Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I’m Watching: Chuck (Season Premiere)

Chuck: Season 4, Episode 1 “Chuck Versus the Anniversary” (B)

It’s certainly good to have the reliable Chuck and his very entertaining bunch of friends and coworkers back, but this is hardly the strongest start for the show’s latest season. Fear not, however, since the three-hour third season premiere last year didn’t come close to matching the quality of the ensuing season, so there’s still hope left. What’s peculiar about this very introductory, transitional installment is that most of the action doesn’t actually happen on screen. While we’re treating to an entertaining graphic of Chuck’s avatar (for lack of a better descriptive term) hopping around the globe, we don’t actually get to see any of their adventures, and the only subsequent reference we get is the oft-repeated mention of running like hell in Tangiers. This device worked well in this summer’s film “Knight and Day,” but here it would be nice to see more of Chuck and Morgan as they traversed the globe looking for his mother. And while I did love the line “you clearly don’t know who I am if you only sent ten of your men after me,” why don’t we get to see Chuck whip out his kung fu skills and take down the entire army? This feels very much like Chuck Lite, especially with the somewhat humorous but generally inappropriate sexting. The idea of General Beckman working at the Buy More is an interesting one, and it contradicts the notion of a fresh start since Jeff and Lester (both unseen in this episode) had burned down the store in the season finale, paving the way for a potential reboot of the show. Still, I’m not too worried since the presence of Chuck’s mom and Ellie’s pregnancy should help enliven a season that should get back on its feet in no time.

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