On Netflix

“Chuck” Equals Mostly Clean Fun

The former NBC action comedy series “Chuck” is one of the best examples of a TV show becoming intertwined in my life.

We had only been married about a year. I was no longer working a crazy schedule at Starbucks that kept Luke and me from ever seeing each other. And I was about ready to give birth to our first son, when we started watching Chuck on Netflix using a free trial. The show that started it all, if you will.

Those early weeks and months with a newborn, with no nearby family or relatives, and very little outside community, it was just Luke, me, and our new baby. And we needed the occasional entertaining escape. And Chuck came through for us.

The Premise

I do tend to love me some lovable losers, and Chuck is one of the most lovable there is.

He’s in his twenties, was expelled from Stanford, and now works for the “Nerd Herd,” a fictional equivalent of the Geek Squad (with a much cleverer name – why didn’t you think of it first, Best Buy??). He lives with his older sister and her boyfriend, has a non-existent love life, and is into video games in his spare time. All pathetic business as usual.

Until he accidentally absorbs all of the combined secret intel of the CIA and NSA into his brain.

I know, it’s a bit far-fetched. But it sure is a lot of fun.

Especially since the people sent by the CIA and NSA are a beautiful bad-ass named Sarah (the obvious love-interest) and a grumpy Crown-Vic-driving Republican old-guy-in-a-young-guy’s-body named John Casey.

Things just get better from there.

Not without its flaws…

Occasionally a little cheesy, some wooden acting whenever Sarah has to emote (she’s fine when she sticks to being the ass-kicking eye candy), and a couple moral issues to be aware of:

Obviously, there’s some violence. But it was NBC and rated 14, so nothing too much.

Maybe some occasional mild language. Again, NBC.

And then the sex issues. Now, there really weren’t many actual sex scenes in this show. What there was, was a lot of “Look how hot and scantily clad this chick is” shots that made Luke look away and ask, “Is it over yet?”

And then of course once, uh, some certain characters finally admit to their feelings for one another in season three, the two of them getting together equals the two of them having sex. Nothing new in our day and age, but still disappointing that we are more or less made to root for them to have premarital sex. But again, I didn’t expect much better, and at least this aspect never really took over the show.

Over all:

By the time we got to the final season, we loved these guys.

I remember specifically there was one scene in one of the last few episodes where the main characters are all eating dinner together after having come out unscathed from something or other, and it’s kind of a montage-y scene with no dialogue and that Fun song “We Are Young” playing over the top; all of them laughing and happy together, having become, in some strange way, a family. And part of my family. It was beautiful.

I was sad to see it end.

How to Watch

Unfortunately, “Chuck” isn’t on Netflix streaming anymore. If you have the Netflix DVD send away service, you can watch it that way. Otherwise, you can go the cheap rout and find it on DVD at your local library, or buy it on DVD from Amazon.

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