Saturday, April 11, 2009

Geek Chic

He's the secret. She's the agent.

So, the tagline for Chuck sums up why this is an excellent show for romance fans (and romance novelists) to watch. The romantic couple has an excellent conflict lock--they both have feelings for each other, but they can't act on them. It's actually a matter of life and death that their relationship stay strictly professional.

Oh, the tension! Makes for a lot of eye sex and unspoken yearning, which we all know I love.

Also, the premise provides great action potential. For those of you who've never heard of Chuck, here's a brief summary: Chuck's a brilliant computer nerd stuck working at a Buy More (think Best Buy). When he opens an email from a former friend, it downloads a top-secret government computer into his brain. He's become "the Intersect." In his undercover life, Chuck fights terrorists with his two secret agent handlers. In his everyday life, he has to hide the truth from his over-protective family and super-kooky friends.

There's action, humor, and suspense. There's also an underlying layer of sweet, emotional authenticity that makes this show worth watching.

I know there are plenty of spy capers out there for your viewing pleasure. But trust me, the two protagonists make it worth a viewing! They are both perfect examples of Tami Cowden's archetypes, and they're paired together quite unusually. I am now going to quote directly from her (fabulous) website:

Chuck is the PROFESSOR: coolly analytical, he knows every answer. He’s logical, introverted, and inflexible, but genuine about his feelings. At work, he likes cold, hard facts, thank you very much, but he's also honest and faithful, and won’t let you down.

Sara (one of the agents assigned to protect him) is the CRUSADER: a dedicated fighter, she meets her commitments. No shrinking violet, no distressed damsel, here. This lady is on a mission, and she marches right over anyone in her way. Tenacious and headstrong, she brushes off any opposition to her goal.

Got that? He's the nerd and she's the ninja. She can put her feelings aside to get the job done (well, usually) whereas Chuck is much more emotional. Yeah, there's a lot of gender-bending going on. Rest assured, Chuck still makes for a great hero (because he's so faithful and devoted... and he has a really intriguing skill set). I like watching a romance develop where the two lovers switch off the responsibility of rescuing each other!

What's the word? Any other Chuck fans out there? Or any other shows that romance fans should be watching? Please share!


Sam M said...

Jaime loves Chuck -- Jaime, over to you.

As for shows that romance fans should watch, allow me to recommend Fringe. It's basically X-Files: badass female FBI agent (Olivia) and kooky, cynical science brain with a checkered past (Peter, played by Pacey from Dawson's Creek) investigate paranormal phenomena.

In this case, there's a third character: Walter, Peter's mentally ill father (played hilariously by Denethor from Lord of the Rings), whose sketchy experiments decades ago appear to be the cause of many of the incidents they investigate.

Like in X-Files, you can't expect the arc to make sense at any point. Just enjoy the characters' interactions.

I mean, Walter's lab has a cow, people. What more could you want?

Jaime said...

I do! I DO love Chuck! SO SO MUCH!! Dear NBC, please please renew Chuck. Love, Jaime
I also love how they have inverted the damsel in distress cliche- Chuck is such a sweet damsel, and Saracan rescue me any day. It's sweet, it's romantic, it's poignant, it's in love with nerds, and it has hilarity and kickass action in equal parts. But I watch for the romance.
Also, lately the story has gotten AWESOME- I love whenstories go beyond 'plot of the week' to develop characters (I'm talking to you, Grey's Anatomy and Gossip Girl, cough cough) and this plot arc is so cool. Best show ever? Maybe not. Best show currently on TV? Yes.
Katie- check out chucktv's renewal campaign. Also, we can discuss the awesome of Casey standing up for Chuck last epi at length via email.

Seneca said...

I've never seen an episode, but I want too now!

There have been a few going to be canceled shows that stayed on air due to the public. I bet Chuck will stay on if enough people are squeaky wheel about it.