Think back to 2007. That was the year NBC debuted “Chuck,” an underrated spy series that mixes workplace comedy, romantic drama, and action thriller genres in a totally unique way (via IMDb). “Chuck” stars Zachary Levi as an average, albeit a little lazy, guy working at a computer shop. One day, he unwittingly opens an e-mail that results in software straight from the CIA, filled with government secrets, to download directly into his brain. The intelligence agency decides to assign Chuck to a team of actual spies, and he embarks on top-secret missions.
“Chuck” is a totally unique spin on the traditional light-hearted sitcom or action-packed spy drama. It focuses on characterization, putting that in the forefront rather than honing in on violence-filled fight scenes. The action is mixed throughout the series but is used more to support the characters. For example, a scene might showcase Chuck’s goofy, honest, and low-key personality by showing how uncomfortable he is with the situation (via YouTube). It also turns Chuck into an unconventional hero who uses his run-of-the-mill tech knowledge to take down some of the U.S.’s biggest adversaries.
All five seasons of “Chuck” are streaming on Amazon Prime, and are worth a revisit for a good dose of laughs and unconventional drama. If that’s not enough to convince you, the series has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes in the critic’s score section and a 91% in audience reception, so it’s definitely a beloved show.