Third-episode verdict: Chuck

The Carusometer for Chuck 3-Minor-Caruso

In a season that’s typically been characterised by pilots – both poor and good – that have been quickly followed by better second and third episodes, it’s almost refreshing to come across a show with a good first episode that’s quickly gone on to squander goodwill with its second and third episodes.

Chuck, in which a common or garden computer repairman gets all the NSA’s spy data dumped into his brain, had one of the better pilots this Fall. A mixture of comedy and action, with a good cast, its only problem seemed to be having Charlie’s Angels director McG as one of its exec producers. Certainly, you can see his telltale fingerprints all over it, from the kickboxing blonde babe in a short skirt to the high explosion count per episode.

But episodes two and three have been somewhat lacklustre and unexciting. The comedy has been pretty insipid; the action has been pretty… insipid. It’s still fun. It’s still relatively enjoyable and there aren’t many dull moments. But the show lost its mojo before it even really found it.

Oh well. If you have an idle hour on a Monday, you can tune it, but Chuck is now unfortunately on a par with the other slacker dramedy of the moment, Reaper.

So The Medium is Not Enough declares Chuck to be a 3 or Minor Caruso on The Carusometer quality scale. A Minor Caruso corresponds to a show “in which David Caruso might guest star as a technical support operator. He will ask everyone with a computer problem whether they’ve ‘tried shooting it’ and will pile up laptops to stand on them, when faced with potentially taller actors.”

  • If I didn’t have a DVR now, I would have to chose taping ‘HIMYM’ over ‘Chuck’, but luckily I don’t have to make that decision. I’m enjoying ‘Chuck’ and I think it has more potential not to be repetitive than ‘Reaper’.
    I only wish they made Zach Levi look a little more nerdy – would it have killed them to make him at least wear glasses? Clark Kent wore glasses; Doctor Ten wears glasses. At least it would have been something to suggest he’s a fish out of water in the spy world.
    A minore gripe, sure, but I think those in the audience who could have identified and cheered having someone represent them on TV will see him for a poser.
    Based on (most of) his attitudes during the tango sequence this week, I don’t think it’ll be long before he redefines himself and sheds the nerdy/geeky mannerisms. And then he’ll be just another spy.
    So I enjoy watching it, but I recognize it has problems….

  • How I Met Your Mother? Ooh, didn’t like that much. I’d have gone with Chuck instead.
    Not sure how much Chuck is going to veer towards the “you are what you make of yourself” option of traditional US dramas or whether his slack will remain intact. Actually, though, I’m glad he doesn’t wear glasses since that’s quite a tedious geek stereotype. Good to have a little variety now and then.

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