Ten Days. In ten days time one of the best, most underrated shows on television will make us laugh, cry and grunt in appreciation of Adam Baldwin for the very last time. That’s right, I’m talking about Chuck, and I’m going to miss it more than anything.
It’s been a long, hard road for followers of NBC’s supercult show Chuck; with threats of cancellation aplenty that made you sick to your stomach with every series finale, thinking each one might very well be it’s last. But this time it’s for real. After 91 episodes, more guest stars than you’d be able to fit at a Playboy Mansion pool party and more shots of the beautiful Yvonne Strahovski in her nether-crackers than one can handle, Chuck will finish with a two hour special.
Chuck may not be for everyone (dwindling ratings over each series suggest that it’s for less and less people at every turn) but for me, at least, it’s one of the finest examples of television since the demise of the 90’s sitcoms. It has the perfect mix of comedy, action, suspense and Baldwin. And yes, 30 Rock, our Baldwin is better.
At times the show has taken the hard road; certainly making Morgan the Intersect proved a dusty path to tread, but at it’s heart it still has the same qualities that made me fall for it at the beginning. Chuck and Morgan have evolved from nerdy best friends into nerdy spy buddies and Casey may have gone from bad-ass to doting father, but the evolution of each character has served the show well. Even the side characters like Awesome, Ellie, Jeff, Lester, Big Mike and General Beckman have proved that just because you’re the B-cast doesn’t mean you can’t be equally as entertaining. In fact, some of the best episodes of Chuck are those where both the A-cast and B-cast share equal screen time.
It’s hard to put into words just what makes Chuck so damn entertaining but for folks with a nerdy disposition I think it speaks to us in a way that no other show does. It shows that the nerd can get the girl, save the world and still have time for a little Call of Duty after a hard day’s spying. But it’s also a show that stays as loyal to it’s fans as they’ve been to the show. Where else would you get a group of dedicated followers ganging up with a fast food chain to put pressure on a major television network to keep a show on the air? Where else would you get Scott Bakula as Chuck’s dad, or Linda Hamilton as his mother? Where else would you get music in the form of Jeffster? FYI I wear my Jeffster T – Shirt with pride. Chuck is a show like no other.
For Chuck’s final hurrah we’ll see him try to take down the last in a great line of Chuck baddies, in the form of Angus MacFayden’s villainous Nicholas Quinn. Along the way he’s fought off Fulcrum, destroyed the Ring (sniggers) and beaten Alexei Volkov. All the while trying to deal with keeping his family safe, trying to get the girl of his (or anyone’s) dreams, trying to reconnect with his mother, trying to get over the death of his super spy father and still managing to maintain (don’t ask how) a day job at the Buy More. I don’t know about you, but all that trying would be enough to make anyone sweat.
Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak (the show’s creators) have given us a helluva lot of laughs over the years, but I sense that watching the penultimate episode of series 5 this week will make for nervous viewing. It’s been the same all season; enjoying everything while holding back tears from knowing that it’s all coming to it’s inevitable conclusion. Come next week those tears are going to escape from their optical prisons as we bid goodbye to a hero, a spy and ultimately… the coolest fellow nerd in the world.
Thank you Chuck for all that you have given. May your re-runs and DVD sales see you elevated to a much deserved higher position in the eyes of history.