able to move the entire site over to http://www.DJmed.net, scrapbooks and all.
Originally I had invented a way to use Microsoft Access as a content manager (silly me) and have it export HTML code over for the site. Moving it to Blogger, automated the search function a bit better and improved the Search Engine Ratings a bit due to more up-to-date coding methods. Now, steps are underway to move all the code over to using the WordPress content management system.
Why The Effort?
Why all the effort for a TV program which has been off the air for around 10 years? Well, because: ONE: There has not been even one alternative program aired which comes close to the accuracy and longevity of JAG; and, TWO this JAG site STILL has upwards of 6,000 visitors per month, many of whom send emails expressing gratitude that it’s still here while they are watching the programs in syndication – all over the world.