Last night Chuck returned for its first episode since January, launching its sophomore season with “Chuck vs. the First Date” and I’m instantly reminded of what attracted me to the series last year.
For newbies, the show worked in a nice recap into the first 10 minutes. Normal guy Chuck is going about his everyday business when a former friend from college, now turned spy, emails him with a file encrypted in pictures containing government secrets known as the Intersect. The only other version of the Intersect is destroyed and Chuck is inadvertently drafted into the CIA and assigned Sarah (CIA) and Casey (NSA) to protect him.
This show is a nice break from all the question-filled dramas that I normally watch. Chuck is a fun show that makes me laugh and sit back and relax.
Here are the Top 10 Reasons why I love this show.
1. Adam Baldwin
Baldwin stars as Casey, the gung ho NSA agent always ready to shoot now and ask questions later. The intimidating tough guy, who poses as a Buy More employee to keep tabs on Chuck, has a delightful dry humor. For instance, in this episode, Casey crashes into a restaurant to save Sarah and Chuck, asking “Someone order drive thru?”
Casey is a simple man dedicated to serving his country. He loves his gun, his Crown Vic and Ronald Regan. But despite his devotion to the job, Casey has developed a soft spot for Chuck as we saw when he hesitated to terminate Chuck.
2. Pop Culture References
I love it when a show can work in pop culture references. It’s like a conversation with friends. And Chuck is full of these references – most of them involving Chuck’s inner geek. Last night references included a Comic Con poster, a subtle reference to Back to the Future with Chuck waking up to Huey Lewis songs and a Godfather impersonation.
But my favorite of the night was when Chuck was talking about his future with his sister Ellie and she asks what he wants to do and then says please don’t tell me you want to “pilot the Millennium Falcon.”
Chuck is anything but James Bond. But the reluctant spy is finally starting to embrace his alter ego, Charles Carmichael. He has knack for getting into trouble all on his own, but add the fact that he has government secrets in his head, a best pal who majors in mayhem and a gift for never staying in the car when told and you can see how pandemonium rules Chuck’s humdrum life.
Oh didn’t I mention, Chuck’s track record with women. He never got over the girl he lost to the same so-called friend who sent him the Intersect – at least until he met Sarah. But their working relationship keeps his puppy crush sidelined.
4. The Best Friend
Chuck’s life is complimented – or is that complicated – by the devotion of his slacker best friend Morgan. The “little bearded man” has made a science out of doing nothing.
But Morgan doesn’t know about Chuck’s secret spy life and often complicates Chuck’s ability to save the world – and score with Sarah – with a scheme or two of his own. Add Morgan’s creepy crush on Ellie and Chuck’s got a friend that’s just too weird to be true.
5. The Buy More Staff
Chuck works at Buy More, a big electronics company that might remind you of someplace you might have shopped, as a member of the Nerd Herd described as “Geek Chic – In Overdrive.” Chuck, Morgan and Casey work for “Big” Mike who is equal parts babysitter and ringmaster.
But the real heart of the store lies in its employees who – led by the master of chaos, Morgan – manage to never do any work because they are always too busy with some crazy scheme. In last night’s episode Morgan conducted a cage match between Lester and Jeff to see who would get the assistant manager position. Don’t you wish that’s how promotions worked at your job?
6. Guest Stars
This series has some great guest stars. Last year Rachel Bilson played a potential love interest for Chuck. In the Season 2 premiere, Michael Clarke Duncan starred as this week’s nemesis, Mr. Colt, who told Chuck “I assume you find me imposing.” I found him imposing and a great adversary for our top spies.
Next week it looks like John Larroquette and Melinda Clarke are up for guest spots.
7. Captain Awesome
Awesome is Ellie’s jock boyfriend who response to everything is “awesome.” You just got to like a character with depth like that!
8. The Over Protective Sister
Ellie has been taking care of Chuck since their parents died. She’s great as the over protective sister eagerly wanting the best for her brother, but hesitant to meddle in his life – too much.
9. Cool Episode Titles
Each weekly episode is titled Chuck vs. something. It’s consistent and descriptive. I think my favorite had to be “Chuck vs. the Imported Salami.” It says it all!
10. The sets
There’s, of course, the Buy More filled with every electronic gadget needed and more, including all the latest spy equipment. Then there’s the great restaurants that serve as Sarah cover – first Wienerliciouse, now Orange Orange.
But my favorite is the apartment complex where Chuck lives with Ellie and Awesome. Look familiar? It’s the old Melrose Place set. You’ve got to like a show that recycles a piece of television history.
I’m adding this reason in just for my husband, since he seems to enjoy these scenes so much. This show seems to find every reason possible to have a scene where Sarah gets dressed.
Seriously, all kidding aside, Chuck is a great show when you need a little fun in your day. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. If you have, tell me why you like Chuck.