SDCC 2007: CHUCK Premiere

It was, however, during Comic-Con that we heard Adam Baldwin himself wouldn’t be able to attend, so it was with some disappointment that I attended the Chuck panel anyway. I didn’t know much about the show itself, except that Adam was in it, which was enough for me. So, it was with no expectations what-so-ever that I began watching the pilot after the lights were dimmed in our meeting room. (Be warned, what follows is spoilery for the pilot.)

To explain, Chuck follows the exploits of Chuck, his friend Morgan, Sarah Walker -a gorgeous FBI agent- and a somewhat scary NSA agent named John Casey (played by Baldwin). Chuck is a member of the "Nerd Herd" over at "Buy More," obvious (and yet dang funny) send ups to the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Chuck is a normal, average guy who has trouble finding women, loves video games, and really has little to no ambition other than getting through another day.

This all changes, however, in a rather sudden turn of events. One of Chuck’s old college friends somehow brakes into a secret government database, steals all the information, and emails it to Chuck. The information is image-based, so when Chuck opens the seemingly-harmless email, all of the images are shown to him in a constant stream of information.

When Chuck wakes up after fainting from this overload, he’s confused as to what happened, and rightly so, because suddenly images that he’s never seen before randomly pop up in his brain, and he doesn’t understand why. The government folks are also confused, as both the FBI and NSA are determined to find out why the email was sent to Chuck, and what he’s done with it. Agent Walker -posing as an undercover customer at Buy More- approaches Chuck at work and slips him her phone number.

Chuck can’t figure out why this girl would give him her number, and he also can’t figure out why a ninja and an explosive expert, for example, seem bent on killing him. The ninja scene deserves special mention here. Chuck and Morgan enter his home to find a ninja stealing Chuck’s computer. Caught in the act, the ninja attacks, and through their own bumbling, Chuck and Morgan end up in a 69 position, which was just high-larious. This is one of the many things makes the show as endearing as it is…the believability of its characters. Most of us not trained in such arts probably would’ve bumbled around just like Chuck and Morgan in the face of a highly-trained ninja.

All this time, Chuck is still getting confusing images. However, Chuck’s sister and Morgan couldn’t be more delighted that Chuck is going out on a date, which for a while goes well…until Baldwin’s FBI agents start swarming in, and Sarah ends up protecting Chuck through an exciting car chase featuring one of the Nerd Herd cars.

Eventually, the government folks figure out that they need Chuck because he has access to all of their classified intelligence. Once Chuck learns what’s inside his brain, he starts piecing things together. He realizes the images he’s been seeing are describing a plot to kill a high-ranking U.S. General. Chuck then leads the agents on a mad dash to stop the bomb that’s been left by the aforementioned bomb maker, stopping the bomb just in time.

In the end, both agencies realize they need Chuck, so he uses that against them. He tells them he wants to live his normal life even while helping the agents solve crimes. They agree, but only if they keep him under close watch, which involves Adam Baldwin hilariously joining the Nerd Herd at Buy More.

Overall, I was VERY surprised at how much I really enjoyed Chuck. It was funny, endearing, action packed, and a load of fun. Of all the pilots I saw at Comic-Con, this was my second favorite (Pushing Daises was my first, but that’s another story). After we saw the pilot, the cast and crew (again, sans Adam Baldwin) took the stage and began talking about the show.

Now here you could tell one of the reasons why the show meshes as well as it does…these guys and gals are FUNNY. They obviously love the show, and really enjoy being around each other, because they were having a great time up on the stage. You could tell they were entertaining each other as well as us in the audience. The best portion of the panel is when the two main actors, Zachary Levi (Chuck) and Joshua Gomez (Morgan) reenacted their position after the fight with the ninja with the help of producer McG. I sadly didn’t take too many notes during the panel because, in all honesty, I was laughing too hard, so my information is a bit fuzzy.

So, is Chuck worth checking out? Absolutely! It’s a great idea with very good execution, great acting, lots of humor, and excellent action. Even without the inclusion of Adam, this would be a show I’d definitely have to watch for come this fall.

Here are a couple of pictures I took at the panel:

 

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