Chuck Bartowski, ace computer geek at the BuyMore, is not in his right mind. That’s a good thing. Ever since he unwittingly downloaded stolen government secrets into his brain, action, excitement and a cool secret- agent girlfriend have entered his life. It’s a bad thing, too. Because now Chuck is in danger 24/7. Executive producers Josh Schwartz (The OC, Gossip Girl) and McG (Charlie’s Angels, We Are Marshall) merge techno-gadgetry, martial-arts smackdowns, narrow escapes and gorgeous spies in short shorts into this action comedy about a millennium Everyguy. It’s “Get Smart for a 24 world” (Troy Patterson, SLATE).
An entertaining blend of action and comedy, Chuck centers on a title character (Zachary Levi) who's a mild-mannered nerd and Stanford dropout working tech support at a Los Angeles Buy More (a barely veiled Best Buy) when his former college roommate turned rogue CIA agent e-mails him a virus that implants the entire U.S. intelligence network into his brain. Obviously that makes him a prime target, so he falls under the protection of two rival agents, Sarah Walker of the CIA (Yvonne Strahovski) and John Casey of the National Security Administration (Adam Baldwin), whose job is not only to keep the resource out of enemy hands but also to use his unique gift to help them identify and eliminate threats to national security.
In addition to the espionage and humor, the show is about relationships. There's Chuck and his best friend, Morgan (Joshua Gomez), not to mention the rest of the Buy More crew (Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky, C.S. Lee, Mark Christopher Lawrence). There's Chuck and his sister, Ellie (Sarah Lancaster), and her boyfriend (Ryan McPartlin), whose favorite word gives him the nickname "Captain Awesome." And then there's Chuck and Sarah, who play boyfriend and girlfriend as their cover, but whose relationship might not be purely professional or fictional. Levi is charming in the title role, Baldwin is not too far off from his Firefly character of Jayne (that's a good thing), and the tough-yet-tender Strahovski was a breakout star during the show's opening season on NBC in 2007-08. Much like The X-Files' Gillian Anderson became the thinking man's crush, Strahovski became a fantasy for nerds everywhere, especially after appearing in the famous Princess Leia slavegirl outfit. Also appearing in season 1: Gwendoline Yeo as a Lucy-Liu-lookalike spy, Matthew Bomer as Bryce Larkin, Rachel Bilson as Chuck's sandwich-making love interest, and Ivana Milecivic as Casey's former flame. --David Horiuchi