DVD Review: CHUCK: The Complete First Season

Warner Bros. Home Video

Release date: Sept 16th, 2008
MSRP: $39.98

Stars: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Sarah Lancaster, Adam Baldwin

Five years after his friend and roommate Bryce Larkin got him expelled from Stanford, Chuck Bartowski (Levi) heads the repair team at an electronics store and lives back home with his sister Ellie (Lancaster). The night of his birthday, Chuck receives an e-mail from Bryce (now with the CIA) downloading into Chuck’s brain the encrypted contents of an intelligence-gathering mainframe Bryce has just destroyed. CIA agent Sarah Walker (Strahovski) and NSA agent John Casey (Baldwin) are sent to recover the information but end up undercover as Chuck’s new girlfriend and co-worker respectively. They help Chuck interpret random flashes of information and thwart various terror plots.

Created by Josh Schwartz (The O.C.) and Chris Fedak and exec-produced by McG, the show juggles workplace humor, escapist action, and romantic comedy. Not all the elements work in a given episode, but one of them is usually worth watching. Chuck is the classic well-intentioned introvert. As much as Sarah and Casey grow to like him, they must weigh their feelings against their agencies’ plans for Chuck once the mainframe is rebuilt.

Thirteen episodes aired before the writers strike interrupted, but NBC has ordered a full 22-episode second season to begin Monday, September 29. I recommend sampling Season 2 of Chuck. If you enjoy it, you’ll want Season 1 for background. The four-disc first season set includes deleted scenes, a roundtable with Josh Schwartz, Chris Fedak, Zachary Levi, and Joshua Gomez, character profiles and casting sessions, a gag reel, and a gallery of Web-originated material.

Gerald So

For more of Gerald’s thoughts and observations, check out his blog: If you want to know about my Life…
For more reviews from Gerald, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.