Monday, September 24, 2007

NBC Mondays

So, I watched all three of NBC's big shows this evening. That would be Chuck, Heroes, and Journeyman. Personally, I had very low expectations for Chuck, fairly high expectations for Heroes, and somewhere in between for Journeyman. So, my thoughts:

Chuck was at least a bit better than I expected. This might be because I am totally biased by the fact that the main character went to Stanford and actually manages to talk about his experience for a good three seconds or so, believably. I did not know this was actually possible. I'm going to assume that there is someone involved with the show who actually went to Stanford, and so made it possible. That is the only explanation I can come up with. So, I have to give the show extra points for employing someone from Stanford.

Oh, it also gets lots of extra points for employing a former member of the cast of Firefly (that would be Adam Baldwin, playing a slightly more evil, and possibly less stupid, version of Jayne).

Hmm, otherwise, there's not too much going for it. The girl is decently hot, I guess. She looks a lot like Christine Taylor (Ben Stiller's wife, who can be seen in Zoolander and Dodgeball).

I guess my main problem with the show is that I think it's better when there isn't violence. Chuck helping people while working at this take-off of Best Buy could probably be pretty funny all on its own, without pointless action with a hot babe (but, some could argue, what's the point if there isn't a hot babe?).

I can imagine some alternate version of Chuck, that's more like House, only for the geek audience. With people coming in with stupid problems while him and the rest of the Nerd Herd solve bigger problems, typically involving video games. Okay, fine that probably wouldn't be any better. But, hey, it probably wouldn't be worse either. Besides, poor customer service is totally funnier when it isn't coming from someone who's supposed to be saving your life.

In conclusion, yeah, I might watch it again next week. We'll see. It depends how much time they spend being stupid at work versus how much time they spend being stupid with violence. Also, completely unrelated, why is the current explanation for the story that the people from the NSA and the people from the CIA are on such poor terms that they're okay with killing and fighting each other? Couldn't they come up with a situation that doesn't just hurt my brain with the stupidity of it all?

I'm praying that there's going to be a twist mid-season where we find out that somebody' boss (either Jayne's or Christine Taylor look-alike's, or even both!) has actually gone rogue and so the former roommate that got Chuck into this mess was actually not turning against his country, but instead was thwarting said evil boss. On the other hand, if that doesn't happen, I probably won't mind because I'll have given up on the show by then.

Moving on to Heroes...

So, facing the classic problem of not really knowing what to do or where to go, the writers apparently have decided to use the classic "add more characters to an already bloated show" strategy to continue the story. Luckily, they backed this up with the equally classic strategy of "kill off popular, cameo type side-characters to reduce clutter". Admittedly, this combination doesn't work as well when you add like six characters and only kill one off, but, whatever. They've still got time to kill off the others.

I do have to admit, I'm glad to see everyone again. Mohinder is still mixing it up with the wrong people. Hiro is still a ridiculously awesome control freak. I think I'm going to enjoy watching him try to write (or would it be rewrite?) history so that things happen the way he was told they did, hundreds of years later. I'm sorry for Matt, that his marriage was unable to work out (it sucks that it didn't work out in either the bad timeline or the current timeline). And Peter... Oh, how I heart him. It's good to see him alive and kicking (well, telekinetically kicking, at least). Also, why is Nathan still alive? I was totally counting on him to die. But, whatever.

And, of course, we can't forget about Claire, can we? I swear she's cuter. Although, I liked last season's boy a lot more. Admittedly, at least this one's a special person (is it frustrating that they are basically doing X-Men, but refuse to call themselves Mutants, or use any other simple noun to define themselves?). On the other hand, this guy has the same power as Claire's father. Somehow, if they were to get together, that would seem really incestuous to me. But, whatever. Also, her new high school looks just like the high school in that movie Orange County (which also talked about Stanford, but not nearly as well as Chuck did).

So, yeah, they were quick to keep pushing this scary dude that young Molly's afraid of. I'm not sure how many lone wolf, evil guys with crazy powers the show really needs, but it looks like they're shooting for at least one more. Otherwise, it's hard to really tell where they're planning on going with this. I'm surprised that we don't see anything about people reacting to the fact that a nuclear bomb went off in the sky above the New York City. I was kind of expecting that to be a source of tension in this new timeline. But, whatever.

Also, I'm not passing judgement on the people traveling to find Mohinder just yet. Although, I can't help but be curious about what foreign language we'll have regular characters speaking in next.

Lastly, Journeyman.

Personally, I thought this could be good. I actually read that book, The Time Traveler's Wife, which is a semi-obvious inspiration for the show. Admittedly, I kind of regretted reading the book, but that's not the point. I didn't like it because it paid too much attention to the wife, instead of the time traveler (which it had given me fair warning about, considering the title). This show looked like it was going to be paying more attention to the time traveler, himself, so that should be a non-issue.

Anyways, it was kind of a letdown. I want to give it another chance. I really do. But, well, ouch. I'm not sure I really appreciate this whole idea that over the course of the episode, he figures out what he has to do when he goes back in time. It's just very contrived. I mean, I knew it was going to be contrived, but it was still very contrived. I think I like that word (contrived, I mean).

It is funny to see him interact with his former fiancee when he goes back in time. Although, it is REALLY weird to see him interact with a time traveling version of her to explain what the heck is going on. This just feels like really lazy writing. It's like the writers were like, "We need someone to tell him what's going on, because he's never going to figure out why we're doing this to him on his own. So, let's get his dead fiancee to do it, since he'll listen to her."

I mean, wow. It just feels lame. I think I'm going to try to force myself to give it another chance, because I was really hoping for the best for this thing. I mean, NBC put it after Heroes, so they must have high hopes, right?

So, yeah, that's the review. Too bad these are pretty much all the shows I wanted to check out. At least it was convenient.

That is all.



Anonymous said...

What'd they say about Stanford?

Francis said...

He talked about meeting a cute girl in a bike crash in the middle of the quad. That convinced me they know Stanford.