Friday, May 14, 2010

Chuck vs. a fourth season: We all win

OK, I've seen it from enough sources now, but first at the Hollywood Reporter, that "Chuck" will in fact be back for a fourth season that I'm just gonna accept it as the truth and smile about it.

Details are still sketchy, but it looks like a fourth season will have 13 episodes, and that sounds about right to me. No word yet on when exactly we might see this, but I'd imagine next January would make sense.

The official word won't come until Monday morning, I think, when NBC unveils its upfront, but like I said, take this at least as a done deal. And now that NBC and the fans have shown "Chuck" the love, like I've said here once before, it's time for the show's creators to give us something in return: An epicly good, over-the-top big bad for season four.

Though the show has been as funny as ever this year, with only 13 episodes coming in the next season (and precious few left this year!), the opportunity is certainly there for some focus when it comes to the storytelling and a proper villain for Team Bartowski to set its sights on. Is that really too much to ask?

But enough quibbling on what is, after all, a great day. In the bigger picture, I think I can perhaps take my extremely tiny bit of credit now that my strategy of not watching one single network reality show since the first season of "The Real World" has finally paid off.

The big four are still gearing up, but what I've seen so far is a lot of scripted series ("Wilde Kingdom" from "Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz at Fox, Michael Chiklis in ABC's superhero show "No Ordinary Family" and NO ROCKFORD FILES at NBC) and not much reality TV at all. I'm probably dreaming here, but if that cancer is indeed finally starting to go into remission, it's a banner day for us all.

And in just a bit of movie news, there are a couple of tidbits out there today that are truly delightful for fans of animation and good comedy.

"Kung Fu Panda" was already my favorite animated movie of 2008 (yes, better than "Wall-E"), and now the 2011 sequel "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom" is getting some script touching up from ... Charlie Kaufman?

Yes, really. He's apparently put about two weeks into reworking the script, probably not enough to turn it into "Being Kung Fu Panda," but hopefully still enough to make it at least a bit of a trip.

And after directing the severely underrated "Role Models" (rent that already and be ready to laugh) and originating with "The State," Ken Wain is now reuniting with Paul Rudd and even bringing Jennifer Aniston along too for his next comedy, "Wanderlust."

In a story that sounds a heck of a lot like "Lost in America," the duo will play a married couple who flee the big city for life on a hippie commune, or something like that. Rudd is always money when it comes to funny, and I can certainly take Jennifer Aniston when she picks smart comedies, and this one written by Wain and fellow "The State" vet Ken Marino (the duo behind "Role Models") certainly should be. Stay tuned ...

And with that, I'll cut it short today, because I've started to at least slightly take on the clutter in my living room by offering some of my books for sale at Amazon. I've sold three since Wednesday, but that of course means I know have to actually send them out. I'll leave you with this prediction: "Iron Man 2" will win the box office this week, and by a pretty wide margin over "Robin Hood." Just a hunch. Have a perfectly great weekend. Peace out.

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