Five Reasons: Chuck

By Tim Surette

Sep 27, 2008

In Five Reasons, TV.com takes an early look at upcoming episodes of shows and scoops what's good and bad about the program we just watched. We're not telling you to watch it or telling you to avoid it--we're just offering up our two cents as a helpful guide.

"That's kind of you to say, but I think my girlish screams in the face of danger kind of give me away"--Chuck Bartowski, Chuck

That pretty much sums up most of the unsuperspy's missions in NBC's Chuck. The program was one of last fall's refreshing debuts, bringing a unique formula to Monday nights that mixed impressive action with geeky comedy.

Zachary Levi stars as Chuck, a normal Joe who just so happens to have every single government secret uploaded into his brain. The CIA and NSA both target Chuck as an asset, and the slacker begins working undercover with a pair of field agents, hottie Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and John (Adam Baldwin), while juggling his boring job as a tech guy at a Best Buy clone.

Chuck was cut short because of the writers strike last season, but gets right back to spy games on Monday with the second-season premiere. Should you spy Chuck with your little eye? Five reasons to watch and not to watch appear below.

Five reasons you should watch Chuck

1. The cast
Levi plays bumbling and spineless like he's done it his entire life, and you can't help but root for the guy, whether he's dodging bullets or trying to make the moves on Sarah. Burly Adam Baldwin is good in everything he does, and is skilled at delivering subtle comedy between intimidating poses; he may snap your neck, but you just might die from laughing first.

2. It's put together well
Sometimes a show just looks good, and Chuck is one of those shows. Viewed in HD, Chuck pops on the screen with bright colors, some creative camera tricks, and a general pace suitable for Ritalin junkies.

3. Appeals to the geek in all of us
Star Wars references, Call of Duty shout-outs...Chuck isn't afraid to let its nerd flag fly. And including Huey Lewis & The News? Yes, please!

4. Action, action, action!
Explosions! Car chases! Gunfights! Fistfights! YES YES YES!

5. Big Mike
Chuck's boss at the Buy More store where he works is hilarious. He hates his job, hates people, and doesn't understand responsibility.

Five reasons you shouldn't watch Chuck

1. Smacks of McG
Producer, director, and in-your-face dude McG has put his stamp all over Chuck, and it can get a touch annoying. Known for leaning toward style over substance and shooting everything like it's a Mountain Dew commercial, McG is felt in the almost constant soundtrack, unnecessary flamboyance, and gratuitous shots of Yvonne Strahovski in her skivvies. Okay, that last part isn't that bad, actually.

2. Still confused about the brain thing
So...Chuck uploaded all of the secrets into his brain just by opening an e-mail? Really?

3. Some sappiness ruins the pace
Chuck chugs along at a blinding pace, but then all of a sudden hits walls with some sappy moments. It's a bit bipolar, really.

4. Some seriousness ruins the pace
More bipolarity here. At heart, Chuck shouldn't be taken seriously... It's a fun, goofy show. So when the few moments of seriousness sink in, it's a bit of a bummer, dude. We're already suspending belief; let's not make things too complicated.

5. Doesn't totally pop as a premiere
We were very excited to get our Chuck on again after a long hiatus, but left slightly less than supersatisfied after watching it. Don't get us wrong, it's good; we were just hoping for--as Chuck's sister's boyfriend says--"Awesome."

Chuck returns for season two on NBC on Monday at 8 p.m. Have a look and tell us what you think!

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  • misspossible Nov 18, 2008

    I'm loving the show! :D

  • ramartin25 Oct 03, 2008

    I will keep watching it. I enjoyed the season two premiere as much as season one last year.

  • grailwolf Oct 01, 2008

    Gotta disagree about the sappiness and seriousness. Those elements are what keeps Chuck from being a lame sitcom with a side of adrenaline. These characters and their interactions feel real, and the sappiness is (as another comment put it) the heart of the show.

    Also, where is it written that a show must fit neatly into one genre and never vary its pace or tone? Take any list of the "best shows ever made" and I'll bet you'll find that most of them are a bit hard to pigeonhole. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was horror, comedy, action, drama, etc.; Scrubs is hilarious comedy that often makes you weep, while Chicago Hope was a biting drama that frequently left you laughing. If you want mindless action with no depth, try Knight Rider. Me, I like it when my genres are a bit mixed.

  • eric23uk Sep 30, 2008

    I like the show, but the one thing that REALLY annoys me is how Chuck says the most stupid things at the most inappropriate times. It doesn't just border on believable, it crosses the line over into completely unbelievable. He'll suddenly announce things to a room full of baddies which completely give him away. You just wouldn't do that, no matter how much of a dimwit you are. Don't get me wrong though, I do like the show and will continue to watch the second season.

  • neomichel Sep 30, 2008

    I love the show, I love the characters and I think the second season is gonna be awesome. I just hope Chuck will pluck up and engage in fights (more bravely).

  • zsandmann Sep 30, 2008

    Your negatives seem as positive as the positives to me. I'm watching and I plan to continue if for nothing more than the eye-candy, meeeeeeow!

  • t389190001 Sep 29, 2008

    Watched it since day one and LOVE IT! Just watched the season 2 episode and it was awesome as well. IF you haven't seen this you're missing out on one the best drama/action/sci-fi/comedy shows. Now that i think about i don't even think there's another show on air that has all those genres mixed together! ANd i have NO problem with McG he's done a fantastic job in supernatural and in chuck.

  • Sacred-Snow Sep 29, 2008

    I'll be watching it, those positives definetly outweighed the negatives!

  • scotchex2 Sep 29, 2008

    Good for Chuck.

  • ocseason4fan Sep 29, 2008

    I love Chuck, Im so excited for the season 2 premiere. It's an awesome show, and this season isn't going to be anything less! ;)



    Chuck is my #1 show!

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