NBC MONDAY LINEUP Reviews of: 'CHUCK' - 8pm 'HEROES' - 9pm 'JOURNEYMAN' - 10pm by Anthony Zicari
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'CHUCK' EPISODE 1
COMPUTER GEEK BY DAY. GOVERNMENT OPERATIVE BY NIGHT.
Well, the new NBC fall season is off and running. Last night was Monday night premier night and the new hour long comedy/drama Chuck led off the night in the 8 PM time slot.
Chuck is the story of well, Chuck a middle mannered computer repair specialist employed by a Best Buy type mega chain store as one of the "Nerd Herd." His best friend from college just happens to be a spy, who has stolen some important national secrets. He then encodes them subliminally into an e-mail which he sends to Chuck the hapless slacker. Who hasn't been on a date since college. Chuck then unknowingly opens the e-mail and "downloads" the national secrets into his brain making him a walking vault of national secret knowledge and a target for all types of assassins who want the information and government agents who don't want the secrets to get out.
As you can no doubt guess all type of high jinks ensue. The main point of this episode was basically setting the whole premise up, and involved Chuck disarming a bomb and saving the day at the end. For me though this new series and especially this first episode lacked any drama or heightened sense of urgency. The whole time I was watching I predicted exactly what would happen moments before it actually happened. Especially during the bomb diffusing scene. I mean come on if you watched it you knew exactly what was going to happen and that he was going to save the day. There's no surprise or mystery to the show at all. It's basically an hour of jokes and sight gags.
There was an especially funny part where Chuck goes into a big warehouse type store and there's an assassin following him.
I was hoping for more MacGuyver and Alias and less sitcom pandering. There wasn't nearly enough action sequences and the one that were there were not all that fantastic. The best pairing and witty banter is between Chuck and his best friend Morgan. As they go back and forth and take jabs at each other. In my opinion Morgan seems like a much more likeable character than the lead.
The cast seems likeable enough and the characters do seem slightly believable. Zachary Levi is Chuck, Joshua Gomez is Morgan his slacker friend, Yvonne Strzechowski is Sarah Walker the secret agent and Chucks "handler," and Sarah Lancaster is Ellie Chucks sister. I guess that I was just expecting more from this show. Especially in this prime time slot leading into NBC's megahit HEROES.
The show does have promise and left me asking a lot of questions. Let's just hope that things start to pick up from here. This is an interesting premise and it seems like it is headed in the right direction at least. As long as they can work out all the bugs before it's to late and this becomes one of the first of the new crop of shows to receive the inevitable ax before it has a chance to find it's audience and it's voice.
'HEROES' SEASON 2 EPISODE 1
FOUR MONTHS LATER
NBC's megahit juggernaut HEROES kicked off it's second season with it's premier last night. In a tale aptly titled "Four Months Later", we were reunited with all of our favorite heroes, catching up with them and what they have been up to since the events of the first season finale.
Now for those of you who have been living under a rock Heroes is the story of a group of seemingly ordinary people from all walks of life who after a solar eclipse suddenly realize they have super powers.
I must say that I have been waiting not so patiently for this show to return ever since the final episode of season one, and this first episode of season two did not disappoint. It was like catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Volumne One came to a close with the end of episode 23 and Volumne Two began last night. It is a totally new story. In this premier we catch up with all of the "original" heroes as in the natural scheme of things four months have passed since the season one finale and the supposed death of Peter Petrelli. Claire, HRG and the rest of the Bennet clan have now moved to the town of Costa Verde, California and are settling into day to day life there. Just trying to keep a low profile. But we all know that never works. Hiro Nakamura is stranded in 1671 Feudal Japan after time jumping during the battle with Sylar and runs headlong into his hero Takezo Kensei. Although he doesn't seem all that herois to Hiro at the moment.
We catch up with the other original heroes from season one as well, such as Matt Parkman, and Molly. Mohinder Suresh, Nathan Petrelli and the parents of the heroes. Like Hiro's father and Nathan and Peter's Mother. Who all seem to be marked for death on someones hit list. I have my thoughts and theories. Perhaps over time I'll share them with you, but for now I'll be keeping them to myself. In addition there are new fresh faces. Both heroes and villains.
Heroes is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant Television landscape. In my humble opinion it is the absolute best show on TV. From the writing to the acting everything is top notch, and I am happy to see the second season and to have Heroes back on TV. I am looking forward to the new season and seeing what develops. Welcome back old friend, welcome back.
'JOURNEYMAN' EPISODE 1
TIME TRAVELING NEWSPAPER REPORTER
Rounding out NBC's Monday lineup is the new offering Journeyman. It is the story of time traveling newspaper reporter Dan Vasser. In this premier episode we are introduced to Dan played by Kevin McKidd and all of the important players.
His time traveling powers seem to be somehow linked to his dead fiancee played by Moon Bloodgood. This of course doesn't aid his already strained marriage to Katie played by Gretchen Egolf. Whom Dan always seems to disappear on to one of his time traveling escapades at exactly the wrong time.
I'm sure that you've probably figured out by now though that he takes it upon himself to aid the people in need during his time jumps and help them to change their lives for the better. Of course this has been seen a hundred times before, and to me kind of seems like a mix between Early Edition and Quantum Leap. There have even been comparisons between it and a show from last year called Day Break.
Now for me this show is 100 times better than Day Break. But it doesn't quite live up to the other shows that I mentioned. Kevin McKidd as the main character Dan Vasser is quite good as an actor and very likeable. I do like the characters and the direction of the show. The drama could use some work though. Kevin Falls the Emmy award winning writer/producer is executive producer and writer, and Alex Graves the Emmy award winning director/producer is executive producer and director for the pilot. With all this award winning talent on board let's hope things take a turn for the better and soon. It's a promising new show and I'm at least as of now slightly interested in seeing where it's going, but things have got to get better. If they don't I'm sure that myself along with the rest of the audience will be "journeying" to other destinations at 10 PM on Monday nights.