Thursday, February 2, 2012

So Long, Chuck

Well, after five seasons, Chuck aired its series finale this past weekend.

Personally, I found it a little...lacking. I mean, it had its moments. As convoluted as getting Jeff and Lester to the concert hall was, when I realized where they were going with that, I certainly gave a hearty laugh. Their rendition of "Take On Me" was pretty fantastic. Also disturbing. But mostly fantastic. In true Jeffster fashion, really.

As far as the whole "Sarah's memory loss due to the Intersect" plot, it was really just all kind of meh, honestly. If I'm being truthful, I found the entire last season to just be increasingly ridiculous, and not the traditional fun Chuck brand of ridiculous. There were some genuinely wonderful character moments throughout the season, and even in the finale. Ellie and Awesome's swan song was one I particularly enjoyed. Because it felt like something those two characters had been building to over the course of the series in general and the season in particular. Even Casey and Morgan got nice sendoffs showing their growth as characters and as a result of the events of the series.

But Chuck and Sarah? They got totally shafted. This whole season they had been building to retirement from the spy life, going legit, buying a home to be a grownup couple in, and starting a family. That would have been a natural, wonderful, well-deserved ending for them. We didn't even need Sarah to be pregnant--just end with them making the down payment on their house and it would have been perfect. I think what the writers were trying to give them with this ending was a fresh start. Sometimes that is the right way to end a series. In this case, I would argue that it was exactly the wrong ending though. These two didn't need a fresh start. Their relationship, amazingly enough, was actually pretty solid and healthy (especially when we're talking television romance).

The whole thing was just jarring and it felt like a letdown to me. It would be forgivable had this been an unexpected series finale. But it wasn't. Everyone knew going into this season that it was the last. They had plenty of time to wrap up loose ends and craft a solid ending. Which is not what I felt we got. Instead they spent the season introducing all sorts of new concepts and craziness and it all felt disjointed. It's like instead of trying to craft an organic close to the series with the episodes they had left, they just decided to go full tilt and pull out every crazy idea they had left on the drawing board. Nothing really got room to breathe and grow and develop like it should have. So in the end we're just left with a big mess. It's kind of sad, because I fear that is how I am going to forever remember the show, as a big old mess. Which is a shame, because I remember there was a time when I used to truly enjoy and look forward to this show. Now, I'm really not that bothered that it's gone.

Chuck is definitely a show whose time had come. So, so long, Chuck. So long, Sarah and Morgan. Casey and Ellie and Awesome...I hope you all find happiness in that television heaven that is "happily ever after." Thank you NBC for a show that was at least entertaining for a while, and thank you for finally closing the chapter on it once it could no longer sustain itself.

On the bright side, my Friday evening DVR schedule just got a little less complicated. Dear NBC, can you please move Grimm to the seven p.m. slot so I can watch it live and still watch Fringe live too? That would be awesome. Oh man, Fringe. There's a show that I fear is also coming to its close, and this one I'm not ready to see go. Oh well, it's been a bubble show since it first came on the air. Maybe the universe will surprise us and we'll get lucky for one more season. I mean, yeah, it's Fox. But hey, who knows, right?

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