Monday, November 12, 2007

Sepinwall on TV: More 'Chuck,' please

Ordinarily, I try not to write too many columns about any one show, even the ones I love, more than two or three times a season: once at the start, once near the end, and maybe once at the middle. The strike, however, wreaks havoc with that approach, and there are shows where I have to write about now or never -- particularly the borderline cases like "Chuck" that didn't get back nine orders before the writers walked. An excerpt from today's column:
Levi's appealing Everyman quality allows him to convincingly utter lines like "You know, if I had a blog, this would be a really big day for me" after discovering he may have been poisoned to death, and it allows the writers to sometimes get away with forgettable spy heroics. The espionage stories on "Chuck" aren't going to make anyone forsake the Bond or Bourne movies anytime soon, but because Chuck's in the middle of them, they're often besides the point. We just want to see how he's going to respond to being poisoned, or to having to land a helicopter with no training outside of video games, or, tonight, to being in a fake relationship with Sarah when a real girl would date him if she didn't think he had a girlfriend.
To read the full thing, click here.


Anonymous said...

Bravo, Alan...bravo.

I agree, if I could only pick 1 new show this year to stick with to it's 2nd year, it would be "Chuck".

I also completely agree about the hilarious supporting players like Casey, Morgan, Captain Awesome and Harry Tang, not to mention the rest of the 'nerd drones' at the Buy More store.

In fact, the two main nerds (and I don't know their characters' names) who have lots of dialogue scenes with Morgan - in a way it's like Morgan is a live action Homer Simpson and those 2 guys are Lenny & Carl.

I think if this show were JUST the spy stuff and didn't have the charming home life/Buy More scenes, it would be easily forgettable, despite how good the chemistry is between Chuck, Sarah and Casey. The rest of the wacky characters round this show out to perfection.

Unlike "Pushing Daisies" (which I am already getting bored with - I get it, it's whimsical), "Chuck" entertains me more each week.

After "Chuck", the only other new shows I wish would stick around are "Journeyman" and "Life". Interestingly, I think "Life" has a better shot because it's not necessarily getting killed in the 10 PM slot on Wednesdays (yeah, I get that the dull "CSI:NY" always wins but still....) but "Journeyman" I realize is not going to stick so hopefully we get to see a 13 episode conclusion.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see this column, because I had been thinking that Chuck was a potential casualty of the strike, and that I'd like to see it have a chance to get a full season.

Stef said...

I couldn't agree more! Chuck just puts a big smile on my face, and sometimes that's all we need from tv. I hope it survives the strike.

Anonymous said...

I will be mildly sorry if "Chuck" gets canceled, because Zachary Levi is very likable and the show is generally a pleasant diversion. But the thought of the probably cancellation of "Journeyman" and the likelihood that it won't be able to wrap up any of its plotlines makes me very sad.

Taleena said...

Both Chuck and Journeyman deserve to have life beyond the strike. I think though, that Journeyman could wrap up the storyline to a credible conclusion (a la Daybreak) because the strength of Journeyman is the relationship between Dan, katie and Jack.

Anonymous said...

Couldnt agree more. Been saying it for weeks - pound for pound this is the most entertaning show on tv. Daisies is a more visually ambitious show, but the number of tones that Chuck balances in a given episode, especially the best ones, make it a superior show to everything new on network tv this year.

Anonymous said...

Partially off-topic:

I know you've been revisiting some freshman shows you reviewed but didn't (initially) like -- _Journeyman_ and _Life_ -- in additions to keeping up with shows like _Chuck_, and I was just wondering if you had anything more to say about one of your (softer) recommendations -- _Aliens in America_. It may be that there's nothing more to say beyond your initial review, but I thought I'd ask before you put together your Monday night round-up, just in case.


dark tyler said...

Completely off-topic (and since there's now a new "Chuck" post I figure it's OK), but I was wondering if you have an opinion on "quarterlife", whether it's about the significance of the show, or its actual quality.

Anonymous said...

From your keyboard to Ben Silverman's eyes, Alan.
Chuck and Pushing Daisies are the only freshmen that I'm truly worried about (although at least ABC gave them a back nine script order, whatever that's worth). Chuck (the show) is charming, funny and lightly poignant, and I think given more of a chance, could grow a sizable audience. It's not the type to obsess and then inevitably disappoint fans like Heroes, but its soothing escapist comedy might nonetheless prove addictive.