Except... its actually much better than Jake 2.0. Maybe it should be called "Jake 3.0" then, because its an upgrade.
A pal of mine got one of those preview DVDs and we watched it together. I was quite impressed.
The bad: Only ONE thing--the way Chuck gets his abilities is totally ridiculous. Even for a "fantastical" show, it doesn't make much sense.
The good: Just about everything else.
First of all... its HILARIOUS. Its filled with totally off-the-wall moments, and yet also maintains an overall dramatic structure quite well. Every cast member, even the ones in less obviously jokey roles, seems to have good comic timing and a pretty light touch when needed.
The actor playing Chuck himself is particularly great. Shwartz's earlier protege Adam Brody could have fit this role--it almost seems as if it might have been written for him--but Zachary Levi, formerly of ABC's "Less Than Perfect", does a bang-up job. He treads a REALLY fine line in that he makes Chuck a loser, but not TOO much of a loser. He's believably real worldish in many ways, and more accessible than most TV protagonists. He could have been written or acted as dumber, or more naive, or more desperate, or more neurotic, but Schwartz and Levi got the balance just right--at least in the pilot.
Chuck's got the obligatory even geekier friend, played quite well by Joshua Gomez--who comes off as almost Tom Greenish--but in a good way. He's comic relief to a guy who's already comical, but it works. Chuck's sister is played by the really really good looking Sarah Lancaster, who many people loathed on both "What About Brian" and "Everwood", but I think she comes off really well on this show. She's cool and successful compared to Chuck, even saddled with a smarmy live-in Doctor boyfriend Chuck nicknames "Captain Awesome", but her affection for her brother is made to seem very natural and real. Captain Awesome himself is kind of a one-joke device, but it IS a good joke. He actually goes around calling things "awesome" all of the time. Seriously.
This is all just setup of course. Even just from the many previews shown already on NBC, Chuck's secret is pretty obvious. And its revealed almost immediately in the Pilot anyway. All of the secrets of the NSA/CIA get leaked into his head via a series of unbelievable actions which I won't reveal here, except to acknowledge what we already know from the previews--that it happens.
The two government figures who go after this info are Sarah, a hot blond femme fatale CIA agent (Yvonne Strzechowski), who you've all seen in the TV commercials strapping on body armor and talking to a boss figure about possibly needing to kill Chuck, and the even more ruthless John Casey (Adam Baldwin--one of the more tolerable Baldwin brothers). BOTH actors REALLY fit their roles and REALLY make a lot of them.
Even the minor characters work. Chuck has a rival assistant manager at the Best Buy clone he works at, and THAT guy is hilariously cast and acted. It's like a little bit of "The Office" dropped into "Alias", mixed with the previously mentioned "Jake 2.0", with (as unlikely as it seems) a bit of the total off-the-wall aspect of "Scrubs".
I mean the show has a NINJA sequence. Seriously. Later on, it has an elaborate dance sequence where a woman uses poisoned chopsticks she tucked into her hair as weapons, but her dance partner suspects nothing because she does it behind his back as part of the dance. Its got a car chase which ends about as abruptly as any you've ever seen, but its funny in a way too. Its got a guy who says "Awesome" all of the time. Its got tons of geeky references to stuff like "Zork" and X-Box. Its got a hot girl or two.
The show ain't just a retread of Jake 2.0, even if the idea seems essentially the same. Its nothing like "The O.C.", but its got Schwartz's paw prints all over it in terms its sense of humor.
Let me end by saying that the TV commercials do NOT do this show justice. I hated what I saw in most of those commercials, but I loved what I saw in that Pilot.