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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Spy > Chuck – The Complete Second Season (Warner DVD)

Chuck – The Complete Second Season (Warner DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Episodes: C*



*PLEASE NOTE: The 3-D version of the episode Chuck In The Third Dimension is actually contained as an extra in the sixth and final DVD of this set, is a limited time offer and includes two pair of 3-D glasses.  Oddly, this version does not include the 5.1 mix the regular 2-D edition offers on DVD 3.



In a show popular enough to inspire a campaign to save it, Chuck has built a following slowly and of some size.  It is the kind of audience network TV executives seem baffled by the existence of, but they keep canceling shows and therefore many potential hits simply because they expect them to open big like a wide release feature film.  That is some of the worst thinking in TV history.  You can read more about the show in our coverage of the First Season in both formats as follows:









I liked the First Season as well, but not as much as my colleague.  I also thought this new Second Season is just sillier than it should be and why the shift to too much humor seems a desperate attempt for commercial viability that was unnecessary.  This time, the title character (Zackary Levi) has lost some of his enthusiasm for missions, but keeps taking them on.  All 22 hour-long slotted shows are here on 6 DVDs and though there are some funny moments, this is not the course I expected the show to take.


The send-up of the retail chain Chuck works at is tired and the show does not have the overall wit of previous spy spoofs or even Burn Notice, which can be blamed in part on co-producer McG (Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle, Terminator Salvation, the series Supernatural) whose on and off hand involvement guarantees inevitable implosion of some kind.  It has not ruined this show yet, but fans have saved it for a third season, so there is hope.  However, the cast here (also including Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Ryan McPartlin and Adam Baldwin among others) is not bad and there is some chemistry here.  The original Get Smart and The Piglet Files it is not, but you could do worse.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image was shot on 16mm film for all but the 3-D episode, with shots that have a grainy and somewhat degraded look.  The 3-D show is all (or almost totally) shot in HD video and has some motion blur, color weakness and detail issues.  The 3-D does not work that well either and the few attempts to liven it up fail.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is too much towards the center channels, especially in dialogue, with the music surrounds too enveloping versus the rest of the sound.  Extras include “Declassified Scenes” for select shows, Gag Reel and four featurettes on the show.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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