Archive for the Chuck Category

Chuck (S02E04): “Chuck Versus the Cougars”

Posted in Chuck, TV with tags , , , , on October 21, 2008 by scenescreen

Grade: B+

This week’s Chuck is all about flashing back on Sarah’s past, when she was still a nerdy girl named Jenny, and forward to her current life, which is interrupted when her past catches up with it. It’s an hour filled up by a soundtrack that makes the 90’s kid in me both want to get up and dance (To Chumbawamba’s “Tubmthumper”) and cringe (to The Backstreet Boys), but also an hour for nerds across America to believe they too can share cheeseburgers with impossibly gorgeous women with pasts more normal than they’d like anyone to know.

In “Chuck Versus the Cougars” we get the season’s biggest twist yet: Nicole Richie can act. While it’s not a performance worthy of any awards, she plays the part of the stuck-up, popular cheerleader well, maybe only because it’s not much of a stretch personality wise. Heather (Richie) and her nerd husband (Ben Savage) run across their former high school classmate, Jenny, and secrets Sarah does not want coming to the surface start tunelling back into the light. Chuck’s loving the information overload, but Sarah’s visibly frustrated and kicking the crap out of a punching bag to try and channel her anger (lest anyone made of flesh and blood get hurt instead). Sarah’s past turns out to be shockingly average (Nerdy girl gets picked on, dad gets arrested to protect him from shady characters he was doing business with, and she gets pulled into the CIA), but it makes her seem more real and, for Chuck, not so cosmically distant from a nerd like him.

Heather has married a man much like Chuck–a guy who’s a little geeky, considers math a fun hobby, and likes ties–and Chuck and her hubby get a chance to have a little nerd pow-wow at Sarah’s high school reunion. But to him, Chuck “Mad Dog” Bartowski is the epitome of cool, while Chuck on the other hand sees himself as just as much a nerd and just as incredibly lucky to have a woman like Sarah at his side. Except the problem is neither Sarah or Heather are truly with these guys. Heather turns out to be the one blackmailing her husband into turning over his top-secret fighter jet plans (though if he ever finds this out, the episode doesn’t show it) and only got with him with dollar-signs in her eyes, and Sarah has genuine feelings for Chuck, but last week already made clear the line that must be drawn between them.

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Chuck (S02E03): “Chuck Versus the Break-Up”

Posted in Chuck, TV with tags , , , on October 14, 2008 by scenescreen

Grade: B+

As if Chuck believed it was unable to woo me any further, episode three opened with a song by The National and closed with one of my favorite tracks from Bon Iver’s brilliant album. Right, so an episode of TV isn’t made by its song selection, but it gets serious cool points nonetheless. As far as the actual episode, “Chuck Versus the Break Up” is probably my least favorite of the season, but it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable time spent with TVs most huggable character.

I didn’t get around to writing about last week’s “Chuck Versus the Seduction”, but Chuck’s moves are considerably less smooth this week, thanks to the reappearance of Sarah’s ex-partner and continuous thorn in Chuck’s side, Bryce Larkin. His return puts the stops on Chuck and Sarah’s romance and makes them both begin to question the costs their feelings might have. Sarah is making choices based around Chuck and possibly compromising her ability as a spy while Chuck is pouring drinks in the laps of the rich and dangerous and dropping whole bottles of $1000 wine.

Chuck is not your average spy, with smooth moves and crazy gadgets, and he doesn’t introduce himself last name first (Bartowski. Chuck Bartowski), but he still proves he has the potential to be a spy of his own defining; one that’s a whole lot more amusing to watch. While he isn’t a real spy, he’s also not your typical bumbling one, with skills hidden beneath a layer of ineptness and social awkwardness. Instead, he’s a very normal guy that uses some quick thinking and parts of his own personality to get himself out of tricky situations. In the premiere it was the Call of Duty gag, where he convinced a group of seasoned killers that an elaborate online game strategy was actually a real one.Then last week he managed to seduce a deadly killer, at least partly, using a sprinkling of advice from a seasoned playboy spy and a lot of his own brand of sweet talk. However, in the newest case he’s assigned to pose as a waiter while Bryce and Sarah pretend to be a married couple, and watching them dance and lock lips and generally feel each other up proves to be just a little too much for him to handle.

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Chuck (S02E01): “Chuck Versus the First Date”

Posted in Chuck, TV with tags , , on September 25, 2008 by scenescreen

Grade: A

I casually caught a few episodes from Chuck’s shortened first season and enoyed what I saw, but after hearing internet rumblings that the new season was amazing, even being compared to my favorite current show Pushing Daisies, I had to give it a look for myself. And the buzz was right, because Chuck’s season premiere is what all those comic spy movies wish they could be.

If, like me, you weren’t a religious follower of the show thus far, don’t worry. The recap near the beginning was more than enough to set me straight with who was who and what was going on, and after that brief recap the series glides into a new arc, that seemingly sets the stage for some big changes to come.

Zachary Levi is that kind of guy that’s a little geeky, but can easily get any hot chick he wants, and I sort of envy, admire, and hate him for that at the same time. If I were to list my TV man crushes (and there is no shame in having a couple of ’em), I’d say he might be number two on the list, right after Lee Pace. Not all shows these days have great lead characters, and often times I find myself drawn more to the supporting cast, but Chuck is the name of this show for good reason, because Levi delivers in every scene. Also, his faux/real flame, CIA agent Sarah Walker, played by the beautiful, but hard to pronounce Yvonne Strahovski, makes for nice eye candy throughout, whether she’s filling up your screen wearing only bra and panties or scissor kicking the crap out of evil villains. And the rest of the cast is charming as well, though I can only stand so much of Chuck’s long time pal and co-worker, Morgan.

The story for season wastes very little time kicking off the parking break after a writer’s strike induced hiatus, and details of the episode can be found below.

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