I wasn't sure if this was needed yet, but after Stereogum's off the cuff burnjob and apparently declining ratings, I feel the need to chime in here. While you, dear reader, may not care for my music recommendations any longer (don't get me started on how amazing that new Maroon 5 video is...) I'd like to think that you still take my Television tastes somewhat seriously. So here we go.
Chuck is a really good show. Yes, it suffered from a bit of a mediocre second episode, but bounced back this week better than ever. Right now, there's not another show I'm looking forward to watching every week (yes, that includes FNL, but only because I'm sorta scared to see how that all turns out.) This show captures the soul of The OC in each of its characters, producing people you can genuinely understand and relate to. If you're having a hard time wrapping your head around a slightly original concept for a spy show, then I'm sorry to hear that, because dismissing shows like this will only lead to 2 hour Deal or No Deal episodes. And nobody wants that. Not even Howie Mandell.
But with a little bit of imagination, this show can really hit you the right way. I mean, if I wanted my TV to always regurgitate actual life, I'd just watch Gossip Girl and call it a week. Sometimes you need to let loose a bit and just enjoy something for being silly, yet well done. That's where this show hits. It lands in a weird place, which is where TV should more often aim. It's one format that can support a story like this. There will be a different spy caper every week (fun!) There is a developing relationship between the classic modern personable everyman who is underachieving in life (Chuck) and the super hot (for the sake of argument) spy partner. Then there are the amusing side characters, headed by a great, great character in Mjr John Casey, who may or may not be played by a Baldwin brother. No, I don't think Morgan has found his place in this series yet, but there's still time. Captain Awesome and Chuck's emotionally concerned sister mostly make up for his zany deficiencies.
But I think what makes this different is that it knows it's dumb entertainment. It doesn't pretend to take itself seriously, which is an often unfortunate byproduct of this anti-reality TV renaissance we're currently living through. In a way, that's what makes the genuine moments the show sometimes grazes past work even better. This show just plain works, and I think people who can appreciate that there's something that can succeed between sarcastic 30-Rock/Office humor and deadpan FNL/Heroes Drama need to give it a shot. Or a second shot.
Watch episode 3 right here. I'd hate to see this show fade away without letting it reach its potential. If you're obviously watching HIMYMother while it's on, DVR and watch later. It's worth it.