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Thread: Chuck on NBC

  1. #1
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Chuck on NBC

    Except... its actually much better than Jake 2.0. Maybe it should be called "Jake 3.0" then, because its an upgrade.

    A pal of mine got one of those preview DVDs and we watched it together. I was quite impressed.

    The bad: Only ONE thing--the way Chuck gets his abilities is totally ridiculous. Even for a "fantastical" show, it doesn't make much sense.

    The good: Just about everything else.

    First of all... its HILARIOUS. Its filled with totally off-the-wall moments, and yet also maintains an overall dramatic structure quite well. Every cast member, even the ones in less obviously jokey roles, seems to have good comic timing and a pretty light touch when needed.

    The actor playing Chuck himself is particularly great. Shwartz's earlier protege Adam Brody could have fit this role--it almost seems as if it might have been written for him--but Zachary Levi, formerly of ABC's "Less Than Perfect", does a bang-up job. He treads a REALLY fine line in that he makes Chuck a loser, but not TOO much of a loser. He's believably real worldish in many ways, and more accessible than most TV protagonists. He could have been written or acted as dumber, or more naive, or more desperate, or more neurotic, but Schwartz and Levi got the balance just right--at least in the pilot.

    Chuck's got the obligatory even geekier friend, played quite well by Joshua Gomez--who comes off as almost Tom Greenish--but in a good way. He's comic relief to a guy who's already comical, but it works. Chuck's sister is played by the really really good looking Sarah Lancaster, who many people loathed on both "What About Brian" and "Everwood", but I think she comes off really well on this show. She's cool and successful compared to Chuck, even saddled with a smarmy live-in Doctor boyfriend Chuck nicknames "Captain Awesome", but her affection for her brother is made to seem very natural and real. Captain Awesome himself is kind of a one-joke device, but it IS a good joke. He actually goes around calling things "awesome" all of the time. Seriously.

    This is all just setup of course. Even just from the many previews shown already on NBC, Chuck's secret is pretty obvious. And its revealed almost immediately in the Pilot anyway. All of the secrets of the NSA/CIA get leaked into his head via a series of unbelievable actions which I won't reveal here, except to acknowledge what we already know from the previews--that it happens.

    The two government figures who go after this info are Sarah, a hot blond femme fatale CIA agent (Yvonne Strzechowski), who you've all seen in the TV commercials strapping on body armor and talking to a boss figure about possibly needing to kill Chuck, and the even more ruthless John Casey (Adam Baldwin--one of the more tolerable Baldwin brothers). BOTH actors REALLY fit their roles and REALLY make a lot of them.

    Even the minor characters work. Chuck has a rival assistant manager at the Best Buy clone he works at, and THAT guy is hilariously cast and acted. It's like a little bit of "The Office" dropped into "Alias", mixed with the previously mentioned "Jake 2.0", with (as unlikely as it seems) a bit of the total off-the-wall aspect of "Scrubs".

    I mean the show has a NINJA sequence. Seriously. Later on, it has an elaborate dance sequence where a woman uses poisoned chopsticks she tucked into her hair as weapons, but her dance partner suspects nothing because she does it behind his back as part of the dance. Its got a car chase which ends about as abruptly as any you've ever seen, but its funny in a way too. Its got a guy who says "Awesome" all of the time. Its got tons of geeky references to stuff like "Zork" and X-Box. Its got a hot girl or two.

    The show ain't just a retread of Jake 2.0, even if the idea seems essentially the same. Its nothing like "The O.C.", but its got Schwartz's paw prints all over it in terms its sense of humor.

    Let me end by saying that the TV commercials do NOT do this show justice. I hated what I saw in most of those commercials, but I loved what I saw in that Pilot.

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  2. #2
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Re: Chuck -> Josh Schwartz & NBC's answer to Jake 2.0?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krom;2487892;
    and the even more ruthless John Casey (Adam Baldwin--one of the more tolerable Baldwin brothers).
    Not to be picky, but while Adam Baldwin may be a brother, he's not one of those Baldwins .

    At any rate, I'm really looking forward to this show now. I loooovvvve Zachary Levi (I watched Less Than Perfect for him and him alone) and I will watch pretty much anything with Adam Baldwin.
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    LG.
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    Re: Chuck -> Josh Schwartz & NBC's answer to Jake 2.0?

    this show sounds good. Thanks Krom. I wasn't digging the ads that much.

    And I do like Adam Baldwin (who was Jayne on Firefly), but he isn't one of those Baldwins. Which is probably better for him, as I saw part of Daniel Baldwin's interview on The Soup last week and wow, he's never heard of humility. Good lord, get a grip, you're not the Elvis of acting. You're not even the most talented actor in your family, and your brother starred in Biodome. So take that.
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    Re: Chuck -> Josh Schwartz & NBC's answer to Jake 2.0?

    I just had a chance to watch the pilot and it is as 'awesome' as Krom says. I hope the series can keep the chemistry going - I'm hooked!
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  5. #5
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Re: Chuck -> Josh Schwartz & NBC's answer to Jake 2.0?

    Quote Originally Posted by Duxxy;2561628;
    I just had a chance to watch the pilot and it is as 'awesome' as Krom says. I hope the series can keep the chemistry going - I'm hooked!
    I actually think the "chemistry" is best between Chuck and the sister, and Chuck and the Baldwin who isn't a Baldwin brother. Chuck and the Spy Girl were okay together, but about the fourth best (Chuck and his extra-Geeky friend probably rank third).

    "You don't rehearse Mr. T, you just turn him loose."
    -----Sylvester Stallone, on Mr. T-----

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    Hook 'em Horns! muggle's Avatar
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    Re: Chuck -> Josh Schwartz & NBC's answer to Jake 2.0?

    Knowing your discerning taste, Krom, I will most certainly give it a shot.

    Plus it got Heroes old timeslot (which is moved to an hour later), so if it's at all decent, it will last with that plum spot.

    And seeing as my name is really Chuck, I feel an obligation to know what this is about since there are sure to be jokes made at my name's expense in the near future (I'm a bit of a geek as well). With movies Chuck & Larry and Good Luck Chuck, it seems like it's popping up constantly.

    My Heroes Season I DVD came with the preview disk for the Bionic Woman & Friday Night Lights, but I haven't bothered to watch it yet.
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    Re: Chuck -> Josh Schwartz & NBC's answer to Jake 2.0?

    This pilot is one of the freebies available on Amazon Unbox (through September 23, I believe). I'm downloading it now, and I'm going to try to watch in the next day or two.

  8. #8
    Wait, what? ArchieComic Fan's Avatar
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    Re: Chuck -> Josh Schwartz & NBC's answer to Jake 2.0?

    I saw the pilot On Demand. It was cute enough but I don't think it will be on my must-see list. I also watched The Bionic Woman pilot - awful imo.

    ETA: I did think the action scenes in Chuck were pretty cool. And I loved the end where
    Click to see Spoiler:
    the NSA guy becomes an employee so he can keep tabs on Chuck. And I used to work at Best Buy so I got a good laugh over the store comparison.
    . Okay the more I think about it, I'll probably watch the next episode.
    Last edited by ArchieComic Fan; 09-18-2007 at 09:58 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Chuck -> Josh Schwartz & NBC's answer to Jake 2.0?

    I saw the pilot too (yay for OnDemand! ) and I enjoyed it. The lead actor had a kind of John Krasinski vibe, so I think he'll get some attention from female fans. I always watch a lot of fall pilots and then, by a month into the season, I've maybe added one of two shows to my viewing schedule. Who knows if they can keep it up, but I thought this was a nice balance of action and humor with some drama as well.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  10. #10
    would rather be cruising! marybethp's Avatar
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    Re: Chuck -> Josh Schwartz & NBC's answer to Jake 2.0?

    I thoroughly enjoyed it and it's so not something I would normally choose. Did you see the sign in the Buy More store? You can save more if you buy more so you can save more but you have to buy more....or something to that effect

    I liked the action and the goofball humor. Not sure how they can do this from week to week, but I really enjoyed it tonight.

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