On January 27th, 2012 the five year rollercoaster ride that is known as Chuck came to an end. Chuck was created by Josh Schwartz & Chris Fedak and starred Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez and Adam Baldwin. Now these are just the typical types of tidbits you give someone when introducing them to something they might not know about, especially a television program, but what this retrospective is about is that fun ride that Chuck gave us from 2007 to 2012.
I wont lie though, I never watched the first season of Chuck during its initial run…because I saw the trailers and didn’t think it looked impressing.
Now looking back on it with the aura of love that I have for the show, the trailer seems on par with the humor, but being fresh to the series, it felt like just a typical “Nerd Revolution” style show. Where we have to be forced to sit though a programming that delivers the idea that “Nerds are Cool.” So that first season came and went without me giving it a slight notice. Then sometime in 2008 during winter break of college, I was acting like the typical bum that I am and had no job and just hung around my house watching TV. The thing about me though is that I like to get into shows through DVD, so I can run through them. So a repeated episode of Chuck played on NBC during that break, I remember it like yesterday it was Episode 1.7 “Chuck vs. The Alma Mater” and just like that … I was hooked.
Looking back, I see why it was the episode that got me hooked on to the show…it was basically Chuck’s origin story. For comic book nerds, an origin story is something we know all to well. While you think the pilot would be Chuck’s origin, it really isn’t, its more of origin of the Intersect and how it revolves around Chuck Bartowski and his loved ones. This episode shows us why our hero was in position of a loveable loser when we found him in the pilot…all because of Bryce Larkin.
Bryce Larkin played by Mat Bomer is a crucial part of Chuck’s life and that of the story for the first two seasons. He stole the intersect from the CIA/FBI and sent it to Chuck so he would unknowingly download it into his brain, without Bryce Larkin, we have no show…but without Chuck, we have no reason to keep watching episode after episode.
There are so many relationships in Chuck, that you think one of them would fall by the wayside and become more tiresome than the others, but they don’t and I credit that to the likeability of the main star, Zachary Levi and his chemistry with the entire cast. We have:
- Chuck and Morgan, bestfriends.
- Chuck and Elie, brother + sister.
- Chuck and Bryce, broken friendship.
- Chuck and Casey, partnership.
- And the most important one of all…
What you will come to realize in the next parts of this retrospective is that the lynch pin of this show is held together by the relationship of Chuck and Sarah. Amazing chemistry between Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski has a lot to do with it, but the great writing of the series is equally important in not just giving us a relationship that holds our attention, but not dragging it out to the degree of a Rachel & Ross style of annoyance.
Throughout the ‘Writers Strike’ shorten year of 2007, Chuck was held to only 13 episodes in it’s first season and for a show that average a rating of 8.68 that could of easily killed a show in today’s society…but a common them shown in the show, the main character, and fans worldwide…is the never say die attitude.
The first season though wasn’t without its faults. The writers were figuring out just how much time was enough time for the big cast of characters from Chuck and his spy team, to the Buy More gang and the breakout supporting characters of Jeff and Lester, to Chuck’s family in Elie and Capt. Awesome and to the long list of rivals that Chuck needed to go against. This lead to Morgan sometimes becoming more of a hinder than help in some episodes.
To conclude Pt. 1 of my Chuck Retrospective, like I will do with each season, give my “favorites” of that season.
- Favorite Season 1 Episode: “Chuck vs. The Alma Mater”
- Favorite Season 1 Moment: Chuck and Sarah’s first kiss in “Chuck vs. The Imported Hard Salami”
- Favorite Season 1 Fight: Sarah vs. Lizzie in “Chuck vs. The Marlin”