There’s a funny show called Chuck that I’m sure more than enough people watch.
It’s not very realistic.
The humor is quirky.
The stories swing between melodramatic and silly.
And it’s fantastic as such. In all the years it’s been on it’s dabbled in being different than it started, yet hasn’t ever strayed too far.
Granted, the main character has gone from skittish geek to super nerd who can fight, but it was never a show titled: The man with the Supercomputer Brain. It’s called, simply: Chuck. The boy who’s a genius, but not always confident. The guy who can be confident, only to get shot down. The guy who’s plans are sometimes brilliant but ruined. And as always, things end up working out. Even if it does require a character appearing out of nowhere to knock out a bad guy. Hey, nothing earlier said it couldn’t happen, so it’ll happen.
For such a silly show, I’m impressed. A while ago I was worried maybe they were going to get too serious and dramatic. And they have strong, serious episodes like that. And then they alternate that with something out of left field.
And most importantly: it stays enjoyable to watch if you keep your expectations in line. It’ll throw twists and turns, but if you have the basic ideas of the show down, you’ll always enjoy it. So many shows, books, etc., forget this. Or think that they need to completely 180 the makeup of their entertainment to somehow revitalize it. Wrong. Add flair, add plot twists, add drama. But all as seasonings. Don’t change out your wheat bread for white, that’s entirely different. Instead, keep the wheat toast, just change from the “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” and honey to real butter and jam. Essence is the same, but this weeks plot is filled with “such and such” instead of “this and that.”
All in all, it’s a show that doesn’t actually take itself seriously, even though the episodes themselves can seem quite serious. That’s a wonderful thing. They don’t care if a certain technology could feasibly exist, they just want to do a story/plot and roll with it.
And I’m all for that. I love it when entertainment blatantly throws reality out the window, but never claims to have left earth. Where plot devices can be anything, as long as it gets the job done.
I think this runs contrary to a trend of “explain it so it seems real somehow” that’s plagued some games and movies I’ve seen. I don’t need to hear that the reason the spaceship can travel faster than light is because the alpha decay of a proton has a resonance effect on element number 132 that is stable when held at 0.0000000001 kelvin, and as a result can tear through the fabric of spacetime. I need to hear: FTL engines engaged, we’ll be there in two hours.
That’s why I find myself going: “Hah, no way” when watching Chuck. The HAH is much more important. I think someone over there knows that. And though it’s still a quirky show, I can sit back, not care, and be pleasantly surprised with a relatively happy ending and follow that up with the usual / possible cliffhanger. I know it’s coming. It’s still fun.