Monday, September 24, 2007

Pilot Reviews Bionic Woman and Chuck


First off, let me say how much I love Katee Sackhoff, she plays Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, and what appears to be the villain of this show.  And she's a great villain.  She adds all kind of life to the show.  That isn't to say that Michelle Ryan doesn't add life to the show, it's just that her character is really freaked out and trying to figure things out, Katee's character (I feel like we're close enough to be on a first name basis) on the other hand is used to her, shall we say, accouterments, and actually quite proud of them (and proud of where some of them are).  It's safe to say that she steals the pilot, and I really hope that she sticks around for awhile, and considering where she was at the end of last season of BSG (that's the cool way to refer to Battlestar Galactica) she'll probably have the time to give this show, although you never can tell with Galactica.  From the looks of the pilot, that'll be the case on this show as well.  The car crash scene, which if you've seen a movie in the last two months, or watched any NBC at all in the last few weeks you've seen a bit of, is unbelievable.  I actually watched it like ten times in a row trying to tell if it was CGd.  I'm sure that it was, but it looks incredibly real.  Not to mention horrifying.  The action is great, the central mythos of the show is set up well in the pilot episode, but I'm not sure that I buy the relationship between Jaime (our heroine) and Will (her doctor boyfriend).  The dialogue between them seemed really forced, which is odd since this show comes from the creators of BSG who make not only the dialogue but the entire strange senario in which the show takes place seem incredibly believable.  There are extenuating circumstances to their relationship which are revealed early on in the episode, and since part of their discussion is really a DTR, which are never easy, and probably always seemed forced from the outside, I'm willing to suspend the disbelief and see where it goes.  The other thing I found a little lacking in the episode was the feeling that it was extremely rushed.  I think that this would have worked much better as a two hour pilot instead of trying to convey the entire idea and introduce all of the side characters and the mystery that is requisite in a show such as this in just one hour.  Other than those two minor quibbles, I found Bionic Woman to be an outstanding hour of television, and I can't wait to see more.

Interesting fact: Katee Sackhoff is not the only BSG actor to have a role in the show, Mark Sheppard, who played Baltar's lawyer on a recent storyline (and was Badger on Firefly), and Aaron Douglas, who plays Chief Tyrol, also appear in the pilot, and will likely have at least a little bit of a run on Bionic Woman.

Pilot Grade: 95%


I honestly thought after I finished watching Bionic Woman that it would get the highest grade I would give out.  Sure it had a couple of minor issues, but I was pumped after watching it, and knew that it was a strong pilot.  Let me start by saying that Chuck might just be the best pilot ever shot.  I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this show.  It is hilarious, the action is at times breathtaking, the acting is superb, the dialogue is spot on, and the premise of the show is a perfect match for the type of show that it is.  Yvonne Strzechowski (and I have no idea how to pronounce that) is going to be the breakout star of the season.  She's unbelievably hot (and the filmmakers take full advantage of that fact) but she's also got action ability (she could probably teach Sidney Bristow a thing or two) and acts as a great "straight man" to the comedic stylings of Zachary Levi, our unwitting hero.  Levi is dead on as a charming, yet nerdy guy, who finds out that he's now a part of something far bigger and more important than anything he's used to, saving the world at $11/hour.  Add in Adam Baldwin (no relation) as another fed, and you've got a great comedic threesome to carry this show.  Adam Baldwin, of course, was Jayne on the short lived, but much loved, Firefly, and it appears that the spirit of Jayne is alive and well in the character of John Casey.  Morgan, Chuck's best friend, played by Joshua Gomez (who had a run on Invasion, a previous Josh's Choice for Best New Show of the Year award winner) is very funny, especially in his interactions with Chuck's sister, played by Sarah Lancaster (from Saved by the Bell: The New Class, I admit, I looked that up on IMDb, I didn't know it off the top of my head, I recognized her as the gift shop girl from season 2 of Scrubs).  But no question, the top secondary character is the boyfriend of Chuck's sister, Captain Awesome.  I hope that he becomes a recurring character, because he cracked me up.  Anyway, the episode is perfectly plotted, considering that it has to introduce the characters, the concept, and has an action filled "mission" of sorts added in.  It pulls all of this off perfectly.  Another great thing about this show is that while it's an action/spy show, it is also a comedy, and it recognizes that by not taking itself too seriously, but by relying on the comedic arena for the most part, making the thriller aspects that much more thrilling when they occur.

Interesting Fact: It is produced by and the pilot was directed by McG, who also directed the two Charlie's Angels movies as well as the just released We Are Marshall.

Pilot Grade: 100%

Until Next Time, more pilot reviews to come!

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