Chuck -- An early look
Let me make myself clear from the get go: Watch Chuck this fall. I have seen the first two episodes and I am in love. You can read the rest of this spoiler-free early look if you want a little bit more about the show, but I just had to get that off my chest before I started.
Chuck follows the recent trend in television and film of Beta-male leads. What do I mean by that term, one that was obviously developed by some social anthropology professor with too much time on his hands?
Nerds are hot right now.
From Seth Rogen in Knocked Up to Jim from The Office, everybody loves their main characters to be nerds. They are relatable, they are non-intimidating, they don't have those six pack abs that make you want to buy the Ab-iscizer. They let the audience think, "Hey! If they can make it, so can we."
And Chuck Bartowski is the most lovable of the bunch.
The premise behind Chuck features a simple computer consultant for the Nerd Herd -- a clone of Best Buy's Geek Squad -- who is sent an email full of images encoded with secret government data. This gives our poor dork the ability to randomly access state secrets, usually triggered by some picture or sound.
Well, it seems like the big wigs want their secrets back and the CIA and the NSA send their individual agents to claim the files for themselves. And now you have poor Chuck trying to live a normal life with some not so normal circumstances.
Now if you are looking for reasons to watch Chuck beyond its complicated log line, you have come to the right place. Just looking behind the scenes you can see that this show is vetted for success. The show is written by Josh Schwartz, who created The O.C. and also has the upcoming drama Gossip Girls. I was never a huge O.C. fan, but I have to admit that Schwartz writes really realistic and smart dialogue. The pilot was directed by the mono-monikered McG (Charlie's Angels). The former music video director has style and a hip attitude that can breath life and legitimacy into any project, no matter how ridiculous it is (Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle).
The action sequences are also essential to making Chuck so full of .... Chuckocity. In the first two episodes alone there were car chases, explosions, helicopters, gun fights and some stuff that I just can't share with you. It would ruin the fun.
But Schwartz at the end of the day is a character writer and this show is full of good ones. Zachary Levi (who I spoke to recently, watch for that interview soon), is the perfect hesitant hero. His ability to telegraph his insecurities and anxieties simply forces audiences to sympathize with him. You just can't resist it. Levi transitions well into a lead role from his previous spot as a supporting character on the Sarah Rue-vehicle Less Than Perfect. As we say in the biz he's got screen presence and marketability. Or that is what WE would say in the biz if WE were actually in the biz. For the love of God, why am I calling it the biz?
The supporting characters are also significantly solid. Dark-haired-Seth Green-look-a-like Joshua Gomez is hilarious as Morgan. Annoying, clueless, random, Morgan constantly pesters Chuck's sister Dr. Ellie Bartowski (Sarah Lancaster) and her dumb as a rock boyfriend Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin).
Playing NSA agent Major John Casey is Adam Baldwin, and no, he is not the missing Baldwin brother. You might remember Mr. Baldwin from a little phenomenal show known as Firefly. I loved Baldwin as the loose cannon Jayne and it is great to see he has the range to play the uptight, straight-laced Major Casey. If Chuck is successful, I think he should get his own spin-off. On the CIA side we have Australian superhottie Yvonne Strzechowski as Sarah Walker (was Sarah Strzechowski too complicated?). I am not saying that she adds the TV executive's requisite sex factor, but the bra and panties scene in the pilot sure does.
So between Chuck (8 p.m. EST) and Heroes (9 p.m. EST), which both premiere Sept. 24, NBC will own my Monday nights.
I just received the third episode. I am so excited to see it, I may end this early look with out a proper concl ...
|Really awesome||53 (21.3%)|
|So awesome my face is melting from its awesomeness||123 (49.4%)|