We watched the first episode of the new season of Chuck. You can watch it, too. If you taped it. Or, if you have a computer, it's also at the show site. Did the show that was fun in its first season hit a sophomore slump? Is it now a pale shadow of its former self, which we must buy on DVD? Should anyone ever reveal the full contents of a story in its opening paragraph?
Chuck starts the season with Michael Clarke Duncan hanging him upside down. Convenient time for a season 1 recap.
This is funny Michael Clarke Duncan from Scorpion King and Talladega Nights, not big mean Michael Clarke Duncan from other movies that I didn't see. Brutal, but good with the deadpan.
Nice entrance for Sarah and Casey. This is the first time a series with Adam Baldwin got a second season.
There's a callback to the first season's running joke about Chuck waiting in the car.
Chuck gets confident because he might be free of the computer stuff in his head. So this will be a "Gilligan and the castaways might get off the island" episode. If they do, I mean, if he does, the show's over.
And here we are again with funny Chuck being all charming, and tough-as-nails spy chick Sarah being momentarily sweet.
"Anything you want, you could have," she says.
The theme music is Cake. Are we in 1995?
The Buy More comic relief gang are now in the opening credits.
"Hip to Be Square" by the immortal Huey Lewis and the News. Are we in 1985?
I kid Huey Lewis. That's a good song.
Captain Awesome got a real name last season, and I find that unnecessary. Maybe they didn't want it to become a "thing," like Kramer on Seinfeld. Which lasted 10 years and everyone remembers fondly. Nice going, Chuck people.
Morgan! He did something with his hair, which makes him look a little less awkward, but that's the point of him. He still has the swarthy beard, though.
Morgan calls their Call of Duty co-op play foes the "Large Mart douches."
Big Mike sets up a potentially wacky subplot that would keep Chuck in the Buy More and away from the spy action. Again.
Now Chuck wonders about his future and such, again, implying personal growth in a character that needs to remain where he is for the show to work.
:11 And here we go. Spy chick doing naughty things that are totally not her character. She's not oblivious or immune to Chuck's nerd charms, which is a nice, less gut-twisting break from reality.
If only she had one character that she stuck with for an entire episode.
Oh, my heavens. Chuck turns on the Chuck-ism and asks her out on a date date! Chuck roolz!
Why, with the sexy underwear? I am not complaining about the existence of it. Of that I am in favor. But why does Sarah, the character, dress in black underwear and garters for Chuck, who she knows is kind of a goofball? Is she doing it because she really likes him? Because she thinks this is the last she'll see of him so she'll let him get to first base?
There is very little private-moment time with Sarah, so I have no idea what she really thinks about Chuck.
She left her gun. That's obviously going to bite her in the black-pantied ass.
Sarah allows Chuck to gush about how great she is. Why? Why does that frustrate me so?
"Not so bad yourself," is all she gives him.
"I'm fantastic." Chuck has some sass on him. About time.
Michael Clarke Duncan bounces back, with the line of the night: "I assume you find me imposing. I was going for imposing."
Then he says, "The people who hire me give ME
the heebie jeebies.
Michael Clarke Duncan saying the words "heebie-jeebies" is choice.
Skip ahead to the end spoilers: We never hear anything more about those people.
Now Chuck's miserable, and it's another Huey Lewis song. Now it's "Power of Love." He feels the power of love for Sarah? Why?
It's harder than diamonds and stronger than steel, and you won't feel nothin' until you feel, that's why.
Hijinks at the Buy More. Chuck puts Morgan in charge, and finally gets back to the main plot. Ah, Morgan.
Morgan plays Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Excellent. Look at us now, busted up and everyone talking about hard rain.
I watched this episode on NBC's website, and every 10 to 12 minute chunk is broken up by a commercial. Which is fewer commercials than on TV. NBC's online streaming is smooth, so I watch it with no hang-ups. But the Nissan ad skips and jumps. In your face, commerce!
Chuck takes care of business. Michael Clarke Duncan's reaction is funny.
Ten minutes to go and the show's not over?
Captain Awesome was on a diet? Did they ever mention that? It's like Awesome and Chuck's sister have their own, not-as-good series and we see clips of it during this show.
Now it's bland alterna-rock? What happened to Huey Lewis and the News? Why them twice, but now it's a completely different, bad emo-style song? Some Huey Lewis songs will make you sad. For different reasons, but still sad.
:39 You would know what's happening in this scene, only if you saw the very first episode of Chuck.P>
There's no explanation that this is the programming of agents with the Intersect. It just looks like guys in suits and glasses standing in front of a greenscreen. Are they filming a music video?
I understand what the storyline reason is, but I'm not the general public. Where is the tenderness?
:41 And there's the return of the show's status back to quo. Except for the cast member what got blowed up, I guess.