Sunday, December 23, 2007

Chuck: Our new favorite show

Years ago, I started watching Alias. My wife sat down and we were both immediately engrossed. It became our weekly show, the one we would set time aside to watch together. And if one of us couldn't be there we either taped it (in the old days), or (confession here) downloaded the episode. It was a lot of fun. We knew that, every week, we had that time set aside for a little escapism. Our enjoyment of this activity waned a bit during the third season (our least favorite), but we stuck through. After Alias went off the air, we were sort of in a void. There just wasn't anything that we both wanted to watch. My wife fell in love with Gilmore Girls, and is still enjoying catching up on past seasons on DVD. I would see the occasional episode, and while I found much of the dialog witty, it didn't really draw me. We sort of started watching Lost at the beginning of the second season. But, to be honest, it started to get a bit too weird for us. For the most part, we have not really watched too much TV together since that time. Not a huge loss, as there are better things we can do with our time. Still, we missed having a show that we sat down to watch together every week. We tried with Heroes last season, and while I enjoyed it, it was too dark for my wife's taste (and this season is too directionless and, well, just bad). Enter Chuck. I happened to catch the pilot episode and found it quite enjoyable. It managed to straddle numerous different styles. On the one hand you have an action/spy show. Similar to Alias, the main character has to hide his spy life from his friends and family. Yet the show also mixes in well the geekiness (or nerdiness) of the main character and his friends. It manages to balance humor with action nicely. To be honest, it is a very pleasant breath of fresh air. The cast is great. Each one is likable and believable (relatively) in his/her role. The interplay between the characters is handled well, not too heavy handed, but again with just enough tongue-in-cheek to keep you smiling. We have been catching up on some past episodes we missed, and are, unashamedly, big fans of this new show. The news that it was picked up for a full season (and possibly a second-it is hard to tell for sure due to the writer's strike) came as welcome news. At least thus far, they have managed to make it work well. And for the other nerds that may be watching, there are ample nerd and geek references (subtle for the most part) that keep me on my toes, watching for them. It is a lot of fun to have something that my wife and I both look forward to watching again.

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