Chuck is one of those rare TV programs that manages to combine humor, action, drama and suspense all in one pretty satisfying package. Sure, the show takes a few missteps here and there, but overall its a solid hour of television that’s sure to please fans, especially of the more “geeky” variety. Even though it was “on the bubble’ as they say in the biz and was at risk of cancellation, we’re happy that it was finally granted a reprieve and is now coming back for a third season this Sunday with a special two hour premiere.
So, now that Chuck‘s coming back, what can we expect from season three? Well, fortunately our friends at NBC have graciously sent us a pretty awesome press kit about the upcoming season and were kind enough to include the first five episodes for us to watch and tell you a little about. Don’t worry, no spoilers.
When last we saw Chuck, he had had quite a day and at the end of it had been fully integrated with the brand new Intersect 2.0, complete with a whole array of new skills including martial arts and, apparently, guitar. It should also come as no surprise that even with these new skills in his head, Chuck still has a few problems getting the Intersect to behave exactly how he wants to utilize these new abilities.
Of course, as you’ve no doubt seen in the previews for season three, he does manage to engage his fighting skills some of the time, which makes for some pretty good action sequences. That guitar skill also comes in handy as well but, as is often the case, end up leading Chuck into even more danger.
For those of you wondering if the beautiful agent Sarah and the tough as nails Casey are still around, don’t worry. Operation Bartowski is still the plan but has a slightly different mission for the new season with Chuck potentially spending far less time waiting in the car. However, in light of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship, questions are raised about her fitness to continue as Chuck’s handler and protector.
Speaking of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship, it gets some screen time for sure but takes an interesting and somewhat unexpected turn that while not completely surprising, was still a good twist for the show. It also could make for some potentially interesting, funny and even serious situations down the road as the season progresses.
The Buy More and the yogurt shop are also still a big part of the show. And with the budget cuts forced on the show this season, expect those, and the apartment sets, to figure prominently in future episodes. Hey, gotta use those sets you already paid for, right? I don’t blame them a bit. Besides, the characters are engaging enough so it doesn’t bother you much when a large part of an episode takes place in Chuck’s apartment, for example.
Most of Chuck’s friends and co-workers return this year as well. Morgan’s Benihana dream takes an unfortunate turn but his other dream of spending more time on his ‘Bromance” with Chuck gets a big boost when an unexpected opportunity presents itself. Big Mike returns and is back where he belongs. Jeffster is back as well, doing what they do best: being weird.
Chuck’s sister has a bit of a hard time as things develop but fear not, Devon is back and is still awesome. In fact, he takes a much bigger role in the first episodes of the season, in part because he’s in the loop about Chuck being a spy and in part because he’s, as I’ve said, awesome. In fact, they spend a lot of time developing his character so I would expect to see him potentially on his own show down the road. No proof yet, just speculation at the moment. But we’ll see.
There’s also some nice guest appearances and new characters including Vinnie Jones and Brandon Routh, who plays a new agent on the scene with somewhat cloudy motives and an unclear connection to Sarah’s past. Sadly, a couple characters that I liked won’t be retuning, but I’ll leave it at that so you can find out for yourselves who I mean on Sunday.
Chuck is a great show and one of the best and most fun on TV right now. If you’ve been a fan from the beginning, the new season won’t disappoint. If you’re just getting into the show for the first time, this new season is a great way to kick it off. Either way, Chuck is back and will hopefully, finally, get the attention it deserves so we can keep enjoying it through season three and beyond.
The first two episodes of Chuck season three “Chuck Versus the Pink Slip” and “Chuck Versus the Three Words” air Sunday, January 10 at 9/8C on NBC.