You know what's great? My itunes '80s playlist. What more can life offer beyond listening to "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" and "Lady in Red" and "Manic Monday" and drifting back to those days of innocence when I wore side pony-tails and Jim Henson was my god. What more perfectly tinted summer-colored dream is there besides the one where I'm eight, standing in my grandmother's living room watching the final moments of "Back to the Future" and I'm mystified by that "To be continued..." end title, and can't figure out for the life of me what's so funny about the "Pepsi Free" line (puns are lost on my eight-year-old self), which brings me to my real point which is: "Heathers" references are never wasted, the essential existence of "Tron," and Charles Bartowski.
I first heard about "Chuck" by taking an internet quiz: Who is your TV boyfriend? I was crossing fingers to get either Jim "Fat" Halpert or hot Sawyer from "LOST" but instead my answers led to some dork dude I'd only vaguely heard of in commercial breaks during "Heroes." Chuck? Who the fuck is Chuck? But, it turns out, Chuck, my darling, you would be my density. I mean, my destiny.
Mind Grapes made it all possible, she the wonderful TV crack pusher, dealing out her dvds and show recommendations like a drug punk down in the Cass Corridor. She quietly talked up the show, selling it like a sweet, sweet drip of dorky-fun action-love story, Alias-swims-in-nerdy-crayola-colored-waters, and I resisted for awhile 'cause seriously, who needs another show to watch, but it was me back from California, hanging with M.G. I think for the first time since I got back, we gathered for "Heroes" because the show still plagued our lives at that point, but I was early, half because I was jonesin' for diet pepsi and Mind Grapes keeps the fridge stocked and half because five weeks in California needed to be explained, but what the hell, "Chuck" was on, "you should watch," she said, "because it's really good and I think you'll like it" -- "and besides," I concurred, "he is my TV boyfriend." Exactly.
Seriously, it was fate. The episode was all about Sarah's real identity in high school, how her name was really Jenny Burton (hey! my name's Jenny!!!! my grandpa's middle name was Burton!!!!!) and of course, Chuck and Sarah/Jenny's super-secret spy cover story is that they are boyfriend/girlfriend so that Sarah can protect Chuck from the baddies who want his computer brain -- and Chuck and I are TV boyfriend/girlfriend as confirmed by a highly scientific internet quiz! What are the chances?! Too many things falling into place for this to just be all coincidence. It was like this particular episode was speaking directly to me: Chuck and "Jenny" go on a date, Chuck loves "Jenny," Chuck brought "Jenny" a hamburger with no pickles (wait, shit! I like pickles... eh, can't win 'em all). In other words: Chuck/"Chuck" and I belong together! It didn't hurt, either, that the episode was fantastic, in all its '80s-referencing glory, all action and romance and gags and hilarious comedic performances and beautifully-painful dramatic performances and good-looking people galore (Zach Levi for the girls, Yvonne Strahovski for the boys) and Adam Baldwin. Yes, friends, the show has Adam Baldwin. I'll be in my bunk.
From that fusion-melded moment of hour-long television bliss, my heart and brain were sucked into the "Chuck" universe like dark matter into a blackhole of awesome. And awesome it has been. I've been a Chuckhead ever since, the one show I actually watch live and don't tivo, the one show I can't wait to see. Don't be confused by my enthusiasm. It's not like some ground-breaking, television-set splitting show of monumental innovation. It's not "LOST" or "The Sopranos" or "Seinfeld" or any of the big guns.
But who cares about that?! The beauty of "Chuck" is that it's a fucking good time. It's laugh-out-loud like a sitcom should be, but heartwarming, all warm-and-fuzzy love story too, then it kicks your ass the next minute with some fabulous kung fu gun fight ballet. And it's one continuous '80s reference machine. I have a feeling Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak go rummaging around in my same backyard nostalgia closet before they gather in the writers room each week.
"Chuck" is simply GOOD television. It's consistently good television. It's characters are some of the most endearing, lovable, and endlessly entertaining on the tube, with the writers always going for human and true (and good) over cliched and predictable (and annoying). I would watch spinoffs starring pretty much any of the supporting players whether it's "The Jeffster European Road Tour," "Morgan and Anna Move In," or "Captain Awesome's Awesome Sports Show with Special Guests Big Mike and His Marlin."
So why am I writing and rambling about "Chuck" all of sudden, you may ask? 'Cause the fucktards at NBC are thinking of canceling it. It's "on the bubble." NBC is a shithole trash can network right now and they're adding twenty-nine hours of Jay Leno to the schedule next season so half their shows will get the dump and "Chuck" might be one of them. It's that typical network ass-monkery, low ratings, bad demographics, blah-de-blah-bluh, and NBC can't be bothered to advertise it or try it at a different time slot where it won't be slaughtered by "Dancing with the Stars" and "How I Met Your Mother" and "House" and so the only good show NBC has going for it right now besides old stand-bys like "The Office" and "30 Rock" is possibly going to join the illustrious (but that's not much of a comfort) company of too-early canceled shows like "Arrested Development," "Pushing Daisies," and that NBC cancellation clusterfuck of all clusterfucks, the brilliant show done in by shitty TV executives and their dastardly bottom line idiocy: "Freaks and Geeks." "Chuck" would most certainly join their ranks of cancelled-too-early masterpieces since it really is that good, but let's hope not. Let's hope it lives on and can join the ranks of long-running masterpieces instead.
But hey, let's not just hope. Let's freaking watch the show people! What more do I need to tell you?! '80s references! Adam Baldwin as the Reagan-loving, gun-tottin' John Casey! An entire episode where a DeLorean figures heavily into the plot! Hot guys! Hot girls! Adolescent humor! Romance! Kick-ass fights! Guest stars! This show has it all.
I'm calling out conservatives especially. This is the only show on network television besides "24" where conservatives are portrayed in a positive light and yet I haven't read one mention of the show on any conservative blog. Open your Constitution-loving eyes, my fellow tea partiers! Watch this show! Aren't we supposed to be engaging with the culture?!
But really, everyone could be, should be watching it. Yeah, you could say it's especially designed for '80s babies like me; it's my style of humor, my cultural reference points. But anyone who likes a good time can dig it. Everyone should. I'm calling out every person in the country, right here, right now. Watch "Chuck" or else. If you don't start watching "Chuck" I will have no choice but to UNLEASH THE CASEY. And he always carries a gun.