Category Archives: Chuck Me Mondays

Chuck Me Mondays: Season One, Episode Three – “Chuck vs. the Tango”

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“Chuck vs. the Tango”

Season One, Episode Three

In its pilot, Chuck was a show with a great deal of potential. In its second episode, it was a show that still hadn’t quite pieced together its dynamic. And, when it first aired in 2007, I won’t tell a lie: through two episodes I was not quite sold.

And then came “Chuck vs. the Tango,” an episode that is the earliest sign of the show that this would eventually become. It’s the moment when the Nerd Herd would come into its own as a legitimate source of comedy and antics, when Chuck would enter the field as Charles Carmichael, and when nearly every sphere of the series would come into its own simultaneously.

In revisiting the episode, and revisiting my own comments, it is clear that this is the moment that I officially made the leap from an interested party to an outright fan of Chuck Bartowski and the world that surrounds him.

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Chuck Me Mondays: Season One, Episode Two – “Chuck vs. The Helicopter”

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“Chuck vs. the Helicopter”

Season One, Episode Two

There was a time when I wasn’t sure if Chuck was going to work, and I’ll admit right now that Chuck vs. the Helicopter was the beginning of this feeling. As I noted last week as we started this Chuck Me Mondays project, I really liked the pilot, but this episode kind of lost me due to a few little plotting quirks, some of them the result of the traditional post-pilot adjustments and others a problem of definition. It may seem odd now that we’ve seen two seasons worth of the show, especially the amazing work in season two, but there was a time when Chuck was really struggling to find its footing.

That said, there are plenty of things to like about this episode that, if suffering from a bit of a necessary but offputting crisis of character, nonetheless send the show on the right path moving forward.

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Chuck Me Mondays: Season One, Episode One – “Chuck vs. The Intersect”

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Chuck Me Mondays:

“Chuck vs. The Intersect”

[As any fan of Chuck knows, the good folks at Chucktv.net have organized a scenario whereby everyone, all at the same time (Mondays at 9pm, it seems), watches the entirety of Chuck’s first two seasons between now and the show’s return later this year. It’s a great way to keep the hype alive (Twitter hash tag #ChuckMeMondays shows it all!), introduce new people to the show, and just revisit a really fun series. For me, I’ve blogged about many of the episodes already: in those instances, I’m going to link to my original review and then offer some retrospective thoughts based on having seen the first two seasons. In instances where I haven’t reviewed the episode (like next week’s “Chuck vs. the Helicopter”) I’ll try to offer a bit more of a substantial review. Anyways, onto our first edition!]

Chuck’s pilot was something that really excited me upon first viewing: having been able to see the episode ahead of its premiere, I was quick to offer my thoughts to my (much smaller than the present) readership in terms of how much I was looking forward to the series.

Pilot Preview: NBC’s Chuck [August 2007]

The O.C. remained a credible formula for Josh Schwartz because he balanced the oversexed teenage promiscuousness with witty and sarcastic banter, and those two parts stayed relatively intact following its demise. And so, like the sensible and smart man he is, Schwartz took the oversexed teenage promiscuousness and channeled it into “Gossip Girl” for The CW, and took the witty and sarcastic banner and found a home for it on NBC.

The resulting show is Chuck (Premiering on Monday, September 24th at 8pm on NBC), an action-thriller comedy series that places Schwartz’s sharp dialogue into a setting more acceptable for the Seth-like viewers the show is trying to reel in. The result is a series that is sharp, funny, and certainly one of the most potential-filled pilots of the 2007 Fall Season.

I think I leaned a bit too heavily on The O.C. comparisons, as the show certainly evolved beyond its geek appeal, but the point stands that the pilot emphasizes the way the show uses its witty banter for good and not evil, and never falls so far down one of its many outlets (comedy, drama, romance, etc.) to create an unbalanced pilot.

But having reread that piece, and rewatched the episode in question, I do have some additional thoughts on the pilot that I wouldn’t have been able to have with no idea of what was in store. Now, there will be some light spoilers here, but I’ll try to keep most of them in a “Plot” section at the very end of the main portion of the post.

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