What we’re dealing with: Chuck is an action-adventure/comedy, about a lovable geek, named Chck of course, who accidentally becomes the holder of all of America’s spy secrets by reading an encrypted e-mail that was sent to him. Suddenly he’s no longer the socially challenged member of the Nerd Herd. Now he’s wanted by competing secret organizations and has a lovely spy looking after him 24/7.
For fans of:The 40 year Old Virgin, The Greatest American Hero and the very few fans of Andy Barker P.I. But even if you don’t fall into those categories, you should sample it.
The Good: First and foremost, Chuck is funny. Zachary Levi (Less than Perfect) does a great job of portraying Chuck. He may be a dork in social circumstances, but when he helps customers of the Nerd Herd in a resourceful and original manner, you know he’s not as one-dimensional as he might have been. Also, the way he deals with his new role is just hilarious. And it’s not just Levi. The supporting cast also does a great job with their roles.
But it’s no surprise that Chuck is such a good character. The show is written by josh Schwartz, who wrote The O.C. This guy brought us the best geek ever in Seth Cohen, the character that made Jewish teenagers worldwide be proud of what they are. So writing a grown-up geek wasn’t such a stretch for him. And I’m sure that the nature of the show, which isn’t rooted in real life, will allow Schwartz to go outside the box and experiment a little with some cool action-adventure and some extreme situations that he couldn’t have written in the more realistic The O.C.
The Bad: The writers have to be careful not to go too far and turn the show into a cartoon or else he might drive the audience away.
In Closing: Chuck is facing very stiff competition in its timeslot, as it’s up against the veteran ratings leader Dancing with the Stars, as well as Prison Break and How I Met your Mother. Dancing has its own core audience and its pretty safe, but Chuck and How I Met your Mother seem to go after the same target demographic, which isn’t a good thing, because I believe those who watch the CBS sitcom will remain with it. NBC has shown last year that it has a pretty easy hand on the axe, which puts Chuck in a disadvantage from the get go. It doesn’t even get the lead-in from a veteran show, as it opens NBC’s Monday night line-up, so it seems like the deck is stacked against it.
With so much outside factors working against it, Chuck has a lot to overcome in order to survive. And it should survive because it’s one of the best new shows to debut this year. NBC didn’t show any mercy to good shows that struggled last year, let’s just hope they’ll be more patient with Chuck.
Sir Linksalot: Chuck