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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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Chuck and Journeyman premiere on NBC tonight, and I've seen them both already. I'd encourage you to do so tonight.

Heroes had me at hello. We all know what that show's about. You're either watching and anxiously awaiting tonight's season premiere, or you won't be won over by anything I write here. Thus, let's move to the series premieres tonight on the Big 4.

I got some buddies in the promotions department here at TMJ (thanks Gregg) to loan me a DVD that featured all four series premieres. So here are my thoughts on two big ones tonight.

CHUCK  You kind of wonder what the story is with this dude, don't you? I wasn't exactly shopping for new shows when the promos for this series began running. Nerdy guy, okay... funny side kick... okay... hot secret agent lady... okay, okay. I really liked this show. I have high hopes for it.

Two ingredients make for good shows: good writing and good characters. Chuck has both. It's an interesting story line... guy accidentally accesses a wealth of government secrets and unwittingly gets caught in the middle of issues of national security. The dialog is witty, and amusing. Some of the jokes are smart and well played. The story is a bit over the top, but hey... it's TV. It's supposed to be.

The characters are strong, and likable. Chuck's okay, and has a great supporting cast. You have very attractive secret agent lady who's trying to do her job... but finds Chuck sweet and strangely attractive. You have an evil counterpart, who'd just as soon see Chuck dead. You've got the comic relief in Chuck's buddy who comes up with the top lines of the show, no doubt. He's a bit over-acted and pushed in the pilot. He'd be just as funny if they pulled him back a little bit, but I think they're just trying to establish him.

I like this show. I recommend it. I think it's going to make it.

JOURNEYMAN  Guy travels through time trying to make things better. Didn't I see this one before? Before you write it off, give it a shot. Just because Scott Bakula did it before in Quantum Leap doesn't mean it's not worth doing again. This show has some of the same quirks as that previous time travel drama... without some of the silly sci-fi influence. Now, I liked that influence, and that used to be one of my favorite shows, but what I'm saying is, Journeyman is different.

What did I just say about good writing and good characters? I'm certain this show is well written, maybe too much so. The drama was honestly so intense at times it made me nervous. I felt my heart beat elevated as I wondered what was going on with this guy... why was he traveling through time... and is he going to work it out with his family because they're sure he's nuts?

I'm not sold on the characters. I didn't love them right away, but I'm curious enough to come back for more. If I had to advise you, I'd say give it a whirl. It's smart, intense, and the ending is awesome. The last few minutes insured I would be back for week two.

I liked it enough to come back. I recommend you give it a chance. I'm not certain it's in the for the long haul.

So there we have it. I'd be interested in your reviews, and will post some of them upon collection. Happy TV viewing!



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