Chuck is a series that first aired in 2007 and ended after 5 series in 2012, so this review is of a TV series that has now been finished for a few years.
The premise of Chuck is very simple. Bryce Larking, a former college friend and roommate who is a CIA agent, steals an Intersect (Intelligence files from the NSA and CIA on just about anything) when in danger Bryce sends the files to the only person he can trust, Chuck Bartowski (played by Zachary Levi). Chuck thinks that the email is a birthday message from his old friend and upon opening it he finds a hypnotising video encoded with millions of government secrets which all upload into Chuck’s brain. This starts the dangerous and exciting life of Chuck into the world of espionage, lies and secrets.
The main problem is that Chuck’s brain is now the most valuable and dangerous thing in the entire world. This is where the very good-looking CIA agent Sarah Walker (played by Yvonne Strahovski) and the NSA agent and killing machine John Casey (played by Adam Baldwin) who have become tasked with keeping Chuck alive, while using his new found knowledge to take down terrorists, bomb threats, assassins and so on. The general procedure of the show is that every episode Chuck “flashes” on something, it’s often a person or a symbol, the flashes then set off a series of events that usually lead to Chuck being told to “wait in the car” or being held at gunpoint, of course they manage to get out of some sticky situations, but the fun is in watching how they do it while still managing to complete their “mission”
Each episode contains a spy mission, gunplay, kick ass action sequences and very funny comedy but setting all that aside, Chuck is a story about an ordinary but geeky guy who falls for the perfect woman, i.e Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) she’s an archangel that is both sexy but also deadly (ie the perfect woman). It’s possible that before she met Chuck Sarah wasn’t sure what she wanted, throughout the series we see glimpses that she wants a “normal” life no lies, no secrets and no spy life, but she is very good at her job and equally good at kicking ass.
The chemistry between Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski is evident from the moment you watch the pilot episode. They often make the “will they won’t they moments” more believable than other shows (especially the terrible ending of How i Met Your Mother).
Besides Chuck, Sarah and Casey, there is a big and wonderful cast of supporting characters, Morgan (played by Joshua Gomez) Chuck’s weird and nerdy friend, Chuck’s sister Ellie (played by Sarah Lancaster) and her boyfriend Devon “Captan Awesome” (played by Ryan McPartlin) and of course Jeff (played by Scott Krinksky) and Lester (played by Vis Sahay) who are two of the weirdest and brainless people I’ve ever seen on a TV screen (or in real life).
The brilliant thing about Chuck, is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s very much a comedy first along with an action/spy show second, the joy in watching is both in the characters themselves the hilarious events they get themselves into and of course the backwards and forwards between Sarah and Chuck. The best thing about that part tho is that it’s not too mushy it doesn’t make you feel like a love story is being forced upon you, it almost feels natural, maybe that’s to do with the on screen chemistry between Yvonne Strahovski and Zachary Levi. The funny moments often come from Chuck, a man who is way in over his head.
Overall Chuck is a real winner, those that are looking for a show that can make you laugh while also finding thrill in fighting and chase sequences will love this show, however if you are looking for a more serious spy type of series this one may not be for you.