Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Season 1 wasn't great but more than good enough for me to want to watch/buy Season 2. Which is just as well because it's bloody brilliant. I just love almost everything about it. This is comedy/thriller/romcom/action/spy stuff at its best.

The main cast has grown on me. Zachary Levy as Chuck the underachieving nerd with potential is simply perfect in his part as he manages to be convincingly nerdy while developing into an action lead. Yvonne Strahovski, as Sarah his still-unrequited love interest, is a lot more subtle an actress than I initially gave her credit for. Bonus point for being Australian totally convincing as American, plus another for actually needing a stunt double less than anyone else in the cast. Looking as gorgeous as she does doesn't hurt either.

There's a lot more going on than was revealed in the first season where Chuck got the superduperramalamadingdong computer The Intersect downloaded into his brain making him a national resource at risk from enemy action. Now we gradually find out that almost everyone in his past life is involved with it and that by the end it was pretty much only Chuck who could actually contain it in the first place. There really is a whole load, a mountain's worth even, of skulduggery involved as Chuck learns the secrets of his past.

I've become rather fond of Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin), Chuck's sister's husband to be, nicknamed after his favourite word. My first impression was of a stupid jock but while McPartlin  partly plays him like that, the actor does far more with what could have been a nothing of a role. Awesome is a truly good person, genuinely kind and considerate albeit not the most perceptive person in the world. Originally just a throwaway character for the first season, the writers and producers saw what I've just described and he's now an important part of the cast.

The list of guest stars is to die for. Well, if you're into cult TV or movies that is. Guesting in four episodes is the lovely Jordana Brewster who lives in my memory as the lesbian criminal mastermind who falls in love with her good spy counterpart in the 12-rated spy/comedy/action/lesbian romcom D.E.B.S. (an Ian 5* recommended movie). Here she is the girl who broke his heart and now re-enters Chuck's life only for him to discover she works for the bad guys and always has. British actor Jonathan Cake is great as a tough MI6 agent who strikes sparks with Sarah much to Chuck's displeasure.

In the buildup to the season's climax, we finally meet Chuck's long missing father and he's played by the always-likeable Scott Bakula! (Quantum Leap,you dummies!) And when he gets to say his catchphrase "Whoo boy", my face broke into a grin of sheer geek delight. I'm not going to tell you his precise role in Chuck and his sister Dr Ellie's lives in case you haven't seen it and are planning to )and if you haven't you better). Suffice to say, it's a doozy.

Other names of note include Chevy Chase as a billionaire computer baddie, Arnold 'The Mummy' Vosloo as a (and how did you guess) baddie, Michael Rooker (who should need no introduction), Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5) as Ellie's future father-in-law, Morgan Fairchild as Ellie's future...etc, etc, Dominic Monaghan (LOTR) as a British rock star, Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica -the Cylon in the Red Dress!) as a CIA agent with plans to replace Sarah (booo!), and lots of other people I've vaguely or not heard of, and Nicole Richie (famous for being the adopted daughter of Lionel and ex-BFF of Paris Hilton) as Sarah's high school nemesis.

The scripts are sheer delight with wonderfully witty dialogue and some hilarious scenes. Point worth noting, as Levi says in a DVD extra, in his real life, Chuck is the straight man and in his spy life he's the comic relief. Even the idiots Chuck works with in Buy More are more amusing than in the first series, though the Chinese girl doesn't get enough to do. (I like quirky women. My favourite character in Holby City is the ascerbic Ukrainian goth Dr Petrenko.)

And just in case you think I've forgotten, the show wouldn't be nearly as good without the contributions of the actor playing Agent Casey, the true American patriot with menace and a sense of humour that you can cut your fingers to bleeding ribbons on, the one and only, the amazing-
Adam Baldwin

and did I mention Scott Bakula?

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