Friday, January 25, 2008

CHUCK Chucks Back! Plus - Ready for Rambo?!?!

It's raining and pouring like crazy here in LA ... which is fine by me, that is, fine by me if I were in bed right now just waking up and spending the rest of the day not getting out of said bed. As it is, this kind of weather only makes it that much harder to wake up and go to work. Although, I should be pretty well prepared for it. Back in CT, this type of grey, wet weather is the norm rather than the exception, although over there, a little rain doesn't cause the total chaos that you get in LA. Roads look like biblical scenes from the story of Noah, driving anywhere is basically swimming, and people decide en masse to go into panic / crazy mode. Good times.

Meanwhile, this week, though it was a short one thanks to MLK day, has been long and crazy. Very busy at work and a lot to think about outside of work. Suffice to day, I am more than ready for the weekend. And next weekend. And the one after that. The good news is that today sees the much-anticipated release of RAMBO. Haha. Seriously though. I can't wait. I've been itching for a classic, old-school action flick that pulls no punches and gets the ol' adrenaline pumping. So far, the reviews for Stallone's latest have been great (at least those that come from obvious action-movie fans), and I can't wait to see John Rambo kick ass and take names one mo' time. Stallone is a guy who knows how to mix in just the right amount of character with heaps of fist-pumping action. And this is me speaking as a fairly new convert to the temple of Sly. Last year, I laughed out loud when I first saw the trailer for ROCKY BALBOA. The movie looked like a total joke. But lo and behold, it was a worthy conclusion to the Rocky series, a badass movie that I completely enjoyed. So now the bar has been raised for Rambo, and personally, this is one of those flicks where I'm just going to sit back and let myself get caught up in the excitement.


- So last night, fans of good TV had reason to rejoice. No, it wasn't another episode of FOX's harbinger-of-the-apocalypse series Moment of Truth. What we got, courtesy of NBC, was two all-new episodes of CHUCK, one of this season's best and most out-and-out enjoyable new series.

I think last night's double-bill suffered a little bit simply due to perception. Seeing as how these were the first new eps in a while, and likely the last in a while, I was hoping for some BIG stuff to happen that followed up on the the cliffhanger from a few months back, where Casey was instructed by his superiors that he may soon have to kill Chuck. So, it was a little jarring for last night's first episode to be a somewhat lighthearted romp in which Chuck and Casey bond a little bit over a lost love of Casey's who pops up after being presumed dead. Of course, it turns out that she had been a French agent all along, though she and Casey did rekindle a bit of romance. All in all it was a fun episode, though Casey's love interest could have been made a bit more compelling of a character. Still, Adam Baldwin is always awesome, and it was fun seeing him break away a bit from his usual stoicism.

That being said, I really liked the night's second episode a lot. To me, it was classic Chuck - a great mix of humor, intrigue, and some real evolution for the characters as well. By the episode's end, I was slightly confused about who wanted Chuck dead versus who wanted him in a padded cell, but that took a back seat to all the fun and funny character moments between Chuck, Casey, Sarah, Morgan, Ellie, and Awesome. Big Mike's interrogations of the Buy More staff as he tried to figure out who cleaned out the store were great, and all of the hijinks with Mike's missing marlin and Awesome's missing wedding ring were pretty entertaining as well.

Chuck is a show that I'm sad to see cut short due to the strike, but excited to see more of. The potential is unlimited, and I'm already envisioning all of the wacky, covert-ops shenanigans that will surely ensue at Ellie and Awesome's wedding.

My Grade: Ep 1: B+, Ep 2: A-

Anyways, I think I'll keep things short for today ... happy weekend ... commence donning your red bandanas and breaking out the cammo gear.

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