CHUCK Season Premiere: Chuck Versus The Anniversary - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK Season Premiere: Chuck Versus The Anniversary

September 21, 2010 by  

Welcome back, Chuck Bartowski! It’s been too long, my friend. To say that I’m glad to have you back would be a bit of an understatement.

And to you, our esteemed GIVE ME MY REMOTE readers, many of you who first found us through our mutual love of all things CHUCK, we welcome you back as well. Glad to have you on board again as we join Operation Bartowski on more of their grand adventures.

This season, we’ll be traveling the world and narrowly escaping the bad guys as we accompany Chuck Bartowski on his search for his mother. At the end of last season, in his digitally encrypted afterlife, Stephen Bartowski informed his son that he and Ellie’s mother didn’t walk out on them as children, but rather she was a spy that was taken at the hands of some big bads. (Now whether or not Daddy had his story straight has yet to be seen, but for now it’s what we’ll go with.) Chuck’s dad dedicated his life to finding their mother, a tasks that in death, he left to Chuck.

While I am the first to admit that I sometimes nitpick a little too much on CHUCK (although I prefer to call it tough love), I’m not sure I’ll ever truly understand why this show hasn’t been a bigger hit for NBC. There are just so many facets for TV viewers to love. The blend of the comedy, the drama, the action and the romance – they always seem to get it just right (clearly I’ve removed all references to Daniel Shaw from my personal Intersect). I’m thinking tonight’s season premiere was just what CHUCK fans had been waiting for all summer.

Executive Producer Chris Fedak — who wrote this episode — covered a lot of ground (and I’m not just talking Morgan and Chuck’s pre-credit, globe spanning sequence). At the onset of the ep, Chuck was an ex-spy, on a rogue mission, with only Morgan in the know. But by the end of the ep, Chuck was back working as a spy for the CIA (and back to his cover at the Buy More) with Sarah and Casey now on board in his quest to find Mama B.

Given the basic premise of the show, I didn’t expect the writers to keep Team Bartowski separated for too long, but I didn’t expect Chuck to be brought back into the spy fold so quickly. Don’t take that as a complaint, I think the show is always at its best when the team is taking on the world together.

Having Chuck back at the newly rebuilt Buy More, now a fully fledged CIA/NSA substation, allows the writers a new avenue for storytelling without falling into some of the ditches they had in season past. With General Beckman now in charge, Chuck doesn’t have to make up excuses for Big Mike as to why he’s out of work for days at a time while he’s on missions. (It was a minute detail that the writers just stopped paying attention to the past few seasons.) The new Buy More also sets up Lester, Jeff and Big Mike for fun adventures of their own. Watching these three guys try to navigate the Buy More surrounded by super spies is going to be spectacular.

Last night we saw our first glimpse of Greta, a spy working at the Buy More, played by Olivia Munn. If you haven’t already heard, the role of Greta will be portrayed by a number of guest stars throughout the season. Whether it was intentional or not at the inception stage of character development, having this rotating role is a fantastic way to showcase new faces into the CHUCK world without it seeming forced. Looking forward to seeing Isaiah Mustafa come in as Greta next week. Even more interested to Morgan’s reaction that Olivia Munn is not the only Greta he’ll be seeing this year.

Stay tuned to GMMR for a very special Greta giveaway coming soon! Intrigued…you should be.

For those whose enjoyment of the show hinges of the happiness of Chuck and Sarah as a couple (and don’t pretend like those fans don’t exist), rest easy that the two are more in love than ever and have settled down quite nicely into their new relationship. But don’t think for one second that finally committing to each other will make Chuck and Sarah boring. How many couples celebrate their 6/9 month anniversaries by escaping the clutches of Russians hell bent on killing them?

If you didn’t know that CHUCK producers Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz were children of the 80’s before last night’s episode of CHUCK, you sure do now. Ivan Drago, Sarah Connor, and Molly Ringwald’s dad from “Pretty in Pink”?! Had Marty McFly made an appearance I think the velcro would have popped off my Jordache sneakers!

Although a bit hard to understand at times, I thought Dolph Lundgren was fantastic as Marco. The sly ‘Rocky’ and ‘Terminator’ references didn’t go undetected, but they weren’t so obvious that it felt like a cheap ploy.

Harry Dean Stanton starred in the original ‘Repo Man’ movie, so it was a nice nod to see him playing a repo man last night. Fans of current TV might now him best as Roman on BIG LOVE, but Harry Dean Stanton will forever be Molly Ringwald’s dad – Jack – in ‘Pretty in Pink’ to me.

Then there’s Mama Bartowski. When Chuck’s mom was reintroduced in the season finale, speculation ran rampant as to which actress should appear in the coveted role. Fans clamored for Linda Carter, Lena Olin and Mary McDonnell (my personal choice), but Hamilton showed, during her very limited screentime last night, that she was an inspired choice. Her previous body of work, most notably as Sarah Connor in the ‘Terminator’ series, could be seen in her commanding presence and sense of bad assery (not a word? for shame Websters…for shame) when she single handily took out the her captors.

It’s not going to be smooth sailing for Chuck and Mama Frost, but as the underpinings of this season, I’m looking forward to the journey these two will on their way to finding and eluding each other.

Speaking of moms, congrats to Ellie and Awesome on their impending parenthood. No doubt Ellie’s announcement played a big part in Chuck deciding to keep his renewed secret spy life from his big sis. But with a baby on the way, he has to be sure that Ellie doesn’t make herself sick by worrying about him. Plus, if he can surprise Ellie by bringing back their dad in time for her wedding, maybe he can get Mom back in their lives before the baby arrives. Oh, family.

I was a big fan of last night’s episode the first time I watched it, but the second viewing was even better. There are just too many fantastic yet small moments that can be overlooked. If you have it saved on your DVR, give this week’s episode of CHUCK another look and appreciate it even more the second time around.

A few more thoughts while I’m busy sexting with Zac Levi.

  • The pre-credit animated sequence, detailing Chuck and Morgan’s globe-spanning adventures, was filled to the bring with of fun nods to old spy shows of the past, and it served as a was a warm welcome back in the world of CHUCK.
  • Being the super spy that he is, I’m not sure why Chuck didn’t put all the pieces together sooner and realize he was being sabotaged on his job interviews. Well played, General.
  • Don’t ever say that CHUCK isn’t educational. Last night I learned that spies need yoga mats and sunblock when traveling the world on a dangerous mission. It’s the little things you never think about.
  • The Chuck and Sarah texting storyline was hilarious. Morgan’s involvement was a little more than creepy, even for Morgan. But it allowed Yvonne to work it on that plane. I still that she has a lot to learn about sexting…pursing her lips into the camera isn’t really going to do the trick.
  • Sexting – short for sex writing. Ha! (Didn’t catch that the first time around. See my previous note about watching twice.)
  • There is nothing the CHUCK writers love more than sending their characters down through a ceiling panel into a stark, white room.
  • Sarah’s reaction when she thought Chuck was killed was so sad, but the range of emotions on Casey’s face really go to me.
  • Anyone else wondering if Chuck and Morgan got a joint checking account just for their super secret spy mission, or have they had one all along?
  • I enjoyed the line very much, but I thought it was a missed opportunity not to cut to the credits right after Chuck said to Morgan: “This is not the opening to a TV show. This is real life.”
  • Toss up for me as to the best quote of the episode. It’s between – “I don’t use the word snatch very often, for a myriad of reasons.” OR “I’m normally a smooth operator…like Sade.”

Beyond thrilled that CHUCK is back. And guess what? Next week we get another new episode. I really enjoy this Fall TV programming thing. Well done.

Thoughts on last night’s CHUCK? Favorite moments or quotes? Anyone else bummed they can’t be sexting with either Zac or Yvonne? Yeah, me too.

Filed under #1 featured, Chuck


11 Responses to “CHUCK Season Premiere: Chuck Versus The Anniversary”

  1. Becky on September 21st, 2010 9:57 am

    I loved that Chuck & Morgan were master spies. Expertly using public transportation. 🙂 Love it.

    My husband liked the bad guy being the Russin from Rocky IV. Some line he said was just like something out of the Rocky movie. I have not seen the Rocky movies as many times as my husband so that one went right over my head.

  2. Kay Lhota on September 21st, 2010 12:53 pm

    last night’s “Chuck” was a great deal of fun. I squealed with giggles and explained to my son Daniel, “They’re spoofing I SPY,” with Chuck’s eyes over the top 1/3 of the frame. The whole episode had us laughing and on the edge of our seats. If these have to be the final episodes of “Chuck” they are heading off into a great series of programs. I am looking forward to what is coming next.

  3. Sarah (seels) on September 21st, 2010 1:48 pm

    I liked the whole sexting storyline (except maybe the part where Sarah is taking tons of photos of herself on the plane. I mean, she has sex appeal; that seemed kind of blatant and OOC), and I laughed at Morgan’s reactions while texting Sarah and of course Casey’s reaction to the whole thing in general. And Sarah sure can text with those toes!

    My brother and I watched together, and we were both practically on the edge of our seats when Chuck was talking to the person sitting in the chair. I was kind of expecting Big Mike, but it wasn’t meant to be 🙂

    Very random, but I loved that the guy interviewing Chuck used to be on (among other things) a PBS show i ADORED called Square One, so that was fun.

  4. JT on September 21st, 2010 1:55 pm

    I loved last night’s episode. The one thing I did not understand was the 6/9 month anniversary line.

    I’m glad the ratings are up from last year’s finale. I hope it goes up or at least stays stable. It’s the only show I look forward to every week.

  5. Kath (canakatydid) on September 21st, 2010 3:01 pm

    WOW! You’re love for Chuck is shown in this excellent post-show analysis Kath! Well done!

    I don’t know what more I could add so I’ll just echo some of your thoughts:

    “Sexting – short for sex writing.” was my favourite line of the night.
    The opening sequance with Chuck & Morgan was absolutely brilliant!!
    The show has progressed nicely.
    Casey was on-point last night and Chuck’s echo of his grunt of acknowledgement that he missed him was perfect!
    Zac Levi is so worthy to be sexting with 😉

    Bring on more missions Chucksters!
    (And that contest!)

  6. Donna Torchwood on September 21st, 2010 3:19 pm

    Chuck is back! The only thing I didn’t like was all the advertisements for The Event and the countdowns for the next show. How annoying was that? Maybe it was the Ring behind it (g).
    Loved every time Casey wouldn’t acknowledge he missed Chuck and his snarl when the spy couple were getting “mushy”

    I hope that the Buy More will rehire our old friends. I miss them!

  7. Becky on September 21st, 2010 4:37 pm

    I feel dumb, but I don’t understand the “6/9 month anniversary” either. Can someone explain?

  8. Sara on September 21st, 2010 6:53 pm

    I think my favorite line was “Do you kiss your mother with those thumbs?”

  9. Jess on September 21st, 2010 7:49 pm

    Fantastic season opener. I couldn’t stop giggling. And there were some really great, quiet moments as well. Sarah and Casey’s reactions when they thought Chuck was dead were fabulous. There’s been so much growth in all these actors over the last few seasons and I’m very excited about what is going to be coming up.

  10. Kate on September 22nd, 2010 5:26 am

    I have to say, I was so excited to se chuck come back, but I really wasn’t a fan of the episode. The dialogue was so contrived, and bizarrely amateur considering who it was written by, and the music choices were so randomly juxtaposed and slapped together that I was really disappointed. I thought there were some great things that happened, but overall it was like our favourite show got handed over to a bunch of first year film students. Here’s to hoping next week will resume the polished and clever Chuck, and bid adieu to the “slap you in the face with our terrible jokes” opening episode. I love the show!

  11. Kathy on September 22nd, 2010 1:57 pm

    I can’t believe you all missed Chuck’s interview at “Vandalay Industries.” The stand-by employer for George Castanza when he needs to impress that certain someone.