CHUCK Recap: "Pilot" - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHUCK Recap: “Pilot”

September 25, 2007 by  

CHUCK Recaps

You first met her during her now infamous “Age of Love” recaps, and now she’s back to take on “Chuck”.  Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for SB!!!

Read on for SB’s thoughts on the pilot episode and the you be the critic…share your thoughts on the pilot. If you missed last night’s premiere episode, NBC will showing an encore on Saturday @ 9/8c, or you can click here to head over to to watch it for free.

Episode: “Pilot”
Original Air Date: 9.24.07
Recapper: SB

So as some of you may know from my comments here and there, I have been avoiding Chuck until premiere night so I could let the anticipation and excitement build. Seriously, knowing that it’s premiere week makes Monday so much easier to get through! And now there is Chuck, which will hopefully make all Mondays easier to get through. I really like how they scheduled this show, with it leading into Heroes, since you’re already ready for action, but it’s like a light, delicious appetizer. Of course, this implies that Heroes is the “main course”, and maybe it is for some people (Billy), but I am one of those people who regularly orders appetizers for dinner, so suck on that.

So let me just tell you in advance that I don’t put too much stock into pilots. I think it takes shows a little while to catch their footing and to develop characters and to get all of the expository crap out of the way. I’m sure that Chuck is no different. In a nutshell, Chuck seems (from the way they filmed the scenes, in my opinion) to have some social anxiety and isn’t good with the ladies. His sister is throwing him a birthday party, which he is trying to sneak out of with his geeky friend Morgan (as Billy put it, “Poor man’s Jimmy Fallon, meet poor man’s Jason Schwartzman) when his sister catches him and makes him go out to the party to pick up chicks. He then talks about his ex and when asked about his old college roommate speculates that he thinks he’s an accountant or something. We cut to his old roommate, Bryce, in a room lined entirely with screens and with the caption “(not an accountant)”. Funny. Bryce is bloody and there’s an action sequence, blah blah chasing, and he e-mails something to Chuck from a little handheld device before he is shot and killed and his little computer fries. Chuck gets the e-mail, watches it all night long, apparently against his conscious will, and proceeds to have little flashbacks of the video when something triggers it, a la Zoolander.

Sarah, who we find out is a CIA secret agent, comes to see Chuck at his job at the Nerd Herd under the guise of having her cell phone fixed, and gives him her number. She is trying to find out what he knows and if there’s a backup to the computer file that Bryce sent, and comes back later when he hasn’t called her to ask him on a date. We then see his sister and Morgan giddily getting Chuck ready for his date, as we also see nerd porn footage of Sarah in her underwear strapping on weapons, and no, that is not a euphemism. I’d say expect a lot more of these shots, because after multiple seasons of Battlestar, if there’s one thing I know it’s that nerds love their blonde girls doing sexual things to various degrees, and bonus if they’re robots or stone cold killers. Or both.

Now, to back up a little, because this is a pretty complicated plot with a lot of characters for a comedy, the secrets that are now in Chuck’s brain are the post-9/11 intelligence secrets that the CIA and NSA are forced by the government to share. But for reasons not really clear to me, they don’t like sharing. So both the NSA and CIA are after Chuck. And, since I have apparently decided that chronology is worthless, I will add here that the main NSA guy that we see is JAYNE!!!!! from Firefly, played by the very bad ass Adam Baldwin. His name on the show is John Casey, but I will save you the trouble of wondering if I’m ever going to call him anything but Jayne, and no, I am not. Skip a lot of action and stabbing of sharp metal objects into legs, and we get to the top of a roof where Sarah and Jayne are pointing guns and yelling stuff, and where Chuck is finding out what is happening to him, and something triggers memories that a general is about to be bombed in a nearby hotel. They go there, find a bomb connected to a laptop, which Chuck heroically causes to shut down by downloading a Serbian porn virus. Sarah and Jayne allow Chuck to go back to his regular life, tell him not to tell anyone anything so as to not endanger them, and they’ll protect him when he works with them. Chuck then decides he’s ready for the responsibility of Assistant Manager and turns in his application, only to come back out and discover that Jayne has gotten a job there and Sarah is shopping. Her ring makes him remember a video of her killing some people, and he tells himself not to freak out. The end!

Like I said, it’s kind of hard to judge on pilots alone, and there were some parts that I wasn’t crazy about. I know that shows like this rely on sort of over-the-top humor, but there were a few jokes that were just entirely LAME, like showing Astro Diapers when Chuck goes into LargeMart, the physical “comedy” when Ninja Sarah broke into Chuck’s apartment to steal his computer and threw something at his balls (eye roll), and the Spicoli rip-off kid who said, “Computer emergency, dude!” Also, I thought there were some weird Asian stereotypes, like when the guy Chuck is competing with for Assistant Manager bumped into him and they played a gong sound effect, and how they dressed the Asian girl from Studio 60 up like, quite literally, a Saigon whore. And in general, I just thought there were too many characters. Like, does Chuck really need his sister to take care of him? He’s a 27ish-year-old man, for crying out loud!

Mostly, though, I love this show and I thought it was really great. I can’t say enough how much I love Jayne, and I especially loved that his character is essentially Jayne in a suit (and now a green polo), like when he pushed Chuck to the ground and told him to stay there, but tell them where to go. (Also, please tell me you’ve watched Firefly. There is absolutely no excuse to not have. Buy it or Netflix it or something, and prepare to live.) I agree with the internet assessment that Chuck and Sarah have incredible chemistry, and I am already in love with Jeff from the Nerd Herd. More Jeff, please! (He’s the one that suggested to Chuck that maybe the ninja would be back to kill him, and then winked. Love.) And I was really impressed with, of all things, Captain Awesome. He’s such a total douchebag, and yet kind of loveable. How did they DO that?

Really, on the whole, pretty great for a pilot. Can’t wait till next week.

SB has many interests, including photography, her pets, entertainment, traveling and writing. She does have a day job, but that mostly amounts to her being a sarcastic young woman with a lot of time on her hands, which is why she appreciates the opportunity to recap.

Filed under Chuck, Chuck Recaps


10 Responses to “CHUCK Recap: “Pilot””

  1. jenintx on September 25th, 2007 10:33 am

    I really, really enjoyed this show. Some of it was a little silly, but good silly, kinda like Ugly Betty. And I loved the main character Chuck (why can’t all nerds be hot like that?) as well as Adam Baldwin (Janye from ‘Firefly’? Nice.) Now here’s were I get all anxious whether or not it will be axed in the coming weeks. Was Tv always this nerve wracking?

  2. jDub on September 25th, 2007 11:11 am

    Sigh. Again, I screwed myself by seeing too many promos too many times, so most of the jokes were not surprises. I am distracted by Sarah’s weird teeth – I think I have a problem. I love Morgan and Captain Awesome – now I know I have a problem. I am not entirely sold on this show yet, but I am willing to give it a season, maybe two, to prove itself to me.

  3. Liz on September 25th, 2007 11:17 am

    I’m glad someone else is as excited to see Jayne again as I am! I too enjoyed this show, despite brief silliness. I liked the sister and Captain Awesome was way more awesome than I expected. Morgan I think is going to get on my nerves a little. I hope lots of other people liked it as well so we can keep watching it!

  4. SB on September 25th, 2007 11:39 am

    Love to start my day with a hearty bowl of Jayne …

  5. Pate on September 25th, 2007 5:21 pm

    Looks like Chuck is going to be on my viewing schedule. I thought it was funny and entertaining. I can’t get over how much the guy who plays Chuck is similar to John Krasinski. It’s weird. 🙂

  6. allison on September 25th, 2007 7:24 pm

    I really loved Chuck. It was funny and shows a lot of promise for the rest of the season. Plus, when they played the Shins at the end I almost died out of sheer happiness.

  7. Brian on September 25th, 2007 10:17 pm

    Nice recap, SB. Glad you liked the show, though you had to go and single out every single annoying thing about it. No, it wasn’t perfect, and I definitely noticed a lot of that stuff, but I wasn’t thinking about any of it when the credits rolled. This show had a great mix of action, suspense, goofiness and relatable characters (well, except for the CIA/NSA assassins). Marjorie from What About Brian is hot enough to justify her presence on any show, by the way, including C-SPAN. You’re right about how it’ll take time for this show to find its footing and get through that initial, awkward phase. But I think we’ve got ourselves a winner here.

  8. snowy on September 26th, 2007 12:24 pm

    great review! Chuck was a bit cheesier than I thought (the action scenes were awful) but I guess that’s what they’re going for. That Bryce guy was so familiar I went and googled him and it’s the same guy from Traveller! ahhhh the memories. And then when I looked at the cast of Chuck, I saw a familiar name: Adam Baldwin aka Jayne!!!!! So psyched to see him back on tv :o). I hope this show continues to get better and for now it’s got a season pass on my Tivo!

  9. Erin Loechner on September 26th, 2007 3:51 pm


    Holy crap. Your reviews make me want to spend the extra $49.99 a month on cable. Because I don’t right now. And I’m really wishing I did.

  10. Amity on September 26th, 2007 5:23 pm

    I’m with you– I don’t put too much stock in pilots. But I did like the characters and the idea of the show is cute. I disagree with Billy, though– I wouldn’t call the guy who plays Chuck “poor man’s Jimmy Fallon,” to me he is more of a poor man’s Tom Cavanagh (Ed). Can I be immature and say Morgan and Captain Awesome should get together and be Captain Morgan? Thank you.