Instant Reaction: Chuck vs the Push Mix

Tweet: #SarahConnorBitches #Chuck413

Addendum: You know who Linda Hamilton was all of Season 4? Sarah Connor. That's it. She wasn't Chuck's mom. She wasn't Ellie's mom. She wasn't Stephen Bartowski's wife. She was Linda Hamilton. That led to some certainly badass moments. But it also meant that she felt ultimately disconnected from everything else happening during the season. And, ultimately, I think that was the biggest failing of the first part of Season 4: We never felt as though Mary Bartowski not coming back to the rest of the Bartowski clan was a horrible thing.

Tweet: Morgan inspires Casey's grunts like no other. #Chuck413

Addendum: What an epic bromance, you guys. Seriously. Morgan brought Casey back from the BRINK OF DEATH.

More after the jump.

The Rule of 13

So tonight's episode is Chuck vs. the Push Mix, in which we are promised the best 10 minutes on TV ever, and looking at the episode list, it's got a long history to live up to.  What do we mean?  Well, I was talking to my friend, the great Ardent Aardvark, about it, and this is what we had to say.


Interesting Resource For Those Looking to Publish

Not quite a roundup, but I stumbled across this blog post earlier today, and I know we've got some good writers in our midst, so this is something a lot of you should consider reading:

Celebrity Death Match: Author Edition.

Hope wherever you are this Sunday, you're having a fabulous day!



The Roundup Episode 05: Characters

Ah, my favorite subject: the character.  The building block of your story.  You can have all of the plots, settings, and themes you want, but without those characters to interact with your world, you're dead in the water.  Granted, that holds true for all of those properties, but they can't all be my favorites now, can they?

Here are some fun links I picked up this week.


Fringe Benefits Incorporated (FBI) Podcast - "The Firefly"

So every week, Maximus and myself head over to enemy territory hang out with Old Darth and HappyDayz23 of ChuckTV because we think they're the bomb diggity. And we do this crazy thing called Podcasting.

OD tells me it's what all the cool kids are doing these days.

If you're a fan of Fringe, you might get a kick out of it. So, do as the British say, and "have a listen."



PS - Some awesome news! Yokaputo thinks we're cool and she's going to be doing a Chuck podcast with us. Shh, nobody tell Yokaputo the truth!


mxpw vs. Frea - Chuck vs. the Gobbler

Chuck vs. the Gobbler
Season 4, Episode 12, air-date January 25, 2011

Chuck becomes worried when Sarah goes to extreme measures to help his mother take down Alexei Volkoff. Ellie and Devon have trouble deciding the name of their new baby.

mxpw: So, Frea, I want to start this review off on the right foot and discuss the most important thing about this episode. That can only really mean one thing: Sarah in leather. I mentioned this in Chris's Instant Reaction post, but she looked so incredibly amazing in that outfit I literally lost track of the dialogue at times. This was, maybe, some of the best use of SWP ever.

Frea: Sarah was in leather? I didn't notice.

mxpw: Uh-huh... Hold on, I have something I want to post.

Frea: ...uh-oh.


Instant Reaction: Chuck vs the Gobbler

Tweet: Live tweeting of #Chuck412 starts now.

Addendum: I feel like I need my own theme music. Frea, can I get my own theme music for Instant Reactions? I'd like something epic, that makes you think that another Rocky movie is going through a badass training montage, but with enough maudlin backing strings to make people realize that I also look adorable in turtlenecks.


Addendum: Didja see her Mxpw? Didja? Didja? Also, I referred to tonight's episode as "Mxpwian" to someone because seriously they were stealing all the best pages from the Double Agent playbook tonight.

Check more after the jump.


mxpw vs. Frea - Chuck vs. the Balcony

Chuck vs. the Balcony
Season 4, Episode 11, original air-date January 17, 2011

Chuck and Sarah try to combine a romantic French getaway with a mission to find a specialized microchip. Lester asks Big Mike for romantic advice.

I'm going to start a tradition here at CI, where I name the doomed agents that meet their peril before the credits after SO-5 officers from the Thursday Next universe.  Seriously, it's like the second or third time this season alone that some poor soul has perished, and Team Bartowski doesn't seem to give a darn that a life was lost.

So Agent Kannon, ex-partner to the equally doomed Agent Phodder from Suitcase, this review is for you.  Next up, will it be Agent Lamme or Agent Slorter?  Guess we'll find out in coming weeks.

In the meantime, hit up the break for our review.  Spoiler alert: it ain't pretty.


That Which is Greater

So I'm still blocked on What Fates Impose, but if I go for even a couple of days without writing, I feel out of sorts, which means I've turned to basically what I call "doodle writing."  It's writing that's not good enough to edit into something worth really publishing, and I don't really devote all that much to making it really shine and come together like Fates or any of my other projects.  It's one of those things where if I feel like adding a few paragraphs, I will.  If not, no skin off of my nose.

I've been sharing it on our Tumblr account, which is linked to Twitter, but I know a lot of people don't follow Twitter, so I figured I'd also put it on my archive blog.  You can read the first chapter of That Which is Greater here and then maybe someday, if the story gathers enough mass and momentum, I'll post it on ff.net.  It's an AU that sprang from a discussion on ChuckThis the other day about whether or not Bryce is a hero (I'm firmly in the, "Hell no he's not" camp).

Anyway, hope you enjoy!


Instant Reaction: Chuck vs the Balcony

Tweet: Not gonna front; super excited for #Chuck411

Addendum: I still feel excited about Chuck being back, though I will say up front that the episode was meandering and slow and kind of disappointing and didn't really go anywhere until the end. These are still some of my favorite characters, so much so that I'll forgive what was essentially a prologue masquerading as a full episode.

Tweet: France? Romantic. #Chuck411

Addendum: Vineyards? Also romantic. Wine cellars? Romantic again. Fancy wine? Still romantic. Being shot in the back? Okay you got me there.

More funnie after the jump. Yes I intentionally spelled "funny" with an ie.


Writer's Block

Unfortunately, it happens, and it's happening to me right now.  I don't know when the next chapter of What Fates Impose will be ready.  Your patience is much appreciated.



mxpw vs. Frea - The Cape - Tarot

The Cape: Tarot
Season 01, Episode 02, original air-date January 09, 2011

The Cape must battle Chess and his latest accomplice Cain as they try to take down the Patrick Portman, the Secretary for the Bureau of Prisons, in an attempt to take over Palm City's jails. After narrowly escaping death, The Cape must rely on Orwell, Max Malini and the circus gang to nurse him back to health and then help him save Patrick before it is too late.

mxpw and Frea's review of the second episode of The Cape: "Yay, Summer Glau!"

...wait, you needed more than that?  Really?  Summer Glau isn't enough for you?  Fiiiiine, there's more snark, sarcasm, and yes, Summer, after the break!


mxpw vs. Frea - The Cape - Pilot

Season 01, Episode 01, original air-date January 9, 2011

Fueled by a desire to reunite with his wife Dana and son Trip, former police officer Vince Faraday becomes "The Cape" -- his son's favorite comic book superhero -- and takes the law into his own hands and to battle criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City. Faraday is joined by Max Malini, the ringleader of a circus gang of bank robbers, who mentors Faraday and trains him to become "The Cape," as well as investigative blogger Orwell who wages war on crime and corruption in Palm City. Together, they must battle Ark corporation billionaire Peter Fleming -- The Cape's nemesis -- who moonlights as the twisted killer "Chess."

So Frea and I have decided to try a little experiment with mxpw vs. Frea. We're going to try and review another show besides Chuck. What is that show? Well, as we are both unabashed Summer Glau fans, we decided to give The Cape a chance. Here are our thoughts.

Just to warn you: massive spoilers ahead.


mxpw vs. Frea - Chuck vs. the Sandworm

Chuck vs. the Sandworm
Season 1, Episode 6, air-date October 29, 2007

Chuck spots a man wanted by the government. He finds out the man worked for the government, and just desired a new life. Soon he has Chuck doubting his handlers. Chuck has to interview for Assistant Manager.

Something like three weeks late, mxpw finally drags Frea away from Photoshop to review another classic.  80s references abound!  And this time, we didn't even have to put a mustache on Yvonne Strahovski.  Our mothers would be so proud.


The Roundup Episode 04: Archetypes

Been awhile, right?  Whoops, my bad.  Today, I've got two articles for you and some links that'll hopefully help you out with your writing!  After the break, of course.


Book Recommendations from mxpw and Frea!

We know it's a long hiatus between episodes, and without new Chuck and Sarah to grace our screens every Monday night, December and the first part of January can seem all that much colder (or hotter, if you're below the equator) for it. However, we've thought long and hard, and between us, mxpw and I have come up with a solution. Maybe you should curl up and read a book.

In fact, after the break, we've listed some mutual and personal recommendations, and why we love these different books.

Warning: our tastes do run to the science fiction/fantasy genre (unsurprising, given that we're fans of the show Chuck), so if that's not your wheelhouse for reading, you may not like this list.  Good thing we accounted for that somewhat!  And who knows?  Some of this may surprise you.


mxpw's Goals for 2011

Since I missed Festivus and my chance to do the Airing of Grievances, I am instead forced to list my goals for the new year. In truth, I don't really know what I want to accomplish this year, but I decided to aspire for great heights with this list in the hope that if I actually achieve one or more of them, I will have done something cool.

So here are mxpw's goals for 2011:

Frea's Goals for 2011

So when I wasn't working on other projects last night, I compiled a list of some of my resolutions, which I've decided to share here.  Some of 'em are serious, some of 'em are...less serious.