One of the forgotten gems from the past few years was NBC’s Chuck. The story of an average nerd that becomes a super-spy by getting a top secret database uploaded into his head by viewing a group of random images. The show took the normal action-adventure television formula and made it seem fresh by giving us an atypical hero in Chuck Bartowski, played by Zachary Levi.
The character Chuck is someone that we all know. Someone that has the potential for so much more but has settled for surviving. He had some bad experiences that prevented him from finishing college and achieving his full potential so he has settled for working at a “Buy More,” which is a thinly disguised Best Buy. Through a series of events, the first episode has him downloading the “Intersect” when he opens an email from his former college roommate who just happens to currently be a spy. Once this happens, both the NSA and the CIA send agents to be his handlers and he begins going on missions with them.
The show worked really well for the first few seasons. As the character Chuck evolved from the love-struck nerd to the traditional action hero archetype, the show began to suffer a bit. What made the show work was the tension where an ordinary person was expected to do extraordinary things.
Along with Zachary Levi as Chuck, the show also starred Australian actress Yvonne Strahovski as Agent Sarah Walker and Firefly‘s Adam Baldwin as Colonel John Casey. While the main cast was fantastic, the supporting cast is where the show really set itself apart. The different types at the Buy More spoke to anyone that has ever worked or shopped in a retail environment. The main standouts for the supporting cast though were Morgan (Joshua Gomez), Chuck’s best friend, and his sister and her husband, Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Devon “Captain Awesome” Woodcomb (Ryan McPartlin.) It also doesn’t hurt that the theme song is a version of “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” by Cake.
Chuck ran on NBC from 2007 until 2012. So, why is Chuck important enough now?
All five seasons of Chuck have recently been added to Netflix streaming. This gives us a wonderful chance to relive or experience the show for the first time. Chuck was also mostly family friendly in a slightly more than PG slightly less than PG-13 way. The show is also super-bingeable.
Intelligence/Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Intelligence is a new hour long drama on CBS that begins in 2014 starring Lost’s Josh Holloway (Sawyer) as a secret agent that has a super computer downloaded into his brain. It sounds like Chuck but without what made it fun. As for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., they should take notes on what a fun spy-show should be.