My Take On: Chuck (and why you should be watching)
Oh Josh Schwartz, how I adore you. In 2007, the man behind “The O.C.” and “Gossip Girl” (yeah, yeah, I know) brought us a new show both men and women alike can obsess over. In case you have not yet become a resident of Buy-Moreia, let me give you a reason to change your TV zip code and catch you up.
Title character Chuck Bartowski (played by Zachary Levi) is your average Geek Squad-type guy who unknowingly, on his birthday no less, opens up an email he will never forget. No, I don’t mean that cute surprised kitten or a Happy Birthday e-card. The email contains a message from his Stanford roomie- turned rogue CIA Agent Bryce Larkin. Upon hitting “open”, a Pandora’s Box of US government secrets is dumped into Chuck’s head via some laser beam supercomputer magic. (Let me add that this intel had been stolen by Larkin – hence the “rogue” part.) This database is called “The Intersect” – and now, thanks to Bryce, Chuck IS The Intersect. (The government’s only other copy of the Intersect was destroyed as a result of his thievery. Fail.)
The CIA and NSA learn that Chuck was the last person that Bryce contacted and want the intelligence returned to them, as they are unaware it’s in Chuck’s brain. The CIA sends Agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) to retrieve the Intersect, and the NSA sends Major John Casey (Adam Baldwin) to capture Chuck, as he “knows too much”. The two agents eventually cross paths and discover that Chuck is now the only version of the Intersect. The agencies decide Chuck must be protected at all costs, and assign both Sarah and Casey the task. So, now that Chuck’s brain holds all the cards, he must use the information in his head to help Agents Casey and Walker thwart assassins and terrorists, all while not being killed by the bad guys in the process. Fun times.
Obviously, Chuck-the-Spy (or Charles Carmichael as he likes to call himself on missions) must keep his new job a secret from family and friends, which makes for some funny situations. He continues his job as Nerd Herd Supervisor at the local Buy More (aka TV Best Buy), while Sarah poses as his girlfriend (hello, love interest) and takes a cover job at the Orange Orange next to the Buy More. Fantastically sarcastic Casey reluctantly becomes a part of the Buy More team as his cover. (Since I worked for Best Buy myself, I share his pain.) The basement of the Orange Orange is also their spy base (known as The Castle).
Let me not forget to mention the supporting characters that fill the show like Ellie and Devon, Chuck’s sister and her boyfriend, BFF Morgan, Buy More co-workers Jeffster and Buy More boss Big Mike, amongst others. I can honestly say they make wonderful filler for the rest of the hour, and would be terribly missed. You will end up loving all of them, as they each bring essential elements to the show.
Episodes revolve around various spy missions and the trouble-making blunders Chuck makes. (Hello, he’s not really a spy, what do you expect?)
Chuck is a fresh idea for a show. It has all I want in an hour of TV – comedy, action, drama, wit and sarcasm all bundled up in a nice little package. There is great continuity to the storylines, and the writing is super funny. Guest stars thus far have included: John Laroquette, Chevy Chase, Scott Bakula, Jordana Brewster and Rachel Bilson.
I am not going to give away any twists and turns, so I highly recommend getting the first and second seasons on DVD or Netflix. Chuck is a great show that is steadily gaining popularity, so hopefully it will be around for a long time. So catch up fast and don't forget to watch the new episodes Monday nights at 8PM EST, so TPTB at NBC keep it on the air.