I HATE going shopping, but on Tuesday night I’ll be first in the queue at the grand re-opening of the BuyMore for series two of Chuck on Virgin 1.
For those who don’t know – and that is a surprisingly high number given how excellent the show is – Chuck tells the story of the eponymous character, a geek that works fixing computers in a superstore, but then has America’s secrets downloaded into his brain via email. This video gives you the skinny.
Chuck then has the ability to ‘flash’ on key information, cueing secret agent escapades with spies galore, all the while maintaining his normal life with friends and family who have no idea what is going on.
I happened across the show by accident last year and was hooked from minute one.
There are loads of reasons why – starting with the cast. Zachary Levi is note perfect as lovable geek Chuck, backed up by Yvonne Strahovski as Sarah and the brilliant Adam Baldwin as Casey, his spy bodyguards.
The trio have tremendous chemistry, with Baldwin – as he did in Firefly and Serenity – stealing every scene he is in.
But they are supported by a great set of oddball supporting characters, led by Chuck’s best friend Morgan (Joshua Gomez) and the rest of the BuyMore staff, who add layer upon layer of fun and games to what could have been one note roles. The same is true of Chuck’s sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and her fiance, Captain Awesome (you have to watch).
The cast are also helped by the show’s creators who really pull out all the stops in their scripts – funny and affecting, as well as loaded with geeky pop culture references for people like me to pick up on, and then make everyone else in the room wonder why I am laughing.
On the face of it, the show is more spy comedy than sci-fi, and transparantly made to be geek wish fulfilment. (ordinary bloke who loves sci-fi, becomes hero who saves world, with help from cool mates / beautiful women)
But the whole thing is done with such charm and love – for the characters and for the sci-fi world that Chuck and Morgan obviously dig – and that pushes it into the scope of this blog and overcomes any cynicism.
I’m massively grateful for that because it is a wonderful programme which presents a world that anyone would love to hang around in and has attracted a massive fanbase.
That fanbase was key because, as with any American show that is clever, funny and appealing, it only just survived getting the chop from the network with the help of a massive public campaign.
It recently had its third series confirmed in the USA but I get the feeling that as it is not called Heroes or Lost (which seem untouchable no matter what depths they plumb) it won’t be around for too much longer.
Check it out at 9pm on Tuesday on Virgin 1 while you can – you won’t regret it.