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.”


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

    View all posts