Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chuck vs. The End

So that's it. Chuck has finally finished. In some ways I'm sad, in others not so much. The first two seasons were tremendous telly, and this last season has been pretty damn special too. At least it got to end properly. Part of the problem has been the writers treating each half season as their last, only to receive a last minute reprieve from the networks. This wasn't more obvious than the first half of Season 3, which ended beautifully, only for them to get a further six episodes and the staff seemed to scramble for a suitable storyline.

Its probably why season 5 has been so good, for once they actually knew this was the end and it was time to draw a line under it all.

I originally came to Chuck due to one of my invalid periods. My flatmate recommended it and he had seasons 1 and 2 and since I couldn't move off the sofa I figured what the hell. I was 100% caught up before my ability to walk was returned to me. The show's concept of a nerd who becomes a spy is some serious wish fulfilment for me right there. Throw in Jayne Cobb as your back up and the ridiculously hot Yvonne Strahovski in too and it's TV gold.

Unfortunately the ratings never supported that and every year after it's second Chuck struggled to stay on the air. Through the hard work of the fans with such campaigns as Chuck vs. the Finale Footlong which saw fans buying a footlong sandwich at Subway in thanks to their product placement during the show. It was enough to get half a third season. Then a full third season. That ball just kept rolling till last year.

It seems that the ever present spectre of Death hanging over them affected the stories a little. As I mentioned before quality did slide after the half season 3 cliffhanger, and during season 4 I nearly gave up on Chuck. Probably would have done if my flatmate wasn't still watching. The Chuck/Sarah relationship started stretching a little bit as the Will they? Won't they? was answered but then had to back track. Finally realising that they couldn't drag it out any more and seeing how it worked with them as a couple was a brave move, plenty of shows have fallen down at that point, but it succeeded and the show started to claw back some of it's former glory.

Then NBC finally said “OK 13 more episodes and you're done.” I figured I might as well too, only 13 episodes then I'd have seen it all. Bloody Hell am I glad I did. The writing team certainly stepped up to it. Instead of worrying that it might be their last, they embraced it. The quality went through the roof, easily matching season 1 and 2 at their best, maybe even exceeding it.

Then there was the finale. It could have been all too easy for Chuck to go out in a saccharine sweet ending. Some characters did get that, but there was a shade of tragedy over the whole thing. One thing it did do was wrap up nearly every single character and move them on. Well except two people, but lets be honest, it's clear they did too. Right now I'm thinking it's one of the best endings to a TV series I've ever seen. Admittedly I'm just over 12 hours from watching it and the tears may still be ruining my vision but honestly it was done brilliantly.

So when's the reunion movie?
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