Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yet Another Show To Watch: Chuck

In my posting last week on all of the TV I watched while I was sick, I neglected to mention a new show on NBC called Chuck. I missed the premiere last Monday because my DVR screwed up, but it was re-aired over the weekend, so I was able to catch the pilot. Though the premise of the show is pretty far-fetched (a computer nerd - Chuck Bartowski - is inadvertently sent all of the US's top national security secrets inside an email encoded into pictures which are now stored in his head and nowhere else, so now he must be protected as the #1 national security asset), but since when has that prevented a television show from being watchable?

First and foremost, the show is funny, and has some great characters. Chuck works as a computer tech in the local Buy More, as part of the "Nerd Herd." He and his goofy friends know everything about computers and cell phones, but nothing about women. Chuck's best friend, Morgan, works with him at Buy More and has a major crush on Chuck's gorgeous sister, Ellie (played by Sarah Lancaster, the brunette in the pic below). Ellie is a doctor, and so is her boyfriend, Captain Awesome (nicknamed that because his reaction to everything is "awesome!"). Chuck and Ellie are roommates.

We learn early in the first episode that Chuck had been a student at Princeton, but was kicked out because of his roommate, Bryce. Bryce also stole his girlfriend. Suffice to say, Chuck is not very fond of this former roommate. But, that is who sent him the aforementioned email. Turns out that Bryce went on to join the CIA, and eventually became a rogue agent. He was killed shortly after sending the email with all of the secrets to Chuck.

Bryce's former partner, Sarah Walker (the blonde in the pic above), is assigned to track down the recipient of the secrets, and bring him to Washington for interrogation. However, since the secrets are located inside Chuck, and he is not really aware of it, the plans change. Sarah is asked to guard Chuck and make sure nothing happens to him, while the CIA figures out a way to extract the information from his brain. She takes a job at a hog dog restaurant (Weinerlicious) next door to the Buy More as her cover. Naturally, there is a turf war between the NSA and the CIA, and the NSA also sends an agent to watch over Chuck. He gets a job at the Buy More for his cover.

Over the course of the first two episodes, Chuck begins to access the information inside his head. He sees it only when given certain subliminal cues. The two competing agents each try to get Chuck to trust them, while casting doubt on the motives of the other. Sarah is posing as his girlfriend, which makes Chuck's sister ecstatic. Hell, who wouldn't want a hot, bad-ass CIA agent as a girlfriend!? Of course, only Chuck knows she is an agent. To everyone else, she is the hottest woman ever to work at Weinerlicious.

Bottom line, the show is a comedy, despite all of the CIA-type stuff. You will not confuse this show with 24 or NCIS, or something like that. There is a lot of slapstick humor, nerd jokes, and general comedic hi-jinks throughout the show. The character of Chuck is a likable (and watchable) one, and the show could become a hit. His friends and family are appealing and funny, and many of the side characters are good as well. I'm curious to see where this one will go.

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