Until the recent past, the entertainment world has given computer nerds a bad rap. Long have we been eschewed to the ranks of the socially inept, uber-sarcastic losers like Dennis from Jurassic Park or Nick Burns the Company Computer Guy from SNL. Well, we mouse jockeys finally have someone to root for!
Tonight marks the premier of the second season of the NBC action-comedy Chuck. The show’s outlandish premise follows the adventures of Chuck Bartowski, a computer repair tech, who had the last remaining copy of the worlds greatest spy secrets downloaded to his brain via an encrypted message sent by his old college roommate who now works for the CIA. I’ll spare you the full synopsis which you can read here.
While I have mixed feelings about the show as a whole (it’s cheesy, even for TV, and the plot is basically the same for every episode), I’m thrilled to see a computer repair tech as the main character…and a funny, hip, decent looking (so I’m told) character at that. He’s the coolest Chuck since Mr. Norris, but I can relate to this one a lot easier.
I started watching Chuck last season. Naturally I was drawn to a show on TV revolving around a computer repair guy. The premise was hilarious, melding classic spy movie spoofery (yes I made that word up) with jabs at Best Buy and Geek Squad (Chuck works for the “Nerd Herd” at the electronics superstore “Buy More”). The plot lines were pretty thin at the beginning of the season, but once the characters started getting fleshed out a little, I was fully invested.
It’s great to see computer techs finally cast in a good light. Being around computer guys for most of my professional life, and being one myself, I’ve come to find that most of us are very sociable (it’s pretty much required to be successful in the consultation and repair business), young, ambitious, with a very necessary sense of humor. Gone are the days of the computer guy who locks himself in his room and/or basement to hack the government or spy on his neighbors. Computers are everywhere, necessary, and still hard for most people to figure out. It takes patience, intelligence, fast thinking, and a thirst for knowledge to make it in this business. It’s reassuring to see that mainstream media is picking up on this.
So I’m calling on all of you, my fellow computer nerds or computer nerd lovers out there, to rally around this hero we call Chuck. If you haven’t seen the show yet, make an appointment to check it out, either on TV, online, or on DVD. The premier tonight was solid and I think this season is poised to knock last season out of the water. Tell a friend. Make sure Chuck’s ratings soar so that the entertainment world will finally recognize the computer repair tech as a true hero. We help keep businesses running and families communicating. We help keep that complex mess of machinery in people’s homes running smoothly and working smartly. And we finally have a spokesman worthy of our support!
Have you seen the show? What do you think of it? What other examples of repair techs in movies and TV, either good or bad, can you think of?