Chuck has come and gone. But that doesn’t make the show irrelevant. In fact, in today’s cinematic universe of superheroes and comics, it might be more relevant than ever. Chuck was a television hit ahead of its time, a creation that anticipated the coming age of nerdism proudly.
Chuck (Zachary Levi), a Nerd Herder (think Geek Squad) at a Buy More (imagine Best Buy) downloads an e-mail from a mysterious college frenemy. The result? All of our nation’s intel placed into the brain of of regular nerd. NSA and CIA agents are assigned to protect the human computer known as the “Intersect.” In a strange but effective mash-up of James Bond and Jerry Lewis, spy shenanigans and hijinks ensue.
That’s just the plot… the nerdy easter eggs spread throughout the show are an incredible treat for the television and movie geeks. How many Die Hard references did we see? How is it possible that Linda Hamilton from Terminator and Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap and Star Trek: Enterprise could be on the same show? How about the Halloween episode with Robert Englund? CA little bit of Star Wars here and bit of Tron there… who can say no?
Looking back over the years, I realize that the best and truest friends in my life have been Chuck fans. Some I watched Chuck with from the beginning – the pilot episode. Others I reeled into the fandom with glee (both during the show’s run and continuing now). And then there are those who I’ve been drawn to, only to discover that they have been secret Chuck fans.
What does this mean? Having watched the show since day one and rewatched the show more than once, I can now honestly say that the people who like Chuck are the types of people I WANT to be friends with. It is not only a show with action and comedy; it is a show with heart. It embraces the value of friends, family, and loved ones. Characters mess up, and they take ownership of their mistakes and apologize. They develop loyalty and trust with one another and will fight for those they love to the bitter end. Doing the right thing is considered a virtue. In television today, “gritty” is the go-to adjective. But Chuck reminds us that the type of life we should be looking for isn’t gritty. It is a life full of laughter and love. And those who love the show are looking for that kind of life as well.
Say what you will, but someone is not a friend of Chuck is not a friend of mine.