TV on Disc: ‘Chuck: The Complete Fifth and Final Season’

Chuck: The Complete Fifth and Final Season (Warner) – The nerd spy series “Chuck,” about an amiable computer geek transformed into the world’s most powerful spy thanks to a program uploaded directly into his brain, hung on for four years thanks to a small but passionate fan base and a Subway sponsorship deal. And so it was given the gift of a final 13-episode season despite ratings that would have cancelled any other series faced with the same balance of ratings and production costs. Creators / producer Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz used the opportunity give the show a funny, affectionate, action packed, and emotionally satisfying send-off.

The fifth season opens with everyman super-spy Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) going private sector, thanks to an inheritance from a former supervillain, and taking his team with him: sexy spy wife Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski), intense NSA agent John Casey (Adam Baldwin), and best friend Morgan (Joshua Gomez), who has just inherited The Intersect, the program that transformed Chuck into the intelligence communities most valuable (if unpredictable) asset. It doesn’t go as well with Morgan, but it becomes part of his evolution, and the series is as generous as can be with such matters. Chuck’s sister (Sarah Lancaster) and brother-in-law (Ryan McPartlin) are almost junior members of the team and even the slackers in their electronics store cover business get involved.

The guest stars this season include a return visit from double agent Brandon Routh (who killed Chuck’s father, which makes it persona) and Chuck’s covert agent mother (Linda Hamilton, of course), a new supervillain in the form of Angus McFaydyen, and Bo Derek as Bo Derek, professional spy. But the most inspired addition to the final season is Carrie Anne Moss as a rival private security contractor and love interest for John Casey. Hey, the guy earned a little love, and their courtship is just as strange as you could hope for.

Continue reading at Videodrone

TV on DVD 09/07/10 – More from Chuck and The Office crew, plus Norm is Less Than Perfect

It’s two weddings, a birth and a funeral for Dunder Mifflin in The Office: Season Six (Universal). Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) have their wedding at Niagara Falls, complete with a back-up plan because any wedding involving their blindly insensitive, blithely sexist and attention-starved boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is vulnerable to disaster, but they return to a company on the verge of bankruptcy. Plus Pan gives birth, Andy (Ed Helms) woos Erin (Ellie Kemper) with his usual graceless, sweetly blundering innocence, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) continues his schemes to get Jim fired and Dunder Mifflin gets a new owner: Sabre industries and its straight-talking Texas owner Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates). It’s hard to believe that the docu-reality show gimmick has not worn thin after all these years, but the show has continued to evolve and remain strong for six seasons. The seventh season—and the last season with star Steve Carell—begins in late September.

Your Office Staff

26 episodes on five discs (four on Blu-ray) in a fold-out digipak, plus commentary on four episodes, an extended version of one episode, the complete “Welcome to Sabre” corporate video (which the office-mates probably should have watched before composing a welcome song extolling the virtues of “saw-bray”), a podcast mini-sode and two hours of deleted scenes among the supplements. The Blu-ray features the usual interactive BD-Live functions along with a new feature: it will also allow viewers BD-Live access to the first few Season Seven episodes of The Office after they’ve aired.

Continue reading “TV on DVD 09/07/10 – More from Chuck and The Office crew, plus Norm is Less Than Perfect”