I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea of the big four networks (plus Friday on The CW) debuting all their shows this week. After all, a long summer drought shouldn’t be satisifed with a fire hose. I was especially intimidated by Monday night, for the options were plentiful.Of what I did get in though, I ended up having an very entertaining evening.It felt so good.I only managed to get in two full episodes of shows though.
This show has been a favorite in our household from the beginning. I’ve been with it since the pilot episode, which is a rarity for me. I usually find shows later through DVDs and Netflix after they’ve become established. The season four opener did not disappoint the avid fan and probably impressed several casual viewers as well. I heard so many complaints last season that this show strayed because it started taking itself too seriously. In watching this premiere, I realize it had to. How else can Chuck evolve? He can’t stay the lovable, inept dork forever. He has to grow into this spy role that was meant for him and it can be some heavy stuff. Getting the girl of your dreams isn’t exactly fluff either.
The focus of the season four premiere fell on the core story which is the heart of this show. Priorities first. Chuck and Sarah are working it out. They’re a couple in love despite the odds being against them. The constant separation, Chuck keeping secrets about his mother, Sarah’s reluctance to see Chuck back in the spy game where its dangerous, and Chuck’s promise to Ellie to stay out of the spy game is all weighing hard on them. However, there’s always sexting. That’s why this show is so brilliant. For every heavy issue, there’s something outrageous behind it. I’ve never laughed harder than Morgan’s intervention to spice up Chuck and Sarahs long distance relationship with an iPhone and provacative photos. When it happens during an intense spy scene, it’s brilliant. Another thing that’s brilliant is the repetitive gags. Tangiers. It worked every time! Just like season two’s “The Morgan.”
Another moment of pure joy is the return on General Beckman, who is now physically present in the Buy More/Castle fold. The twist of the Buy More being a front for a CIA training facility couldn’t be more perfect. Who here sees Jeff, Lester or Big Mike accidently triggering a national emergency? Her sabotage of Chuck’s job search is hiliarious, as is the shout out to Vandalay Industries. Strange how I ended up being the only one in my household that caught that “Seinfeld” reference. Another brilliant shout out, Harry Dean Stanton! I’m a huge lover of the cult film Repo Man, but I figured there were ten of us on the planet. Chris Fedak is one of them! You can’t do better with casting than a cranky old repo man with a shotgun. Dolph Lundgren made a fine villian, and you know the producers couldn’t resist using his infamous “I will break you” line from Rocky IV. But you can’t do better in the brilliant casting department than Linda Hamilton as Chuck and Ellie’s long missing mother. She kicked some serious ass at the end and proved why she’s perfect for the job. I’m dying to watch future scenes of her and Chuck doing that kung-fu together.
If anything was missing from this great premiere, it was the “buy morons” as they’re called. The ensemble that we’ve gotten to know and love over three seasons wasn’t there. No Jeff, Lester, Big Mike and even Captain Awesome. Ellie became an afterthought. The strength of this show is in the ensemble and that is why the season three finale was so satisfying. It became a total team effort. I’m sure it will again, for this opener needed to set the tone of the season and it did very well. I’m just thrilled to have my show back. All is right with my world again. Bring on the next adventure!
Ten o’clock has become a lost hour for me. That’s when I’m usually on the laptop catching up on my site admin duties and answering emails. Oh, and throwing out random tweets (you followers know what I mean). Television got too bad at this hour. I don’t like procedurals and the “CSI” and “Law and Order” franchise invasion turned me right off. If I end up watching TV at all at ten it’s either “House Hunters” or I’m catching up on the DVR. Having said that, I was pretty excited over the idea of actually checking out “Hawaii Five-0.” Sure I was a kid so I didn’t see much, but I remember the original version. I always loved the intro. I’d watch the teaser and cool intro then go to bed. Given the fact I’ve actually met and interviewed Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman for “Fringe” and that they are the hot writers in Hollywood (they wrote the Star Trek sequel for God’s sake!), I had to check out their latest creation.
I have to admit, it felt like I was watching a mindless Hollywood action move. I liked it though. I realized ten o’clock is exactly when I should be watching mindless TV and this show is light years better than its predecessor, “CSI Miami.” It has a slickness to it given the locale, but this is not a “Miami Vice” remake. These guys aren’t wearing Armani suits and driving around in expensive sports cars. There are similiarities though, for this undoubtedly an action show with a lot pretty thrown in between. I’m sure there’s reasoning behind that. Grace Park must wear a skimpy bikini and strip for smugglers because it helps her kick a lot more ass. Less wind resistance. Of course Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan are so hard on the eyes (sarcasm here).
The two leads aren’t bad together, but it’s a chemistry I think will improve with time. It didn’t seem like an instant match to me but there’s potential. I also adore Daniel Dae Kim, but I admit his dorky quality all comes from his “Lost” cred. That’s not an issue with me and he makes a great addition to the team. I’m also pleased to see them end the story of the elder McGarrett (shame it couldn’t be Jack Lord though who died in 1998). I’m sorry to see him bite it, but at the same time the guy did have a really good run and he went out the tough guy he always was.
It will be interesting to see if this series keeps up the frenzied pace and loads of action that graced this pilot. It was pretty loaded for an hour of TV and with each explosion I was counting how much money this episode cost. For me though, the big thrill was they reused the theme song. That theme song is the best in TV series history. They didn’t tamper with it too much, although it seemed faster. The use of the original formula, the explosive teaser followed by the glitzy and upbeat opening is a big win with me. The weakness was in the middle when things started to drag a bit. The character exposition didn’t seem natural , but hey, this is TV. There’s plenty of time to get to know these characters. So good start “Hawaii Five-0.” I’ll be back for more next week.
We had a lull at the 9:00 hour, but five minutes of “The Event” was all I could stand. It’s not for me. I wasn’t in the mood for “24 Redux.” Also not for me, the lame jokes in “Mike & Molly.” The two scenes I saw with the leads were clunky and the two cops didn’t have a lot going either. I’m overweight, I get fat jokes. I actually love fat jokes. Here’s a good fat joke. “Inside me is a skinny person screaming to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with chocolate.” Did “Mike&Molly” have anything like that? Nope. You reading this Chuck Lorre?
After getting in my live TV, I went to the DVR. I watched the opening of “House.” I saw the entire very tender love scene between House and Cuddy, a scene that I’m certain thrilled many of the long time faithful. It didn’t do much for me though because I stopped watching the show a while back when it became a soap opera instead of a medical drama. The opener ended with House saying “Now what?” I couldn’t agree more, so I turned it off and went to bed. For those that watched, let me know how the rest “House” went!
As for “Gossip Girl,” I watched my first and last episode last week. I’m still too unclean. That experiment will haunt me forever. I also really missed “The Big Bang Theory” being on this night. I’m certain it’ll do fine in its new timeslot Thursdays at 8pm and I’ll be there for it, but it’ll take an adjustment. It’s absence didn’t feel right. Also, I figured someone on ESPN radio could tell me if Kurt Warner’s Foxtrot is different than the others they’ve seen in the 800 other versions of “Dancing With The Stars.” No need to clog my DVR for that.
So, what did you watch on Monday? Tell me what you liked and didn’t.