Things That Happened In The Past Six Weeks, Part 8 (of 8)

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So that’s that. In the spirit of forward momentum, I’ve decided to axe the remaining five “Things That Happened In The Past Six Weeks” posts. While there is of course always more to talk about (“Henning vs. The Laundromat,” “Know Your Phone Book”), the time seems right to forget about the past and lunge instead toward the wild, uncertain future. What will happen tomorrow? The next day?

I have no idea! That’s exciting, right?!?

No matter the shape of things to come, rest easy knowing that Lifting Fog will always be there with an arched eyebrow and hands firmly on hips, offering color commentary that you hardly need but of course, can’t live without. Bemused, befuddled… but never bedraggled. We got this.

8) Chuck returned to NBC!

200px-chucktvChuck is the best show on television. There, I said it. While I may fawn at length over “superior” shows like LOST, 30 Rock, and The Office, none of them can match the spy dramedy for consistency of entertainment or sheer likability. For those unfamiliar, some quick bullet points:

  • Chuck follows Geek Squad Nerd Herd computer technician Chuck Bartowski (Zach Levi), recently the unwitting recipient of every U.S. Government secret ever, as he attempts to a) stay alive and b) maintain a somewhat normal life. Secrets!
  • Protecting him are CIA agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and NSA agent John Casey (Adam Baldwin), both of whom must attempt to reconcile their occupational responsibilities and personal feelings. Sarah loves Chuck. And vice versa. But they can’t be together. Drama!
  • Created by Josh Schwartz (The O.C., Gossip Girl), Chuck makes similarly strong use of new music. You’ll want to look up the playlist after each episode. Indie rock!

Week after week, the cast and crew manage to deliver an hour at once funny and heartbreaking and action-packed, navigating scenes of both plot and character development in a way that never feels forced or overstuffed. Only Chuck can weave rogue agents, ex-girlfriends, and Xbox into a coherent and believable storyline.

The writing is often pitch-perfect. After cutting their teeth on The O.C. (an underrated show, especially in its final, fantastic season), Schwartz and Co. know their way around funny verbal exchanges and quiet human moments. They simply know the way normal(ish) people interact, and despite the often outlandish (well, DUH) situations the show’s characters find themselves in, this always shines through in the writing. With  action scenes and conversations both handled with equal grace, it’s no surprise Schwartz has been tapped to write the next X-Men movie.

17093519-17093523-large1Of course the real draw with Chuck is the lead actors, each of whom lends the show a unique level of awesomeness. Like Adam Brody as Seth Cohen before him, Zach Levi was meant to play Chuck Bartowski. His look, his mannerisms, his vocal intonations – it’s less acting than it is inhabiting, and Levi ably carries the show’s endearing weight on his geek-engineered shoulders. Strahovski and Baldwin are no slouches either, lending what could have been stock characters a real sense of humanness and spontaneity. Plus did you see that picture?

Is there a point to this post? Sure is – WATCH THIS SHOW. Come Monday at 8 PM, divorce yourself from the messy emptiness of Gossip Girl and click in the direction of NBC. You’ll love it. You’ll thank me. Hugs after the tryptophan wears off.

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5 Responses to “Things That Happened In The Past Six Weeks, Part 8 (of 8)”

  1. Jean Says:

    Chuck really is awesome.

  2. BigFig Says:

    I’m glad you’ve seen the light; Chuck IS the best show on television this year. I wonder about its longevity but for now the show continues to evolve and has not become predictable. The writer(s) have done a great job of developing all of the characters- not just Chuck and Sarah but the whole Buy More crew as well.

  3. Alex Q Says:

    …”the messy emptiness of Gossip Girl”? Oh, but what beautiful, engrossing mess emptiness it is. Incredible.

    Chuck deserves a much bigger audience than it draws in weekly. But then again, maybe if it hit it big, it wouldn’t be as appealing? Hmm. If every show emulated (television’s greatest show!) LOST, we’d have far too much deep psychobabble. Thankfully, Chuck masters the perfection at the (relative) other end of that spectrum. I can definitely give a big ol’ yay to that.

  4. Henning Says:

    You raise an interesting question, Alex. I’d be lying if I denied part of Chuck‘s appeal being its underdog status and the fact that I feel UNIQUE rallying behind a show that not many watch. Telling people how good it is (like, here) is something I really enjoy. Would my opinion change if it were suddenly popular? Would the SHOW change? Witness 30 Rock‘s recent Will & Grace-ian transformation (too many guest stars) or the major decline in the second season of The O.C. (a Josh Schwartz joint!). Sometimes it’s better to fly under the radar.

  5. ‘Chuck’ Needs Your Help, Nerds « Lifting Fog Says:

    […] Like I wrote last fall, Chuck is the most consistently entertaining show on network television. Great writing. Great acting. Great music. But since no one sings or dances, Chuck’s head is on the chopping block. Not yet renewed for a third season, its last three episodes this spring may constitute the definitive end of the series. […]

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