Taking the secret world of the spy and turning it on its head, Chuck (Zachary Levi in a career-making turn) is all about a nerdy sales assistant who one day unwittingly has all of the CIA and NSA's secret files downloaded into his brain. Now a walking database of informative espionage, he must be protected at all costs as he slowly finds himself being dragged further and further into his handlers' (the ever excellent Adam Baldwin and the extremely capable Yvonne Strahovski) world of danger, double crossing and occasional death.
Well there's the blurb out of the way.
This show has everything: humour, action, romance, twists, lies, excitement and things that go boom! Levi is frankly excellent, and in this casting Schwartz has managed not only to nail his demographic, but also make the character of Chuck almost universally likeable. Levi is so endearing that you are constantly rooting for him in life, love and laughs. He is matched by an excellent supporting cast. Adam Baldwin is cranky as ever and Yvonne Strahovski impresses not only on the eyes but also in terms of her character. Sarah, and particularly her relationship with Chuck, proves to be nearly central to everything. Although seen through Chuck's eyes, she is bound up in everything as the agency member increasingly torn between duty and desire. Sarah Lancaster is brilliant as Chuck's concerned sister, and Ryan McPartlin provides ample comic relief as her fiancee. The staff of Chuck's workplace - the Buy More - are all superbly cast, with Joshua Gomez's Morgan working the geek bromance comedy with effortless ease.
The concept is ridiculous, the situations often laughable; but this is the finest piece of escapist television I've seen in a while. The action is good enough to appease set-piece junkies. The comedy, whilst not perhaps always laugh-out-loud, is certainly well timed. The relationships between the characters and the onscreen chemistry is spot on. Slick, well executed and genre-spanning. Chuck is a well worthy addition to your boxset library. Let's just hope Season 2 gets released quickly over here on dvd too!