Posts tagged with “Zachary Levi”

REVIEW: ‘Chuck’ Season 3 Premiere

Star Rating: 4 out of 5

Stars: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez, Ryan McPartlin, Sarah Lancaster, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky, Bonita Friedericy, Mark Christopher Lawrence and Tony Hale

The Big Idea: Who doesn’t love a fresh start? Brand new year – brand new decade – and brand new episodes of Chuck, off to a powerhouse season-three debut with three episodes (two on Jan. 10 and another new ep in the show’s regular timeslot, Mondays at 8PM, on Jan. 11). I’ve had the chance to watch the first five episodes, and I’m happy to report that Chuck still has the heart, the humor and the high-octane action/romance blend that inspired fans to launch a successful save-the-show campaign (and nosh a whole lotta Subway sammies) last spring.

As we learned in last season’s finale, Chuck’s Intersect 2.0 flashes can now provide him with some serious (and seriously cool) physical talents, namely all manner of martial arts, and this turns out to be a boon for star Zachary Levi‘s physical comedy skills. It’s pure joy to watch Chuck nervously summon up the appropriate proficiency in a tense situation, and then cycle rapidly through a full resume of emotions, from hesitant bemusement, to “This rocks!” giddiness at his newfound skills, to blasé mastery and back again.

And bonus, the worst kept secret in Chuckdom turns out to be true – the abilities don’t always appear on cue, and they tend to evaporate at really inconvenient moments.

To Watch or Not to Watch: So, Chuck’s not Superman – though his mysterious new boss Daniel Shaw is played by Brandon “Superman Returns” Routh, and Smallville‘s Kristin Kreuk shows up in episode five as … well, we’re not really sure. Kreuk, like Rachel Bilson in season one, and Jordana Brewster in season two, does seem to fit someone’s preference for casting brunettes who’ve been in the Maxim Top 100 as rivals to Sarah for Chuck’s affection. And speaking of the would-be primetime supercouple, for Chuck and Sarah (Strahovski) in season three … well, it’s complicated, mostly because of Chuck’s new abilities and his new commitment to using them in his spy guy job. There’s some good, old-fashioned clueless guy moves along the way as well, including one on a train platform in the season premiere that will make you yell “Idiot!” at your TV.

Finally, the Buy More gang is back, and they’re in top form. Morgan’s (Joshua Gomez) return, culminating in him living the dream of every name tag-wearing arrested adolescent, Casey (Adam Baldwin) dealing effectively, brutally and comically with a terrorist insurgency loose in the big box store and a hilarious homage to Fight Club that leads to a classic Lester (Vik Sahay) and Jeff (Scott Krinsky) plot are but a few of the moments in the first batch of new episodes that should make us all happy those post-season two rumors of big budget cuts for Chuck didn’t mean we’ll be spending less time in the land of Buymoria.

TV Screener Tidbits: In addition to an even beefier role for Levi, Ryan McPartlin‘s Captain Awesome also gets more play this season, as Awesome is sucked into the spy game and finds it, ultimately, not so much to his liking. Meanwhile, those rumors of a death in the season premiere? Sadly true. And it comes as a big shock.

Chuck season three premieres Sunday, January 10, at 9PM ET on NBC

UPDATE: ‘MacGruber’ (and ‘MacGyver’): Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

UPDATE 7/8: From Variety.com this morning, the MacGruber will flick will begin filming in August. Other new details: Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer are in talks to join the cast; MacGruber star Will Forte will be returning to Saturday Night Live in the fall; and Jorma Taccone, an SNL writer who also starred as Chaka in this summer’s Land of the Lost movie, will direct MacGruber.

Meanwhile, THR.com has plot details for the movie, which will revolve around MacGruber, now living as a monk, being called out of retirement to help fight Cunth (Kilmer), the big baddie who’s not only threatening the United States with a nuclear warhead, but who also killed MacGruber’s bride. Phillippe would play Piper, an Army officer who (reluctantly) pairs up with MacGruber.

From 6/2: Happy happy joy joy! Straight from the MacGruber’s mouth comes word of a big-screen movie version of our favorite MacGyver-spoofin’ bomb diffuser.

MacGruber himself, a.k.a. Saturday Night Live star Will Forte, confirmed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Monday night that he has just finished co-writing a script that will find he and SNL co-star Kristen Wiig taking MacGruber and his pal Vicki into a full-length movie. Forte didn’t give many details, but he said fans may be surprised by some aspects of the movie.

Bring it on, I say, especially if it includes an appearance by the real MacGyver, Richard Dean Anderson (a fellow Ohio University alum – go Bobcats!), who, it was revealed, is MacGruber’s dad. Like father’s mullet, like son’s mullet.

Oh, and after you check out the clip of Forte on Late Night, take a visit to Hulu, where you’ll find the complete collection of MacGruber skit videos (including MacGruber’s foray into product placement with “Pepsuber”), all in one handy spot.

And PS: Yes, there is a big-screen MacGyver movie in development, too. Any thoughts about who should play the new-school Angus MacGyver? I nominate Chuck star Zachary Levi. Though he’d be a perfect Fletch, he’d be equally as good as MacGyver, doncha think?

Chuck vs. the Slow-Motion Kill Shot?

Chuck. You love it, or you’ve never seen it; that’s pretty much the TV viewerverse at this point, with the unfortunate reality that those of us in group one are far outnumbered by those in group two. Having just put forth maximum effort on Chuck’s massive, multipronged, castsupported Save the Show campaign, loyal Nerd Herders remain anxious for any hint of news before NBC makes its official schedule announcement next week. Here’s the latest scoop on the show’s future, courtesy of EW.com’s Michael Ausiello:

Question: What’s the latest on Chuck’s renewal? –Dave
Ausiello: Warner Bros. and NBC are haggling over money. Shocking, I know. If a deal can be worked out – and I have every reason to believe it can (and will) be – it’ll be back for a 13-episode third season.

This, for fans, is horrible news. A 13-episode order is one thing for a new midseason replacement. Sometimes you have too much quality merchandise for the schedule. (And sometimes, not). Regardless, there’s no shame in a new show being given a concentrated opportunity to establish itself, with the fall failures cleared away. Some huge hit shows have started that way – Moonlighting, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Office , as a few examples.

But that’s not the case for Chuck. Its 2007 starter season was cut short, courtesy of the industry-wide writers strike. The recently-concluded second season gave the showrunners and writers the chance to really hit their stride, showcasing the entertaining action-dramedy blend that inspired such intense fan loyalty. A 13-episode order, bluntly, kills, or at least seriously weakens, the fan commitment.

The way I see it, Chuck returns at the start of the next season, ends after 13 episodes, and leaves a nine-month forget-me gap until it’s renewed (or not). Or, a 13-episode third season doesn’t return until midseason, to the considerably less excitement of fans who’ve had nine months to forget about the show/find other new favorites/decide to move to Hawaii and pursue their dream job of becoming a Benihana chef, thus leaving them less time to watch TV at all. Either way, a nine-month time out – time enough to bring a new life into the world, after all – is also just about enough time to slow walk Chuck to a premature grave.

Anyone disagree?

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