I know the picture’s a little blurry folks, but isn’t it worth it to know how far the cast of NBC’s new pilot Chuck is willing to go to get you to love them? Stars Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez were not, in fact, reenacting the finer points of the Kama Sutra on stage. They were recreating their comic ninja fight from the pilot. Now that’s we’ve cleared that up, more on Chuck after the jump.
Chuck is the brainchild of writers Chris Fedak and The O.C.‘s Josh Schwartz. The pilot, directed by he-of-silly-moniker McG, was reviewed back in May by our own Bob Sassone. The screening here at Comic-Con – the first in front of a large crowd – was incredibly well-received. While this may have something to do with Firefly‘s Adam Baldwin in a menacing turn as NSA baddie John Casey, I’m sure the show would have gone over big anyway. It’s geek-friendly on every level.
Chuck centers around a thinly-disguised Best Buy Geek Squad (Buy More Nerd Herd) employee who has the entire contents of the NSA and CIA’s databases downloaded into his brain. It’s The Office meets Alias starring Seth Cohen with heavy 80s influences. Josh and Chris both brought up War Games and Goonies as inspirations. The show is super-stylized – almost a parody of spy flicks – while being hyper-realistic in an Office-sense. Its humor relies on the banality of our lives when we’re in that wonderful “quarter-life crisis” stage – the mid-20s, when most of us are a little on the lost side. It’s a great fantasy – that we wouldn’t have to figure out our lives if a sense of purpose were thrust upon us. In the case of Chuck, that purpose comes care of the federal government. In Reaper, which I’ll be writing about following a screening later this evening, that sense of purpose comes care of the devil. Which of these two similar shows will win out in the end? That’s for you to decide come September.