Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chuck: Nerdgasm

The creator of Missile Command also commands missiles?

First thing, how weird is it that both Mad Men and Chuck dealt with a missile crisis this week -- especially given that Ryan McPartlin (Captain Awesome) got hot and heavy as Betty's revenge f*ck? The shows have more in common than you would think, actually. Both sprinkle their plot with a lot of pop culture references, with MM being more literary and Chuck emphasizing a certain nerditude. This episode is the perfect example of said nerditude.

Besides Rush's "Tom Sawyer" played in concert with Atari's Missile Command, the Twin Galaxies gaming site, theme music from the animated Transformers movie (1986,) a line from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, not to mention all the character names referencing Spies Like Us and Iron Chef. There's a joke at Zune's expense, and less overt references to the great documentary King of Kong and even a bit of War Games at play here. Nerdgasm.

On the music front, it turns out all that Huey Lewis of the first couple episodes was a signal that nostalgia would be the musical theme for this second season. This season has been one long walk down geek nostalgia lane, and "Tom Sawyer" is the perfect example of that. The song's meaning, a portrait of a modern day rebel, has no purpose here, instead it's purpose is pure nostalgia. Same goes for Stan Bush's "The Touch" from the 1986 animated film Transformers, which is the ultimate training montage cheese (see video) -- one that's been emulated on South Park, and covered by Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) in the film Boogie Nights:

Great seeing Tony Hale (Arrested Development) back in action, and while he seemed underused as this week's guest star, finding out he has a multiple episode arc as the new ass man, puts it in a new light. (Hale has a new series coming on FOX called Boldly Going Nowhere, from the creators of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.)

Playlist: Chuck - Episode 2.05
1. "All Out of Love" - Air Supply - Jeff's Anna montage
2. "Council Estate" - Tricky - Sarah goes undercover as Geek Squad employee / Jeff lists his requirements
3. "Tom Sawyer" - Rush - Miramoto / Chuck / Jeff play Missile Command
4. "The Touch" - Stan Bush - Jeff's training montage (from original Transformers and later covered by Mark Wahlberg [as Dirk Diggler] for Boogie Nights)
5. "Sleepdriving" - Grand Archives - Sarah and Chuck with diploma, setting satellite

Previously: Smack My Bitch Up (Episode 2.04)

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