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Posts tagged ‘Chuck’

Fall TV 2010: My Reviews of NBC Mondays of Chuck, Chase, and The Event

With the new fall season starting, new TV is bring us the good, the bad, and the mediocre, but how do you sort out the good and the bad? Here is what to watch this fall, so you can see the best new friendships, new loves, new action, and new heart. Now, NBC is rebuilding and for Mondays, then are making it or trying to get it to be action-packed, do they succeed?…

What NBC Says about Chase and The Event:

“Chase” is a fast-paced drama from Emmy Award-winning executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer (“CSI” franchise, “The Amazing Race,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) and executive producer Jennifer Johnson (“Cold Case”) that drops viewers smack into the middle of a game of cat-and-mouse as a team of U.S. marshals hunts down America’s most dangerous fugitives. Kelli Giddish (“Past Life”) stars as U.S. Marshal Annie Frost, a cowboy boot-wearing deputy whose sharp mind and unique Texas upbringing help her track down the violent criminals on the run. Cole Hauser (“K-Ville”), Amaury Nolasco (“Prison Break”), Rose Rollins (“The L Word”) and Jesse Metcalfe (“Desperate Housewives”) also star as members of Frost’s elite team.

“The Event” is an emotional, high-octane conspiracy thriller that follows Sean Walker (Jason Ritter, “The Class”), an Everyman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of his fiancee, Leila (Sarah Roemer, “Disturbia”), and unwittingly begins to expose the biggest cover-up in U.S. history. Sean’s quest will send ripples through the lives of an eclectic band of strangers, including: newly elected U.S. President Martinez (Golden Globe nominee Blair Underwood, “Dirty Sexy Money”); Sophia (Emmy Award nominee Laura Innes, “ER”), who is the leader of a mysterious group of detainees; and Sean’s shadowy father-in-law (Scott Patterson, “Gilmore Girls”). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind. Ian Anthony Dale (“Daybreak”) and Emmy winner Zeljko Ivanek (“Damages”) also star in the ensemble drama.

I enjoy action, I enjoy character, and I enjoy intrigue, and when I read all the pilot scripts last winter, one certainly peaked my interested. Chase. That series eventually went to NBC, and was picked up, and now with the pilot airing tonight at 10/9c, I find myself still enjoying it. Chase is not NBC’s big hope, that honor goes to The Event, which I will talk about in a bit, but Chase is something that takes a over-used subject (U.S. Marshalls) and makes it all about the action, and it is damn good action. Ironically, the “chase” sequences are of movie-like quality thanks to the kickass Kelli Giddish, but the series lacks in one thing, the script was featuring, character. Our lead Annie Frost (Giddish), is nothing more than a eye-piece into the world, and not a woman we know and I can only hope they explore that soon, and more characters I wish they would explore are on the show preceding it.

The Event is this TV season’s new seralized series, last year it was FlashForward and we all know how that turned out, and the future is certainly unclear for NBC’s offering which sure packs a lot in the first 44 minutes. The series lead, Jason Ritter (right), is awesome and nieve, and fun, and the show is a trip. The pilot is created in such a weird narrative structure, jumping time, characters every act, and you have to pay attention to get a glimpse in the world creator Nick Wauters is trying to create. No, the “Event” seemingly does not happen in the pilot, or does it, and it is a mystery the creators promised will be answered early, and if it’s not, then it may not be worth your time.

The Event is certainly an ensemble show from Blair Underwood as the President, Laura Innes as a mysterious detaniee to Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls) as a loving father, and even Emmy-winner Zeljko Ivanek as the CIA director, and the ensemble rocks, as is the same with Chuck, which enters its FOURTH (!!) season tonight at 8/7c.

The season premiere is as Chuck always does, a series-changer of sorts, setting a new structure for the new year, as Chuck, Sarah, and Casey are battling new foes in their personal and professional spy lives. It is a smile-fest. I could not take a huge grin off my face the entire time I was watching, and you will see your favorite characters in a whole new life, including General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy, now a series regular) as well as the staple, Buy More, which is now a CIA/NSA headquarters. Chuck gives us smiles, The Event gives us things to think about, and Chase gives us that action we crave, the new NBC Mondays are one to watch, starting tonight at 8/7c, and for the sake of broadcast television as a whole, lets all hope it works out.

New Seasons, New DVDs: Your Favorite Nerd and Troubled Brothers

Once again, my weekly DVD post has some returning favorites bringing new seasons to DVD.

Chuck, out tomorrow on DVD, gives us their complete 3rd season, which means all 19 episodes. Chuck is in my top 5 shows of the past season, which included deaths, reveals, and most of all friendship and love coming together into an action packed light-hearted drama.

The box set, includes one of the best blooper reels I have ever seen along with an outstanding mockumentary on the show’s signature band Jeffster. The other feature, a sort-of compilation of the season’s best moments capped by commentary of the cast is the usual but still interesting as three out of the five executive producers have left the show after this season, leaving only the creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak to do the continued good work.

Also out tomorrow, is the complete 5th season of Supernatural. This season marked the only ever addition of a regular cast member to the show about two demon-hunting brothers (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki). The addition was Castiel (Misha Collins) who goes on the hunt with the brothers.

The DVD includes the web-only series Ghostfacers, commentary, and a bunch of unaired scenes. Both of the sets are available tomorrow in stores everywhere!

The Calm Before the Storm: Friday’s Upfront News

The schedules are coming, they are coming…

David Lyons in "The Cape"

Before the unveils of the plans, the networks are busy greenlighting series to order today and below is the latest. (Note: this post will be updated throughout the day with new news.)

UPDATED: ABC has picked up two more dramas to its new slate for next year. Dana Delany will officially be moving off of Wisteria Lane to be a medical examiner in Body of Proof. The series revolves around Megan Hunt, who is a cop stuck in the morgue. Also in the series, Jeri Ryan and Sonja Sohn. Second pickup this afternoon is the Shonda Rhimes produced, Jenna Bans written Off the Map. Map is a medical drama set in the tropics about three doctors moving to a remote practice for a change in their lives. Wonderfall‘s Caroline Dhavernas and Mammie Gummer as two of the doctors. More ABC pickups are expected to be revealed soon.

NBC this morning confirmed the demise of one of the longest series in television history, Law & Order. The Dick Wolf stable ran for 20 years which ties the record set by Gunsmoke. The series will wrap on May 24th, but on the flip side is that NBC renewed its most successful spinoff, Special Victims Unit, while creating a new one, LOLA (aka Law & Order: Los Angeles). LOLA will debut in the fall and is ran by Brotherhood creator Blake Masters. No casting has been announced yet.

Friends with Benefits

NBC then went on to order 4 more new series, including one comedy and three dramas. Friends with Benefits, a single-cam comedy from the writers of (500) Days of Summer, and stars Fran Kranz, Ryan Hansen, Jessica Lucas, and Danneel Harris among others. The series is a more modern take on Friends, and revolves around pals trying to navigate of dating world and it is not easy for them. The script was fresh and fun and will be a nice pairing to the already picked-up Perfect Couples.

Kathy Bates in "Harry's Law"

The Cape, a superhero drama from Tom Wheeler, stars the likes of Summer Glau and David Lyons. Lyons plays a man Vince who was wrongly accused of something and is forced to leave his family and become a masked superhero in a Gotham-esque town full of them. It is a certainly originally concept and I applauded the script and NBC decision to pick it up, certainly for midseason due to the effects.

The last two dramas of NBC pickups today both come from familiar faces. Conan O’Brian (still in business with NBC) produces Outlaw (formally Garza) and it is a starring vehicle for Jimmy Smits as a Supreme Court judge that comes to a revelation of the system, quits, and change his life. Finally, David E. Kelly is no stranger to law dramas (Boston Legal, Ally McBeal) and he is at it again with NBC producing Harry’s Law (fka Kindreds). The drama was originally written in a lighthearted script centering around a man, but when they saw the wonderful Kathy Bates that changed. Bates took the lead and the role changed to a woman who is a troubled lawyer who meets some interesting folks that changes her direction. The show also stars the charming Brittany Snow as her secretary.

Below is NBC official release…. (more…)

Thursday’s Upfront Frenzy: The Renewals, Pickups, and Cancellations

Thursday was a pretty quiet day in terms of upfront news as it is fast approaching. That statement worked until tonight when the craziness started!

Matthew Perry in Mr. Sunshine

It all started with the report by that the staple Law & Order was cancelled by NBC because of a dispute with creator Dick Wolf. That was quickly called out too soon as reports of troubles are true, but negotiations are still ongoing but unlikely to change by Monday. NBC reversely picked up the David E. Kelly/Kathy Bates starring vehicle Kindreds for midseason and according to THR, the intelligent Garza legal pilot which is a chance for Jimmy Smits to shine. But the best news from NBC, CHUCK IS RENEWED. Enough said. (The other bubble show Heroes, may get a limited pickup to finish the series.)

ABC took to the waves by announcing six new pickups of series following the announcement of the first drama No Ordinary Family.

First up the new comedies, the fantastically written by star Matthew Perry and pals pilot Mr. Sunshine and starring Allison Janney was one of the three laffers. Mr. Sunshine focuses on a sports center manager (Perry) and his friends, think of it as the male-led Cougar Town). Second is Happy Endings, starring Elisha Cuthbert and Eliza Coupe, and centers around an almost married couple and their eclectic friends. I have read the script by David Caspe flows nicely and is a good adult sitcom. The last official pickup is the only multi-cam by the network, Better Together, which features Joanna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan as sisters who are both in a relationship as well as their parents. Debra Messing’s ABC pilot Wright vs. Wrong is very close to a pickup as well.

The Cast of ABC's Detroit 1-8-7

The new dramas on ABC (more pickups to come tomorrow) include the Michael Imperioli fronted cop drama, Detroit 1-8-7, which had a solid script and a very nice cast including the underrated Aisha Hinds, and The Whole Truth which brings back Joely Richardson to the Jerry Bruckheimer drama, that focus on both sides of the law, with the other side shown by Rob Marrow. Joely is one of my favorite actresses and the script was a refreshing legal concept. The third drama pickup is My Generation (also called Generation Y), written tremendously by Noah Hawley (The Unusuals), focuses on a class of kids that were in a documentary in high school, and now are being looked at once again 10 years later. The class includes actors such as Mechad Brooks, Jamie King, and Kelli Garner.

In terms of current shows at ABC, a personal favorite V has been renewed for a second season, and now multiple sources including EW, are reporting that Better off Ted, Romantically Challenged, Scrubs, and FlashForward, are all cancelled.

CBS picked up their first freshman entry today, Mike and Molly. The pilot about a couple that meets at a meeting for “larger” people is from their favorite creator Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory) and stars the wonderful women Melissa McCarthy and Swoosie Kurtz.

Lastly on the cable side, partner networks TBS and TNT, who are both doing presentations next week, picked up new series. TBS greenlit Glory Daze, which stars a crew of unknowns that play 80’s college students in Wisconsin. Finally in a pilot started at TBS, Franklin and Bash moved to TNT and Lynette Rice at EW is reporting has been okay-ed for series. The pilot about street smart lawyers stars Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

Stay tuned throughout the night, tomorrow, and the weekend for the latest in advance of the Upfronts next week.

Beards, Tic Tacs, Names, and Exams: First Look at the Next 4 Hours of NBC’s ‘Chuck’

Chuck has many new missions, 12 to be exact for the year, and on his quest to become a real spy the next few are going to be critical. The next four in question, against a “Fake Name”, a “Beard,” “Tic Tacs,” and against the “Final Exam,” and they are critical, but they are some of Chuck’s best.

I was fortunate enough to get to see the next 4 hours which start airing tonight at 8/7c on NBC, and I do not want to say the show is perfect, these hours showcase what make it so close to perfection. They feature action, emotion, intrigue, depth, and most of all, fun, that make the viewing experience so memorable. I cannot say much of the plot because the episodes features so many revelations, I would not and Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak do not want to ruin it for you. Episode 9 (March 8th) notably is directed by the series star Zachary Levi and is I believe the best episode the series has created.

I cannot not talk about the controversy surrounding the way the series left off before the Olympics and it is key to remember that the episode was never meant to be a cliffhanger as many fans thought. I among others was not happy with the direction of the show  during the last few weeks but for entirely different reasons.I was not happy with the story, the cases were not grabbing me and the integration of the Buy More and notably Hannah (Kristin Keurk) was not happening the way I had hoped. Others however were concerned that in the last episode, Chuck hooked up with Hannah, and Sarah with Shaw. Relax, Chuck and Sarah are not over and far from it, and to get angry over the hookups is unnecessary. Both Shaw and Hannah will not be around forever, and one will take off sooner than you think, so just step back, continue watching and enjoy the ride.

Please return to NBC and catch Chuck tonight at 8.7c!

First Look: My Review of NBC’s Chuck

Chuck is the best thing on NBC. Not The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, no it is Chuck. Are the first 5 hours evidence of that….

Chuck returns to NBC tonight for a two-hour special première event at 9/8c and then returning to its regular slot on Monday at 8/7c.

I have seen the first 5 hours of season 3 and I can proudly say they are some of the best hours the creative team has done. Fun, action packed, plot moving hours, with of course some great guest stars that pair nicely with the sublime cast.

If you have not seen Chuck, it is about a nerdy guy of the same name out of college who works at a tech store that accidentally gets all the government secrets in his head, so the CIA comes in and use him on missions, without the knowledge of his sister and brother-in-law, coworkers, and everybody else in his life.

Flash to the end of season 2, Chuck is still helping the CIA out from the help of Sarah, his beautiful handler, and Casey, the stubborn worker, but thanks to his father, now has NEW government secrets in his head that allows him to do things he very well could not do before, like say Kung-Fu!

Season 3 picks of a time off since we last saw the crew, and the first two hours that air Sunday (Chuck vs. the Pink Slip and Chuck vs. Three Words) provided great leverage for the story-line that will continue the season, including more Chuck-Sarah romance news, and a new management at the Buy More. Jeffster is still around, as well as Morgan and Big Mike, but sadly Anna was a casualty of the suprising but deserved pick up.

Subsequent hours such as Chuck vs. The Angel of Death, which I loved because it gave Ellie (Sarah Lanchester), Chuck’s sister, some meaty stuff to do, as well as a great guest star in Armand Assante, as a funny but ruthless dictator that has a vendetta against Casey. Angie Harmon shows up in “Chuck vs. Operation Awesome” who plays, what else, a spy that is not interested in Chuck, but something else. The real gem though of the first five episodes comes on January 25th, when Chuck has to arrive on his first solo mission with Stone Cold Steve Austen as well as the adorable and kind Kristin Keurk, who enters as a recurring role. It does what Chuck does best, fun action comedy, nothing to serious, but nothing that makes it not genuine.

Genuine, is a word I think really does sum up Chuck. What you get each moment, what you see on-screen, is what you always get. Chuck never does a low blow, or gives you something that goes against who they are. They are funny, intelligent, and most of all fun!

Please what Chuck, tonight at 9.8c on NBC!

DVD Releases of the Week: Chuck brings the fun, ER the drama.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday and maybe you got some great gift cards you want to spend on some DVD’s? Well here are two fine choices.

First, NBC actually has great programming. Surprise! It’s returning January 10th but you can catch the second year now. Chuck: The Complete Second Season is on DVD now, and it is full of great episodes, a great cast, and great extras. There are 22 episodes in the set and it also includes a special 3D version of the day after the Super Bowl episode that aired in February. (3D glasses are included).

Also on the DVD, one of the best gag reels I have seen featuring among the great supporting cast the hilarious Zachary Levi (Chuck) and Adam Baldwin (Casey). Adam’s character Casey also hosts a special on “How to be a Spy?” in a very deadly fashion, as well as Chuck’s brother-in-law Awesome (Ryan McPartalin) telling us appropriately how to, be well, awesome!.

Chuck is rarely considered in award season except for the stunt categories which it has one twice at the Emmys, and a DVD special shows you why with a great mash-up of all the scenes. Chuck is a gem, a light-hearted spy comedy in a world full of dark dramas, and it is so worth checking out on DVD and on TV starting January 10th at 9/8c on NBC.

Also out this week is the long running, but now departed ER with a release of the 12th season (which aired in the 2005-2006 season, with a total of 22 episodes). The 12th season notably featured John Stamos introduced as Paramedic Tony Gates and the departure of Sherry Stringfield as my favorite Dr. Susan Lewis. In the 12th year, ER for me was trying to regain its footing after a low run after the initial cast all moved there separate ways, but after a bit it gets right back in this season and you will be wanting to just pop in an episode and get a great medical drama. At its core ER made each case special, and interesting, what more could you want?  Both Chuck and ER are out now!

Click for a clip from the 12th season of ER(more…)