Thursday, March 5, 2015

Chuck vs The Sizzling Shrimp

Is Chuck a procedural or a serial drama? It's a hybrid we know of course, it's a comedy/action/drama but could you also call it a serial/procedural? I don't think you would ever describe Chuck as a procedural. When you hear that word you think of Cops solving crimes, arresting criminals. On Chuck they have Spy Missions and from week to week they go on many different adventures stopping an assorted array of Bad Guys. But I wouldn't call it procedural. When I hear that word I almost think of it in a negative light, sure a procedural can be fun, I've watched many in my life and some of them can be great but I almost think of it as also meaning 'Formulaic' and Chuck is anything but formulaic (but maybe that's my own baggage I am bringing to the word). Eventually big grand story arcs begin on the series and it becomes much more of a serial I think.

I would describe Chuck versus the Sizzling Shrimp as a stand alone episode. The Story of Mei-Ling Chinese Super Spy trying to save her brother. Now if this episode would have been a set up of Mei-Ling returning later in the series I would say it was the cool set-up episode to a very interesting character, but instead it's a stand alone storyline. We never hear from Mei-Ling again which is a shame. What this episode is really about is Siblings. Chuck has to lie to Ellie on a regular basis now, he can make plans with her but when a spy mission comes up he has to lie to her about why he stood her up. It's just the beginning of this tearing him apart. He starts out with rather innocent lies and he's not very good at it but his Sister would have no reason to believe otherwise, he's Chuck after all.

From Morgan's point of view, he wants an 'Evening of Morgan' with Chuck and Sarah. He wants to see what Sarah is bringing to this relationship, he knows Chuck really likes Sarah but I think he also wants to protect Chuck. He's bummed his friend is always busy now and you can catch little things he says to Ellie like, "Let's force Chuck to break up with Sarah, who needs her." He then shrugs it off that he's just kidding but you know part of him really does wish it would go back to normal. He wishes it was just him and Chuck again. But that's the way it goes, your friend falls in love and you see less of them. It's just the way it is and I think Morgan will have to come to accept that in time. It's funny when I have watched this episode in the past I always wonder when Morgan is trying to get Chuck to find the time to help him with his sales 'Why doesn't he just do it right now?' but I know that wouldn't be great storytelling haha.

This episode also had a cool Hong Kong Cinema flare to it, with Mei-Ling dual wielding pistols blasting a nightclub full of baddies. She's pretty bad ass and again I would have liked to have seen her again in the series. Oh well, I guess I can just write some Mei-Ling fan fiction. I kid, I kid. This episode also had a really cool Big Trouble in Little China reference, Actor James Hong! How cool is it that he plays Ben Lo Pan, I wonder if he's related to David Lo Pan? One of my favorite things about Chuck is how they work in cool movie references, whether this one is subtle or not I will let you decide, I just thought it was neat.

Download the Episode: S1Ep5 Vs The Sizzling Shrimp

The Chuck Series Companion is now on iTunes so feel free to subscribe and also do me a favor and give the show a Star Rating and a Review. The more reviews the better it shows up when people search for Chuck. My theory is that people who are now discovering Chuck will then look for a Chuck podcast. Hey, I said it was in theory, after all I did that very thing.

This episodes musical selection was very special because this episode made me discover the great band Rogue Wave -- Lake Michigan, There's also the really cool song by the band Envelopes -- Sister in Love which plays when Ellie is helping Morgan out by buying lots of stuff at the Buy More. Also who doesn't love them some Hall and Oates -- Private Eyes? And the rest.

I want to personally thank Adam Howard and Erik Battaglia for the cool new podcast logo, Adam asked his buddy Erik if he could make it and he did but good. Thanks a lot guys! Also check out my buddy Adam Sexton's podcast 'The Past and the Pending' on his latest show he plugged My show so I thought I would return the favor.

Here is Sizzling Shrimp's Alan Sepinwall review which I think is a good read, also check out Eric Goldman's who is much more picky of this episode but you can't win em' all and last but certainly not least is AV Club's review.

I hope you enjoy this episode as I had a lot of fun recording it and I have to admit I am getting the hang of this thing. I would really like to keep up the One Episode a Week mission but lots of things were against me last week, so I'll just hope to do one a week and if I can't no big deal I will just get it done when I can. I hope you guys are along for the ride. Until then.

The Jastrom

1 comment:

  1. I agree that Chuck is being too hard on himself as far as blaming himself for helping the bad guy. It does work well as another demonstration of Chuck 's caring nature (e.g., like what he did for the ballerina girl when Sarah first comes into the Buy More).

    This episode hits on all three aspects of the "Chuck" hybrid show well. There are several good laughs in the episode, a solid spy story with good action sequences, and then the relationship drama such with the scenes between Chuck and Ellie, the moment when Ellie gives Morgan the credit for her big purchase at Buy More and then Ellie inviting Morgan and Sarah to the mother's day anniversary and Chuck explaining what it signifies.