CHUCK Returns to Kick a Little Ass on Sunday Night (and Monday Too!) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK Returns to Kick a Little Ass on Sunday Night (and Monday Too!)

January 9, 2010 by  

“For the past two years we’ve protected Chuck from the world.
Now we have to protect the world from Chuck.” – General Beckman

I think Bonnie Tyler got it right in her classic 80’s tune when she said “I’m holdin’ out for a hero ’til the end of the night.” Lucky for us, we don’t have to hold out too long because our hero, Chuck Bartowski, is back on Sunday night. And he’s back in a BIG way. And I’m not just talking about the two-hour season premiere on Sunday (9/8c) and new episode on Monday (at it’s regular time of 8/7c). I mean, seriously, the guy knows Kung Fu.

There once was a time when Chuck Bartowski wasn’t a hero. At least not outside of the Nerd Herders who worshiped him at the Buy More. But then his old college roommate sent him an email loaded with government information which was downloaded into his brain. He got some handlers courtesy of the CIA and NSA, and soon enough Chuck Bartowski was, often reluctantly but quite consistently, saving the world.

In last season’s “game changing” final episode, Chuck Bartowski cemented his hero status once again when, for the good of his country, he reenlisted himself into the harrowing world of spydom. A world he was so anxious to leave behind. With the Intersect finally out of his head, Chuck could imagine a life for himself free from bullets, bad guys, and even the Buy More. But despite how much he resisted the role, Chuck Bartowski had become a real spy. Rather than risk the government losing important information that could save the lives of many, Chuck opted to download the new Intersect into his brain before destroying it, and in such keeping it away from the evil doers looking to exploit the Intersect for their own means.

What Chuck didn’t know was that this new Intersect contained much more than just classified government secrets. No, the Intersect 2.0 had been pimped out, big time. In addition to its intelligence data (spy secrets) the new Intersect 2.0 now allowed Chuck to “flash” on and immediately learn new skills embedded within the Intersect. And let me tell ya, the Kung Fu-lery that Chuck showed off in the finale is just a preview of what’s in that big brain of his. With his new abilities, Chuck Bartowski is ready to be the super-spy we always knew he was. Maybe. Kind of. Well, at least sometimes.

I suppose this is the part where I pull at least a few of you back from the ledge. Listen, our favorite bumbling, adorkable nerd herder may have gotten an upgrade, but he’s still the same old Chuck. And that my friends is the crux of the third season. See Chuck Bartowski isn’t Bryce Larkin. He wasn’t recruited into the spy world at a young age. He wasn’t stripped of all he was and then built back up from scratch to be a world class spy. No one taught him how to compartmentalize his emotions in order to focus solely on the mission at hand. Unfortunately for Chuck, the Intersect 2.0 was built for someone who was trained like that…someone like Bryce Larkin. As such, accessing the deep level of information contained within the new Intersect isn’t always as simple as just looking at something and “flashing.” The Intersect now requires a laser like focus in order for it to work the way Chuck (and the CIA) needs it to work. And let’s just say that getting Chuck to focus like that ain’t no small task.

As we move into the third season, we find Chuck struggling to learn how to control the Intersect. When things go his way he can access all kinds of skills embedded in that brain of his – kung fu, swordsmanship, foreign languages, sick dance moves – but it’s Chuck Bartowski we’re talking about here, and needless to say, things don’t always go his way. Chuck’s emotional state – whether he’s scared, angry, or in love – have a direct effect on his ability to properly use the Intersect. But at the same time, it’s those same easily accessible feelings that make Chuck a fantastic spy. As you’ll see, wearing his heart on his sleeve isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it will have a direct effect on saving the lives of his loves ones on more than one occasion.

Over the course of the first five episodes of the new season, Chuck battles his self doubt and his new found self confidence. In doing so, the Chuck that fans have come to know and love (and eat $5 footlongs  for remains) in tact. The magic of Chuck has always been the balance of humor, drama and action. Turning your main character into a full-fledged government spy with kick ass moves could have gone horribly wrong…in lesser hands. Chuck‘s co-creator’s, Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz, carefully pumped up the volume of Chuck’s new abilities while keeping in tact the heart of the show – Chuck’s heart.

Speaking of Chuck’s heart, for those completely caught up in the will they/won’t they world of Chuck and Sarah, you are in for quite a treat in the early part of the season. The writers don’t shy away from the exploration of their relationship. In fact, it’s an integral part of all the episodes I’ve seen so far. As we talked about on the last TV Talk Podcast, what I find so refreshing about Sarah and Chuck’s relationship is that we aren’t forced to watch two characters who bury their feelings for each other. Both, at times, have been honest about where they would like to see this relationship go, you know, if in indulging in their feelings didn’t mean putting their lives at risk. Early on in the season you will see Sarah Walker more open and honest about her feelings for Chuck than you’ve ever seen her before. This is a woman whose vulnerability could literally end her life. The obstacles are real. We saw time and time again over the past two seasons how both Chuck and Sarah compromised their lives and the outcomes of their missions because of their feelings for each other. We’ll see it even more early in the third season. And right now, while trying to figure out how to control the Intersect, Chuck’s feelings for Sarah are truly deadly. As Schwartz and Fedak have said time and time again, Sarah is Chuck’s kryptonite.

And that brings us to some fantastic guest stars this season. (You know how I love a good segue). Chuck has always known how to do a guest spot right. Whether it’s Melinda Clarke, John Laroquette, Dominic Monaghan, Chevy Chase, Rachel Bilson or even ones that I didn’t think could ever work, like Nicole Richie – the guest stars have always enhanced the show rather than distract from the story being told. So when it was announced that two alums from the world of Superman were going to be appearing in third season arcs, I was nothing but excited. Brandon Routh, who played Superman in the latest big screen version of the franchise, joins the world of Chuck as ‘Shaw’. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that Shaw finds himself dealing with Team Bartowski on a very intimate level. Another guest star familiar with the man of steel is Kristin Kreuk, who played Lana Lang on The CW’s Smallville. Kreuk plays Hannah, a beautiful woman that Chuck gets to know well at 30,000 feet in the air. But will he get to know her better on solid ground?

Other guest stars in the first few episodes include Vinnie Jones, Armand Assante, Angie Harmon, Josie Davis, and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin – with whom Chuck shares my favorite action sequence of the early season.

It’s not just special guest stars that find themselves inexplicably thrown into Chuck’s world. Nope. In fact, whether they know it or not, almost everyone in Chuck’s personal life gets caught up in his spy drama in one way or the other. Last season Chuck’s brother-in-law, Captain Awesome, found out about Chuck’s double life. But this season Devon will find himself deeper than he every would have expected when he’s called upon to help out on a very important mission (or two). As for Chuck’s sister Ellie, believe it or not she tears herself away from obsessing over her little brother 24/7 in order to spend a little romantic time with her husband. And remember a sentence or two ago when I mentioned how Devon would find himself embedded within Chuck’s spy world? Well, let’s just say that Ellie is right by his side.

As for his Buy More compadres, don’t be surprised when you see Morgan get a little action of his own this season. And I’m not just talking about when he goes toes-toe with a bad guy. The men better known as Jeffster can’t rock the casbah their way out of their own encounter with some of Chuck’s nemesis’ either. One Buy More employee get a little more ‘boom boom pow’ than I was ready for. You’ll know it when you see it.

We covered most of everyone in Chuck’s world with the exception of Casey. John Casey has always been an especially fantastic character on Chuck, but Chuck’s new found abilities has an effect on Casey too. Despite his protests, we the audience have seen his affection for Chuck grow. He’s the Skipper to Chuck’s Gilligan. Well, now the Skipper has to trust his little buddy a lot more and vice versa. Casey will be looking out for Chuck in ways that perhaps you wouldn’t expect. You’ll like him better for it.

If you ate a Subway sandwich on the night of last season’s finale, then you’ve probably gone ahead and watched all the spoilerific promos that NBC has released. While I applaud the support that NBC has given to the show early on this season, having seen the first five episodes I wish that they held back just a little when it came to sharing scenes from the third season. Every new episode of Chuck is an adventure, and while I hope that sharing my thoughts will help to enhance your excitement for tomorrow’s season premiere, I wanted to be careful and not spoil anything that will take away from you experiencing everything as I did while watching the first batch of episodes from Season 3.

My adoration for this show is obvious. We talk about it a lot here on GMMR. I tweet about it. I send out Facebook reminders and messages. I annoy you all with reminders to watch or get new friends to watch. But my madness is justified. I’m not a critic. I’m not a paid journalist (or a paid anything). I’m a fan. A fan of TV who more often than not has had to deal with her favorite shows being taken away too soon because it dared to be different. My favorite shows have always take a step outside the cliched yet proverbial box. To say Chuck is different than anything else on TV is an understatement. So I fight for Chuck. It’s what a fan does.

So whether or not you’re a long time fan, someone who just got caught up on the show, or perhaps someone watching for the very first time. I hope that you’ll be watching the two hour premiere of Chuck on Sunday night at 9/8c on NBC, and then again when it premiers the next day on its regular night and time – Monday at 8/7c.

I already have my reviews of each of the first five episodes written and ready to be discussed after the show. I hope that you’ll be here to talk about it again with us this season. And on Monday night I hope you’ll be watching along WITH us. will be hosting a LIVE chat during Monday night’s episode of Chuck. We’ll get started right about 8pm. The live Chuck chats we had last season were a blast, so I hope you enjoy us on Monday night! Check back soon for a link to the chat page where you can sign up for a reminder. Will you be joining us? If so, send out a tweet letting people know to save the date. Don’t forget the hashtag #CHUCK.

Before I sign off, just a reminder that you have until 9pm your time on Sunday night to spread the gospel of Chuck. Social media is your friend. Email, twitter, Facebook, hell even MySpace message your friends. Do what you can to get people tuned in. If they don’t, not even a personal plea from Jared the Subway guy will save Chuck.

Related Posts:

  • The Chuck Podcast: The TV Talk Podcast w/ GMMR & Ducky was on the set of CHUCK talking to Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski and Adam Baldwin about what to expect in Season 3. Listen now.
  • Chuck 101: The Basics – A quick star guide for anyone wanting to watch CHUCK for the first time on Sunday night. A run down of who’s who and what’s what in the world of Chuck Bartowski.
  • Chuck vs. the Network Pickup – A list of just a few of the many influential articles that were important to the Save Chuck campaign. For someone on the cusp of watching, check out some of these articles and read about the passion fans and critics have for the show.

Filed under #1 featured, Chuck, Save CHUCK


3 Responses to “CHUCK Returns to Kick a Little Ass on Sunday Night (and Monday Too!)”

  1. Alex on January 9th, 2010 1:08 pm

    Chuck’s sister Sarah? I think someone is a little confused.. 🙂

  2. OldDarth on January 9th, 2010 4:25 pm

    Great write up! 1 more sleep to go! 😀

  3. julie on January 10th, 2010 10:51 am

    I’ll be honest. You talked about Chuck so much last season that I thought it possibly couldn’t live up to the hype. I reluctantly starting watching last month and I became instantly hooked. I own both seasons on DVD and have started a Chuck party with my friends. This time last year I could care less about the show and now I’m a bundle of nervous energy waiting for tonight’s premiere. So thanks for getting me hooked. My husband and neglected children don’t thank you, but I do.

    P.S. Great interviews in the podcast. I guess I didn’t know Yvonne was Austrailian.