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Chuck Season 2 DVD Review

The second season of “Chuck” is an improvement over the first, but the series still suffers from the same flaws that plagued season one.

The Series:

Plot summary: In this 22 episode season, Chuck continues to live two lives- one as an spy with a supercomputer in his brain and one as an employee of the electronic retail store Buy More. Add in the usual romantic story arcs, friend and family subplots, the ongoing struggles to keep secrets, and stories involving everything from terrorists to Santa Claus and you know what to expect for the second season.

I know “Chuck” has a devoted fanbase, but I still cannot get past the fact that Zachary Levi cannot act. I was hoping he would imrpove in this second season, but alas no. He’s his typically annoying, unfunny self. His range of acting consists of stuttering and acting surprised. I truly wish another actor had the title role as the show would have been infinitely more appealing.

Another issue I had is the fact the writers continue to try too hard by mixing genres. Even from the pilot episode to the latest episode, it’s clear that the show is still struggling to find an idenity. It has elements from action, spy, romance, comedy, soap opera genres and when it’s all put together, the show often winds up being a frantic mess. It doesn’t help that the series is loaded with a constant use of distracting “hip” modern music and eye-rolling product placements.

On the plus side, there are a few reasons to tune in for this second season. First and foremost, the guest stars are phenomenal. Andy Richter, Chevy Chase, Tricia Helfer (of BSG fame), Scott Bakula (as Chuck’s dad), and yes, even Nicole Richie all shine in their roles. The casting department deserves much credit for assembling such talent. Additionally, as with last season, most of the cast (namely Adam Baldwin and Yvonne Strahovski) continue to do a fine job with their lead roles. I wish I could say the same for Levi…

One of the other fun aspects of this season was the entertaining 3-D episode “Chuck Versus The Third Dimension.” 3-D may just be a gimmick, but it proves to be effective here. Note: Fans will be happy to know that both the 3-D and standard version of the episode are included on this set.

Summary: You can do worse than watch “Chuck.” It’s certainly a flawed, repetitive series, but it has enough surprises to keep viewers tuning in.

Picture And Audio:

The widescreen picture quality is sadly mediocre here. I noticed artifacts, grainy, and dirt. If you have a Blu-ray, it’s a safe bet to get that set instead as the PQ is no doubt superior.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is fine throughout. The only issue I have is that the popular music is sometimes too loud.

Extras:

Extras include a gag reel, two 3-D glasses, 40 declassified/alternate/extended scenes, a featurette on action scenes titled “Dude In Distress,” a featurette on the show titled “Truth, Spies, And Regular Guys: Exploring The Mythology Of Chuck,” 5 webisodes, a short spoof titled “John Casey Presents: So You Want To Be A Deadly Spy?”, and the self-explanatory “A Real-Life Captain’s Awesome Tips For Being Awesome.” 

January 14, 2010 - Posted by | 1 | , ,

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