Five Reasons: Chuck

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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I'm loving the show! :D
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I will keep watching it. I enjoyed the season two premiere as much as season one last year.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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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!
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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.
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I'll be watching it, those positives definetly outweighed the negatives!
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Good for Chuck.
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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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I personally loved the focus on the Buy More and thought that it added an element of normalcy that a lot of people could relate to.
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I have mixed feelings about Chuck because the episode formatting of Season 1 was too predictable. As with what someone else said, the episodes with Bryce were the most interesting episodes. Otherwise, Chuck's 'adventures' at Buy More were a snooze.
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I really like the show. My recommendation: If you haven't seen it then you can still tune in to season 2. It's never too late to be a part of the "Nerd Herd".
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Chuck is one of the newer shows that I really took to. It's like the 2000's version of Remington Steele or Scarecrow and Mrs. King... and I mean that in the best way possible
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Chuck tops my favorite shows list. Wonderful mix of laughs and angst. You're right about the cast being #1 reason for this show! They are, wait for it...wait for it....AWESOME!
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Saw the premiere...



One word: AWESOME.
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I am just fine with comedy being mixed with seriousness. It's a comedy with heart. It's harder to care about the characters if there are no serious moments. And the serious moments between Chuck and Sara usually feel warm and heartfelt.
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it's a funny show and brings back some entertainment to the time we all spend watching TV, mixing laughs and action shots... just what I need sometimes!
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I'm not really too crazy about this "Five Reason" system. Its kind of flawed.
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I Recently started watching season 1 as a download since this show is'nt broadcast here in the Netherlands. I like it very much
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love this show it is like alias crossed with a comedy
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I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!! Those are some weak reasons not to watch this amazing show. Those things don't even bother me at all because the show is so so so funny. Zachary Levi is hilarious! You have to check it out if you haven't seen it before.
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I like Chuck. Good show
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I never watched season one, but i will tune in for season two!
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I think Chuck is a fantastic show - i'm super glad it's back and can't wait to see more !! :)
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i watched the priemere a week ago on amazon. com, it's really good! here was one of my fav lines:

Sarah: Why didn't you just stay in the car?

Chuck: IT'S NEVER SAFE IN THE CAR!!

it's really funny! i love chuck! =)
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I had the opportunity to watch season one on my own time and didn't really follow it when it was on television. It wasn't until the episode where Bryce return did I decided, "oh, that's fascinating! How the heck did I skip this show?" I imdb.com it, I tv.com it, watched all the episodes online and now I love it. I can't wait for the premiere this monday. Yay!
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I love chuck...and I have a LOT of reasons to watch it - the ones you mentioned being just a few of them. Levi is just brilliant and makes up for everything that you mentioned in 5 reasons not to watch Chuck.

Awesome show, great writing, amazing protagonist, countless laughs :)
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i love chuck!! cant wait for the premiere
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Was my favorite new show of last year. Excellent cast and a surprising amount of action. I am in love with ELlie Bartowski and not afraid to admit it.
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dont get it,Havent seen chuck before and not sure Im missing out on anything
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Chuck is the best show ever its just a really fun show to watch and when a episode ends you are just left wanting more.



I can't wait for the new season of Chuck bring it on.
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I may start watching Chuck.
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Big Mike is your reason number five? Really!? I mean...yeah, he's funny when he's on screen. But he has such a minor role on the show. You couldn't have broken down the cast into more than one spot? Maybe given Morgan a spot over Big Mike, or even the Nerd Herd squad? They're pretty hilarious too.
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Just recently got into this show. Although I love it, I don't get a chance to catch it on tv because of other shows on at the same time. That's the reason why I missed it when it aired last year. Looking forward to season 2!
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about point 2.

the secrets are locked into pictures and Chuck was good in college at unlocking pictures from the same project with his brain, his friend got worried about him so he kicked him out of college but when he wanted to hide those secrets he sent them to the only person he knows who could unlock the pictures and thats chuck
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i tried watching chuck. after 3 episodes i couldn't take it. the characters r annoying. plot makes no sense.
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chuck is awesome i don't agree with them either chuck has heart funny moments its a show that should run for a long long time
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I don't agree with your thoughts about sappiness and seriousness ruining the pace. The "sappy" moments between Chuck and his sister, for example, give the show heart. BTW, I love this feature. Keep it up!
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