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The Chuck preview: BSG’s Helfer to ease fans’s withdrawal, melt your TV screen


Such has been my Battlestar Galactica withdrawal that I’ve already begun, just a week after the series finale aired, a complete rewatch of the series.

On Saturday I plowed through the amazing, big screen-worthy 2003 miniseries. (Do you recall that Gaeta was pronounced Guy-tah then, and FTL was referred to as hyperlight?) And last night I watched the epically intense 33, the series’ debut episode, which creator Ronald Moore and star Jamie Bamber (Lee) call their favorite.

I even watched earlier this month the original series pilot, which I can’t really recommend except for the most obsessive or old school fans.

With the Caprica release still a few weeks off, NBC has done a service to those suffering BSG withdrawal by casting Tricia Helfer (Caprica Six) in tonight’s episode of Chuck.
Read the episode summary after the jump…

Chuck Versus the Broken Heart — When Chuck (Zachary Levi) expresses his feelings about his complicated relationship with Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski), a heartless female agent named Alex Forrest (guest star Tricia Helfer) is sent to evaluate Sarah’s performance as Chuck’s handler. Morgan (Joshua Gomez), Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay) try to weasel their way into getting invited to Awesome’s (Ryan McPartlin) bachelor party.

I’ve been marveling in my BSG nerd-dom at just what an amazingly diverse job Helfer does in the series. She plays so many distinct versions of the Six character — early Caprica Six, later Caprica Six, Head Six, Natalie, Sonia, etc. And like Grace Park, who “only” had to play two distinct number Eights in Boomer and Athena, she makes them all believably separate characters.

That she pulls it off with the looks of a supermodel is a nice bonus, but hardly the most impressive thing about her.

So I’m looking forward to see how she fits into the Chuck universe. Naturally the quality of the writing will go a long way to determining that. She was blessed with top-shelf writing throughout on BSG. But the Chuck crew has a real knack for getting viewers to buy into implausible stretches of imagination by focusing on the characters and maintaining just the right tone.

There is the danger your TV might melt if Helfer and Strahovski occupy the same screen space for any extended period. And the thought of Jeffster and Morgan trying score invites to Awesome’s bachelor bash bodes well for the funny.

I love that Chuck triggers a conflict by sharing his feelings, pressing the issue that his faux relationship with Sarah occupies an untenable middleground. It makes me think the writers don’t plan to string the paper-thin premise on for too much longer. That they’ve kept it going this far has been a feat of creativity.

By the way, have you checked out Chuck’s chart, the one he has assembled on the back of that Tron poster? You can zoom in on dozens of components based on past characters and storylines. It’s a pretty fascinating way to illustrate how much serious ground this “comedy” has covered.

Photos: NBC Universal

This entry was posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009 at 9:43 am by Brian Howard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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