Last night, for professional reasons (no lie--I love being a Culture Studies guy), I watched the TiVo'd season premiere of the new NBC show Chuck. For those of you not in the know, it is about a computer techie for some big box store (an obvious Circuit City Geek Squad parallel) who somehow (don't ask) has the contents of Homeland Security's computer database implanted into his brain...and thus becomes involved in the whole spy game.
While it was watchable, there was absolutely nothing remarkable about the program. You have a tv show featuring a nerd character? This said nothing new or interesting about nerds. Guess what: they suck at dates! they play video games! they watch online porn! they're socially inept! Stereotypes, every single one of them.
The spy community didn't fare much better...you have the stereotypical hot lady spy and the slightly paranoid and violent guy spy. Also, this seems to take place in a Los Angeles devoid of either Blacks or Latinos...or any non-Caucasian ethnicity.
I object to a lot of the standard television output, mostly because so much of it is totally lazy, and this show was a typical example. There is very little thought going into this program. The characters are dull and predictable.
It's a shame, because it gives one the impression that all network tv is this unimaginative. This show does have potential, though...to criticize the "big box" store mentality, the geek stereotypes...let's hope they actually can follow through.
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