‘Chuck’: Season 1 DVD review

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Amiable Chuck (Zachary Levi) is an IT operative working out of a local tech shop (the wonderfully titled ‘Buy More’) when he receives an email, that just happens to contains a vast raft of governmental procedure and protocol, which he presently stuffs his brain with. Before long, he’s embroiled in espionage and unbelievable scrapes, aided by a mysterious femme fatale (Yvonne Strahovski).

The 13 episodes available in this season are entertaining enough, though the balance that is struck in this 24-esque world in which we live means that predictably Chuck won’t get into any of Bauer-esque torture sequences or quandaries that could possibly beset such an agent. A more evident inspiration would be Sydney Bristow and Alias‘s fantastical universe, with a PC helpdesk doubling us Syd’s bank cover.

One of the major irks is that the show itself could have happily bumbled along as a character-led piece. However, the brains behind the operation are creator Josh Schwartz (The O.C. and Gossip Girl) and executive producer McG (the erstwhile Joseph McGinty Nichol) of Charlie’s Angels notoriety, so the action sequences are meted out at predictable intervals. That’s not to say that the final product isn’t consistently enjoyable. Adam Baldwin enjoys a fantastic self-deprecating turn as an undercover agent forced into a glorified babysitting job as one of Chuck’s co-workers at the Buy More, and Sarah Lancaster as Chuck’s sister Ellie has progressed well from her Saved By The Bell days to be an entertaining foil.

Extras: Deleted scenes, bloopers and commentaries from Chuck stars Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez and the show’s creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak.

Released on DVD on 18th August 2008 by Warner Home Video.