Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Bending Spoons and The Lost Art of the Intro

This week, Chuck broke down both Spoon's "Don't Make Me a Target" and the Violent Femmes cover by Gnarls Barkley of "Gone Daddy Gone", using them as thematic devices. In the case of Spoon (O.C. vets,) the song's title made it an obvious choice, and they used it as a sort of theme for Sarah, the CIA agent posing as a Weinerlicious fraulein (pictured). This reminds me of a couple years back on The O.C. when they experimented similarly using Bob Mould's "Circles," breaking it down to use as score to make any scene with Marissa feel a little more dramatic (because, they weren't... like... histrionic enough.) They did this with "Gone Daddy Gone" as well, but using it more to underscore the comic element, just like they did last week.

To that end, I'm beginning to realize that Chuck has no real theme, or discernable opening credits. Instead, they seem to be taking a different song each week (this week is "Lust for Life,") and using it to introduce the characters and such, which is a trend in television that I find kind of annoying. Not only are we robbed of what is often an art form (see intros for Dexter, The Sopranos, John From Cincinnati, The Simpsons, etc.,) but also we're subjected to a rehashing of what's already been established in the pilot. I realize this for those who missed the pilot, but if you have a great intro, you can hit many of those points as well -- and continue that art form.

Elsewhere, New Pornographers' "Challengers" fills the spot that The Shins had last week: ballad used to show reflection heading into the final act. Here it was used to great effect at Bryce's funeral (Schwartz/Patsavas love the music to funeral challenge).

Meanwhile, has J.J. Abrams been moonlighting on the Chuck set, or is the series just a series of sloppy kisses to the man? They've already got his Alias angle down, but then in last night's episode, Chuck nearly divulges the secrets to the downing of Lost's Oceanic Flight 815, in the midst of reeling of sequence of secrets locked in his head. The audio trails off at the end, but he seems to say "Oceanic flight 815 is downed by a surface-to-air missile...." If it were a Lost episode, viewers would've already done some audio analysis done and posted large HD screencaps to decipher the message. Since it's just Chuck, we'll just laugh and move on.

Playlist: Chuck - Ep102
1. "Lust for Life" - Iggy Pop
2. "Don't Make Me A Target" - Spoon
3. "Gone Daddy Gone" - Gnarls Barkley
4. "Challengers" - New Pornographers

Previously: A Tale of Two Teddybears (Chuck Pilot)

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