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Entertainment review: The unexpected television loves

December 21, 2010 - Pam Rodgers
2010 brought some rather unexpected additions to my favorite television programs. Apparently I needed some comedy in my life because I added two shows that make me laugh in every episode. However, I was dead set against getting hooked on more TV shows at the beginning of the year. My how that changed.

I started the year with a fairly set schedule. I added a few new shows over the 2009 summer (White Collar, Leverage and So You Think You Can Dance? [SYTYCD]) but they hardly affected my regular season show schedule. None of my shows had been canceled and the only new prime time show was NCIS: Los Angeles, the spinoff of my favorite show NCIS.

2009 ended with the conclusion of the fall seasons of Dancing with the Stars and SYTYCD, and I wasn’t really looking to add any programs to my schedule at that point. Then my brother suggested to me that I should watch NBC’s dramedy Chuck, which kicked off its third season in January. I missed the first two episodes but started watching it anyway. I didn’t want to get hooked on another show, especially one that was on Mondays. DWTS would be back on in the spring, and I didn’t want any overlap. So I watched Chuck with only a mild interest.

In a nutshell, Chuck was a regular guy who happened to get a super computer downloaded in his brain that allowed him to turn into a super-spy. He worked with Agent Sarah Walker and Colonel John Casey to hone his skills while maintaining the cover of his old life by working at Buy More and keeping secrets from the rest of his family. I was kind of turned off by the Buy Morons humor (that would be Chuck’s day job at an appliance store where his co-workers are total idiots).

One of the biggest downers of the show was the depressing romantic angle at the beginning of the season. I didn’t know it at the time, but there was an epic “will they, won’t they” romance going on between Chuck and Sarah. I picked up on the hints but I didn’t realize just how involved it had been. Anyway by episode eight, Sarah was dating Agent Shaw, I never liked him and it sucked to see Shaw with her. Because of this, I was able to like the show more, but it was still a “take it, or leave it” kinda show for me. Then episode 13, Chuck v. The Other Guy happened. Chuck finally got the girl! I couldn’t help but get hooked.

I am about to admit something that I’m not real proud of. After ep. 13 aired, the show took a three week break. In that time, I bought seasons 1 and 2 and had caught up on the whole series by the time episode 14 came on the air. Let’s just say, I pretty much watched nothing but Chuck for about a month.

Another thing about that is not such a proud admission, it’s not the first time I had done that with a show, this year. Prior to falling completely for Chuck, I stumbled onto another show that compelled me to buy seasons and catch-up on what happened about a month and half sooner. One Monday night at work, I was laying out the paper when I saw my first episode of The Big Bang Theory. I had heard of the sitcom but I never really made an effort to watch it. A, it was on Mondays and as I explained with Chuck, it was full and B, (this applies to Chuck as well) it began while I was in college, and I didn’t watch that many TV shows. DWTS, Grey’s Anatomy and NCIS and that was pretty much it.

The difference with TBBT is I was hooked right away. Fortunately, my brother had caught onto the show that year too, and he had episode on his DVR that I could watch. I bought the second season and my sister and I spent a weekend watching to whole DVD set. It was too funny to turn off. The DVD traps you too. It has a play all feature so before you know, you’ve watched six episodes. Well, after that I got season one and watched all of them too. (I think it worth noting that both first seasons of Chuck and TBBT were short because of the writer’s strike).

So now my favorite show is Chuck and second favorite is The Big Bang Theory. It hasn’t turned my TV watching upside down. Two shows I had never watched before 2010 are now must-sees. I have since bought the third seasons of both shows and enjoy the episodes that drew me in.

In reflection, I guess I wasn’t very steadfast in my want to keep away from new shows. I have now tried three more new series (Rookie Blue, The Sing Off and Undercovers, which was canceled but I like it), and I’m glad I did. I may be a little obsessed with TV, but its so very entertaining!


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