Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chuck Versus Season Three

Magnet # 139: CIA Logo

Material: Rubber

Purchased By: Dad

Tonight, Chuck, one of the most entertaining action-comedies currently airing, returns for its third season on NBC. If you've never given this terrific show a try, now's your chance.

If you're not familiar with this show, it comes from a somewhat far fetched concept - that Chuck, a retail computer geek, accidentally downloads almost all of the nation's most important top secrets directly into his brain. This results in his receiving two handlers - one from the CIA, a beautiful female agent that, despite being out of his league, still has a good deal of chemistry with him - and one from the NSA, a male military man who is far less sympathetic to Chuck's plight. He continues on with his regular life, sharing an apartment with his older sister and her awesome boyfriend, and working at Buy More (basically Best Buy) with a colorful array of dysfunctional supporting characters, while accompanying his handlers on top secret missions. Yes, this concept may seem a little ridiculous, but how it's handled makes this show great. There is plenty of great storytelling to be found here - comedic silly situations, great one-liners, and when they're combined with all of the action sequences that accompany Chuck's life as a spy, it makes for a potent mix that the writers do a great job handling. And the actors on this show are fantastic - each does a spot-on job portraying his or her respective character, and they make this show a joy to watch. The guest stars they bring in, like John Larroquette as an aging old school spy, Lost's Dominic Monaghan as a hedonistic rock star, Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer as a humorless replacement handler, and Scott Bakula as Chuck's eccentric, long-lost dad, are also a hoot. Also, this show has a great deal of heart and an overall optimistic and upbeat tone that's almost infectious. One thing's for sure - watching Chuck will not depress you. I've introduced this show to several people, and most of them have really enjoyed it. My parents said it reminded them of the old series The Greatest American Hero - I'll have to take their word for it. But, I certainly hope it doesn't follow that 80's program's life span - it only lasted three seasons. And, I'm hoping this show has this season and plenty more left in it, despite the actions of the network that is airing it.

I've made a comment or two about NBC's current moves and decisions on this blog in the past, but I'll come right out and say it - I am not happy with this network. They've cut an entire hour of programming out each weeknight, wiping out what could potentially be 5 hours of scripted shows, to air The Jay Leno Show. I like Jay, but this move isn't good for him or audiences - and it's failing. Also, they've put on some of the most disappointing new shows this season - has anyone even bothered to watch Mercy and Trauma? Apparently not - NBC keeps faltering in its decision to cancel Trauma, and they're both failures in the ratings. And it's no wonder why - these are both unoriginal, uninspired offerings from the long-running medical genre. By contrast, Chuck is the best hour-long show NCB has in it's lineup. Of course, it almost cancelled this gem last year due to it's ratings, but Chuck's devoted fan base fought hard to support it, and NBC renewed it only to slash it down to a half season. When it realized what stinkers it had on its hands, it upped Chuck's third season to 19 episodes. It'll be interesting to see what happens now that Comcast owns the network. But I hope they will appreciate what a great show they have on their hands and do a better job of handling it. However, it's still going to face the same competition it did last year, as it will return to Monday's first time slot after tonight's premiere. And that air time nearly killed it - but I'll be back to support Chuck again this season.

So, if you've never given Chuck a chance, consider it tonight. I highly doubt you won't enjoy this great show, but if you realize it's not for you, don't watch it again. And you could find a brand new favorite show just by tuning in. As for me, I can't wait to find out what season three has in store for Chuck and his friends and family. Good luck, Chuck - I have a feeling you're going to need it!


  1. I missed out on Chuck... well, I watched the first episode two years ago, but wasn't hooked immediately. Conflicts with other shows I think prevented me from following it further.

    But along comes the Linz... and she has been hounding me almost daily trying to get me hooked. Even lending me her 1st season DVDs so I didn't have an excuse about not catching the show from the start.

    Darn it... I really don't have time to get hooked on another show... but I think her evil plan is working...


  2. Ha - I bought her that season and suckered her in. And now Linz has been dutifully passing it along to family and friends. That might be the best money I've ever spent on a season of television.

    And, yes, it is scheduled where it conflicts with other good shows - so get hooked! We need your support!

  3. Ah, so you are to blame. ;-) (typo fixed)