Chuck

Chuck premiered on September 24th, 2007, and it would be trite -- but accurate -- for me to say that it has had a big impact on my life.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have an addictive personality.  It's actually a bi-product of another personality trait: apathy.  I am so apathetic that if I find something that I truly care about, I jump into it with reckless abandon.  Regular people have to divvy up their love to a bunch of different things; I stick with only a few, so they all get more love from me.  Crazy love.

There have been a number of television shows that I've gone a bit nuts over.  There's the Joss Whedon catalog, of course, of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly (Dollhouse was neither on long enough or consistently good enough for me to include).  I cared so much about Battlestar Galactica that it's hard for me to go back and watch old episodes after the betrayal that was the show's finale.  The Wire could be the best television show ever, the last season notwithstanding.  Veronica Mars and Six Feet Under can both make claims to the best single seasons of television, although VM probably gets the nod given it was nearly twice as long.  At one point, Scrubs was the funniest show on TV, having been replaced in my heart with the even funnier Community. Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the great Friday Night Lights, too.

But Chuck is different.

Not long ago, I did an overview of my writing.  Since I tend to jump from genre to genre, I talked about the common theme behind my writing, something other than just my "voice."  In the end, I write love stories.  I've probably been writing love stories over and over again for my entire life.  And that's a big reason why I like Chuck.

Chuck is probably the only show on my list of favorite shows that is a straight up love story.

Sure, there's more going on than just the love story.  At its inception, Chuck was a wish fulfillment story.  A guy working in the Nerd Herd at a Buy More goes from college drop out with wasted potential into a super spy with a leggy blond super spy girlfriend.  He trades in his pocket protector for cool spy gadgets and travels the world doing glamorous and exciting things.

You can see that, on paper, this show had a pretty specific target audience.  That wasn't it's downfall, though.  It's downfall, at least initially, was that people tend to like their television shows definable.  They want to know that they're watching a drama or a comedy or a thriller.  Chuck was all of these things and more, and I think most people found the juggling act that it managed too much for them to handle.

But in the end it was a love story, which makes it that much sadder that more people didn't watch it.  It was a love story that spanned 91 episodes, a love story that slowly but surely grabbed a hold of me (and many others) and pulled us in.  Sure, there were times when it didn't work, but when it did...well, it was better than pretty much anything else on television.

The finale of Chuck made me cry, not just because the show was ending, but because I truly felt for the characters on the show.  And I truly felt for the actors whose tears were very obviously real.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that a huge part of why this show worked as a love story was because of the chemistry between Zachary Levi (Chuck) and Yvonne Strahovski (Sarah).  The two of them were absolutely fantastic.

For example, during the finale I wondered aloud if Chuck would get the Intersect back.  My wife said "I don't care about the Intersect I just want Chuck and Sarah to be okay," or something to that effect.  I had no idea that Nicole was as invested in the story as I was.

It will be interesting to see where the actors go from here.  I'm really hoping Yvonne Strahovski gets some great roles in the future.  While the entire cast was great, she was probably the most impressive of the bunch.  She had to cover so much ground as an actor, more so than the others, and she did such a great job with it.  I would hate to see her either not get more work or be typecast as the hot blond; she's proven she can be so much more than that.

I will admit that this blog entry on Chuck has been a bit rambling. In part, it's because it's taken me three days to finish this.  It's also a weird thing to blog about.  Unless you've become deeply invested in a television show, it's kind of a hard thing to explain, and it's even harder to explain without sounding crazy.

All I know is that Chuck meant a lot to me, and I'm really going to miss it.