Monday, September 20, 2010

Review - Chuck Season 4 Episode 1 Chuck Vs. The Anniversary

Somehow we're here: at the fourth season of Chuck. Each year, Chuck has been on the chopping block, and while so many shows have fallen in the same time, Chuck was the one glimmer of light, the one show that just wouldn't go down. By many standards, Chuck is veteran of television, a well-worn, battle-hardened contender, when it seems like just yesterday, this fresh new spy show entered our lives.

Like the previous season premieres, "Chuck Vs. The Anniversary" changes the status quo, in a way more unbelievable than previous iterations. I've always thought Chuck struck the right balance of comedy and drama, but the first episode rubbed me the wrong way.

The episode takes off from the get-go with an overly amusing tone and choppy sequencing, without first providing some kind of dramatic bearing. Sarah and Casey are off doing their spy work while Chuck and Morgan, both retired from the CIA, go all around the world in search for Chuck's mother and do a bit of job hunting. They land in the remade Buy More, finally under complete CIA/NSA control, which is purely to show off Olivia Munn. And the relationship issue between Sarah and Chuck, their distance, falls on the comedy side with the sexting humor, and gets resolved by the end of the episode.

The final scene gave a small push with Chuck's mom tapping an energy source and taking out Volkoff's henchmen to protect her family. Until I watch more episodes, I don't really have an opinion, though Linda Hamilton kicking ass is awesome.

Again, Chuck will have to deceive Ellie about their mother's fate, retreading a familiar setup. But this time, Ellie has knowledge of what her brother is capable of.

All in all, "Chuck Vs. The Anniversary" was a disappointment. It was fun and the references to Rocky IV and Repo Man were nice touches, but the episode lacked much of the serious backbone that usually props the show up under too much silliness or lack of plot.

Score: 8.5/10
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