Drama in the face of Knowledge

Recently I’ve been watching Chuck. I’m now in the third season. This is an interesting series. It somehow manages to combine the banality of a man who works at a Buy More, an electronics store, with his life as a spy.

Episodes often have two plots side-by-side. One is a spy related crisis and the other is a Buy More crisis. Somehow these two ideas running side-by-side seem to work. This is surprising as the spy stories are life and death and the Buy More stories are about the antics of the co-workers.

Chuck is an action comedy which gives it the possibility of having drama and seriousness together. This combination works well and the characters are well developed.

As a science fiction fan I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention two of the guest stars: Bruce Boxleitner and Scott Bakula. Bakula is in 7 episodes and Boxleitner is in 3. It was kind of funny to see these two actors here.

The actors have little interaction but my mind started putting together the age old question: Who would win in a fight between Jonathan Archer and John Sheridan. Well if you know anything about Star Trek: Enterprise and Babylon 5 then you know the answer

Archer would lose to Sheridan even if Sheridan was tied to a chair. A better question is: Who would win in a fight between Captain Sisko and Captain Sheridan?

Now that is a much more difficult fight to call. Sisko is the epitome of cool. In one episode he manages to fight past about five genetically-engineered-super soldiers. And John ‘nuke em’ Sheridan is no slouch either.

Anyway I digress. Chuck is an interesting series. It was cancelled early on but was brought back by popular demand.

I must compliment the writers on the balance of the stories. I don’t know how they manage to keep interest in the trivial stories and the more important stories. Perhaps it is because the view can relate to the stories set in the store and the spy stuff is just a great adventure – maybe they’re wondering how they might cope given a similar situation.

In an episode I saw recently there is an excellent cliffhanger. The characters are in trouble from the bad guys and it looks like all is lost. It was one of those times where I just had to watch the next episode.

Why is it that we feel this drama? I have a bad habit of looking ahead, on wikipedia, while watching a television series. Therefore I knew the broad strokes of where it was going. The cliffhanger was still effective – I still wanted to know exactly where the story was going and how it ended.

How does this happen? Any thoughts?

One response to “Drama in the face of Knowledge

  1. richjaffa

    Plenty of people watch and re-watch movies knowing perfectly well where they are going – watch adaptations of books they have read or read the book of the movie afterwards – we enjoy recycling emotions – its the old overheard comment ‘I always cry at this bit’ … And much of life is trivial but carries weight in story as it is something with which we identify.. as much as a much grander fiction I’m guessing…

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