Wednesday, June 11, 2008

TV: Chuck - Season 1

Chuck - Chuck is in a rut. He has a dead-end job too far beneath his skill level. Probably couldn't have done better since he was kicked out of Stanford (University) three years ago. Finds himself regressing to his high-school level self not without the help of Mogran, his childhood friend. Topping it off, he is living with his sister, Ellie and her awesome boyfriend, the only family he has. Although he knows he should be angry at Bryce, his college buddy who turned him in, he can't seem to blame him entirely. Sure, the exam answers Bryce found under his bed (that got him expelled) wasn't Chuck's but Bryce couldn't have know that, right? He would have done the same thing to Bryce if it was the other way around, right? Hm..

Seems that Bryce just doesn't seem to stop figuring in Chuck's life. Bryce, now a secret agent, sends him a computer database that gets embedded in his brain. Since Bryce blows up the computer and Chuck's computer is trashed, Chuck is the only way to use the database. Now the CIA and the NSA have to protect him as well as use him to get to the database. Which makes Chuck's life that much complicated, in more ways than one. Posing as her girlfriend, Sarah is the CIA agent assigned to Chuck. Doesn't help that she was also Bryce's squeeze. Chuck and Sarah connect before he found out she was an agent. He now knows it isn't real but he still he feels it and wishes it was so.

And that is the premise of this new series that has been getting a lot of attentions because it has a Geek hero (as opposed to the oft disguised Greek Hero in other TV series) with a typical Spiderman-superhero syndrome. Each episode is centered around a spy mission involving Chuck, Sarah (his NSA handler) and Case (his CIA handler). Around each episode is an interweaving story related to Chuck's relationship with his friends or family. These stories would have a impact on Chuck's growth as a person making him in most cases a better agent.

The side antics of supporting cast is what makes the series interesting. They are not just disposable props but they themselves grow in terms of both character development and depth. Beyond just providing comic relief (Chuck's co-workers at the BuyMore) or emotional growth (his relationship with his sister and best friend Morgan Grimes), these stories are what makes the series interesting and strangely enough, real and makes us relate to the character.

Another big theme is Chuck's obvious attraction to Sara (in reality, who wouldn't be). Even when he knows that their relationship is a cover, he follows her around like a lost puppy. And when it does begin to evolve, it grows from attraction to something real for both of them (for Sara, in-spite of her own efforts not to). The big turning point was when Sara has to decide between Chuck and Bryce. Although she claims she was just following orders, she cared enough about him and his safety to stay on.

I can't wait for next season.

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