Usually by the third year of any show, there’s a fair indication of whether it has the staying power for the long term, and thankfully it seems Chuck has the ingredients to go from strength to strength.
Season 3 sees Chuck (Zachary Levi) deciding to become a real spy, even though he has already failed Spy School. General Beckman decides to give him a second chance, and Chuck must learn to develop as an agent as well as juggling his lingering feelings for Agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski), which surfaced towards the end of the previous season.
Many themes are explored here, with Chuck making his first kill in ‘Chuck Versus The Other Guy’ and facing a struggle to keep his double life under wraps, while others are inducted into his ‘spy team’ because of this.
The key to the show’s success is the on-screen chemistry between Levi and Strahovski, who as a pairing lift the show above the mediocre landmine of a lot of American television. Just to add further to the mire involving Chuck and Sarah, he also shares a kiss with another character, with Sarah also confessing her lover for another Agent. There’a also some great new characters, with Brandon Routh (of Superman Returns fame) as Agent Shaw and Adam Baldwin both a breath of fresh air, providing some great one-liners throughout the series.
With regards to individual episode highlights, ‘Chuck Versus The Final Exam’ – where Chuck, with Sarah and Shaw in tow, undertakes his final test of spy school – is superb. Also ‘Chuck Versus The Living Dead’ sees an appearance by Chuck’s father Stephen, who has no idea about the Intersect 2.0 in his son’s head.
The show has recently received a surprise boost with a record 24 episodes ordered by NBC for its fourth season, and certainly if it continues its upward trajectory from Season 3, it will make for essential viewing.
Released on DVD on 25th October 2010 by Warner Home Video.