Now Watching: Chuck

I've been sick for weeks. I'm not a big fan of being stuck in bed. What's worse: the doctor said that since the latest thing is a stomach thing, I've been living off of microwaveable Campbell's chicken noodle soup, toast, and my roommate's saltines. I can't even stand for very long without feeling nauseous.

So now I've been watching Chuck on Netflix. So far I'm enjoying it. A little gratuitous with the hot girls but Zach Levi (voice of Flynn Rider in Tangled) is totally believable as a wall-meaning dork and the guy who gets the girl. The show has ended and lasted 5 seasons. I'm in season 3 now and I can say that I like the pacing and the characters keep developing pretty naturally.

Chuck Bartowski is a thirty-ish guy working at a Buy More (something like a Best Buy crossed with a Sears) as a Nerd Herder (think Geek Squad technician). He was once a Stanford student studying electrical engineering, but got kicked out after his roommate alleged he cheated and even stole his girl. Now he's a really smart, really sweet, kind of awkward dork, living with his older sister and her boyfriend, trying to get over his drastic life trajectory shift, surviving with the help of his socially incompetent but intensely loyal best friend.

Chuck's world is turned absolutely upside-down when a super secret spy, Chuck's aforementioned former roommate and nemesis, Bryce Larkin (played by White Collar's Matt Bomer), sends Chuck an email around his birthday, which Chuck mistakes as a simple gesture from one former friend to another. Chuck opens the email and the attached file installs a database of government secrets into his brain. Now the CIA and NSA have to protect him, and he's just become a top secret asset of the government-- a living computer that can identify and connect bits of visual information he acquires through his eyes with the zillions of encoded images that The Intersect has in his head.

The CIA has sent Agent Sarah Walker and the NSA has sent Major John Casey to look after Chuck who is now thrust into the world of being a spy. He also has to hide all of this from his friends and family. Casey becomes a neighbor and co-worker. Sarah becomes his girlfriend. All of this is to hide what's really going on.

Now, the fun thing about this show is that even with all the secret spy goodness, there's also the job-comedy about working with a bunch of outcast miscreants at a dead-end job. If you've ever wanted a cross between The IT Crowd and Burn Notice, you've kind of got the perfect show in Chuck. Unlike a lot of shows that try juggling different genres and settings, Chuck manages to keep pace with it all. The spy missions in every episode wrap up well in the given 44 minute episode, as do the shenanigans at the Buy More, and even the family angle of Chuck's relationships with his sister and her boyfriend progress very well. Moreover, the ongoing plot is also advanced with each episode regarding the mysteries surrounding Chuck's brain-computer, The Intersect, and Chuck's will-they-or-won't-they relationship with his handler Sarah.

I haven't finished the show, but I do recommend it. It's good, well-paced, even light-hearted fun. It's definitely not a drama, so if you're looking for really intense spy action, know that that's not a regular thing on this show-- Chuck's bumbling and awkward panicked reactions lighten and add comedy to the stuff Jen Garner in Alias would have made you want to wet your pants over. Even so, Chuck does get you pretty invested in the characters, and they know how to make you feel like the situation is high stakes, even when the next scene is a bunch of socially maladapted coworkers performing an 80s rock classic in the Buy More. It's a lot of fun and it's very exciting.

I'll update once I reach the finale, but I'm pretty excited about the show and I'm in season 3 out of 5.

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1 comment:

  1. I watched the first episode and thought it was good, but then I forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder! I'm gonna start watching it again!

    xo Megan, Lush to Blush