But first, Chuck. I'm somewhat irrationally enamored with this show. I don't know if that's my Jake 2.0 nostalgia showing, or if it's because the writing kicks so much ass. Could be the fact that this is the first McG-stamped product that's ever worked for me (seriously, the whole Matthew Bomer sequence was positively inspired. Chin up, Matt. Routh may have won my heart in the end, but you still would've made a kickass Man of Steel. Just steer clear of any more shows that start with "T" and you'll be fine.). Maybe it's because every single member of the cast is positively made of win. Who knows. Who cares? It is so beautiful... to meee...
Actually, I think the icing on the cake was Chuck in Chucks. Hi-top Chucks. Which not only makes the whole thing tongue-in-cheek adorable, but also seems like a shoutout to the Tenth Doctor.
(Speaking of once-casted Supermen, though, did anyone else have insane "Nic-Cage-with-a-mullet" flashbacks every time someone said "Bryce Larkin"? No? Okay. Just me, then.)
Attention, Chuck writers - keep up the good work. Just ease up on the gags (the Chuck/Morgan ninja 69, while amusing, should never be mentioned again) and you'll be golden.
And then came Heroes. Not much has changed, in the beginning - we open with Mohinder and his faux-Brit accent, which will never stop being amusing (and, admittedly, is leaps and bounds better than the attempt at Eastern Indian of last season's opener). Mo had shorn locks and a curiously square jaw. I think he thought he'd be Superman, too. His lecture is a strange one, since he's talking to a handful of people about an unknown disease infecting a genetically-advanced population that isn't known to exist. Actually, it sounds like he's pitching a comic arc. He's also asking for a handout, which is curious in this crowd to say the least - the chick a few rows back looks like she's in a hurry to get back to her corner.
Anyway, we meet Maya and her brother, who are running from la policia (and wanted for murder, according to a conveniently-placed poster). There's no trace of Calypso in Dania Ramirez here, so I'm intrigued. We drop in on Ando and Keito, who seem to be camped out in the square waiting for Hiro to return. Hasn't it been four months? And was that a Petrelli that Ando just collided with? We follow not-dead-Matt through an NYC hostage situation, where he shoots all the bag guys, one bad girl, then hurries off to collect Molly from school. Something about that is disturbing. We peek at California life for the relocated Bennets, and it's my first thrill of the night. HRG! Noah, I do love you so. He tells Claire to be unextraordinary, and she looks the part in that light (Hayden, honey, don't make that face). We cringe at Nathan, doing his best Paul Bunyon (it was a Petrelli!) and informing Angela that she's evil. Tell her something she doesn't know, Nathan. That's part of her charm. And finally, we watch Hiro land in 17th-century Japan. Again.
So no DL, no Niki, no Micah. No Sylar. Let the disappointment begin.
The problem comes in the details, I think. The meet-cute with Claire and West (who shall heretofore be known as not!Zack), the supremely bitchy cheerleaders, the over-the-top Type A copy center manager, the can't-wait-to-molest-your-sister truck driver, the drawn-out dinner table strain. With a couple exceptions, everything was a little forced. It all feels very square peg/round hole, like the writers are trying to cram everything into place now so that things can fall into place later. Which... is faulty logic, and lazy storytelling. And for the love of god, stop with the "Yatta!". It's not cute anymore.
Good points - Anders as Kensei. Even if it was all a little much, with the drunkenness and the greed, there's so much charm in his performance that it's easy to forgive. Haunted Nathan was a nice touch. As I still have no icons for this show (what is wrong with me?), I've used my lonely Bale icon in his honor. I sort of love that he's broken, simply because he did the right thing. How deliciously twisted. Bennet the badass, taking matters and fingers into his own hands and putting evil manager in his place. The Molly/My Two Dads angle works. Matt's good with her, even if he is clearly substituting one family for another, and it'll be interesting to see how that unfolds. And the threat of new villains is always promising. Even though they're pushing Sulu off buildings. I hope Angela meets a more dignified end. Or sticks around to up the evil quotient.
Plus, there's Peter. Half-naked Peter in handcuffs, wearing the Haitian's necklace and a total lack of emo!bangsofdoom. Big check in the plus column.
I'm withholding judgement until next week. Hopefully they'll find the right peg.
Reaper tonight (in my head, it's The Ray Wise Show). And more packing. Feel the fun.