Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Chuck (series 2007-2012) ***½

NR, 91 43-min. episodes
Creators: Josh Schwartz, Chris Fedak
Starring: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, Joshua Gomez, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Bonita Friedericy, Julia Ling, Mekenna Melvin, Tony Hale, Brandon Routh, Linda Hamilton, Scott Bakula, Timothy Dalton, Carrie-Anne Moss

There are some television shows that become like family. You miss them when you’re not watching them. You feel like you know the characters the way you know the person next to you. NBC’s action/comedy spy series “Chuck” was one of those shows for my wife and I.

For five years, “Chuck” was a show we never missed. Some shows would sit on our DVR waiting until we were in the right mood to watch them. Not “Chuck”. We were always in the mood for “Chuck”. If there was an episode of “Chuck” on our DVR, that was always the first show we watched. The final episode, however, sat there for about a month. We couldn’t seem to bring ourselves to pull the trigger, much like Chuck.

“Chuck” is not a very serious show. In fact, it’s really down right silly. My wife would often ask, “Do you think real spies watch this show and laugh?” While I’m sure they would, I’m guessing they didn’t watch it.

Despite its preposterousness, “Chuck” sold us with its charm. It’s a geek’s fantasy in which an employee of a technology chain store accidentally sees a CIA computer program that implants incredible secrets and knowledge in his brain. The CIA and the NSA both assign agents to protect him. His CIA handler is a sexy blonde with whom he immediately falls in love. She comes around to developing feelings for him eventually as well. I told you it was a geek fantasy.

So this nerd becomes a super spy with a hot girlfriend. Silly? Yes. But the characters are incredibly charming, and the writers of the series did an incredible job of giving the audience what they wanted while continuing to come up with original developments to keep things building. This was no “Moonlighting” where you waited for years for the main characters to realize what the audiences knew from day one. I always thought they were going to run out of reasons to keep the things going. At the end of each season something would happen that I wanted, but I’d always think, “Now, what are they going to do?” Somehow, they always came up with a new way to keep it interesting.

We’ll miss you, Chuck.

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