Every now and then on our journey, we’ll come across a band that has demonstrated a “mastery” of a given song length by producing multiple excellent tunes at that time. I considered doing special “double shot” posts for these occasions, but I ultimately decided to stick with the pattern of one song per time. As a consequence, today’s choice between a pair of Creedence Clearwater Revival hits ended up leaving “Bad Moon Rising” in the dust.
Choosing “Fortunate Son” instead lets me spend a moment talking about one of my very favorite television shows. “Chuck” just aired its series finale on Friday, wrapping up an always exciting five year run. “Chuck” was a favorite of critics, geeks and television ratings websites thanks to its clever writing that seamlessly integrated loads of contemporary and historical pop culture references into the lives of its well-developed characters to which the audience could easily relate. Episodes typically featured a healthy mix of action, comedy and a bit of drama and were typically very self-contained and fulfilling while at the same time advancing serialized aspects of the show’s plot at a healthy pace (driven in part by the constant threat of cancellation that the show faced).
One other thing about “Chuck” that stood out to me was the music. This was an excellently scored show. The directors drew from a wide range of sources and when they wanted to bring in a little music, they always had the right tune at the ready. Whether it was indie rock (Spoon, Band of Horses, Frightened Rabbit, Blitzen Trapper), classic rock (Rush, The Isley Brothers, Iggy Pop), dreadful pop music (Lady Gaga, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears), 80’s hits (Bon Jovi, Hall and Oates, Huey Lewis) or classical music, the choices were all top-notch. What’s more, they were all very appropriate for the characters involved. The choices that were made were so good that there’s an entire website devoted to chronicling the music of “Chuck”.
Although they were far from the exclusive source of music for the show, some of the most memorable musical moments came from Jeffster, the cover band of Buy More employees Jeff Barnes and Lester Patel. In a memorable scene from a season three episode that substantially changed the direction of the series, Jeffster was rocking out to none other than CCR’s “Fortunate Son”… the sound of liberty.
That said, there was no Jeffster scene from the show’s five season run that came close to being as hilariously awesome as this scene (“cover song by cover song, we’re shaping the youth of America!”):
I think the show struggled to get ratings because of NBC’s terrible promotion, terrible lineup. The fact that it wasn’t explicitly a comedy, drama or action series didn’t help in that regard either. It was, however, always a critical darling and if you missed out, you might want to give it a shot on Netflix. Well worth your while.