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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shows you're not watching that you should: "Chuck"

I'll come out and admit it -- when I first heard about the show, "Chuck," I thought it sounded like a failed attempt of "40-Year-Old Virgin" meets "The Man Who Knew Too Little" (which actually sounds pretty sweet now that I think about it.)

The one and only thing that first grabbed my attention and made me tune into the show was curly-haired adorable computer "geek" Chuck Bartowski (played by Zachary Levi). I'm a shallow TV watcher, what?

But I have to admit, I'm hooked. The show is totally goofy, cheesy and at times, filled with bad acting. But it's also entertaining and delightful. The cast is made up of a bunch of nobodies and the premise is a little far fetched, but I guarantee if you tune in, you'll get hooked just like I did.

The plot: Chuck Bartowski, a computer geek who works at the Best Buy rip off "Buy More," finds himself at the helm of becoming the nation's newest -- and most awkwardly clumsy -- top secret agent. Having roomed with then-Stanford BFF Bryce Larkin, Chuck is in the midst of Bryce's secret life as a CIA agent. Before Bryce's "presumed" death (no spoilers here!), he leaves Chuck an email message full of encrypted government secrets in the form of a photo montage that subsequently plants the data into Chuck's little noggin. Executive producer and co-creator Josh Schwartz, creative genius of "The O.C." and "Gossip Girl," tells the story of the unlikely hero who must rise to the occasion and become a quasi-secret agent to help the government through "flashes" of the secrets planted in his brain. OK, I just realized this all sounds very geeky and like the Mod Squad's worst nightmare, but I promise it works. And I should mention -- it's supposed to be funny.

The cast: Chuck Bartowski, who later adapts the much cooler sounding agent name "Charles Carmichael," is your typical video-game-playing, computer-fixing, converse-sneakers-wearing nerd you just can't help but love. He is best friends with Morgan, an even bigger geek who works with him at "Buy More," and is one of the funnier characters on the show. Chuck lives with his model-like sister Ellie and her fiance Captain Awesome, aka: Devon. Beyond his spy duties -- which mostly consist of ducking and covering while the real spies shoot at each other -- Chuck's "real job" at the Buy More also provides hilarity through their silly antics of quasi-"Office"-like shenanigans. Sarah Walker and Major John Casey work to protect Chuck and his valuable secrets. Agent Walker is disguised as a worker at an ice cream store and Major Casey as a fellow employee at Buy More. There is an undeniable sexual tension between Agent Walker and Chuck -- which typically takes on a second plot of its own throughout the show.

Why it works: "Chuck" really has everything. A will-they-won't-they love story? Check. Top secret governmental spies? Check. Guns, ninjas and stealth moves? Check. Video game references and a work setting where employees do everything but work? Check. Really, what more can you ask for? The show isn't side-splitting funny, nor is it the smartest writing ever, but for an hour every Monday, "Chuck" will definitely keep you amused. Plus, they typically leave good cliffhangers at the end of each episode, roping you in to watch the next. Geniuses!

Catch "Chuck" at 7 p.m. Mondays on NBC.

-- Sara Boyd,

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I love Chuck! I've been watching it from the start. It's not groundbreaking television, but it's fun. What's wrong with that? Nothing, I say.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 22, 2008 at 4:55 PM  

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