Nerds are all the rage on TV this season and two of the best are Reaper and Chuck. The CW’s Reaper is about a young man who, on his 21st birthday, finds out that his parents have sold his soul to the devil. Now, he has to act as the devil’s bounty hunter. NBC’s Chuck is about a computer geek who accidentally downloads a file of spy secrets into his head. Now, he’s got to government agents watching over him night and day as they both protect and use him to take down the bad guys.
There are an amazing amount of similarities between these two shows. Both are hour long action comedies that feature a geeky but endearing lead. Both have equally mundane day jobs in barely disguised chain stores. Reaper’s Sam works at “The Work Bench” aka Home Depot, while Chuck is in charge of the “Buy More Nerd Herd” aka Best Buy Geek Squad. Both Sam and Chuck have a kooky side kick and a secret to keep which keeps them misunderstood by friends and family.
Sam actually shares his demon hunting duties with his friends Sock (an uproariously funny Tyler Labine) and Ben. He does keep it hidden from his lady love, Andi (Missy Peregrym). Sam’s parents play a small role in the series, while Ray Wise’s wisecracking Devil holds up more than his share of the comedy. Week after week, Sam plays detective while hunting down an escaped soul from hell with the aid of a “vessel” – an appropriatly themed object needed to recapture the soul. One week it was a Dirt Devil, another, an 8-track tape.
Overall, great cast chemistry, witty writing, clever plot twists and at times it’s actually creepy. As the commercials say, it won’t change your life, but it’s a great way to spend an hour.
Chuck shares his adventures with his two handlers, the quick-on-the-trigger Casey (Adam Baldwin) and the lovely Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski). There’s not a lot of trust going on between these three, but Sarah’s got a soft spot for Chuck and it shows. When he’s not saving the world, Chuck hangs with his Buy More buddies including the oddly sweet Morgan (Joshua Gomez). The scenes dealing with life at the Buy More are some of the funniest in the series due to the terrific cast of supporting characters. A true geek, Chuck lives at home with his sister Ellie, and her boyfriend known as Captain Awesome. There’s a nice relationship between Chuck and Ellie and his efforts to protect her from the truth her quite poignant at times.
Overall, another great cast, funny dialouge, super action sequences (helicopters, car chases, gun fights!) and a hero you’ll root for all the way. Chuck will grow on, just watch and see.
Reaper – Tuesdays at 9:00 on The CW
Chuck – Mondays at 8:00 on NBC