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I don't get out much, so I watch Science Fiction
Manifesto for Scifiland - All things CHUCK 
21st-Apr-2012 02:57 am
Us with Nichelle Nichols at Fedcon
I’ve been swamped with work lately, so there are no pics or anything elaborate here, just words, because rambling about things I love is what’s easiest for me to do.



Okay, so if you know me at all, even a little, you know that for now my favourite show, favourite OTP, favourite actress and actor and favourite ending have been uncontested been cumulated in Farscape and every new show I watch had to compete with that – and I tell you, it’s HARD!

But this little show, as silly and repetitive as it might be, actually stands a chance. I only know it for a few weeks but when I first watched the first episode I was hit right in the heart. And when I watched the last episode two weeks ago, it was the same feeling I had when I watched the last episode of Farscape.

So if you’re interested, here are some reasons to love Chuck (and I apologize in advance but this turned out to be kind of a ‘what Chuck has in common with Farscape’ thing, because honestly, those are the things I love most about it):

First of all, this contains MASSIVE spoilers, as I’m absolutely not able to do this without spoilers in any way shape or form. And with that I mean lots of spoilers for the very last episode.
Also, like I said, these are all the reasons I love Farscape SO FRELLING MUCH too. So all you Farscapians, if these are your reasons too, you should watch out for this show (sadly Ben Browder doesn’t play a bigger part than a VERY small cameo in it, so if that’s your reason to watch Farscape I have to disappoint you ;)).

There isn’t any specific ranking to these reasons, they’re all my favourite things.

The first episode aka character introduction.
I know, I know, mostly pilots aren’t that great, but for all the shows that hold a special place in my heart (first and foremost Farscape), I loved the first episode very much (yes, I even like the pilot of Buffy a lot). And for Chuck it’s the same.
The introductions are done perfectly. The little nerdy guy, who didn’t fulfil his dreams because of a few setbacks he never got over and doesn’t know a thing about talking to the opposite sex which makes him try to sneak out of his own birthday party I can identify with SO MUCH. He might be a guy but everything else fits just perfectly. I loved him from the first moment I saw him.
Sarah interestingly took a little more time, I didn’t know what to think of her the first time I saw her, but the way she wears her emotions on her face despite being a spy made me fall in love with her very quickly. Again, very much like Aeryn, the soldier who doesn’t want to feel anything but just can’t help it.
Casey obviously had me at *shooting a guy in the back* ‘You’re dead – what are you gonna do now?’ I LOVE YOU JOHN CASEY!!!
Also Morgan, Awesome and Ellie are just normal and still nerdy and flawed enough to make me squee over them all the time. Especially Morgan. And Awesome. And Ellie. Nope sorry, can’t decide.

Which brings me to the most important reason for me to watch any show:

The characters
This is a biggy obviously. If I don’t love the characters I don’t care about a show. That’s just how I role.
I think I explained my love for Chuck, Sarah and Casey sufficiently above but there is one thing I love mostly about these three but about all the characters on Chuck. They change. But it’s not a ‘oh, the writers are just lazy, so this bad, cold hearted killer is now a teddy bear’. It’s a gradual change and best seen via the example of John Casey.
John Casey is NOT a good guy. That’s actually another thing about this show I adore, NOBODY is JUST good or JUST bad. And the main characters are bad guys. Killers, who shoot people as a dayjob and don’t mind doing the dirty work if it serves they’re goals (Farscape comes to mind again).

But as I was saying, as with Farscape, these soldiers who kill for a living get thrown in with a guy who never hurt anyone in his life and just generally sees the goodness in people and the good in life. And rather than changing him, he changes them. A lot. Which I adore.

I mean, Casey didn’t even have a resemblance of a private life in the first episode, and after five seasons he has a daughter, a son in law (sort of), a girlfriend (again sort of) and lots of friends. Yes, he still doesn’t have a problem killing people he perceives as bad and no, he still doesn’t like to be touched in any way, but he did change a lot. And I like him even more for it.

The love story
Well, obviously. DUH. I’ve just started watching Bones, and I’m preparing myself for the long haul. In Castle I’m totally pissed off by the whole ‘we act like teens and don’t speak to each other’ thing.
I have very few OTPs, mostly because I prefer the happy couple that goes through interesting things over the whole ‘the tension is built by the main characters getting together or not’.
Chuck has a very interesting, unique dynamic to it’s lovestory, because they ARE together from the very first episode, but at first only as cover story. It takes some time before Sarah decides she can let her guard down with this guy (‘let’s go away together, any place, you choose’ - remind you of something? ;)) but he is too engrossed by this exciting spylife to do it then and there.
But yes, after this setback they DO get together in the middle of the third season and guess what? They STAY together till the very end. THAT’S what I want. *squeee*

The witty and fantastically funny quotes even and especially in dire situations
Chuck is first and foremost one of the funniest shows I’ve EVER watched. And not just because of all the nods to nerds (though they are obviously a big part of it as I’m a BIG nerd and proud of it).
I’ll restrain myself to quote anything but yes, there are some absolute GEMS in all episodes.
Especially Morgan’s Star Wars references. And Casey being sarcastic. And Sarah being totally clueless about all movie or other pop culture references. Also, there’s always Awesome trying to lie. THAT’S the definition of funny right there. For me anyways.
Seriously, watch the first two episodes and if you don’t think it’s funny, stop right there. That’s the sort of humour that’s in the whole show.

The ending
I said so before and I’ll maintain it till the day I die (probably) that Farscape has the BEST ending I’ve ever seen in a TV show. That said, Chuck has managed to come in at a VERY VERY close second.
I normally prefer fairytale endings like Farscape’s where I can dream about what happened next and how they have a great, adventurous fantastic life with their kids for hours and hours. That’s a BIG reason I love Farscape so much, the things that are not said, the blank spaces I can fill in with my own dreams and phantasies. I’m not much of a reader or writer, so it’s not about the fanfic per se (even though I do enjoy that too from time to time), it’s about the quiet times in my day when I don’t have anything to do, when I’m alone and can just dream up stories. A show that manages to help me dreaming up those stories ranks automatically much higher on my all time favourite list than one that can’t. And believe me, that list is short – for now Star Trek Voyager, Harry Potter, Babylon 5 and Farscape are the only shows on it.
So it’s a big thing that Chuck managed to get on that list. And it’s all because of the ending. Yes, it’s not a fairytale ending, no we don’t know that Sarah gets her memory back but YES, they WILL get together again. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. ;) And after a bumpy road with a few interesting stories about Sarah trying but not succeeding to get her old life back and Chuck (im)patiently waiting for her while heading up his own company, they WILL marry again (I’m envisioning a nice quiet ceremony on the beach), they WILL have their kids (with the coats) and they WILL live happily ever after with a few missions and blasts from the past included.
So yes, I thought about this a lot and that’s what makes this show great for me. It gives me so much more than just a few (well quite many actually) hours of great entertainment while watching it.
It gives me inspiration. Not only for my dreams, which would totally suffice, but also for my creative efforts. I have already made a batch of icons, a few gifs a sig tag and have one vid in the planning stages and there are definitely a few picspams and probably even fics coming.

Now I only have to find a few other Chuck lovers and a community for it, then it will definitely have a space in that valid hard to reach place in my heart reserved for only the best of shows.

But don’t worry, Farscape will ALWAYS be my number one! First one’s always the best.
Comments 
20th-Apr-2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
FARSCAPE FOREVER!

Off to read your manifesto now ;)
21st-Apr-2012 07:24 am (UTC)
YEP FARSCAPE FOREVER!! NO argument about that! :D
21st-Apr-2012 05:27 am (UTC)
I heard several positive reviews about this show and there is some talk about it on TF, but somehow it never... crossed my radar, so to speak.

Well, after your impassioned review (manifesto? recruiting campaign? LOL) I will check it out.
What sold me? (apart from your utter enthusiasm, that's it) your mention of character growth, the fact that they are NOT two-dimensional people, and these sentences:

The witty and fantastically funny quotes even and especially in dire situations
It gives me inspiration. Not only for my dreams, which would totally suffice, but also for my creative efforts

Just two quotes among a lot of other interesting mentions. So, off to Chuck... :-)

Oh, and one other thing (this one about Castle):
In Castle I’m totally pissed off by the whole ‘we act like teens and don’t speak to each other’ thing.
I remember reading an interview with Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion in which the said that getting the two leads together would NOT mean they had to settle into a happily fuzzy ever-after, and that they could continue as before, with only an added twist.
Evidently, producers don't have the same kind of understanding AND courage...
21st-Apr-2012 07:57 am (UTC)
Wow, now I'm flustered. *blush* I didn't expect anyone to actually check out Chuck after reading these inadequate ramblings, but I'm all the more happy that you're willing to try it. YAY!
Just don't expect any meaningful stories with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance - it's really just a little show that first and foremost concentrates on the characters and the dynamic between them.

And don't get fooled by appearances. I never care about anyone's looks, so I was thrown off by some people who said they didn't like it because anyone is just too pretty. I honestly hadn't noticed that, I don't care if someone is blonde or blue, has tentacles or a Ken doll appearance as long as the characters are well thought out and three dimensional.
But apparantly it's something some people don't like...

So I hope you can just have fun when you do get to watch it! And if you get around to it, tell me what you think about it. I'd be very interested in that. ;)
21st-Apr-2012 11:12 am (UTC)
just a little show that first and foremost concentrates on the characters and the dynamic between them

Then I'm sure I will like it. Nothing like some good character interactions I can... sink my teeth in :-D


Appearances mean little to me, as long as a character is interesting: so I don't "hate" someone just because they are good-looking, nor do I ignore another because they are ugly.
After all, my absolute favorite character is B5's G'Kar... which is saying a lot! :-)


I will let you know how it goes...
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