Review: Chuck Deuce “Pilot”

Sun Cult.

Overview (Spoilers Below)

Meet Chuck Deuce, a local surfer whose mind has been wiped from a giant wave so he sees all sorts of hallucinations, like sock puppet people, talking waves, mermaids, and a whole lot more. On the pilot episode, Chuck works feverishly to stop a local condo development from destroying the habitats belonging to an endangered species…food trucks.

Our Take

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Shadowmachine pilot get picked up to series for Adult Swim, but from the sounds of it, this Chioke ‘Stretch’ McCoy and Matt Iles creation may be one to get behind and rightfully so. For fans of the studio’s other Nat Faxon-starrer Highly Gifted, this show looks like a cross from that universe and Mr. Pickles and it works on every level it hits.

The cast is one of the most impressive assets of the series, featuring the aforementioned Nat Faxon as “Chuck Deuce” which is as good of a combo as you could’ve set up for the voice of a surfer who constantly has no idea where he is. Rounding out the cast includes David Herman, Chris Parnell, and Lauren Lapkus, all of whom put in solid contributions.

From a visual standpoint, this may prove to be the show’s strongest asset despite the impressive voice cast. Again, similar to Mr. Pickles, there’s a lot going on in every scene and while the show doesn’t move at the same pace as the aforementioned franchise, it has a similar sense of defying conventions. I mentioned in the recap the killer variety of character types, a talking sock, a dog that walks around upright not unlike Chubbie Webbers in Hot Streets, and even mermaids and talking waves. Hell, the pilot episode featured a slew of food trucks discussing how best to eat Chuck and his friends under a coded message that was only solved when the characters knew they could read the subtitles.

The show has a grit, almost hearkening back to throwback Mike Judge shorts, but it works in an environment where we’re probably going to have a bunch of fun with a character who worships surfing, a character type all too familiar to anyone who has grown up near oceans regardless of where. I would’ve liked to have seen the series better establish how the main character was able to start seeing these hallucinations, but part of me never wants to understand because the second we do then they might go away and I’m anxious to see what else these producers can come up with because if initial impressions from their already imaginative minds are any indication, this could be a real winner.