Thursday, February 19, 2015

S1Ep4 Vs The Wookiee -- The Chuck Series Companion

This Episode of the Chuck Series Companion covers Season One Episode Four of the Television Series Chuck, Chuck versus The Wookiee -- Watch the Episode, Listen to the Show! Subscribe on iTunes!

S1Ep4 Vs The Wookiee

Chuck vs The Wookiee

When Carina the Undercover DEA Agent describes Sarah Walker's Cover as Dull and "If a yawn could yawn." We all know that she couldn't be more wrong but she doesn't know what we know, that Chuck and Sarah and Casey are at the beginning of an awesome journey of thrills and adventure. Who knew this could take place even in Burbank of all places? It doesn't take long though for Carina to figure out that there is something up with Sarah, she can tell that there's something about this Chuck guy. Chuck and Sarah. So what does Carina do? She tries to seduce Chuck in a hilarious scene while also breaking his heart revealing to him that Sarah did indeed have a relationship with the late Bryce Larkin.

One of my favorite amusing bits of this episode is how Morgan is immediately smitten with Carina and she must play along being undercover with a need to protect Sarah's cover. Morgan constantly calling Chuck in the middle of the night to hear of any word about him from Carina is a funny scene. It makes me feel bad for the guy when he does indeed get a kiss but not before being told that it just can't work between them. Poor heartbroken Morgan is going to binge on many a Grape Soda afterwards.

This episode is mostly about Sarah though. Sarah's been a bad-ass spy up until now and from what I can tell an exceptional spy that mostly follows orders. Now that she handles Chuck in Operation Chuck in Burbank she's being challenged for the first time in her career. Here is a guy that is a genuinely charming and nice guy whom she fully intends to protect but he's also winning his way slowly into her heart. This is the beginning of a great journey for Sarah even though she won't make a choice anytime soon, she is starting to realize that she really is liking this gig whether Carina understands or not. That's her loss.

Mini Anden as Carina did a great job and it's a testament to how great she was that she appeared later in other seasons always as a barometer as to how much Sarah had changed over time on Team Chuck. Her history of humiliating Casey in the past was also a nice touch. Another thing of note is that this is the first episode where Chuck meets General Beckman via Casey's monitor in his apartment. I love re-watching these first season episodes and catching all the firsts of the series.

Before I get to some links here is the download to the episode: S1Ep4 Vs The Wookiee

This episode's Sepinwall review is pretty lacking, I will try not to fault the guy for lumping his recap in with an episode of How I Met Your Mother but he glosses over Chuck vs the Wookiee so quickly that I thought about not even linking it. But, for consistency's sake, here is the Link. It makes me cringe the way he nitpicks at Yvonne Strahovski's fighting skills. Seriously I hope that he is embarrassed by this early assessment. As for Maureen Ryan's recaps, It looks like I can only find from Season 2 Episode 1 and on so I am at a loss until the time comes. So here instead is an Eric Goldman Recap, remember I don't necessarily agree with anything these people are saying I just think it's nice to read what someone else thinks after I finish an episode. Sometimes I smile and agree and sometimes I close my web browser in disgust cursing to the heavens, read at your own risk people. Heck, let's also check out AV Club's old reviews of Chuck, why not?

This episode had some great songs, Matt and Kim -- Yea Yeah, Matthew Dear -- Shy, Matt Pond PA -- Wild Girl and my favorite of the episode, Apartment -- Fall Into Place. A lot of Matthews involved in this episodes song choices. Eerie. There's also a strange techno song by the band Does it Offend You, Yeah? -- Weird Science that plays in the background of Senor' Wookiee Paymen's Beach House Party.

That's it guys, another fun episode of Chuck! It is silly to keep saying this with every post but I am having a blast doing this podcast and expressing just how much I love Chuck with each episode. As always I am hoping that you are enjoying these posts and this podcast and that you follow me each step of the way to episode 91 and beyond. Wait, 91 is enough. I don't need to go and put anymore pressure on myself this is already quite a commitment.

Until next time.

The Jastrom

Saturday, February 14, 2015

S1Ep3 Vs The Tango -- The Chuck Series Companion

Covering Season One, Episode Three of the television series Chuck, Chuck vs The Tango - Watch the Episode, Listen to the Show!

S1Ep3 Vs The Tango

Chuck vs The Tango

Wow, I was so excited to continue The Chuck Series Companion that I made the latest episode 'Chuck versus The Tango' in only two days. I was really creatively inspired to keep it going. It's funny to think that before I started this show I was so conflicted with the idea to do the podcast in the first place. My love of the show Chuck is really strong but it's also really personal. I don't know why, I just love the show so much, it's entertaining, it's got spy gadgets, comedy and a great love story, not just between Chuck and Sarah but also Chuck and family, including Morgan and the Buy More.

'Tango' is really a fun episode because it's Chuck's first spy mission and it's also the birth of his alias, Charles Carmichael. We also get Chuck's new spy watch which is totally plausible with the new line of smart watches that are now available everywhere. We can all pretend to be Spies like Chuck!

I believe this is also the first appearance of Buy More employee Fernando, who's appearance instantly makes me laugh, just thinking about the time that Morgan refers to him as 'Cabbage Patch'. Fernando is played by actor Jesse Heiman who has appeared in dozens of films and television shows as a background player, watch this video - World's Greatest Extra - of many of his appearances. I think he speaks one line of dialogue in the entire series but no matter where I see this guy, he will always be Fernando, Buy More Employee.

Here is a link to S1Ep3 Vs The Tango

Now like on previous entries I will include a review by Alan Sepinwall (just click on his name) and Maureen Ryan. I don't seem to be able to find Ryan's early Chuck recaps, I will keep searching for them though. I will continue to include these when I can find them because I got a kick out of reading their recaps while I was doing my first re-watch. Eric Goldman's Review.

Like every episode of Chuck this episode has some great tunes, my favorite is by the band The National -- Slow Show. There's also a great song by Band of Horses -- The General Specific. We also get another Spoon -- Don't you Evah. Check out the rest of the songs from the episode here.

I'm having a blast doing this podcast and I hope that you are enjoying listening to them. Until then, Keep on watching Chuck.

I know I will.

The Jastrom

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

S1Ep2 Vs The Helicopter -- The Chuck Series Companion

This Episode of the Chuck Series Companion covers Season One Episode Two of Chuck, Chuck vs The Helicopter -- Watch the Episode, Listen to the Show!

S1Ep2 Vs The Helicopter

Chuck vs The Helicopter

Episode two of the Chuck Series Companion has now been completed and I am well on my way. I will get more comfortable with the format as I go on and hopefully will get some feedback along the way. I have heard from a few people which is awesome but of course, I want more. Chuck vs The Helicopter is an interesting episode in that Chuck narrates the beginning of the episode, something that I don't think ever happens again. This episode feels like the Network mandated that they must re-cap the pilot for potential viewers that missed the first episode. It makes sense but also makes you think of an alternate universe version of Chuck where Zachary Levi narrates every episode like Kristen Bell in an episode of Veronica Mars.

One thing that I will try to explain without being very confusing is that I am going to try to do a blog post of the episode that I also cover in the podcast. It will give me a chance to do some writing and possibly give a potential listener a place to see my show notes like old reviews of that particular episode of Chuck and links to my favorite songs from the episodes. Basically what I am saying is that this will be the home of the Chuck podcast and I hope that you keep coming back. I'm also having a friend design a show logo for me that will be for the iTunes feed that I hope to get going very soon. I want Chucksters and new Chuck fans to find the podcast and hopefully enjoy it.

So for right now my goal is to keep cranking out these episodes while avoiding burn out. Burn out is something that has happened before when I've been excited about personal projects, I put a lot of energy and hours into it and then I fizzle out. I want to avoid that so I will be sure and take the time to do other things while planning on future episodes. Again feedback is the way to keep me going so drop me an email or send me a voicemail, it is much appreciated. If you have never watched Chuck before I hope that the podcast encourages you to check it out, I think you will dig it.

Before I go any further here is a link to Episode 2:

S1Ep2 Vs The Helicopter

Again like the first episode I am including links to original reviews for the episode by Alan Sepinwall and Maureen Ryan. (When I can find them) I could not find a Ryan review for this episode so I am including a review found on IGN by Eric Goldman. That doesn't mean that I agree with them, I simply enjoy their enthusiasm for the series. Eventually, as you will read in these links they are critical of pacing etc. I want to say it right now and hopefully not repeat myself too often but because of my love of the tv show, Chuck, I am not overly critical. I think the show is fun and it fills my heart with a warm glow. I do not rank episodes of least to favorite either, they are all my favorite. I can re-watch any episode of Chuck at anytime and never grow sick and tired of it. This show is perfect to me, frequently over the years I would read critical reviews of a particular episode and I would get annoyed and close the browser in disgust. It's fine to be critical, I'm just saying Don't expect me to be very critical. I am basically geeking out about my favorite show while at times pointing out something that might be a tad ridiculous but always with a sparkle in my eye. I am here to have fun and I hope that you are too, Chuck brings me joy after all.

I mostly want for you to Enjoy the Show! Now here are my favorite tunes from the episode! The first song that I really dig is by the band, Spoon -- Don't be a Target and the second, The New Pornagrapher's -- Challengers. Check out the rest of the songs here.

That's it for now, see you next time!

The Jastrom

Thursday, February 5, 2015

S1Ep1 Vs the Intersect -- The Chuck Series Companion

This is Episode One of The Chuck Series Companion covering the Pilot Episode of the TV Show Chuck - Watch the episode Chuck vs The Intersect and then listen to the podcast.

S1Ep1 Vs The Intersect

Chuck vs The Intersect - The Chuck Series Companion has begun!

Well here it is, I finally did it. I started a Chuck podcast. It's so funny how stressed out I was about it, I still am in some ways, I mean I have been podcasting since 2005 and have had a great time doing it, learning a lot in fact. I learned how to make a show, to create it, edit it and post it and gotten to know a good many people who have enjoyed the show that I have done so with my two best friends, Mulberry Bill and Stephen the Pop Culture Zealot. But this is different, I'm doing this Chuck Show by myself, all by my lonesome. I knew that if I ever tried something like this it would most likely be a solo show because of the amount of work that it will involve. I mean, if I complete my task I will be doing 91 episodes or more, finding another person that will be available to cover all of those shows will be very hard. I will try to find guests at certain times and I would love to hear what other people think about the series and why it is special to them but I also want to get to the bottom of why this series is so damn important to me. 

Now before I started this Chuck endeavor I knew that I needed to get comfortable with the thought of doing a show solo so I started a new show called Entertainment Landfill Daily -- On this show I would talk about the current news stories in the state of Film, Television of Pop Culture. I think I am much more comfortable now even though I cheated by having frequent guests. Mainly I learned to not think about the fact that I was just sitting in a room by myself and talking to myself and instead pictured an audience, hoping that someone was out there listening and I was talking to them, not to myself. But you get the idea, I am a bit more comfortable hopefully only getting better in the long run, mainly I don't want you the listener even thinking about that so I don't know why I even brought it up. Hey it's a process!

The Funny thing about ETL Daily is that it's not a daily show, I seem to be doing it weekly or bi-weekly but I can't call the show Entertainment Landfill Weekly, can I? That's too close to EW -- Entertainment Weekly, we don't want that. I could call it ETL Bi-Weekly but I think I will just stick with ETL Daily if you don't mind. Now as for the Chuck Podcast, I will do an episode whenever I get the chance to and I am creatively motivated, right now I am excited about it and when I am excited about something I am very productive, when I get tired I might need to take a break but it is my intention to stick with it and keep producing Chuck Companion Podcasts until I am done. To understand you have to know that I have watched the Entire series of Chuck several times, I have seen all 5 seasons at least 4 times I think, I lose track, I have seen some episodes multiple times just re-watching them with my Daughter, Emma who caught the Chuck bug herself. She loves the series and I love talking to her about it. I love that she thinks Sarah Walker is as awesome as I do. It's fun sharing something you love with someone you love and I think that's what doing this podcast is all about. I want to share Chuck. The show means a lot to me, it makes me feel better when I am feeling down, it makes me laugh, it makes me feel a warmth, a glow even. I freaking love this show and I want to share it with you.

With each episode of Chuck I am going to record a show going over my favorite parts, the plot and the moments that make me laugh, cry etc. I will also highlight the music of the series, not just Tim Jones' awesome score but the many songs by many awesome bands that are played in each and every episode of Chuck. While it will be hard to go into detail on each one I will highlight my favorites. Hopefully along the way I will pick up some other Chuck Re-Watchers and you will follow me to the end. While Chuck The Series has ended it doesn't mean that it's gone, Chuck is here to stay on DVD, Blu Ray and Netflix Amazon. I love that it's now on Netflix Amazon finding new audiences for a long time to come and hopefully those new fans will come here and love Chuck along with me. 

Here is the first Episode of The Chuck Series Companion covering the Pilot Episode of Chuck. The Pilot titled "Chuck Vs The Intersect" is the beginning of special things, this is where it all began and I always love starting the series back at the beginning. It's awesome to see Chuck first get The Intersect and first meet Sarah Walker and John Casey, seeing how all of their lives are changed forever. In this episode I will be working out the kinks of what I want to do exactly but I always knew I wanted to include clips of the show and music, it's all used for review purposes and I think it's necessary in re-living the series in the theater of the mind. Hearing their voices and music helps feed the nostalgia machine, I don't own any of the property, it's all Warner Bros. but this podcast is just for Chuck fans or Chucksters and new fans alike and it's just meant for our enjoyment, nothing dubious is intended here so live and let live I say. 

As I cover each episode of the show I would also like to provide links here to some of my favorite TV Reviewers who originally covered the series, Alan Sepinwall and Maureen Ryan. I always enjoyed reading their takes and many times when re-watching the series I would go back and re-read what they had written about those episodes. I will provide links here to their reviews when I can find them. Thank you for listening to the show and thank you for watching Chuck. If you enjoy the show, do me a favor and pass the show on to someone else you love. Let them know what you think of it and tell them they can watch it on Netflix Amazon. Right now I have loaned out season 1 to my buddy Stephen, hopefully he will return it and request season 2 and hopefully a new Chuckster will be born. Now onto the show:

Download Episode 1 of The Chuck Series Companion right here: S1Ep1 Vs The Intersect

While there are times that I don't agree while reading Alan Sepinwall's takes on Chuck I also admire that the guy is a huge fan of the show and I always enjoyed reading his weekly thoughts, Check out what he had to say here about the Chuck Pilot. Maureen Ryan was also a huge Chuck supporter and here is her review of the Pilot Episode. It's interesting to see how cautious they are in the early days and it's true the show took awhile to get things rolling where you realized that you freaking loved it but they knew there was so much potential.

My favorite songs from the pilot are Into Your Dreams by Foreign Born and The Missionary by Brothers Martin. Here's a list of all the great songs from the pilot.

I hope you dig the first episode and if you feel so inclined send some feedback my way to until then, I want you to do one thing, Trust Me.

The Jastrom