Friday, November 1, 2013

I love Chuck.

  Chuck is now Streaming on Netflix! *Amazon Prime!* **HBO MAX!!!**

I have loved many televisions shows throughout my life, some of those shows I have watched because it was part of a routine, and some shows I watched long after they had worn out their welcome. Sometimes we all watch shows only because it was on and you had nothing else to watch, but other times you see a show that says something to you, or it has something to offer that you can relate to in your own life. Sometimes it's a show that helps you escape and let's face it, that's what TV is for, it's an escape.

What if one of those shows that you started watching merely as light entertainment kinda sneaked up on you and it turned out to offer things you could relate to. A main character that was good at his dead end retail job, but he also wanted so much more out of his life, he was unsure of himself and he lived with his sister who he loved very much, but you know it can be a drag when you live with your sister and her boyfriend. That guy also had an annoying best friend that got on everyone's nerves, the kinda guy that other people wondered why anyone would hang out with him, but not the main character, because he'd grown up with him and he knew his buddy was that one thing that was most important in any friendship, he was loyal. This main character also loved everything that you loved, Movies, Video Games and just being a geeky kind of guy with a love of computers and technology and just hanging out with friends and family, but he was also secretly ashamed that there could be so much more in his life, he was afraid to take that chance, to reach out and seize that potential.

Then one day against his will all of that changes, he has the chance to be a hero and a chance to be so much more, he has the chance to achieve more than he could have ever hoped and maybe, quite possibly land his dream girl. That is the story of Chuck. Chuck is one of my favorite shows of all-time, when I say all-time, I mean that I will watch it when I'm feeling down. It's that friend that cheers me up, it's that show that I watch when I just need to smile and feel the warmth and laughter that it provides me. I love the show Chuck because it is FUN. It's an action-comedy hybrid and it's got adventure, hi-jinks and spy intrigue, it's a show that mixes so many elements that it's hard to even describe but most of all, like I said before, it's fun and... There's ROMANCE!

I remember watching Chuck when it premiered in September 2007, I didn't think it was the greatest show ever at first but I watched it weekly and I found it somewhat enjoyable, I was digging it enough week to week to keep on watching, but then after awhile I started to love the way that the characters bantered and played off of each other, I loved the way that Chuck (played by Zachary Levi with such a likability and charm it was hard not to like him) handled being thrown into the spy world as a geek with no training. All of a sudden He was thrown into danger on a weekly basis. He had the gorgeous Agent Sarah Walker (played by Yvonne Strahovski--she came out of nowhere to play this action-goddess, just wait until later when she's gets to do more comedic stuff on the show, she's fantastic!) to protect him and of course a guy like Chuck, hell, anyone would develop feelings for Sarah after awhile if not instantly. He also had to deal with Agent Casey (played by Adam Baldwin, you may know him as Jayne, I know him as My Bodyguard but either way he's awesome in the role) who would be a great foil for Chuck and someone great to trade barbs with for a long time.

But why do I love Chuck? I watched this show loyally for 5 seasons, I couldn't wait to watch it every week but at the same time, I kept it to myself, I mean I do a freaking TV Podcast regularly and I never mentioned Chuck. Why? I have thought about this quite a bit, I loved the show so much that I didn't want to share it with anybody, I didn't want to risk my co-hosts hating it and ripping it on a weekly basis, I was having too much fun with it to dissect it regularly. I watched this show to escape, I mean, I am a geeky guy I guess, I wasted years of my life in a crappy retail job, although on the show Chuck works in a Buy More (which is their version of a Best Buy--that looks like it would be a fun place to work, well, not to work but to get paid to goof off with the likes of Jeff and Lester, if you have never watched the show, you will learn to love these two over time.) which reminded me of the place that I was trapped in, because like Chuck, even though I could have probably found a better job, there was some kind of mental block, I just couldn't leave it, like it was my shelter, my comfort zone and Chuck can't leave the Buy More, no matter how many times he tries, he always ends up there again. And it's hilarious and tragic but mostly fun. I know it's hard to describe why we love something as trivial--some would say--as a television show but how often are we called to answer why we love something?

I love Chuck because it makes me laugh, it gives you that cool sense of danger and spy intrigue, it also has a childhood favorite, Spy Gadgets! Who doesn't love Spy Gadgets? I remember watching The Wild, Wild West with my sister Vanessa and we just freaking loved the Spy stuff, and guns and missiles being hidden inside cars and tracking devices and hidden guns and throwing knives etc. Sure, that was one thing to love. There was also the geek service in the show, there are so many cameos from geek tv shows and movies and video games in the show, sure it can be fan service, but it's the kind of fan service by people who are also fans of those same things. Believe me, Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz are big nerds and they love everything they reference on the show. It never felt like pandering to me, and I hate pandering.

As the show goes on, from season to season the structure of the show is very interesting, I own the entire run on Blu Ray, so I have been able to do several entire series re-watches, so I've watched it on both a weekly basis and binge watched it too. If you watch it this way on Netflix Amazon HBO Max, over time you will notice that there will be episodes right in the middle of the seasons that feel like incredible season finale type of endings, I mean the storyline will have huge payoffs but the season isn't over yet. Strange right? That's because when they were filming Chuck, they never knew if they were going to be cancelled or not, they would usually get an order of like 13 episodes and go off to write and film those episodes treating episode 13 like it was the end, hell, they didn't even know if the show would still exist week to week because even though Chuck had a huge following, it just never got great numbers. I watched this show in fear that it was going away all of the time. So what happens is, say Season 3 there this huge finale type of episode in episode 13 and then it keeps going for six more episodes because at the last possible moment the network ordered additional episodes, and what you have are some incredible self contained episodes, you see Chuck always had great overall story arcs but they also did fantastic one-shot stories too.

And that brings me to another thing that I love about the show, I love the cast, not just Chuck, Sarah and Casey, but we also have Chuck's Sister, Ellie and her love Devon and Chuck's best friend Morgan and the gang at the Buy More like Jeff and Lester and Big Mike and throughout the run of the show people like Anna Wu and General Beckman and some other characters I can't mention because it would totally spoil stuff, but holy crap, I love this cast, they become family, they become your family. You love it whenever they get the entire group together in one setting. This show does Holiday episodes like no other, be it Christmas episodes or Thanksgiving episodes, you always wish that you were there sitting with them and you are, because you're watching it and are able to enjoy it. Chuck does warmth like no other show, I have found myself countless times watching and this smile grows across my face and I realize, "Chuck, you did it again." and I feel like a big softy, but that's what it does, it has that way of thrilling me, and making me laugh and making me feel something.

I have always wondered if there was anyone else out there that loved the show as much as I and I am positive that there is. I mean, there were people that did the letter writing campaigns and bought Subway sandwiches to show their support and get the show renewed season after season and for them I am grateful. I was one of those fans that was hidden away and kept to himself and I think I am writing this now to maybe entice people who never gave the show a chance to now check it out since it's on Netflix Amazon HBO Max, all five seasons! You have the chance to watch the entire run of the show, you have lots of fun episodes there to watch and I hope that you take the chance to check them out. This show can be fun and exciting and goofy and downright silly but also be adventurous and thrilling with a real sense of danger at times with real stakes. So if you give the show a chance because you've read this, I thank you. Maybe you will dig it or maybe it's not your cup of tea, I am just glad that Chuck gets to live on to find more audience. It's okay if you don't get into it, I still love it and I always will.

When Chuck finally ended with season 5 only recently in 2012, I was really bummed, I felt like I was losing a friend, but I kept it to myself. When I watched that final episode, I thought to myself that 'That's it, no more Chuck,' Then I was like, 'Wait! I can buy the seasons on Blu Ray and Chuck will live on!' Now more than ever, Chuck can live on through streaming on Netflix Amazon HBO Max Yay! I love Chuck! I will never keep it to myself again!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go watch Me some more Chuck!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Welcome to The Chuck Series Companion -- Disclaimer

This is the home of the Chuck Series Companion Podcast. My Mission: I will be re-watching the entirety of the television series Chuck and will be recording a podcast for each and every episode with my thoughts and appreciation. My hope is that you will watch the series with me. It doesn't matter if it's the first time or the tenth time. Let's Watch Chuck!

Disclaimer: Chuck and related characters and images are copyright NBC and Warner Bros. Television. No Infringement is Intended. 

The Chuck Series Companion Podcast is meant for Review purposes and to show appreciation of the Television Series.

I have proudly purchased and own all 5 seasons of Chuck on Blu Ray and have also purchased all 5 seasons on Amazon's Streaming Service.