My Current Guilty Pleasure: ‘Chuck’



Ever since I wrote up the Chuck soundtrack back in April, I’ve been feeling somewhat nostalgic for the show. My wife and I had watched the first two or three seasons together but then fell behind and never actually finished it. So now, thanks to Netflix, I’m giving it another go.

Sure, there are a lot of fantastic things I could be watching on Netflix. I started Sense8, a Netflix original series from the Wachowskis, and it’s fascinating and wonderfully weird. Since it’s been picked up for a second season, I really should finish that show before season 2 shows up next year. And, of course, my queue is loaded up with all sorts of shows–from my childhood (MacGyver, Quantum Leap) and things I just missed over the past few years (The Walking Dead, Portlandia) … not to mention actual movies.

But for now, I’m watching Chuck.

Yeah, it’s goofy and unrealistic. For instance, it’s a wonder how Chuck manages to keep his job at the Buy More because you rarely see him doing actual work–he’ll take a break right after he arrives in the morning–but even so I think the Buy More is a great send-up of the big box retail store. That, and I just really enjoy all of the characters on the show. Chuck makes a great everyman–he’s a nerd who gets sucked into a world he wasn’t prepared for, yet he manages to do a decent job at it nonetheless. The cast of surrounding characters–Sarah and Casey, the rest of the Buy More staff, Chuck’s sister–all have interesting relationships that keep me coming back.

I do most of my TV viewing while folding laundry, and an episode of Chuck is just about right for one folding session. With longer shows or movies, I end up wondering whether I should keep watching when I’m done folding, or if I have to get on to my other chores. I’m in the middle of the second season (of five), so there are a whole lot of episodes to go, but with an average of a load of laundry a day, I figure maybe I’ll finish the show sometime early 2016 with my non-binge-watching.

Of course, that’s not taking into account the arrival of Marvel’s Jessica Jones this coming Friday. After watching Daredevil, I’m definitely interested in more of the Marvel universe as presented by Netflix. But don’t worry, Chuck. I’ll be back.

Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix Stream Team and have been provided with Netflix access for review purposes, but opinions expressed are my own.

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7 thoughts on “My Current Guilty Pleasure: ‘Chuck’

  1. The only thing I don’t like about the Netflix version of Chuck is that they have a different soundtrack. It’s not bad, but there is a feeling like something is missing…

    1. Really? Hmm, I have to admit I haven’t noticed that, but then again I’ve only been half-watching while folding laundry. Maybe I’ll need to give the soundtrack a spin and then watch another episode.

  2. Hehehe. I have received guff for watching that show because of how weird it got toward the end. But it is my go-to show when I can’t sleep or just want something fun.

    1. Ah. I haven’t gotten near the end yet, so I don’t know how weird it gets. 🙂 And there’s also the fact that Adam Baldwin is in it … not such a huge fan of him as a person now, but I have to admit that he plays his role well. Probably because it wasn’t too much of a stretch.

  3. I stopped watching Chuck right around season 3. I can only tolerate the basic premise for so long. At first it was cute to watch a socially-awkward nerd transform to a James Bond figure while dating a hot secret agent. It worked in season 1, it was getting tired by season 2, and it was downright annoying by season 3. I mean, c’mon, no character development at all? I am a socially-awkward nerd myself, but I doubt that I’d still remain so if someone were to give me the Intersect.

    I am reminded of Christ Cheng. He was a geeky Google employee until he got into firearms competition. Now his self-confidence and outgoing nature shows. Some people (rightly) criticize guns as a penis enhancer (I own a snubby), and to some extent it is. Now imagine the Intersect, which is probably an even more effective penis enhancer. Even Chuck would have to change, and fast.

    1. I think I watch shows for different reasons. “The Simpsons,” for instance, you don’t watch for character development—instead, you get to see these characters in different (often absurd) situations and watch how it plays out, and then the next week you get a little more of the same thing. Although “Chuck” does have an overarching storyline, I think of it in kind of the same way. I watch “Agents of SHIELD” for a different reason—there, the characters undergo changes, the relationship dynamics change over time.

      I’d compare it to reading comic strips. There are some, like “Calvin and Hobbes,” where the characters never age. He’s permanently six. He never matures—and you don’t want him to. And there are others, like “For Better or Worse,” where you watch the characters grow up and change. Each one has its own draw.

      Granted, I think I got to somewhere around season 3 last time around, so I guess the jury’s still out whether I’ll still like it as much when I get there.

      1. It is because Chuck has an overarching, and evolving, storyline, that I would expect to see some character growth. Bart Simpson can stay ten years old forever and I wouldn’t care. But Chuck Bartowski is slowly unraveling the secrets of his life, family, and a vast government conspiracy. And he’s still an inept geek working at the Genius Bar of a big box store. C’mon! Even Carl Grimes is no longer a kid in The Walking Dead.

        Maybe my dislike of Chuck comes from my aversion to geeky tropes and stereotypes in mainstream media in general. I can’t stand watching BBT anymore, the way they make fun of geeks and our subcultures (catchy OP song though). Police procedurals with computer whizzes (NCIS, Criminal Minds) are insulting to real computer geeks. And all hacker movies in the past twenty years get almost everything wrong! Gah!

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