“The Show Really Grew Up This Week” (Chuck_Fan_In_MO)
A line from the music used in the Nacho Sampler episode has haunted me for days.
Ooh must be a lie –
Bye bye to the too good to be true kind of love
I was sixteen when I experienced that – a “too good to be true” kind of love. I guess that’s about right. Most of us go through that sometime. Unfortunately, I was much older when I finally understood, as the song says, that it’s a lie. What can I say? I’m a slow learner.
It’s hard – impossible – to understand that when you’re young, I think. It’s impossible to feel that it’s a lie. And it should be. The cathexis (that’s a real word) you discover in youth is special. It’s something wonderful. You grow out of it. You have to. There’s good news, of course. You can grow into something deeper and more meaningful.
In case you’re young and wondering what I’m talking about, for me real love is my 80 year old dad and 78 year old mom happily taking care of each other after raising six healthy children, surviving 57 years of marriage and still enjoying each other’s company. Lusting after a good looking 28 year old is easy compared to that. Literally, it’s child’s play.
After watching this week’s episode, it seems we got a real good dose of that part of reality, that thing called The Truth ™. If you go back and re-watch some of the season 1 episodes the way we were invited to by the use of scenes from the pilot, they might look far less realistic to you now. The characters will look less real, too, almost cartoonish, in a way.
Heh. Using the word “real” to describe a nerd who programs his own version of Zork and has a supercomputer downloaded into his brain and a super-hot, knife throwing, ninja of a spy still seems odd and a bit silly. But we let ourselves believe in that world. It became very realistic to most of us very quickly. Somehow, somewhere we found The Truth ™ embedded in the story, a truth we could believe in despite all the fiction. For almost all of us, that was Chuck and Sarah and what they meant to each other. They were perfect.
And they were helping each other grow; Chuck, away from his debilitating failure at Stanford (and with Jill), Sarah from her grifter childhood and from the scars left by the sins of her father. Oops. There’s the problem. They have to grow and change, and that means they weren’t so perfect after all. That’s relationship counciling 101, pretty serious stuff. It was silly fun before, but nothing we’ve seen lately has been silly, except Jeff and Lester. If you’re not absolutely moon-struck by the fantasy world that’s been created for you, it’s even possible to believe the heresy that Chuck and Sarah aren’t ready for each other, and may never be. OMG! It’s the last episode of The Wonder Years all over again (ooohhh Noooo!).
It’s not. The characters of Chuck and Sarah are indeed maturing. And all you have to do is ask yourself if you think the direction of their growth is towards or away from each other. You can argue and complain about the pace, but you don’t have to be a ‘shipper to know that the false dawn of passion that was so exciting in season two is going to be followed by the real thing. The desire to throttle TPTB for that false dawn is understandable, though.
I can’t help but feel that these characters are not fictional any longer, in the sense that they in anyway represent perfect, unattainable ideals. Despite intersects, mad lock-picking skills and very large firearms, they are very much like the imperfect and perfectly great people I know. They’re not anything like the pseudo superman and hero I wanted to be as a child (and wasn’t that fun!). They are more like the way I try to be every day as an adult.
It’s uncommon that a television show makes you hold yourself to a higher standard by dint of the good people you see in it, and gets you to regret it when you don’t.