Some shows do comedy. Some shows do drama. And a few shows try them both at the same time, sometimes in the same scene. Few have done it as well as CHUCK. Most just fail at it.
What is a "dramedy" anyway? I know whenever I use it in every day life, most people look at me like I have two heads and a hideous mole on my arse. Okay, so that is actually true, which is why I have never revealed myself in public, but that still doesn't change the fact that people just don't use the word in normal daily interactions.
To those sophisticated in TV land speak, it is pretty obvious what it means. A "dramedy" is a drama with comedic elements. Or, a comedy with dramatic elements. In the case of CHUCK, I would say it is 70/30, comedy/drama. Though, in certain episodes, the drama does outweigh the comedy. But the need for the term exists because lots of dramatic shows have comedic moments. And even more comedic shows have dramatic moments in them. However, they don't normally surf between the two in every episode, nor through most of the scenes in each individual episode.
I latched onto CHUCK in many ways because of the fact that it could seamlessly go from heavy dramatic moments to very lighthearted without it seeming contrived. In one sequence the Buy More dudes discuss the validity of Sarah being "the right girl" and a few seconds later an angsty moment between Chuck and Sarah discussing a fake break-up, with Sarah then fake crying causing a very confused reaction by Chuck, dovetailing right into Lester moving in on Chuck's sloppy seconds. One quick little sequence mashed so many emotional buttons that you either loved it or went to watch something stupid like D-listers dancing.
CHUCK also never shied away from heavy drama. Sarah had a pretty emotionally damaging childhood. Chuck and Ellie were essentially abandoned by their parents. And there were exes and romantic interests and romantic obstacles at every turn. Not to mention deaths of important characters tossed into the mix. All the while, the show had to deliver laughs and make you forget about genres.
I suspect part of its success in delivering so much is a large part of its lack of ratings success. A friend of mine and I have often referred to CHUCK as THE PRINCESS BRIDE of television. Both are funny, cute, adventurous, action packed, romantic, and about characters who are very complex in the subtext, but easy to digest for those who don't want to look beyond what was shown to them.
Both CHUCK and THE PRINCESS BRIDE also lacked wide support from the general public but gained passionate support from those who loved them. And over time, "Bride" has gone from what was considered a financial failure to a movie that is now viewed as one of the best comedies of all time.
In time, and with the passion of the fan base sharing its love with anyone who will listen, the little dramedy named CHUCK could grow to become more powerful in death than it ever was in life. You know, like that crazy old wizard Ben Kenobi!
What say you, people who like to comment? Are you even still reading these articles? Should I stop here?