Chuck & Sarah – The Talk

This clip encapsulates the Chuck TV series premise and highlights the Chuck and Sarah characters and the toll the double life of spying is taking on them.

It also showcases the acting talents of Zachary Levi as Chuck and Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah. And yes that is Adam Baldwin of Firefly fame!


Dexter & Chuck – Monday Pals

Monday nights is turning into a buddy double header night with Dexter, Chuck, and I hooking up.  And there could no two further TV shows apart in mood and content.

Dexter is a, so far, sympathetically in a dark humourous way , a serial killer who hides behind the cloak of a normal life.  Chuck is your typical nerd who lives a typical normal life behind which he does double duty as a spy.  Dexter is dark, biting, and twisted.  Chuck is goofy, fun, and romantic.  Two TV shows operating at different ends of the spectrum.

And  I love them both.  Hmmm, maybe I should be worried.

Chuck vs Tom Sawyer – Episode 2.05 – The perfect mathematical model contained in the music and lyrics of Rush’s Tom Sawyer married with the Atari video arcade game Missile Command are the keys to Chuck saving the world from World War III.  Geek references abound from BuyMore employee burnout Jeff – who 25 years ago was the World Champion Missile Command player to the introduction of Arrested Development’s Tony Hale as the new Assistant Manager Emett Millbarge to mocking references of Microsoft’s Zune. 

Ellie’s concern about Chuck slipping back into the ‘Morgan years’, a veritable wasteland of endless videogame sessions prompts Sarah and Casey to have Stanford acknowledge Chuck’s clandestine operations and grant him his Stanford diploma.  A nice touch which underlines the growing friendship on Team Bartowski highlighted by Sarah’s open proclamation that she trusts Chuck and that he will be successful in pursuing his alternative plan to deactivating an abandoned missile satellite before Casey is forced to blow it up over California.

Great use of all cast members plus a skillful blend of the BuyMore and spy worlds.

Dexter – Turning Bimenese – Episode 2.05 – Dexter struggles with balancing his newly acquired domestic duties, his growing friendship with Miguel, and answering the needs of his dark passengar.  Another solid episode with Dexter and Miguel slowly feeling their way to some form of a partnership where they act as judge and executioner.  Dexter targets a victim and satisfies his needs but for the first time I sided more with the victim than Dexter.  Not sure if this was intentional or not.

Meanwhile Dexter is struggling with his responsibilities on the domestic with almost disastrous results.
The highlight secondary or tertiary storyline deals with Dexter’s lab partner – Vincent Masuka -played brilliantly  by CS Lee as a pervert who finally realizes he has made himself into the department joke and has no friends.  He turns the department around when he buttons himself down and steps in to repudiate another department’s crime report.

Wheels are in motion and next week’s installment appears to be turning up the heat.

Next week Chuck takes a break and then launches into the much anticipated Jill trilogy.  Jill the ex-girl friend who broke Chuck’s heart.

Chuck & Sarah Romance: Chemistry – Many Pictures, Millions of Words

If a picture is a worth a thousand words than many pictures are worth an equally significant number of more pictures. Trying to describe character chemistry is difficult in words. Hopefully this video will perk some folks interest in this awesome TV couple:

Chuck Episode 2.04

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Chuck Episode 2.04 – Chuck vs The Cougars

After giving Sarah the Peter Parker speech it seems that the opposite effect has kicked in. Its inferred that Sarah is visiting Chuck at the BuyMore more than ever. During one of her visits Sarah`s cover is blown when a former high school classmate recognizes her as Jenny Burton. Chuck is naturally overjoyed and has fun teasing Sarah until he realizes over the course of the episode that she had a harder time than most typical teenagers do during that time period. Nicole Ritchie plays the aptly named Heather Chandler the bitchy cheerleader who mocked Sarah/Jenny. Chuck flashes on Heather’s husband, Mark Ratner who is about to give up the goods on a next generation bomber to the Russian Mob.

With this episode the balance of comedy, action, and romance tilts towards the first two. After Chuck taking one for Team Bartowski last episode the series scales back the angst as expected. Fortunately the laughs are plentiful; Chuck geeking over the underground computer setup, Casey similarly grunting admiringly at the new bomber, Casey DJ’ing at the high school to the tunes of Hanson Brother M’Bop, Sarah and Heather having a cat fight through the girls locker room and shower, and the crowning of a Carrie-like Jenny/Sarah as the 10th Reunion Homecoming Queen. Highlights in a show brimming with so many.

Casey played by Adam Baldwin had a lot of material to sink his teeth into or grunt away at. Chuck played by Zachary Levi continues to show his versatility as an actor mixing comedy and drama effortlessly. The show highlight for me continues to be the quiet moments between Chuck and Sarah and the final scene between the two continued the magic. Sarah played by Yvonne Strahovski gets her long overdue backstory episode and pulls it off beautifully. Kudos to the makeup department who turned the Australian beauty into a bad skinned, scraggly haired teenager replete with braces. Her strength remains the facial expressions she has at her repertoire and these are often highlighted during the relationship scenes with Chuck.

Pot Pourri

A smattering of a couple of things that have passed over my plate in the last while:

True Blood – a HBO TV series based on the Sookie Stackhouse series of books by Charlaine Harris. The series is situated in a Louisiana town of Bon Temps and the look of the show is appropriately gothic, steamy and sensuous.  In this world Vampires have come out because of the creation of a synthetic blood substitute – True Blood.

The title character Sookie is played by Anna Paquin who is a waitress at a local diner.  Sookie is telepathic which forces herself to isolate herself because of all the unwanted input she is receiving.  When a vampire moves into town and shows up at the diner Sookie is intrigued because, beyond the requisite allure of a dark and handsomely brooding stranger, she cannot read his thoughts.

To this point I have seen the first 6 episodes and am intrigued enough to continue watching but am ambivalent on long range engagement.  There are interesting mixes of genre staples going on ie vampires, mind-reading, & potentially werewolves – that is still up in the air, but I’m hard pressed to find a sympathetic character to hang my hat on.  Some of them are down right irritating, especially Sookie’s brother.  And the last episode killed off my favourite character to date.  So we will see.  Mark this one a trashy pleasure.

The Rifle by Jack Ketchum – I had the pleasure of rediscovering this short story this past week after reading it a couple of years ago.  Ketchum’s novel The Girl Next Door is a powerhouse book that has that ‘terrible car accident but I can’t help looking’ vibe.  That book tells such a shocking story that is so strong that I can recall it with great clarity years later.  The horror is so shocking because its based on true events with no supernatural elements.

The Girl Next Door is a slow descent into the bowels of Hell.  The Rifle is a bullet train there.  This short story is best left undescribed to the unitiated but I defy anyone who starts reading the story to predict where it ends up going.  A dark, dark piece that resonates even more strongly today than when it was first written back in 1995.  A real gut puncher.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle  – picked this book up based on recommendations by Stephen King and bev_vincent .  So far its very intriguing.  An interesting mix of the real and fantasy, whimsy and pathos. 

Chuck Season 2: Episode 3

‘Chuck vs The BreakUp’

Chuck continues to juggle the action, comedy, and romance to great results. The best episodes are those that take the characters’s backgrounds and play the spy world off against the real world.

Sarah’s feelings for Chuck are starting to interfere with her ability to do her job of protecting him. In the flashback Sarah easily took the shot that freed her then lover, Bryce. In the present, Sarah could not take the same shot with Chuck as the hostage.

Bryce plays on Chuck’s heart about the dangers of the two of them getting emotionally involved and Chuck obliged once again. The TALK between Chuck and Sarah was played beautifully with the core of the emotional subtext left to the nonverbal cues such as their facial expressions. The nice twist was that Chuck told Sarah the truth about why they could never be together instead of pushing her away by lying or being cruel.

The irony is, by doing so, Chuck inadvertently made Sarah consciously realize how much she did care for him. Probably even becoming aware that she loved him. That last look she gave him spoke volumes.

Chuck gave Sarah a list of the barriers that stand between them. The cool thing with the show is that the next handful of episodes look to be aimed at knocking those barriers down.

Dexter Season 3: Episode 3

I wonder if Miguel has his own dark passenger. Love how this show continues to knock story conventions ie Miguel returning the shirt with Freebo’s blood on it to Dexter instead of holding it as a blackmail tool.

Also interesting to see if Dexter’s code is cracking with the child molester. Dex brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘No one harms my children.’

Grabbing the milk carton on the way out was a deft, dark touch.

Brilliant stuff!

Thanksgiving in Canada today. We always do the dinner on the Sunday and use the Monday to relax. Anyone else do it that way?

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