September 24th of 2007 the TV show Chuck premiered on NBC. It’s been 10 years since my journey with this show started and my love for it continues to grow.
The show is about Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) a twenty-something guy who’s stuck at a job at an electronics store, the Buy More (think about something like Best Buy), working at the Nerd Herd desk fixing computers.
He can’t seem to be able to move on with his life after being expelled from Stanford and finding his girlfriend cheating on him with his best friend, who also got him expelled, Bryce Larkin (Matt Bomer). Years later, on his birthday, he receives an email from Bryce which contains government secrets and information that are now stuck in his brain. The CIA sends Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski) and the NSA sends John Casey (Adam Baldwin) to retrieve said secrets, but after realizing they are in his head they must work together and use those secrets to save the world.
This show wasn’t really typical and one may argue that it was ahead of its time. It has a great history and the characters are extremely well developed. It’s a show where viewers get to truly see every character evolve and grow. It also has great music and some really fun pop culture references that manage to crack-up the audience. It is honestly fun and engaging.
That isn’t the only reason why this show holds a special place in my heart, but I do believe it helped me fully embrace my inner geek.
It’s a bit weird writing about this now because it seems geekiness or nerdiness, however you like to call it, has been fully embraced. Every couple of months we get a superhero movie and theaters are filled with viewers. Pokemon Go last year was a phenomenon, millions of people were playing, even those who weren’t necessarily fans before. There are now many conventions celebrating comics, sci-fi and fantasy, but it wasn’t always like this.
I grew up during what I like to think was the transition towards this moment. Since I was a kid I loved superheroes, video games and sci-fi movies. I had played every Pokemon game there ever was and daydreamed about what my team of 6 would be. I ran around the playground pretending to be a Jedi, Power Ranger or X-Men. Needless to say, I was continuously teased and mocked.
So, a couple of years later, I accidentally started watching Chuck. When I first saw the promos I wasn’t planning on watching the show, it seemed like your typical action show, where the handsome, suave guy saves the world, so it didn’t really pull me in. When the premiere day came I decided to give it a shot and it was completely worth it.
This was the first show I saw that fully embraced nerd-culture. Chuck doesn’t shy away from being a nerd, he fully embraces it and so does his friend Morgan Grimes (Joshua Gomez). These characters weren’t ashamed of how much they loved comic books, sci-fi or fantasy and that passion wasn’t the butt of the joke as in other shows. Other characters didn’t make fun of their passion and didn’t think less of them because their bedrooms were filled with sci-fi films posters and action figures. Sure, there’s always a bit of teasing, but it wasn’t ill-intended and they come to respect that passion. It really was a breath of fresh air. It gave me comfort and inspired to embrace that nerdiness, to not be ashamed of how much I loved everything and to say, “Yes and proud of it,” whenever someone called me “Nerd,” trying to mock me or offend me.
The show was on the bubble since pretty much day one. Fans gathered and started campaigns so NBC would renew the show (multiple times). That was the first time a show ignited such passion in me, and I found myself working with other fans so our beloved show could see another season.
After the show ended I realized how much I really loved story-telling (in every platform: books, tv, film, video games) and continued to seek for more content that would fill the void the show left in me. The amount of TV I started watching after that was probably unhealthy, but it helped me understand shows better and really construct opinions about them. Still, that didn’t fill the void the show left me with and by now I think no other show will.
The experience with Chuck was a roller-coaster, a beautiful and emotional roller-coaster.
If you have never watched Chuck, I suggest you do. It’s an amazing story, where you really see characters become their best-self and they inspire you to do the same.
Written by: Cecilia López Closs