Monday, October 01, 2007

Thumbs Up 4 Chuck & Other Thoughts About TV

Veered dangerously close to an "upchuck" joke there... but I wouldn't stoop to that. No, not me - this blog is the classiest place on the internet.

Right.

Anyhoo... some more musings on the current state of television...

Chuck

  • I've seen the pilot episode twice now (once by myself & once with my wife) and I've enjoyed myself both times.
  • Here's the best description I've been able to come up with: it's a cross between Alias & Ugly Betty.
  • Any show that can manage to hang a major plot point on Zork as well as hiring Adam Baldwin (Jaine from - collective sigh of regret - Firefly) is aces in my book.
  • It's incredibly implausible - seriously, it makes Prison Break look like a documentary - but it's a comedy with dramatic undertones rather than a drama with comic moments, so heap on the wild coincidences!
  • It also makes a really nice lead-in for Heroes.

Journeyman

  • Also on Monday nights (after Heroes, naturally), the pilot was more interesting than I thought it would be.
  • Best description I can come up with: Quantum Leap + Early Edition, mixed with a nice, healthy dose of reality. (What would happen to your life if you time-traveled on a regular basis?)
  • Shari liked it, too, which is always nice.
  • I'm looking forward to the next episode.

Bionic Woman

  • Let me start out by saying that I was IN LOVE with Lindsay Wagner as a kid... one vacation we went through Ojai, CA (where Jamie Summers supposedly lived) and I wondered if we'd see her ranch house.
  • I'm also a reasonably large fan of the new version of Battlestar Galatica, which was produced/run by the same guy running the new Bionic Woman. You'd figure if anyone could make this work, he could.
  • Shari said it really well: "It's relentlessly dark & I don't understand what's going on." I think may understand a bit more than she did, but I watched X-Files religiously as well as collected comic books - secret govt. organizations are 2nd nature to me.
  • We've both decided it gets one more episode to see if they can pull it together before we give up on it.

Life

  • It's your standard "cop w/a quirk" show - Columbo/Monk/Raines/etc. - but it's well-done.
  • The quirk is Zen Buddhism (plus some kind of conspiracy to frame him for murder).
  • Interesting trend for TV this year: overt spirituality. Whether it's Reaper (with a slacker whose parents sold his soul to the devil) or Amazing Grace (a messed-up cop who talks to an angel) or Life (with it's Zen Buddhist-quoting hero) or even Survivor (with both a Christian radio talk show host & a self-described "gay Mormon flight attendant"), God stuff is out front this year.

The Closer

  • I've now watched the first two seasons on DVD - out here in Podunktania (aka Easton) we don't get cable & I won't spring for dish when I can pick up network TV just fine with an antenna - and I'm sad I missed season 3 (which played this summer on TNT, I think.)
  • The combination of murder mystery, police procedural (esp. the interrogations), department politics & the personal life of the Deputy Chief is mixed almost perfectly.
  • The series can make me sick at the horrors not only of individual violent acts but also of the horrors of the imperfect system we have to catch & prosecute those people... and, within the same episode, smile & laugh & become intertwined in the lives of the Homicide Squad.

3 comments:

Scott said...

You've already read my thoughts on Bionic Woman and Life - liked Life a lot, Bionic Woman may take some time to find its legs (like the pun?) - and I've now seen both Chuck episodes.

My verdict? I like it. It's fun. I told a friend at church Sunday that its a 21st century version of Get Smart. Speaking of implausibility, I still don't get why Chuck has been left working at Buy More instead of brought in to either NSA or CIA headquarters...but I'm letting it go for right now and just enjoying the ride.

Greg J. Schloesser said...

You watch too much TV, Mark! :o)

Dani in NC said...

Scott took the words right out of my mouth regarding "Chuck". I've been commenting on other blogs that the show is much more enjoyable if you regard it as a modern "Get Smart". Sometimes genre fans get too hung up on shows being 100% accurate. Just watch and enjoy!

I think I might like "Bionic Woman" better if it was called something else. There are enough changes to the original concept that I don't think anyone would cry foul about the bionic limbs. Unlike other remakes I have accepted (Star Trek: TNG comes to mind), this new show takes a sunny, happy show from my childhood and makes it dark and forbidding.