Sep 24, 2007

NBC Spy Series Chuck Debuts Tonight

Chuck, the first of NBC's several new spy series this season, debuts tonight at 8PM Eastern. I saw the pilot down at Comic-Con this past summer, and found it to be pleasant, but not amazing. I seemed to be in the minority though. The audience loved it, wildly cheering for the cast as they came out to do a Q&A afterwards. The last show that got that kind of reception at Comic-Con was Heroes, so perhaps Chuck is NBC's newest hit. If it were, it would definitely be a good thing. I enjoyed Chuck's blend of comedy and espionage-related action, and I'd like to see more shows and movies brave enough to attempt this mixture. Tonally, it was similar to executive producer McG's Charlie's Angels movies.

Adam Baldwin was particularly good as an NSA enforcer, but the two leads, Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski, were kind of bland. Levi seems desperate to channel Seth Cohen, the breakout geek star of Chuck creator Josh Schwartz's first show, The OC. But in the pilot, he came off a little heavy on the desperate and light on the Cohen. Strahovski was perfectly good (and certainly looks good!), but just comes off as sort of generic. A generic TV blonde. In person, she was very charming, largely thanks to her Australian accent. I wish the producers had let her keep in on the show!

The pilot does have some very good scenes, though, including an exciting car chase, a deadly dance and a very funny fight with a ninja. These scenes alone are promising for the series, and I'll certainly be sticking with it... for a few more episodes at least.

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