Chuck: One Season Too Far?

Sarah and Chuck

Sarah and Chuck

I absolutely loved the way Chuck ended! And then they made a fifth season…

This awesome show was every geek’s dream. Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) was an average nerdy guy going through his daily routine working at the Nerd Herd (TV version of the Geek Squad) inside Buy More (TV version of Best Buy). When a top secret government file gets downloaded into his brain, he suddenly becomes an asset to the NSA and CIA, which send people to protect him. The NSA sends John Casey (Adam Baldwin), a hilarious Rambo-type tough guy who’s not afraid to break his own thumbs to escape a set of handcuffs. The CIA sends Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski), a drop-dead gorgeous agent that any geek would dream to have as his handler.

This was an action show, but it was full of comedy, references to all things Geekdom, gorgeous girls, tough guys and actually really sweet moments. The show worked because we watch Chuck and Sarah fall in love slowly. We all root for them from the very start, especially the geeks out there that fantasize about the hottie falling for them. But even when Chuck gets the girl, he lets her go to do something that he finds more important, become a real agent. Throughout season 4, we see them grow even closer. That season is full of romance and tenderness that works because, after that much time, it’s not so inconceivable that Sarah could look past the dork she saw at first and see Chuck as a person worth loving.

The fans saw the potential for this show early on. When NBC was thinking about cancelling it after season 2, they began a Save Chuck campaign, buying footlong Subway sandwiches on show nights to support Chucks sponsor. Other fans sent boxes of Nerds candy to NBC executives encouraging them to support a nerd like Chuck. It worked and Chuck stuck around.


Season 4 had the super-mega happy ending. It was perfect. The couple was together, they were rich and going into business for themselves, everyone was happy, and there was a little tease about Morgan (Joshua Gomez) gaining the Intersect brain download that Chuck had. Fun! You feel the characters were in good hands for the future. Then the future came.

Season 5 hits and it doesn’t feel like the same show anymore. The humor and character quirks are still there for most of the cast, but when they stray away from their typical behavior, they become less interesting. Morgan turns into a jerk, which was funny for a few minutes, but rapidly became annoying because we all liked Morgan the way he was. That gets solved just in time to have Sarah forget everything that’s happened over the last five years. Now, all the time we invested watching them fall in love in down the drain and we just feel really bad for Chuck the rest of the season. And to top it off, it never really gets solved, leaving us uncertain about the future. Definitely not awesome.

Don’t get me wrong. It was still a great show. It just lost a bit of what made it work so well. I still love it, and the next time I go through the whole series again, I will likely even go through season 5 again. It just felt so nicely wrapped up at the end of season 4.

What about you, Chuck fans? What did YOU like about the show? Who were YOUR favorite characters?

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