Did we like it?
This high concept American comedy drama stars Zachary Levi as Chuck, a likeable nerd who having opened an email sent to him by his old college roommate (now a dead rogue CIA agent) inadvertently downloads all the CIA/FBI/NSA secrets from their central computer into his brain. And now he’s got everyone on his trail… A reasonable opener, but from the stellar US reviews it’s been getting, we can only assume that it gets a lot better as the season wears on.
What was good about it?
• Adam Baldwin (the boorish Jane from Firefly) plays NSA agent Major John Casey, whose idea of helping Chuck would be to throw him in a mental ward and forcibly extract the data from his mind.
• Zach Levi is well cast as the likeable nerd Chuck – geeky looking, but good-looking enough so that when the undercover CIA agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) starts to fall for him, it’s not totally unbelievable.
• We really liked the scene where Chuck and Sarah prepare for their date together. We cut from Chuck doing up his sneakers and deliberating about how many shirt buttons to leave undone, to the gorgeous Sarah strapping on a minature knife set and lethal hair decorations.
• The great series set-up where Chuck’s old room mate – the unfeasibly good-looking and popular Bryce Larkin – downloads all the computer secrets to a handheld device, and then offs about 20 armed guards during his acrobatic escape before being brought down by Casey.
What was bad about it?
• Directed by McG. If ever a director’s name struck a chill in your heart, it’s that one. Thankfully (and probably due to the much lower budget he got than on Charlie’s Angels) there is more emphasis on plot and character development rather than mindless stunts.
• Chuck’s best mate Morgan, and his sister’s boyfriend, Captain Awesome, seemed to have wandered in from the Big Bang Theory and Scrubs. Hopefully, they’ll seem less crowbarred in as the series progresses.