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Nate's DVD Collection ~ Chuck Season One
It's time for something a little different. This time I have not watched season 1 of a series I own currently, but of something my roommate bought fairly recently. Now I'd seen one episode of this show as it was on TV at a Junior's Pizza Place in dowtown Burlington, Vermont and I was having my lunch break there. Christopher Paolini of Law and Order: SVU guest starred as someone's father, but honestly that's all I remember. Oh and the title character worked at some kind of big box electronics store.
So when I watched the show after my roommate had purchased the first season I was actually quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it. So, on with the summary.
Chuck Bartowski is just your average tech savvy supervisor of a Nerd Herd (Read: Geek Squad)working at a the Buy More (Read: Best Buy) and living with his sister and her boyfriend. (Read: He works full time and she's a doctor and her boyfriend is actually pretty hot, what's your excuse?) When out of nowhere a chance e-mail from a former college buddy (Read: The jerk that stole his girlfriend and got him expelled from Stanford University but don't worry because in later episodes we learn that he -NO SPOILERS- and she put her clothes back on and they swore they'd never do that again or tell anyone about it.) causes every documented government secret to become permanently downloaded into Chuck's brain.
Chuck periodically and involuntarily accesses this data based, called The Intersect (Read: Plot Device) when ever he sees a name, face, or some other random tidbit of information that triggers a flash. (Read: The Vacant Look right before a montage of shots, or a flashback as seen in Highlander, Forever Knight, and that episode of Star Trek: Voyager when Tuvok has the suppressed memory and everyone is concerned)
Seasons One and Two Available on DVD and BluRay
The Diary of a Guy Who is in no Way Type Cast
Zachari Levi as Chuck
Yvonne Strahovski as an incredibly hot CIA agent with big boobs that works undercover as a Swedish waitress at a place called Weinerlicious across the street from where Chuck works.
And reprising his role from Firefly is Adam Baldwin as a big bad ass who scowls a lot, shoots people, and occasionally has a soft and/or redeeming moment that will doubtless be cut into a music video and posted on Youtube.
Disc 1: Declassified (Read: Deleted) scenes from episode 4.
Disc 2: Declassified scenes from episodes 5, 6, and 7.
Disc 3: Chuck's World: Character Development and Original Casting Sessions
Disc 4: Chuck on Chuck: Series Stars Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez Join Creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak for Some Point/Counterpoint.
Chuck Vs. The Chuckles: Gag Reel
Chuck's Online World- Gallery of Web-Originated Mini-Featurettes:
Morgan's V-Log – Movie Villains
Anna's Amazing Talents
What I Like About It
Lately I just don't bother watching anything on TV. Half the time I don't have cable and the number of times I've lived in a house where I was promised access to the TV, I was unable to watch anything I wanted anyway. So Chuck, like a lot of shows that are currently on the air and apparently doing very well wind up slipping underneath my radar until I find them on DVD.
First and foremost, I love the plot of this story. The pilot episode just really pulled me in and Chuck is just a guy I can relate to. Granted I don't have his level of tech knowledge that would make it a lot easier to score a buck or two above minimum wage these days, nor would I last five minutes in Stanford, but from the get go it's his story I identify with.
Who hasn't been screwed over by someone they thought they could trust? Who doesn't work in a job that you occasionally feel doesn't match what you're capable of? And yet Chuck is a guy who takes this monumental responsibility onto his shoulders and doesn't go around bragging that he's suddenly better than everyone.
I could never imagine the pressure of suddenly having all of the major secrets of the world tucked away in my brain and I never want to imagine it. (For the love of god, I have a hard enough time not telling people to go to Wal*Mart for the better deal on bath towels when I work for their competitor)
And while this isn't the incredible departure from his role as Jayne Cobb in Firefly, Adam Baldwin has that Bad Ass look that probably continue to land him in...well, shows where his character is basically still Jayne Cobb, only not in space and occasionally not as thick. But that's okay because it's what he does best and I don't know if I could ever see a big guy like him playing a totally out of character role just because it looks ironic. *Cough*Dwayne Johnson.*Cough* *cough*Tooth Fairy*Cough*
A lot of the allure of this show is that for the most part it really speaks to the geek in me. The Tron poster in Chuck's bed room, the Shai-Halud costume in the Halloween episode (Read: The Dune Worm. Come on people, try to keep up with me here) and lets not forget the geekiest part of all: Fly boy Tom Paris is the Executive Producer.
Fly Boy Robert Duncan McNeil is the producer of Chuck
What I Didn't Like
Is it just me? Or did the casting directors say, “I want Sophia Myles to play Chuck's love interest but she doesn't quite fit our budget, so lets pick the actress that looks as much like her as possible and fit in as many camera shots of her in a tight waitress outfit so no one will notice when we cast her in the Moonlight movie instead of Sophia.”
Come on. The rumors of a Moonlight movie are in the works and you and I both know it.
Seriously, watch a few episodes of this and I swear Yvonne Strahovski is a dead ringer for Sophia Myles. She could win a look-a-like contest or at least moonlight (no pun intended) as Sophia's stand in at sci-fi conventions. And the reason I do not like this thing is because while this season was filmed in 2008, it seems proof like no other that marketing execs are trying to take advantage of the current “vampire” market as much as possible whether their show has anything to do with vampires or not.
Then again you could just say I'm being unfair and misogynistic, but that would be such a girly thing to say.
Should You Buy This DVD?
Season One has been out for a while and according to my roommate, he got it at FYE for around twenty dollars. If you're a fan of shows with lots of references to movies, video games, and avenues of pop culture that only a select subculture are privy to then by all means go for it.
Then again, maybe Zachary Levi has picked up some fan base by now and you're a fan of his. Nah, buy it for the Dune reference.
Can My Kids Watch This?
Some of the shooting can be pretty graphic but the sexual content is pretty PG. Nothing more than kissing and suggestive language but otherwise perfectly acceptable to most American audiences.
Maybe twelve and over would be the right age group.