Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Chuck (1-10 of 15)

NBC's Fall schedule, night by night: Can you get a bigger audience by combining Playboy bunnies with 'Parenthood'?

I sure hope the fall schedule NBC announced today does better than the fall shows NBC has given us in recent years, because aren’t we all tired of making jokes about the latest Law & Order spin-off, fretting over Chuck, and reminding each other that this used to be the home of Friends, Seinfeld, and Cheers? READ FULL STORY

The Fall TV season that failed us: Are you hooked on any of the new shows?

All the new fall TV shows have premiered. Have you put season passes on your favorites yet? Have you been discussing new shows the morning after with your friends and co-workers?

I’ll bet you haven’t.

This has proven to be the least buzzed-about TV season in recent memory. Among people I talk to, within and outside of EW, not one network show has inspired passionate affection. Sure, most people who’ve seen Raising Hope agree that it’s funny. I enjoyed the pilot of Hawaii Five-O, but I can’t say I’m hooked. Ditto No Ordinary Family, which has possibilities as the show begins to balance its light and dark elements. But the one series so many READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con's 'Chuck' panel: his mom, new Buy More boss, and Jeffster on the lam

zachary-leviImage Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBCLinda Hamilton will play Chuck’s mom in the series’ new season, it was revealed at the start of the show’s panel. “Are we happy with this?” asked co-creator Josh Schwartz. Wild cheering ensued.

Guest star Olivia Munn will play Greta, a new Buy More exec, in the season premiere. But Munn will be only one of many rotating guest stars who’ll each manage the Buy More for an episode, now that it’s become an owned-and-operated CIA outfit.

“The search for Mom will be a big part of season four,” said Schwartz. “We’ve also learned about putting people between Chuck and Sarah.” So rest assured they will remain a couple. The panel commenced with a video of Jeffster performing Lady’s Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Schwartz said jokingly that he’s been thinking of a Chuck spin-off: “Jeffster On The Lam,” he said, a new kind of adventure series.

If the panel — which included all the show’s stars, plus co-creators Schwartz and Chris Fedak — could be said to have a fan-fave, it was probably Adam Baldwin, who was showered with cheers and laughs at his every raised eyebrow. He also came in for some ribbing from his fellow cast-members. When Baldwin mentioned his Joss Whedon series Firefly, the cast rolled its collective eyes and someone remarked, “There he goes again, talking about his old shows.” Clearly, this is a cast that had bonded rock-solidly.

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'Chuck' season finale recap: 'You're special, son'

Chuck continued this season’s trend for jumbo finales (Lost, 24), and for a series that’s never been a huge hit, it yielded some mighty big pleasure and complexity. The two hours — “Chuck Versus the Subway” and “Chuck Versus the Ring, Part 2″ — jammed in extensive Bartowski family history, the full-fledged return of READ FULL STORY

'Chuck versus The Tooth' recap: More reasons why 'Chuck' deserves renewal

It’s funny how life doesn’t exactly imitate art — er, TV — but sometimes echoes it. No sooner does my colleague Michael Ausiello report that shaky-ratings-plagued Chuck seems on the verge of renewal than the series airs a rich episode about a shakily emotional Chuck that gave us renewed reasons for why READ FULL STORY

'Chuck Versus The Role Models' recap: Fighting for his life, in more ways than one

These next few weeks will help determine whether Chuck survives to take on a new set of missions. It’s a good thing, therefore, that the series gave us one of its trickiest, most intricately-arranged editions this week. Or not. What I mean is, this was a very good hour, but probably not a Chuck for newbies, and new viewers — or at least a lot more of the viewers that used to watch and have been sucked into that maelstrom of madness that is Dancing With the Stars — are what Chuck needs.

The hour played off the series’ current major READ FULL STORY

'Chuck Versus The Honeymooners' recap: 'I vow to quit the spy life'

Chuck returned last night with an hour that felt like a reward for both its fans and its two main characters. After three weeks away, the series showed us what’s been going on while Chuck and Sarah have been in a European train sleeping-car (well, some of it could only be implied, but you put Yvonne Strahovski in a negligee, and you pretty much know what’s going on). Turns out that between the sheets and endless room-service orders, they were READ FULL STORY

'Chuck Versus The Final Exam' recap: Casey's stomach versus the 'tunaroni'

You’ve got to admire everyone involved in Chuck: The show is still struggling in the ratings, but where other shows might be timid, Chuck is making bold changes without fear of alienating its crucial fan-base.

And so after last week’s Casey-goes-rogue episode, which put a major character in a new dark light — Casey busted to civilian status; we learned his romantic past and his real name — this week we READ FULL STORY

'Chuck Versus The Beard' review: What do you think of the secrets revealed last night?

This week’s Chuck, directed by star Zachary Levi, was a bold one for a series based on keeping secrets and keeping things light. The night began with Morgan “firing” Chuck as his best friend, since the latter had become so elusive and unavailable. Morgan just wants to hang out, eat Subway subs (which made their first appearance of the season here, I do believe), and play video games, like the pals used to. Chuck has to use his Intersect at new levels since he’s now a full-fledged agent. Other shows could keep these two together as cheerful chums for a long time, but Chuck likes to tinker with its genre… and with us.

And so the big reveal this week was that READ FULL STORY

'Chuck' last night: What's in a name?


I’ll be honest with you. Between watching too much late-night TV last night and deadlines for the print magazine looming today, I’m not going to write a full Chuck recap. Oh, and there’s also one other reason: With the exception of one plot-point, I didn’t think “Chuck Versus The Fake Name” was all that great. Sopranos-veteran guest stars Tony Sirico and Louis Lombardi were fun but after a while, their jokey presence wore thin for me. So did Chuck impersonating the thick-accented assassin Rafe. And I thought the break-up with Hannah/departure of Kristen Kreuk was hasty, while also thinking Kreuk did a fine job during her story-arc. Overall: It was just a “good” Chuck episode instead of a first-rate one, I’d assert.

But: I’ve seen next week’s episode, “Chuck Versus The Beard,” and it’s READ FULL STORY

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