Friday, April 30, 2010

"Chuck" vs. the flash mobs: Fans to show love, but here's what the show really needs

"Chuck" fans are nothing if not both loyal and creative, and being a big fan of the show nearly since the beginning, I can see why.

With the show apparently on the bubble once again (though it's just crushing "Heroes," which I haven't watched since season 2 just went horribly awry), fans who live in cities much bigger than mine (Chicago, Seattle, San Diego and Philadelphia, to be precise) are staging "flash mob" events to show the love on Monday. So, if you happen to be walking through one of those cities Monday and are accosted by a stranger in a green Polo shirt and khakis (an approximation of the Buy More uniform) extolling the virtues of the show, take a second to listen, because it really often is that good.

And if you do live anywhere near any of these burgs and perhaps want to take part, here's the lowdown here. But while It's extremely nice to see "Chuck" fans showing all this love (assuming any of these actually come together), what we really need is something from the show's creators if indeed the show gets a fourth season (and I'm fairly certain it will.)

Before I launch into any criticism, however, a word or two is due about the many things that have gone right this year. Although I was skeptical about it at first, the Superman/Daniel Shaw story line played out nearly perfectly once it got going, especially the end of the arc that saw the demise of Shaw. And the last episode, with its mix of grand romance and some delightful Hitchcockian touches, was a reminder of just how good the show can be.

Most of all, though, it's been nice to see that the show's humor is alive and thriving, especially at the Buy More and even more so when Morgan and Casey reluctantly join forces. OK, with all that good stuff out of the way, here's my biggest problem with season three so far, and the thing that really needs to change in the next one (I'm just gonna assume it's happening until I hear otherwise - the power of positive thinking!)

Quick, if you're a fan of the show, tell me: What in the world is the Ring? I understand that it's a successor group to Fulcrum that is equally obsessed with the Intersect, but what after that? The group has been so poorly developed as a baddie that it's at best only a pale imitation that adds nothing to the story.

What "Chuck" really needs is a genuine Big Bad, like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" used to do in each season, though if anything even bigger and badder. Remember the "Chuck" season one episode "Chuck Vs. the Sandworm," in which our hero exposes Laszlo to the glories that were the best of the "Bond" villains? Well, it's high time for the show to get its own completely over-the-top "Bond"-style baddie.

After all, what's the Intersect about more than control? A human computer that holds all the secrets of the CIA, FBI and any other kind of spook the U.S.A. has come up with? An idea that crazy needs a villain that's just as crazy, crafty and creative. I can't imagine "Chuck" creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak would ever read this, but even so, there's my two cents about how to make your very good show even better. 'Nuff said.

And after that, all I have today is a reminder that my favorite TV drama, "Friday Night Lights" (yes, it's even better than "Mad Men"), returns to NBC one week from tonight. With season four opening with Coach Taylor banished to coach at the new East Dillon High, things certainly begin in a tight but fun spot, so I can't wait for the show to return to network TV (and if you've seen it on DirecTV already, please do tell me if the show's still in top form.)

And finally - and rather coincidentally - if you happen to live in one of America's very large cities, there's an "OSS 117" sequel hitting American theaters hopefully sometime soon, and a trailer out today. Reel Fanatic friend Bob was kind enough to introduce me to the French "OSS 117" series, a seriously funny Bond spoof starring Jean DuJardin as the bumbling spook (and a successor to the 1960s series of the same name.) The humor is extremely broad, but I can certainly dig it, and I think I'll make the drive up to Atlanta if and when "OSS 117: Lost in Rio" ever hits theaters there. Enjoy, and have a great weekend. Peace out.


Bob said...

It's not quite as good as the first but you'll certainly enjoy the second "OSS." It's real good! I got the French Blu-Ray for Christmas which plays on standard Blu-Ray players since most discs aren't region locked. So if you don't want to wait for it to play in Atlanta...

Reel Fanatic said...

You know, I'm usually not one for piracy, but if you were to send me a copy of this one, I'd be eternally gratefully, because even though it's supposedly hitting American theaters, I have yet to find any kind of firm release date even in big cities

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