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!
Chuck 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.
Of 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.