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Stay Tuned
Reviews, previews and much more on "24," "Lost," "The Real Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," "NCIS" and many more of your favorite shows. This is the place to talk about all of the things that make us "Stay Tuned"…

Saturday, September 27, 2008

“Chuck” Review: A Lot of Potential, But…

After seeing the first six episodes of “Chuck,” NBC made the unusual move of extending its episode order before a single show aired. Clearly that means NBC feels it’s got something special.

And after seeing the season premiere, I can see why they would think that, but it still hasn’t sold me…

If you’ve never seen it, “Chuck” is Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi), a member of the Nerd Herd, the computer techs at Buy More (Think Geek Squad at Best Buy.). By opening an e-mail from a rogue agent, Chuck downloaded the Intersect, a computer carrying all of the country’s intelligence secrets, into his brain. So Chuck is forced to become an unlikely spy as he uses what he knows to assist the two agents assigned to protect him—Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Casey (Adam Baldwin).

In the premiere, the team gets their hands on the Cipher, the last component for a new Intersect, which will make Chuck no longer needed. Seeing his spy days coming to an end, Chuck starts dreaming of a real future—one without Buy More and one with Sarah, as he finally asks her out.

This being a TV show, things, of course, don’t quite work out the way Chuck wants them to. Michael Clarke Duncan guest stars as an enemy operative trying to get the Cipher for himself and Chuck works with Casey and Sarah to stop him in order to preserve his future. But unbeknownst to Chuck, the CIA has deemed him expendable once they get their hands on the Cipher.

The story is a solid one, but it just doesn’t pop as much as it could. The episode gets off to a great start, but it quickly starts to drag. And even the action sequences aren’t as dynamic as they should be. The episode really could’ve used the McG touch (McG is one of the executive producers.)…

But when you have a cast as strong as this one, it’s hard to say too much bad about the show. Zachary Levi is one of the most perfectly cast TV leads in recent memory. Yvonne Strahovski is a true find and Adam Baldwin is always welcome. Even Sarah Lancaster (Chuck’s sister, Ellie) and Ryan McPartlin (Ellie’s fiancé, Captain Awesome) are showing some improvement.

As I said, it’s easy to see why NBC would be encouraged, because there’s a lot of potential here. But it’s just not enough to get me to add it to my must-see list…

“Chuck” premieres Monday, September 29th at 8 p.m. on NBC…