Show: Chuck (NBC)
Episode: “Chuck Versus the Pink Slip” & “Chuck Versus the Three Words” – Two-hour Season Premiere (Season 3)
Premiere Date: Sunday, January 10th, 2010
Rating: 3.5 out of 4 Stars
Quick Synopsis: Guys, I know more than kung fu, sometimes.
Review: Chuck is one of my favorite shows on TV and I’ve been telling people for weeks that they should be watching the show. But, that they didn’t need to worry if they hadn’t been watching, cause the first three episodes were crafted in such a way to get everyone, fans and newbies alike, to the same place.
Going into the episodes both fans and newbies have no idea what it means for Chuck to have been upgraded to Intersect 2.0. How will things work or will they? We are all pretty much on the same level. Yet, by the end of the episode, we understand that it was not meant for him. The Intersect 2.0 was meant for a well trained and emotionally stable operative.
What a new viewer doesn’t know is the characters and the relationships and that is one of the things I loved about these two episodes. They do a great job of introducing all the characters and their dynamics to the uninitiated viewer while still moving the story forward for long time fans. It does this while setting up the overall story arc for the season.
Another thing I loved about these episodes is how well they deal with the Chuck and Sarah relationship. At the end of season two, there was the possibility of Chuck no longer being an asset and maybe Sarah wanting to leave the spy game to be with him. When Chuck makes the decision to reload himself with the upgrade, this put that whole possibility in question. That is, until we see that Sarah is willing to run away with him in the first episode tonight. But, we learn that Chuck decided not to go with her and by the end of the second episode, we fully learn his reasoning. It resets things, yet pushes things forward.
Other great things about the first two episodes of Chuck Season Three:
- The music really sets the mood and becomes a character unto itself. This has always been the case and continues in these episodes. Why they don’t release a soundtrack for the show is beyond me.
- The pop culture references, like the Tron and Comic Con posters in Chuck’s room, the Rocky ending to the first episode, and others.
- Chuck’s new abilities, when they work. How awesome was Chuck breaking into the vault in the second episode? Or, the Mariachi guitar playing in the first?
- How Chuck’s emotions both get in the way and also save the day. How him not being a real spy comes in handy as often as it gets them in trouble.
- How the show surprises, I mean, who saw the jarring execution of Emmett, played by the excellent Tony Hale (Arrested Development).
- How well the Buy More storyline was incorporated into the spy story arc in the second episode. It served the story well and allowed for each character to get some screen time by the end of the two hours.
I just love this show, it’s so much fun. Even when the last seen leaves you on one of those happy/sad notes, with Sarah finally seeing why Chuck didn’t go with her. But, after the next episode plays Monday night, we’ll be fully introduced to the everyone and ready for the overall story arc of the season to be introduced in episodes four and five over the next couple weeks.
What did you think of the third season premiere of Chuck? I want to hear from both long time fans and first time viewers. Let me know in the comments.
Great episode last night. I was really worried that giving Chuck new skills would change the show, but it was still the same Chuck that has grown to be my favorite show. The screw-up with the briefcase in the vault was classic Chuck.
I can’t wait for tonight’s episode.
I like Chuck and I enjoyed the show, but I was a little disappointed.
I had hoped that Chuck would have little more control of his powers and less helpless. I will continue to watch, but I am still hoping that Chuck learns some secret to control his “flashes” so he can be even more effective and awkward. But I suppose that is the nature of the show and I’ll have to live with it.
I thought the 2 episodes were great for regular season episodes. However, for the big 2 hour premiere, I thought they were a little anticlimactic. I felt they should have felt more like 1 supersized episode instead of 2 distinct episodes. I was also a little annoyed that so much of it is the exact same. Chuck is absolutely my favorite show, but I was ready for Chuck to grow a little more. I thought they could have brought him back into the Buy More with out making him just another member of the Nerd Herd. I appreciate classic chuck, but I want him to progress in life as well.
We LOVE Chuck, but I was not happy with the new slang, crude comments about women by the herd and the increased visibility of kills etc. That was part of the charm of Chuck, it was decent and I could watch it with kids (for the most part). Now each week has brought my family cringe moments. I’m hoping I’m not alone and others have voiced their concerns over the changes. Previously I would have recommended it to anyone, but now I can’t. This last episode 2/8/10 was better; but I remain cautious for now.