3 Reasons I Love Chuck Again (and some tips on how you can, too!)

Those of you who know me, and honestly anyone would listen is probably aware of how down I was on our little show once upon a time, back in Season 3. It got so bad that my once favorite show was suddenly causing me more grief than it was joy. That's not a good place to be. Wow, and I just read Justin's article, and I realize I'm starting to sound like that. But no worries, this is positive.


See after the cut, if you don't believe me.
So I will do this as a list, because I'm told guys like lists, and I'm a guy, mostly. So here are the reasons I once again love Chuck.

1) Fun! And yes, this one is #1 mostly because of the rhyme. But still, remember Cougars, and Tom Sawyer, and Sandworm, and all those old episodes? There may have been some drama, but at the end of the day, it was FUN. And the writers generally left you feeling happy, if a little wanting of more at the end.

Season 3 was the opposite. Instead of making us feel good to end a Monday, they would build us up, just to rip our guts out every week. Even my favorite early S3 episode, Nacho Sampler ended an otherwise fun evening with Chuck seemingly lapsing into potential alcohol dependency. Not. Fun.

But S4? It's SO much fun! Yeah, there are mistakes, plot holes, contrivances. But those have always been a part of the show. And we accept them because the positives outweigh the negatives, the positives being a good chuckle (pun intended), and characters we care about being enjoyable. Which brings me to...

2) I like the characters again. Sure, Chuck seems a little douchey at times, but if you had a computer in your head that made you Hercules, you'd probably be douchey, too. And if at night, you went to bed with Sarah Walker, well, your head would probably scarcely fit through the doorway. I know mine would be roughly the size of O'Hare International Airport. So I'll forgive Chuck that one thing, because most of the time, he isn't intolerable.

But more than Chuck, there's the character that brings me back every Monday, Sarah Walker. Has she EVER been more adorable than she has this season? I say she has not. And I LOVE it. And she gets more screen time, more real emotions, and more time for Yvonne to define awesome in a way only surpassed by one Olivia Dunham...

3) Which brings me to number three. Oh, and for the record, I'm really proud of myself for the segues, so if it's too cheesy for you, well, sod off. No one asked you, a-hole. Whoops, I mean, I'm sorry. Anyway, number three: I love Chuck again because it's no longer my favorite show.

What the what? Wep, I think you're losing it, dude.

No, I'm not. It makes perfect sense. The awesomeness that is Fringe, the show that only gets better over time, has surpassed Chuck as my favorite show. I don't think I'm alone on this blog when I say that. But that's okay. The two shows don't go head-to-head, and really, they have a much, MUCH different tone.

Which is why Fringe has made me appreciate Chuck all the more. Because, for all my love of Fringe, I watch cringing, thinking, "Wow, this--all of this--it can't end well." And it won't. Fringe isn't a happy story (sorry to spoil those of you who have yet to watch the best show on Earth). But there's always a tragic undertone, and there's always just a hint of what's to come, and it will be sad for all involved. But it's well written, so I give the Fringe writers a pass on that.

But how does that relate to Chuck? For all the melodrama, for all the crap we put up with, at the end of the day, I think we all know we'll get our happy ending, even if it's abbreviated by, God forbid, the show not being extended to a fifth season. I can watch Chuck and smile, because I know these characters I'm invested in will come out the other side, and yeah they'll have some scars, but they'll be all the better for it.

One of my complaints with S3 was that Chuck was no longer my fairy tale that I fell in love with. Now, in Season 4, I'm realizing it still is a fairy tale, it's just one that had some rough spots in the middle. And that makes me happy.

::Tips on how to love the show again::

So are you one of those people who just doesn't love the show like you used to? Here's a few pointers on how you can enjoy it again, as much as you ever did:

-Lower your expectations. Chuck is never going to be perfect. The writers aren't perfect, the actors aren't perfect (well, okay, Yvonne is perfect in many ways, but stay with me). and even the setup, which was always a strength for the show isn't perfect. But that's okay. Life's not perfect.

-Enjoy the parts you enjoy. Not a fan of the Buy More? Morgan annoy you to no end? Chuck's whininess bugging you? Forget it! Don't focus on the bad stuff! Think about the stuff you do like. For instance, SWP. Heh.

-Write fanfic. Yes, I know this one is ironic coming from me, the guy who has seemingly abandoned every story/universe he had going, but just go with it for a moment. Write fic, if you're that bothered! Write about how you'd change things. After all, isn't that how we got Fates, and the fantastically amazing Frea to begin with?

And those are all my tips. And reasons. Hmm, I'm not really good at ending things, so I guess I'll just say, you guys are awesome. Peace.


  1. I applaud this post, good sir. Not just because you brought Fringe into the mix (though that does play a part, hee), but because you are right in every aspect. Yeah, it won't reach the caliber of the first and second seasons, but I've come to love Chuck differently than I have before, and I'm perfectly fine with that. It's interesting to see how much the show has changed since I first started watching it—and of course, I say this while keeping the much of the first half of S3 locked away in a box in the back of my mind. :)

  2. "Write fanfic"

    Good suggestion. However, if they already write fanfic and no longer like Chuck, then it might be a good idea to stop. I think a lot of fanfic writers get hung up on thinking their version of the story is the only way and become so emotionally invested they can no longer enjoy the show. I enjoyed writing my stories, but I like the show better, and not just because of the (lack of) quality in my stories. It is possible to enjoy both as long as a writers keep some perspective.

  3. Hmm. Interesting perspective. Obviously not mine, but I can respect it. No, Chuck was never perfect, but you're right. The first two years were fun as hell. Season three really shattered a lot of what I enjoyed about the show and season four, while a step in the right direction, doesn't hit the same notes as the early days did. And though lowering my expectations (which weren't high to begin with) has helped, it hasn't been enough to take me back to the glory days. Of course, there's always the thing about Chuck never being my "type" of show. It's frequently been a marvel to me how I ever became a fan of such lite fare.

    But perhaps the most important point to make is this: Fringe? Really? Am I the only one around here who realizes JJ Abrams and his associated enterprises stink? Seriously, the dude hasn't put out a decent project since "Regarding Henry", and that was due to the charm of Harrison Ford in his prime. I really must do more to spread the word on this.

  4. Oh, Justin. Do you remember that time when I told you that I loved Friends and you were so appalled that your level of adoration and respect for me fell a notch?

    Seeing that last paragraph is the rough equivalent of that, except on my end. le sigh.

  5. mxpw8.3.11

    @Justin - How dare you besmirch Felicity!


    I guess Alias and Lost were good too.

    @Wepdiggy - Agree with the majority of this post, though there is stuff I disagree with too but will not list here for the sake of harmonious collaboration. You make a compelling argument and I am glad to see that you have regained your fondness for the show.

    There are a lot of reasons why one should still like the show and I feel like you have enumerated much of the positives. I shall remember this for the future!

    @Jeff - I don't know what you're talking about, clearly my fanfic stories are the greatest collection of writing since Shakespeare. What do you mean, writers need perspective? Pffft!

  6. Amrit8.3.11

    If chuck had the budget to do some on location shots and knew like fringe that they were getting at least a full season order, I really think that chuck would be a lot tigher in its storytelling and logic and it would be so awesome. I really think that they have done the best they can with the money they have, which is so tiny it is unbelievable.

  7. Anonymous8.3.11

    Yes, there have been inconsistencies and some plot holes in Season 4 of Chuck. But I have found Season 4 to be very enjoyable and very fun after that depressing Season 3. Two, three episodes into Season 3, I was going "What happened to my fun show???" So Season 4 has been a big RELIEF!

  8. @Crystal: :) Yes, there are few conversations about television I can have nowadays without bringing up the awesomeness that is Olivia Dunham..er...Fringe. But s'okay. I can love other stuff, too. Like, for instance, Astrid. Oh, and Chuck.

    @Jeff: You're right. I've been there myself. And not just writing, but *reading* fanfic can spoil you. At least it could, back in the day. Of course, I don't check the archives as much as I used to, as many of my favs no longer post (sad), but I completely get where you're coming from.

    @Justin: 1) I fart in your general direction, sir. 2) What Crystal said. :P

    @Max: I look forward to hearing these reasons. But, seeing as I have both the series finale of Greek (NO ONE better tell me what happens), and DRAGON AGE TWO, BITCHES!!!! I don't know how much I'll be around for a few days. But maybe I'll run into you, when my thumbs get tired.

    @Amrit: I don't buy that line of logic. That's, as Frea or Max would say, lamesauce. That's not being a QBQer. That's making excuses, instead of the show's creators asking, "What can I do, given what I have, to make the show great?" And yes, my boss *does* make me read a ton of self-improvement and personal accountability articles/books. Why do you ask? :P

  9. Anonymous13.3.11

    'Enjoy the parts you enjoy' and you could add 'stop focusing on the parts you hate.'
    Excellent advice. I love this show and I have enjoyed each season; just not every aspect of each season. I really disliked Harry Tang and Emmet Milbarge; never understood their appeal. I still dislike most of the scenes with Jeff and Lester and I rarely like any of the Buy More story-lines but I still love the show. There's so much more to enjoy and it is rare that one aspect of an episode is able to ruin the whole thing.

  10. It's always a Fabulous Friday Watching Fringe on Fox! And Chuck makes Mondays great!


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