Premiere of ‘Chuck’ is worth a chuckle
By McGee Noble
Chuck is a weird name right? It’s so American you expect it to come out flailing a George Forman grill in one hand and a burger in the other. Yet it’s the nickname of our very own Anna Friel in her new U.S. drama Pushing Daisies. It’s also the name of Virgin 1’s latest U.S. import. Chuck (Mondays, 10 pm) is of the hugely popular geek turned hero genre. Well so it’s not a hugely popular genre yet, but it soon will be with the likes of Reaper, Chuck and Pushing Daisies generally getting great reviews all around. I think we can blame the success on that foppy haired nerd from the O.C. The one who ended up going out with absurdly pretty Summer and so giving unfair hope to geeks all over the globe.
So our hero Chuck works at the Nerd Herd (yeah, they aren’t subtle in setting up the whole geek premise). He wears white button down shirts with pens in the pocket. He has foppy hair. You almost expect the writer to pop up in one corner of the screen and point to him saying ‘He’s a geek! A geek! I know he’s attractive, but honestly he’s a geek. Just like that guy on the O.C. and look how many girls fancied him!’
Our geekly hero has had some misfortune in his past, like all the best heroes. His ex best friend and evil college room mate Bryce got him kicked out of college and stole his girlfriend on the same day. Now years later, Chuck is unrecovered and lovesick and generally meandering through life in a funk uplifted only by his even more geekly friend and employee Morgan. That is until Bryce emails a secret CIA database to Chuck that somehow (this is where the writer disappears offscreen and hides in a cupboard) downloads directly into his brain (‘what? what? that could TOTALLY happen…’) making him the repository of all world saving information. Ruh roh. Cue the entrance of bad ass NSA agent played by Adam Baldwin and saucy CIA agent Sarah.
It’s an easy watching, action filled, geek referencing hour that slips down as easily as the fat from your Forman grill. It’s hard not to like the self aware humour and whole fish out of water thing but I’ll warn you it takes a slide in quality after the first episode, what with the budget blown on all those action sequences. But hey, the premise has some legs so lets see if it pulls up its socks later on.