Title: Chuck: Season 3
Starring: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Sarah Lancaster, Adam Baldwin
Director: Robert Duncan McNeill and others
Duration: 43 minutes (x 19 episodes)
Released: 25th October 2010
Spy comedy Chuck reportedly came close to cancellation at the end of season two. It was proving very costly to keep producing the show and apparently US ratings were not as high as hoped or expected. However support from fans kept the show on the air. So here it is for a third season.
I’d never seen Chuck before watching season three to review it, but I really enjoyed it. Chuck is best described as an action-comedy-drama show about a fairly average guy that happens to be a computer-whiz. In the pilot episode he receives an encoded e-mail (from an old college friend who is now working at the CIA) the message embeds the only remaining copy of the world's greatest spy secrets into Chuck's brain. And that’s how it began. You’ll have to catch up with the rest of season one and two for yourself but I can tell you a little more about season three.
Now that he is a super-spy Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) can download skills directly into his brain – just like in the Matrix! So Chuck can do kung fu or the tango at the drop of a hat. Useful! He’s been lusting after fellow spy Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) for ages and at the end of season two they finally got it together and all was well.
So what obstacles is season 3 likely to present? Well Chuck is stuck back into his dead-end job for one thing and the writers have decided that the romance between Chuck and Sarah isn’t exactly what they had in mind. Did they just try to tie up loose ends when cancellation was mentioned? It seems so. TV series seem to be happiest when its characters are in a state of will-they-won’t-they when it comes to love situations – think Mulder and Scully (X-Files), Ross and Rachel (Friends), Penny and Leonard (The Big Bang Theory) heck it’s annoying I know but it’s a plot device that seemingly every show feels is necessary until the final few episodes of the final season in most cases apparently.
Chuck as a show remains entertaining, even if these switcharoos in plotline have thrown regularly viewers off a bit. And Adam Baldwin (another Baldwin brother?!) returns as Agent John Casey and he provides some genuinely great laughs. One other piece of interesting film trivia is that the majority of Chuck episodes have been directed by Robert Duncan McNeill – the actor-turned-director that played the role of Tom Paris in Star Trek Voyager.
Overall Chuck as a character and Chuck as a show is pretty damn goofy, corny at times, but consistently entertaining. The producers have shown that they are a little bit fickle in terms of the plotline but as most TV shows reset from week to week just like the Simpsons – no one ever gets older and no one ever does anything that affects their lives in the next episode – then I suppose it doesn’t really matter too much. Hell, who needs a proper story arc anyway? On hand to distract from plot issues is plenty of action and laughs. Basically, Chuck is what it is – just enjoy it while it lasts.