Last night my favorite show on TV ended. A show that my entire family would set aside Monday nights for, and while I was away in school, we would talk about the next day. A show I got my fiance hooked on after just showing him the pilot. A show repeatedly saved by loyal fans through Subway sandwich campaigns (you heard that right) and a Twitter campaign that has begun to ask questions about how accurate Nielsen ratings really are. I am of course talking about NBC’s Chuck. Starring Zachary Levi (some of you may know his voice as Flynn Rider of Tangled), Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin (of Firefly fame), it was a show that defied genre. Which is probably why it was always gaining fans, but never exploded.
The great thing about Chuck himself was that he was a nerd. A normal, average guy who constantly felt he didn’t live up to his potential. He started the show working for $11 an hour as a Nerd Herder in the Buy More (aka a Geek Squad member at Best Buy), and then his life changes forever when an old college friend sends him an email that literally downloads all of the government’s secrets into his brain. The next day, a beautiful woman walks into the Buy More to have him fix her phone, and then asks him out. For Chuck, everything in his life just got a lot more interesting.
We spend five years watching Chuck work in the CIA, first as an asset and then as a full-blown agent with killer moves. But he was always grounded, always looking for a normal life and just wanted to finally admit to Sarah that he was really in love with her, not just cover in love. But what was great is we got to know each of the characters well, and got to watch all of them grow. Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) softens and lets herself trust and put down roots. Casey (Adam Baldwin) grunts his way through many episodes, but he too is affected by his assignment with Chuck. Add the difference in Chuck’s best friend Morgan (who was annoying in the first season, but grew to be indispensable) and even Chuck’s family – sister Ellie, brother-in-law Devon aka Awesome, and his parents – add to the realism of the show’s fantasy. It was a character and action-driven show, which is what made it so amazing.
It still baffles me that more people weren’t watching Chuck. It combined everything a good show needed: action, romance, comedy, intrigue and mysteries, and quirky nerd culture. Ok, I feel that a good show needs a little bit of nerd in it. It had such a wide-range of characters that everyone could relate to one (though if you relate to Jeff and Lester, you might want to seek help). The show also had one of the most likeable leads I have ever seen, and I can’t imagine anyone other than Zachary Levi for that part.
I honestly can’t remember another show I was this sad to see leave the air. I don’t think there will be one that really connects with its fans like Chuck. While it was wonderful for NBC to give us a last season to wrap things up, it’s still sad for the millions of us that watched that our weeks will not bring us a new adventure with Chuck and Sarah.
– For those of you interested, co-creator Josh Schwartz sums up here.