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"Chuck" Episode 1: "Pilot"

"Chuck" Episode 1: "Pilot"

I picked "Chuck" as one of my five shows to watch this fall because the pilot was just so much giddy fun. Luckily, the episode was just as amusing to me the second time around. I'm curious to hear what the rest of you have to say about it, so to read my thoughts on the episode and add your own, just

I've already said a lot about the pilot, so I won't dwell much on plot. Suffice to say: Chuck Bartowski is a socially awkward computer geek who lives with his sister and runs the Nerd Herd at the local Buy More. One day, he gets an e-mail from his old college roommate that contains all of the government's spy secrets, which become implanted in his brain. This sends both the CIA and the NSA after him — the CIA embodied by a beautiful agent named Sarah, the NSA by a more battle-worn dude named John Casey (the fantastic Adam Baldwin). Chuck might be headed toward an untimely end when he suddenly realizes that terrorists want to blow up a nearby building; he diffuses the bomb by downloading a porn computer virus he learned about at the Buy More. Nerds rule, government agents drool.

Obviously, watching "Chuck" takes a lot of suspension of disbelief: How does looking at pictures turn your brain into a computer? And wouldn't the information be outdated really fast as new secrets get added? It seems like the sort of show that falls apart if you think about it for too long. Luckily, at least so far, I'm doing a lot more laughing than thinking.

"Chuck" works for me for one reason: Zachary Levi. He makes Chuck likeable and smart but also awkward and unsure. He's a geek, but a well-meaning one; did anyone else think, while on his "date" with Sarah, that he sure was doing well for himself in the flirting department considering that he couldn't even speak to the girls at his birthday party? He's got all the qualities I like in an antihero, including some mystique: Why did he get kicked out of Stanford? What's the deal with his ex? Did he have any idea what his former roomie was up to?

One of my other favorite things about "Chuck" is the juxtaposition of Chuck's life and Sarah's. That scene where they're both getting ready for the date — he making out with his reflection, she strapping weapons onto her body while wearing very little — is one of my favorites, especially when Sarah's told to kill him while he stands at her door with flowers and a dopey grin. I've heard some comments that Yvonne Strahovski, who plays Sarah, seems uncomfortable with the show's fast-paced humor, but as a character trait, I kind of like that: Just as Chuck's out of place in the spy world, Sarah's out of place trying to be a normal girl.

A few other thoughts:

  • Anyone recognize Bryce Larkin as Matthew Bomer from "Traveler"? Maybe that show's cancellation will mean more Bryce flashbacks.
  • I giggle every time I watch the ninja scene. I know it's every standard physical comedy cliche ever written, but still: "Didn't you hang that shelf?" Hee.
  • Somehow, in my first viewing of the pilot, I completely missed that Ellie's boyfriend is nicknamed Captain Awesome because he says "awesome" so much.
  • Did anyone else get shockingly hungry for pie after watching the apple pie turn up countless times in Chuck's visions?
  • Adam Baldwin line of the night: "Don't puke on the C4."

Your thoughts? Is "Chuck" fun for you — or just too wacky for its own good?

Photos courtesy of NBC

pargie pargie 10 years
I like Chuck and his roomie, that's about it. I couldn't stand Sarah or the other guy going after him. I will probably watch it again and see how it goes.
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 10 years
I didn't want to like it because I already have too many shows to watch, but I couldn't help it! I ♥ Chuck!
Choco-cat Choco-cat 10 years
I was looking forward to Chuck, but I have to say that I was disappointed. While I liked the Chuck character ok - no one else really did it for me (and I did not like Sarah at all!) I felt like it didn't quite make it as funny - nor quite make it as action. I haven't written it off yet, but I am definitely not sold.
askmetostay askmetostay 10 years
LOVE this show!!! i set up our DVR to record it, because my boyfriend has class late on mondays and it seemed like something he might like....i was SO right =)
Ejmcmis Ejmcmis 10 years
I put it to record on the TiVo based on your recommendation and I watched it and liked it a lot. I immediatly put it on Season Pass.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 10 years
It's my new favorite show!
lynp lynp 10 years
I liked the pilot, but I think this is a show that could go either way. One way:good, funny, smart, quirky. The other way:stupid, boring, over the top. We'll just have to wait and see.
yihaw10 yihaw10 10 years
loved the pilot, and i think that chuck was cast really well
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
i still need to check this out. it certainly SOUNDS like a funny show, though
ktjones ktjones 10 years
Have not had time to watch it yet...but I will! Gotta love Tivo!!
Adrianne Adrianne 10 years
It was fun watching Buzz! I'm tuning in next week to catch cutie *pie* (lol) Zachary Levi. :D
longhorn longhorn 10 years
Ooh...and I also noticed that the guy from The Traveler. Hope we see more of him in flashbacks!
vickibug vickibug 10 years
I really liked it! I kept saying to my husband (who had already seen it on a United flight) "this is so funny!" I was pleasantly surprised.
longhorn longhorn 10 years
That's who that was! Jayne! He looked different, but I kept thinking I'd seen him somewhere before! I didn't watch last night since I'd seen the the ep already, but I can't wait until next week. It will be interesting to see how they move forward.
Elsa2 Elsa2 10 years
I'm also not in love with the show, but I liked it ! And I'm with you Buzz : I told my boyfriend I wanted a pie after seeing that flashback, lol !
sumbum sumbum 10 years
loved the pilot!! i thought it was hilarious! hopefully it will continue to entertain! =)
JessNess JessNess 10 years
I really loved it. I thought it was hilarious. And now I have a total crush on Zachary Levi!! The only thing that bugged me was the ninja who was obviously played by a guy (the body type) and then it turned out to be Sarah Other than that I loved it
nicachica nicachica 10 years
omg, LOVED it! it's a really funny show and i hope it'll stick around. i thought the sidekick was David Faustino ("Bud" from Married With Children)...
yyam084 yyam084 10 years
NBC dramedy Chuck got some sampling in the 8 p.m. hour, with a second-place finish in both total viewers (9.28 million) and adults 18-49 (3.6/ 9).
ShaenaLauren ShaenaLauren 10 years
I'll def give it another chance, but I'm not in love!
genvessel genvessel 10 years
i couldn't seem to find the awesome that you all did... it was just a little too... something for it's own good. maybe i'll give it another go next week, though
CocoChic CocoChic 10 years
My husband and I couldn't stop laughing! The show was hilarious and I loved it. Captain Awesome was just awesome.
carito8 carito8 10 years
I will watch it tonight, yesterday I had to watch Prison Break ;)
erinflower erinflower 10 years
This show is awesome. I love this show and what a perfect lead up to heroes. Monday nights will now rock. I love Adam Baldwin, from Firefly.
splayer splayer 10 years
Very cute show... I'll keep watching, especially b/c it's right before Heroes.
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