Totally Tube 2007

Totally Tube 2007 keeps on rockin' with four reviews of new Peacock series! All four are dramas, and three out of the four have some kind of sci-fi or adventure element. And the fourth, well, it has Damian Lewis. 'Nuff said!

Chuck

NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

Don't Miss It: Chuck

Cast:  Zachary Levi, Sarah Lancaster, Adam Baldwin, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez
Premieres  Sept. 24, 8 p.m. 

Perhaps it’s that the leading man is so darn lovable. Perhaps it’s that the show sets itself apart as an action-thriller-comedy. Or perhaps it’s that you might laugh so hard watching it that the woman sitting next to you on the plane will ask if you need your medication (true story from this viewer). Whatever reason you find to fall in love with Chuck, I wholeheartedly believe that many of you will. This show, from O.C. mastermind Josh Schwartz, is more or less Alias meets The 40-Year-Old Virgin--or rather, what Alias would have been like if Marshall were the lead. Zachary Levi is Chuck, a videogaming computer geek who works for the Nerd Herd (à la Geek Squad) and lives with his sweet and successful sister (Sarah Lancaster). Chuck’s life is turned inside out when he receives an email from an old college buddy that implants the government’s biggest secrets into his brain, making him a sought-after commodity by the CIA and NSA. Yes, it sounds goofy and far-fetched and laughable, and it is. But that’s exactly what you’ll love about it—that and the best cast of any new show this season.

Bottom line:  Implant this into your brain: You must watch!

Bionic Woman

NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

Watch It: Bionic Woman

Cast:  Michelle Ryan, Miguel Ferrer, Molly Price, Katee Sackhoff, Will Yun Lee, Chris Bowers, Lucy Hale, Mark Sheppard
Premieres:  Sept. 26, 9 p.m. 

There are two pilots this year that would have been acclaimed movies had they just been a little bit longer and told us the end of the story. The first was Pushing Daisies, and the second is Bionic Woman. While the former is a whimsical romantic comedy, Bionic is everything you want in a taut, smart action film. The story of a regular jane who gets a superpowered body, Michelle Ryan finds herself with a fairly philosophical problem: Once you get it, what do you do with your power? As she psychologically wrestles with this question, we are treated with her actually wrasslin' with Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff. Sackhoff plays Sarah Corvus, an ethically challenged and emotionally stunted earlier bionic model. Molly Price (Third Watch), Miguel Ferrer (Crossing Jordan) and Will Yun Lee (Witchblade) all inspire confidence and trust as resolute members of the organization backing the bionic project. Chris Bowers and Mark Sheppard provide just the right quantity of eerie villainy, while Lucy Hale makes an impact as Jamie's troubled and beautiful little sister.

Bottom Line:  High powered

Life

NBC Photo:Justin Lubin

WATCH IT: Life (NBC)

Cast:  Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi, Adam Arkin, Robin Weigert
Premieres: Wed. Sept. 26, 10/9 Central 

After serving twelve years of a life sentence for three murders, newly discovered DNA evidence exonerates former police detective Charlie Crews. Now living in a lavish mansion, purchased with the generous settlement his lawyer garnered from the city, Charlie returns to work as an officer for the same police department that hung him out to dry. Though parts of the pilot are a bit contrived—Charlie is so quirky, he must have some sort of fresh fruit to eat at all times—and the documentary-style interviews with people who were involved in Charlie’s trial seem out of place, this series has serious potential. First of all, star Damian Lewis' Charlie has got a Dr. Gregory House sort of sexiness about him (though Lewis' honorable, clean-living non-House-y character in Band of Brothers was damn sexy, too). He carries the show with ease, and the supporting characters aid him in adding quite a bit of humor to the drama. Speaking of the drama, there is an interesting twist which will clearly act as a season-long mystery that may just suck you in, hook, line and sinker.

Bottom Line:  Can we get a life sentence with Damian Lewis?

Journeyman

NBC/Mitchell Haaseth

DVR IT: Journeyman (NBC)

Cast:   Kevin McKidd, Brian Howe, Gretchen Egolf, Moon Bloodgood, Reed Diamond
Premieres:  Sept. 24, 10 p.m.

It’s Quantum Leap for the 21st century! San Francisco newspaper reporter Dan Vassar’s existence is turned upside down when an unknown force begins transporting him back and forth through time. After much confusion, he begins to understand that the unexpected travel has a purpose: He must alter a sequence of events to save someone’s life. The only problem? While he’s away, present-day events do not stand still. Instead, his wife and boss are left to wonder where in the heck he keeps disappearing to. And to make matters worse, Dan is a recovering addict and gambler whose loved ones aren’t buying the whole “time travel” thing. Imagine that. Further complicating the plot are several “in the past” appearances by Dan’s former fiancée, who was killed years ago. We also learn that Dan’s wife was actually involved with his brother back in the day. Sound complicated? It is. But the various romantic entanglements are intriguing and will likely be the one thing bringing you back week to week.  

Bottom Line:  An honorable effort on an timely concept

Which New NBC Shows Will You Watch?
Bionic Woman
60.1
39.9
Chuck
82.8
17.2
Journeyman
42.8
57.2
Life
38.7
61.3

—Additional reporting by Korbi Ghosh and Jennifer Godwin

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