As with anything in life, low expectations are the key to happiness. Early on, I’d been looking forward to NBC’s “Chuck” because it seemed like a clever concept, and I’ll watch anything about nerds. (It’s in the nerd solidarity contract.) But recently, my anticipation had lessened because of the endless advertising and because I figured anything I could download for free off the internet couldn’t be that great. (Unless it’s pictures of kittens with funny sayings.) So last night, I tuned into “Chuck” with relatively low expectations, just hoping it would keep me mildly entertained. And that’s really not that big of a request, given that bits of string, colorful paper clips, flashlights and “Family Guy” have all managed to do the trick at one time or another.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised when “Chuck” not only met but exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed the show. In case you missed it and the million and one commercials touting it, the premise involves a nerdy Best Buy-style worker drone who accidentally sees a whole bunch of government secrets that are now lodged in his brain. Various government agencies fight over him, including a pretty blonde spy on whom Chuck quickly develops a crush and Adam Baldwin on whom I quickly redevelop a crush. The premise lends itself to a lot of possibilities and the writing is solid, although the spy stuff feels like it’s written by people who don’t know anything about spy stuff but are hoping folks won’t notice. I’m okay with that because really, plot matters very little to me in a TV show. Just give me entertaining characters – and bits of string. Just kidding. The lead actor, Zachary Levi, who I’m just going to call Zach because I feel like we have that kind of bond, is appealing and funny and kind of reminds me of that guy from “Ed” – three things that will earn you raves in my book. I also enjoyed Chuck’s sidekick, Morgan, played by Joshua Gomez, and the ongoing joke of Chuck’s sister’s boyfriend who is known as Captain Awesome because he is A) awesome and B) he says awesome all the time. He was probably on-screen a total of 45 seconds, and I giggled every time.
And more than anything, it’s really nice to see Adam Baldwin on network television again. Not to spoil anything, but the thought of him in the Nerd Herd just cracks me up.
“Chuck” has earned my early devotion, and I’ll be tuning in several more times. I’m just keeping my expectations low. I’ve been burned with new TV show love before….