Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Guys, I know Kung Fu."

A few months ago, I decided that it was finally time to start watching Chuck. I have now watched all five seasons and would consider myself officially part of the Nerd Herd.

I am not really sure why I never watched the show when it started in 2007. I do know that I did not yet have DVR, so I was probably watching How I Met Your Mother instead. I actually do not really remember thinking about it much when it was on. I loved Adam Baldwin in Firefly and Sarah Lancaster in What About Brian (also, Saved By The Bell: The New Class...shhh), and probably recognized Zachary Levi, but none of them were enough to interest me in the show. This was also about the time that I was *not* watching Friday Night Lights either so, clearly, I was not thinking straight.

To be honest, the reason I did start watching Chuck was because of Orphan Black. I know that sounds weird, so let me explain. As I have mentioned before, I watched all of Orphan Black after last year's ATX Television Festival and was instantly obsessed. Shortly after watching the whole first season, the cast went to San Diego Comic Con, at which they did a panel for Zachary Levi's Nerd Machine. Once I discovered the Orphan Black panel online, I then watched many of the other Nerd Machine panels throughout the weekend that were streaming on YouTube, including one with Levi himself, and soon came to the conclusion that I should at least give Chuck a try.

The only way that I could watch it initially was to get the discs from Netflix, so the first two seasons took me quite a while to get through. (And when I say, "quite a while," I mean about two months.) I was just starting to lose steam and then, as if they knew exactly what I was thinking, Netflix made the whole series available to stream the following week and I flew threw the last three seasons.

I enjoyed the characters from the start, but I did not really get hooked on the storyline until the end of season two. In seasons one and two, Chuck was a little too whiny and never seemed to learn how to not get in the way when Casey and Sarah were on a mission. He was much more interesting and the plots were more focused once he became a real part of the team in season three. You also have to get past the fact that, despite this being a show about spies, it is completely unrealistic. It is, however, a lot of fun.

I have become a big fan of Zachary Levi as an actor. I find him highly entertaining and he has great chemistry with the entire cast. After getting into the show, I also discovered an article where he talks about his faith and, while I will not go into detail (you can click the link and read it yourself), I respect and agree with most of what he had to say. It made me like him more as a person and as an actor that I want to see succeed. He is currently starring in First Date on Broadway until the beginning of January, which I was hoping to see while I was on the East Coast for the holidays, but it does not look like I will actually have the chance. He is also in Thor: The Dark World as Fandral, which was just in theaters.

The rest of the cast was incredible as well. As I said, I loved Adam Baldwin on Firefly, but also knew him from Angel and Independence Day. He gave John Casey a lot of heart and an impressive High C. Yvonne Strahovski, on the other hand, is someone that I had never heard of before this show, but I really enjoyed her a lot. Sarah Walker is a total badass and it was fun to see her be the dominant person in most tense situations. Chuck's sister Ellie and her boyfriend Devon, a.k.a. Awesome, are played by Sarah Lancaster and Ryan McPartlin. I really enjoyed this relationship because even though their lives look perfect from the outside, they still have real issues that they deal with and work through as a couple. They kept the show grounded in family. On the other side of that spectrum, was the equally amazing supporting roles from Mark Christopher Lawrence, Bonita Friedericy, Vik Sahay, and Scott Krinsky.

But I have to say that Joshua Gomez might have actually been my favorite of the cast. Morgan happens to be my grandfather's, father's and niece's name, so I may have been a little biased towards the character from the beginning, but the friendship between Chuck and Morgan is so great and it always made me laugh. With their banter and chemistry, it really feels like these two guys have been friends since childhood and would do anything possible for the other. Although, it did take me until about halfway through the series to realize that he is the younger brother of actor Rick Gomez (who was also in What About Brian with Lancaster). You do not have to say anything, I am already very disappointed with myself.

The show also included some fantastic guest stars including, but definitely not limited to: Tony Hale, Brandon Routh, Linda Hamilton, Matt Bomer, Scott Bakula, Timothy Dalton, Lauren Cohan, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kristin Kreuk, Jordana Brewster, Morgan Fairchild, Robin Givens, Ray Wise, Chevy Chase, Rachel Bilson, Gary Cole, Nicole Richie, Isaiah Mustafa, Stacy Keibler, Mark Sheppard, John Larroquette, Steve Austin, Mark Pellegrino, Rick Hoffman, Ivana Milicevic, Vinnie Jones, Robert Patrick, Fred Willard, Craig Kilborn, David Koechner, Cheryl Ladd, Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael Strahan, Tricia Helfer, Dominic Monaghan, Andy Richter, Rob Riggle, Eric Roberts, Mark Hamill, Ben Savage, Diedrich Bader, Olivia Munn, Mircea Monroe, Ana Gasteyer, Angie Harmon, Bronson Pinchot, Tim DeKay, Rebecca Romijn, Bo Derek, Melinda Clarke, Brooklyn Decker, Lou Ferrigno, Stan Lee, Danny Pudi, Jenny McCarthy, Summer Glau, Harry Dean Stanton, Dolph Lundgren, Christopher Lloyd and Yvette Nicole Brown. 

I am not really sure how I felt about the series finale. It definitely made me really sad, even though the final scene ended on a positive note. There is talk about doing a Chuck movie at some point in the future and I would be excited to see that, if only to see where everyone ended up. I just feel like the episode was very bittersweet and I prefer less ambiguity in my series finales. That being said, I really enjoyed this show as a whole and I definitely recommend everyone check it out immediately.