11 December 2010

JR Late Night TV Show Review: Chuck

JR's TV Buzz Rating: uvwxyz{|}s(9/10)

(choose one from the list below)


Name of the TV Show: Chuck
Date of TV Premiere: September 24, 2007
Format: Action / Comedy
Executive Producer: Josh Schwartz, Joseph McGinty Nichol
Show Creator: Josh Schwartz, Chris Fedak
Original Channel: NBC
Metacritic Rating: 74/100
TV.com Show Score: 9.0 - Superb (out of 12,746 votes)
Running Time: 43 minutes
Debut TV Rating: 9,210,000 Viewers
Official Website: http://www.nbc.com/chuck/
Show Opening Theme: "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" by Cake (instrumental version)

From a retail hack who sells computers to a hunted man with a computer in his brain. Chuck's life changes when an old college friend sends him an e-mail that chucks him into the world of spies.



1. ZACHERY LEVI (as Charles "Chuck" Irving Bartowski)
Charles Irving "Chuck" Bartowski is the main character of the American fictional television show Chuck on NBC.

2. YVONNE STRAHOVSKI (as Agent Sarah Walker)
Sarah Walker is the alias of one of the main characters of the American fictional television show Chuck on NBC. She is one of two agents assigned by the NSA and CIA to protect Chuck Bartowski after he accidentally downloaded the secret government computer known as the Intersect into his brain. Sarah works with John Casey to fulfil this role.

3. ADAM BALDWIN (as Colonel John Casey)
Colonel John Casey (real name Alex Coburn) is one of the main characters of the American fictional television show Chuck on NBC. He is partnered with CIA agent Sarah Walker to protect Chuck Bartowski. Casey is a member of the joint ops team known as Team Bartowski.

4. JOSHUA GOMEZ (as Morgan Grimes)
Morgan Guillermo Grimes is a major character on the NBC television series Chuck. He is the best friend and roommate of Chuck Bartowski. Along with Captain Awesome and Chuck's older sister Ellie, he is one of the few loyal keepers of Chuck's secret life as a spy. Alongside Casey and Sarah, he is also a valued member of Operation Bartowski.

5. SARAH LANCASTER (as Dr. Eleanor "Ellie" Bartowski-Woodcomb)
Eleanor Fay "Ellie" Bartowski-Woodcomb, M.D., is the older sister of title character Chuck Bartowski on the television series Chuck.

6. RYAN McPARTLIN (as Dr. Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb)
Devon Christian "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb, M.D., is a character on the TV series Chuck. His nickname comes from his love of extreme sports and his frequent usage of the word "awesome" in conversation.

7. MARK CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE (as Michael "Big Mike" Tucker)
Michael Tucker was the manager of the Burbank Buy More. He was commonly referred to as Big Mike.

8. VIK SAHAY (as Lester Patel)
Lester Patel is a member of the Nerd Herd who specialized in Apple products. Lester is of Indian descent, and is Jewish.

9. SCOTT KRINSKY (as Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Barnes)
Jeffrey "Jeff" Barnes is a member of the Nerd Herd specializing in Apple products. An alcoholic in his forties, he was champion of Missile Command in 1981 and is significantly older than his coworkers, aside from John Casey and manager Big Mike. His father is evidently part-Native American, allowing Jeff to satisfy a quota at the But More. His mother is in prison, and his sister works (at least part time) as an exotic dancer and performed at Devon Woodcomb's bachelor party.

10. BONITA FRIEDERICY (as Brigadier General Diane Beckman)
General Diane Beckman is Casey's NSA superior. General Diane Beckman is the director of the National Security Agency. Little information has been revealed on General Beckman's background prior to the start of the series. She holds her rank of Brigadier General through the United States Air Force and according to the chart on the back of his Tron poster is believed by Chuck to at one time have been romantically involved with CIA seduction specialist Roan Montgomery. She has revealed that she's spent a significant amount of time and resources over several years prior to the series hunting Orion, the Intersect's chief designer. Little other information about her personal life and service has been revealed, although Beckman maintains a close friendship with Condoleezza Rice.

Chuck Bartowski is in his twenties, living in Burbank, California, working as a computer expert in the Nerd Herd at his local Buy More (parodies of Best Buy's Geek Squad), a large retail consumer-electronics chain, with his best friend, Morgan Grimes. Chuck's sister Ellie and her now-husband Devon "Captain Awesome" Woodcomb are doctors who are constantly encouraging Chuck to make progress in his professional and romantic life.

At the beginning of the series, Chuck receives an e-mail from Bryce Larkin, his former Stanford University roommate, who is now an apparently "rogue" CIA agent. When he opens it, the entire database of all the US government's secret information - a neural supercomputer called the Intersect - is subliminally embedded into his brain. Both the NSA and the CIA want the intelligence returned to them and dispatch agents of their own - Colonel John Casey and Agent Sarah Walker - to retrieve the data.

Since the information was stolen by Bryce and the government's copy is destroyed in his attempted escape, and since Chuck experiences "flashes" of information from the database activated by certain triggers around him (such as faces, voices, in-context keywords, and various objects), he must use the knowledge he now possesses to help the government thwart assassins and international terrorists - upending his previously  uneventful life. In order to preserve their safety, Chuck must keep his newfound occupation a secret from his family and friends, forcing Casey and Walker to establish an uneasy alliance and secret identities; Walker poses as Chuck's girlfriend and takes a cover job at a local restaurant near the Buy More while Casey reluctantly goes undercover as part of the Buy More team.

As the series progresses, it is revealed that rogue spies are engaged in a secret war with the legitimate intelligence community, and that Bryce stole the Intersect to keep the real rogue spies from capturing it. The rogue spies believe they can aid their cause by capturing the human Intersect or by building their own Intersect.

The government, meanwhile, wishes to rebuild the Intersect. This would make the Intersect in Chuck's head redundant, making him a national security risk, so Casey is secretly under orders to kill Chuck if and when he becomes redundant. However, the new Intersect is destroyed by Fulcrum, a rogue spy agency.

Chuck, Sarah and Casey all face professional conflicts as they grow to respect each other and a genuine romantic interest develops between Chuck and Sarah. Chuck's desire to maintain his close relationships and eventually return to a normal life is challenged by the dangers and growing responsibilities of his new secret life, and he gradually becomes a more competent, confident and willing spy.

Chuck's father, Stephen Bartowski, comes into the picture to be there for Ellie's wedding, which brings up painful memories of childhood for Ellie and Chuck. Stephen reveals himself to be a former CIA agent and creator of the Intersect shortly before he is captured and forced to create the Intersect 2.0. This advanced Intersect allows the user to perform physical tasks they previously could not (e.g. martial arts, foreign languages, and musical instrument skills) in addition to the functions of the original Intersect. A series of events leads Chuck to embed the new Intersect into his brain to keep it from being taken.

As of Season 3, Chuck has willingly decided to become a real spy, to Sarah's chagrin. Although he fails "spy school", his effectiveness in the field leads General Beckman to give him a second chance and reinstate him as a member of the team, where Daniel Shaw is introduced to encourage his development as an agent. Chuck struggles to learn to balance his emotions to control the Intersect, which is complicated by his lingering feelings for Sarah. Sarah and Shaw begin dating, but Shaw is turned by the Ring. In "Chuck Versus the American Hero", Chuck is officially inducted as an agent by General Beckman, and in the next episode, "Chuck Versus the Other Guy", he attempts his first kill, shooting Shaw in order to protect Sarah. Chuck and Sarah immediately return to a long-delayed relationship. Chuck's best friend Morgan Grimes also becomes privy to Chuck's "spy secret", following which General Beckman inducts him as part of Chuck's "spy team" and orders John Casey to train him.

In the finale of Season 3, Shaw is revealed to be alive and has downloaded the Intersect as well, and attempts to kill Sarah, Chuck and Casey, and compromise both the NSA and CIA. Chuck thwarts this plan, although his father is killed and his sister finally discovers his double life. The side-effects from the Intersect cause Chuck to regain a childhood memory in which he learns that he accidentally downloaded an early copy of the Intersect into his brain when he was still a young child. The season ends with a retired Chuck discovering his father's secret spy base, dedicated to locating and protecting Chuck's mother and performing spy work that "governments are afraid to do."

Season 4 begins with Chuck and Morgan out of jobs and traveling around the world looking for Chuck's mother, Mary Elizabeth Bartowski, and soon rejoining the CIA, despite Ellie's initial discomfort with Chuck risking his life on spy work. Chuck and Sarah continue to have communication issues, and Chuck's search for his mother entangles him in a fight with Russian international arms dealer Alexi Volkoff and his far-reaching organization Volkoff Industries, who she was assigned to infiltrate 20 years earlier.

1. Chuck Versus The Intersect > The pilot episode of the television series Chuck. It originally aired on September 24, 2007. The series follows the adventures of Chuck Bartowski, a computer geek, and member of a Geek Squad-type (Nerd Herd) retail computer tech, who has downloaded a top-secret government database into his brain.
2. Chuck Versus The Marlin > The 13th episode and season finale of the first season of Chuck. It aired in a special two-episode block on January 24, 2007 with "Chuck Versus the Undercover Lover". Chuck's time as a civilian may be coming to a close when a Fulcrum bug is discovered at the Buy More, while Devon asks Chuck for a very personal favor.
3. Chuck Versus The First Date > The second season premiere of the action-comedy series Chuck. It first aired on September 29, 2009. Chuck's time as the Intersect is coming to a close as the CIA and NSA have completed construction of the new Intersect.
4. Chuck Versus The Ring > The second season finale of Chuck, which aired on April 27, 2009. The day of Ellie and Devon's wedding arrives, but Chuck finds himself forced to protect both his sister and the event from a vengeful Ted Roark. The title of the episode is a double entendre, referencing both the wedding rings, and the Ring, introduced in this episode, who are the main antagonists of season 3.
5. Chuck Versus The Pink Slip > The third season premier episode of the television series Chuck. It aired on January 10, 2010 in a special 2-episode block. After failing "spy school", Chuck must find his way back onto the team, and in the process repair his shattered relationship with Sarah.
6. Chuck Versus The Beard > The 9th episode of third season of the television series Chuck. It originally aired March 8, 2010, and was the television directorial debut of series star Zachary Levi. Chuck is benched when he fails to flash, and when the rest of the team is diverted by a decoy, must rely on Morgan's help to foil a Ring plot to destroy Castle.
7. Chuck Versus The American Hero > The 12th episode of the third season of Chuck. It first aired on March 29, 2010. Chuck is given a week's paid leave before being sent on his first mission as a real agent, and chooses to use that time in an effort to win back Sarah's heart.
8. Chuck Versus The Ring: Part II > The 19th episode and season finale of the third season of Chuck. It was originally aired May 24, 2010 in a special two-hour block with "Chuck Versus the Subway." Team Bartowski escapes execution by Shaw, thank to Morgan and Devon. Learning from an imprisoned General Beckman that the Ring Elders are going to be at a spy convention to take over the CIA and NSA, Team Bartowski prepares to capture the Elders and expose Shaw. Meanwhile, Big Mike receives some serious news about the Buy More.
9. Chuck Versus The Anniversary > The fourth season premiere of Chuck. It originally aired September 20, 2010. When the CIA gains control over the Buy More, Chuck Bartowski begins searching for his mother. Sarah and Casey follow a trail to Russia as they investigate the mysterious Volkoff Industries and its operative, Marco. Back at home, Ellie delivers big news to her family.

Source: Wikipedia.org (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chuck_episodes)

1. A good many references are made to the movie Spies Like Us (1985). The bug used in several episodes is called a GLG-20, which is the designation given to undercover operatives in the movie. Emmett Millbarge is named after the two main characters in the movie, first name taken from Chevy Chase's Emmet Fitzhume, and last name taken from Dan Aykroyd's Austin Millbarge; this is also the order they are introduced in the film. In an episode, Chuck poses as a doctor and references a scene from the movie where doctors go through greeting each other by saying "Doctor, Doctor". Chevy Chase has a guest role in the show.
2. Natalie Martinez was to join the cast after the pilot episode as Kayla Hart, a love interest for Chuck. Martinez appeared in the cast promotional pictures but her character was written out before she could appear on the show.
3. The character of Chuck usually wears Converse Chuck Taylors, often simply referred to as "Chucks".
4. Chuck's alter ego "Charles Charmichael" may be a reference to musician Hoagy Carmichael. Ian Fleming often described his character James Bond as looking like Hoagy Carmichael.
5. During an interview with The A.V. Club, Vik Sahay said that he first auditioned for the role of Morgan, and when the auditions came down to just himself and Joshua Gomez, and Gomez got it, the producers instead offered Sahay the then-smaller role of Lester. Lester has since become a more prominent character than he was in the pilot.
6. Although the Buy More sells the latest home electronics, the TV in the break room is a 1985 Hitachi.
7. Chuck's full name is Charles Irving Bartowski.
8. After appearing in the vast majority of episodes from seasons 1-3, Bonita Friedericy (General Beckman) was finally made a regular cast member in season 4.

Source: Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0934814/trivia)

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1. Continuity: The buildings next to the Buy-More change from Large-Mart to Underpants Etc. over season 1 to season 2.

Source: Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0934814/goofs)




TV Show Title and Introduction = 19/20
TV Show Format/Concept = 19/20
Performance of the Cast = 18/20
Public Popularity Hit = 16/20
Use of Comedy/Drama = 18/20


The TV Show title is based on the main character's nickname which is "Chuck". With the show's Titular Introduction, it already gives its viewers' an idea of what the show is all about - an action-packed show which has a super twist of comedy and adventure. The TV Show Title is very unique especially if it is about an action and suspense show. 

The show has an amazing and ridiculous format where Chuck is always paired up with a particular case that he has to solve with the help of his two friends, namely, Sarah and John. The show is truly different from that of CSI: New York, CSI: Miami and NCIS since the main character is a nerd who always become the victim of the crime he is solving. With that being said, NBC has created one of the best TV series in history that any TV audience will enjoy even though the audience is a kid or adult.

The cast of the TV series are not that popular but very much great for an Emmy award. Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin are really the best trio in a primetime action flick. With their unique antics and serious stunts, they really make the show a hit to the public. There was also no moment in Chuck where the characters failed to commit their role since they put themselves in the shoes of their fictional role. The show also has a lot of nerdy characters which is different from a regular action-themed TV show; this made the show a lot funnier, crazier and better. So, a job well done for the Chuck cast. By the way, Dr. Eleanor and Dr. Devon made the show a lot more interesting with their unique chemistry with each other.

The show has not much impact with the public because it is the competition of very powerful TV shows in America such as ABC's Dancing with the Stars (average of 20,000,000 viewers per episode), Fox's House (average of 12,000,000 viewers per episode), and CBS' How I Met Your Mother (average of 8,000,000 viewers per episode). In the United States, Chuck has an average of 6,500,000 viewers per episode. In its first season the series got an average of 7.83 million viewers per episode with also has the highest rating of Chuck in history which is 9,210,000 viewers in a single episode. However, the show still gets the hearts of TV viewers since a particular Facebook group insisted on continuing the show despite its competition. 

Drama and Comedy are thoroughly planned in each episode. Every viewer enjoys laughing to the antics, crying at Chuck's hard moments, and thrilling with Chuck's near-to-be-killed experiences. The writer's must focus, however, on how to make the show a lot more viewer attracting. The show must at least stick to the status quo of the future to at least make the show a lot more realistic and interesting. All-in-all, the show is still an enjoyable one. 

VI. JR's General Perception and Suggestions
Actually, Chuck is one of my favorite TV Series since it is funny and thrilling at the same time. It is like CSI and The Office mixed up. What makes me love this show is the different episodes which has a different story and concept. I am looking forward to more Chuck episodes in the future. 

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Data Sources:
1. NBC 
(link - http://www.nbc.com/chuck/)

2. Wikipedia.org
(link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_(TV_series))

3. Chuck Wiki
(link - http://chuck-nbc.wikia.com/wiki/Chuck_-_Mondays_on_NBC)

4. TV.com 
(link - http://www.tv.com/chuck/show/68724/summary.html?tag=page_nav;subtabs;summary)

5. Internet Movie Database
(link - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0934814/)

6. YouTube
(link - http://www.youtube.com/)

Coming Up,
January 2011, CSI: Miami TV Show Review
February 2011, Gossip Girl TV Show Review
March 2011, WWE Raw TV Show Review

December 11 2010 (1AM)

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