Change and Endings

I’m sure many readers here have figured out by now I’m probably the least philosophical of the regular authors at this site (hey its okay; nice thing about being prosaic, it doesn’t really bother you to get called on it).  But with the looming likelihood that this coming season will be the end of Chuck I’ve found myself thinking more than normal about the coming change and ending.

A particularly big piece of news for those of us living in the Ann Arbor area has been the coming demise of Borders Book Stores.  Latest news is that sometime in September they will shut their doors for good.  I have to confess to being part of the problem for them, I started making my book, music, and movie purchases from Amazon and iTunes years ago.  And I am a voracious consumer on all three counts, you can bet one or two of those items are at play in my life a majority of my waking hours.  But I can’t help but feel something has been lost.  I have so many fond memories of scouring shelves and music bins at the bookstore  or reading a magazine in the coffee shop (at least the coffee shops that have sweets and Coke products, I’m actually not a fan of coffee…)  And I know Barnes and Noble will carry on, for now.  But this is such a huge change of lifestyle.  I hadn’t given it much thought as neighborhood bookstores disappeared over the years; I’m of the “bigger is better” school of thought so I’m sure I was part of the problem for smaller retailers too.  But being a part of the problem doesn’t mean I’m unaware of what was lost, especially now when there may be no going back.  It just makes me a little sad.

I had second harder blow in the realm of business endings this week.  I’ve mentioned a few times that, prior to getting hooked on this darn blogging thing, I’ve been an active scale modeler (and war gamer).  I’ve long figured that whenever Chuck ends, I’ll get back to “normal” life and resume my long time favorite hobby.  Well, I still may, but the environment I do it in will never be the same.  Riders Hobbies, my long time supplier (I think my wife would say “pusher”) announced they were going out of business this week.  Obviously, I can build models without them; but I’ll have to organize myself differently as keeping my favorite paints, glues, and supplies in stock will now have to be done by Internet.  And I fear I was part of the problem here too, many years ago I made the switch to start making my big ticket purchases on-line.  But it really struck me when I stopped by the shop today (to pick up a few models I’d had on display there) that there was no going back; after getting scolded by a clerk for being a “stranger” (there’s no way its been two years since I stopped by; is there?) I realized there was a whole social structure at play there that would never be a part of life again.  I had taken for granted that my hobby, and this means associated friends, would all be waiting for me when I was ready to return.  I guess I was wrong. I wonder if I’ll ever feel the same about modeling, is that silly?

So the application to Chuck is obvious.  Barring something really unexpected, Chuck will end sometime early in 2012 never to return.  I’m really not ready for that, but change happens whether we’re ready for it or not.  I don’t know what the immediate impact will be.  I expect, within a few weeks of the end of the show we will all drift away.  We may want to write about the show and continue our community here for a few weeks, a couple of months tops; but we will drift away and this wonderful community will come to an end.  I can honestly say the community here will be a bigger loss to me than the show itself (hey, I said I wasn’t philosophical; but that doesn’t mean I’m not sentimental!).  I expect the fan fiction community will linger longer as many on-going works will need finishing; and I do look forward to that, but I’m not as involved there as I am here.  I will miss our discussions, teasing, and even arguments (I love planning out a reply to something I really disagree with!).  I will especially miss so many here that I’ve come to consider friends and allies.  I’ll even miss some of my regular sparring partners too!

I know this is a bit premature with another season of Chuck still ahead of us.  But this is where my mind’s been at lately.  And it will be a big change.  I don’t envision myself finding a new “thing” to blog about just because I love blogging.  Well, maybe if something else comes along that I can get really excited about; but much as I love scale modeling and war gaming those have always been mostly solitary interests to me, I’m not sure if blogging about it would ever feel the same.  There’s other shows I really like, but even Burn Notice, White Collar, and Castle I’ve only rarely looked at web sites and blogs.  I think the end of Chuck will be another big change and ending for me.

 – Dave

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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46 Responses to Change and Endings

  1. the shrink says:

    We will always have Omaha

    • atcDave says:

      That we will! And speaking of friends fading away, long time no see Shrink; I hope to hear some more from you when we start the home stretch.

  2. Am feeling the same way even though I’m not as faithful a so many others are. The end of an era.

    • atcDave says:

      I don’t recognize your name. Is this your first comment or have you used another name? Either way, its good to know I’m not the only one getting sentimental just now! and thanks for chiming in.

    • joe says:

      Hi, Elaine. Welcome to the conversation.

      The Chuck fans have been a vocal bunch – the NBC boards have been known to rock the intertubes, and twitter more than a couple of times. But they are a bit demanding about their TV entertainment too. They simply aren’t afraid to say so, and I’m not at all convinced they’re not being faithful.

      If we can encourage you to watch a few episodes that you haven’t seen, well then, our work here is done! 😉

  3. joe says:

    You just wrote the post I was going to write next year, Dave. My astronomy and music is to me what your modeling and books are to you. Yeah, there will be something coming around the pike – there always is, and we can take some solace in that. But not knowing what it’ll be is upsetting, however.

    But there’s something new in the universe, and that’s all this new-fangled social media. Get thee on Twitter or Google+ and you’ll find staying in contact is a bit easier. 😉

  4. Fogh says:

    You know dave I feel your sentiment, especially when it comes to new hobbies. End of chuck will mean, for me at least, the end of writing fanfiction. As for how long the ff community will exist after the show ends, we’ll see though I suspect there will be quite a few stories that will remain unfinished.

    • atcDave says:

      I have the same suspicions about unfinished work. I hope most wrap up in time (while the writers still have enough enthusiasm), and a trickle may continue indefinitely; look how many older shows do still have new stories pop up from time to time. But I think its inevitable that things will slow down greatly when the show ends, and it probably won’t remain a “community” in any meaningful sense.

      • Fogh says:

        I really share your hope, but I think we’ll see an interesting division, in the sense that those that wtite for hits and reviews will probably lose interest a lot sooner. Personally I don’t update nearly as often as i’d like, but whatever story I got running at that time will need to be completed(just hope Rome is long done by then)

      • atcDave says:

        NO! Are you suggesting your updates come slowly?!
        Your story and characterizations really are more sophisticated than most, it’s not surprising to me it might take longer to craft. I also hope Rome Assignment is long done, but I’ll enjoy every chapter.

      • Fogh says:

        Haha definitely slow. Crafting one of those chapters is a painstaking operation, spent a lot of time thinking things out in my head, before my fingers touch my notebook most of the story has practically already been written. That’s where most of the time goes, and that takes some energy. Add some health issues to that, and the relatively long chapters and you get slow updating lol. Next chapter was the same thing, was stuck for ages on this scene that really didn’t fit there, so I kept thinking and thinking, finally when I moved it to the chapter after that the scenes started falling into place.

      • ArmySFC says:

        Dave, nice piece. as for FF take heart, if the writers are as devoted as the people on this blog, the stories should continue for some time. i can list at least 5 fandoms off the top of my head that still pump out large amounts of stories, and they ended 2005 or earlier. that shows me dedication to a show, to keep it’s memory alive even though it has drifted into the night. you can only hope that Chuck has some of the same type of fans.

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks army, I hope you’re right about the longevity!

      • ArmySFC says:

        dave, off topic, but did you notice how close to APR Lot wife writes?

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah, a few others have mentioned that too. But you know I’m a Charah only reader.

  5. louzeyre says:

    On a certain level I’m more worried about the end of the fandom then the end of the show, as odd as that sounds. Then again, I still read Buffy and Veronica Mars fanfiction whenever I find a new story. Which will probably give you an idea of how long I could be typing away as long as there’s at least someone reading.

    • ArmySFC says:

      it makes perfect sense, well at least to me. the show itself keeps you entertained for an hour a week. going online or doing it in person, talking about it with others can entertain you for multiple hours. even if you do re-watches of a show it still pales compared to a re-watch then talking about it. sadly as dave said in about a years time most chuck sites will be closed or no longer updated, FF will wane and online friendships and rivalries will be no more. that will be felt more then the actual ending to the show.

    • atcDave says:

      Louzeyre I do have some hopes the fan fiction end of things will continue for a while. Obviously some things like Star Trek and Firefly have stayed very active with no show on the air. I don’t expect Chuck to achieve those heights, but it sure would be nice if something continued for a while.

  6. kristine c. says:

    ahh. geez. this is something I am trying not to think for now. almost like a taboo topic with in my mind. But I guess it’s great to have someone realized that for me: Chuck indeed is coming to an end.

    I agree with you. There are other shows that I like (Bones, Dexter, Fringe, Nikita, Games of Thrones, Big Bang Theory) but I don’t read reviews/recaps/fan-fiction/forums about them.

    Well. I’ve been following this blog since I’ve been a fan of Chuck. Though I usually don’t join the banters/conversations, I enjoy reading through the posts and comments sections. I hope that you guys will still keep this website though even after Chuck’s finale. I’m pretty sure time will come when I’d get sentimental about Chuck and watching it again won’t suffice…reading through your views and assessments of certain episodes will definitely help alleviate that feeling of nostalgia. — Knowing that there are people like you who understands this great attachment I feel for this show, it just feels wonderful. Almost keeps me sane. 🙂

    • joe says:

      Oh, thank you, Kristine.

      I’m not sure they’ll be any call for us to keep this site going indefinitely after Chuck is done. But I can assure you we won’t be disappearing immediately after the last episode. It’s our way of staying sane too.

      I’m also pretty sure that the six of us aren’t disappearing from the ‘net either. I’m gonna work on curing Dave of his twitter-phobia, and showing him the wonders of Google+ (I hear him saying “Fat chance!” even as I type). The rest of us are already pretty unavoidable on-line, except for Amy when she’s busy keeping the country safe for nerds like me.

    • atcDave says:

      I am sorry Kristine if I got you thinking about it too early! I don’t think its been decided how long the site will stay up, but I would guess as long as discussions seem active it will be here.

      • kristine c. says:

        oh if that’s the case I will try to interact as much as possible then. ^_^ and hmmm. I got to give Joe a backup. I think you’re the only one who has no twitter account here. I’ve already followed the rest. 🙂

      • atcDave says:

        I’m pretty sure if I added twitter to my Chuck related hobbies my wife would end me. She’s not naturally a violent person, but she’s made it clear she has limits…

  7. Faith says:

    The end of the “Chuck” era hasn’t hit me yet, I imagine it will soon enough…especially when the words “final” and “out” gets used more readily. That said, I’m morbidly looking forward to the end. I’m not the kind of person that can read fiction continuously (if that makes sense) I have to know that there’s an end point if for just the end of that story within that one novel and prolonging it isn’t entertaining for me. I’ve gotten off topic here but in some ways I’m very happy that we get our chance to say goodbye and knowing the end is somewhat a good thing but I’m still sad.

    As for the fandom, I’m sure it’ll whittle down to fewer and fewer groups but it’ll probably always be around. Just think of it this way, there are still people that are willing to talk Firefly here and there and that show’s been out of circulation for many, many years now.

    On Borders though, I have to say I was saddened by the news. Less sad, more devastated. I love Borders and although I too find that I purchase the bulk of my books now via kindle, etc. I still love physical books and being able to go into a store and hang out and read for a bit…well now I won’t get to do that with Borders. Sad.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah the Borders thing is sad. I still buy mostly physical books but I too can see that starting to change, it’s so easy when I travel or am just out for the day to have my library and computer all on my iPad. But I do love the feel of paper!

      I get that there will long be Chuck fans, and discussions will likely continue as long as we live; just like Star Trek and Firefly and many others will always be important to me. But once the show goes out of production it means no new official content, and things will never be the same. I’ll also miss seeing the cast together. Even if some of them do a later project or two together, it will also never be the same.

      • Faith says:

        I get what you mean Dave. Part of the fun for me is the anticipation, the spoilers and the post-episode reactions. We won’t have that post 13 and that’s awful. We can of course continue to rewatch episodes but that’s not the same.

        Of course we can always hope for a made for TV movie. Reunion movie FTW!

      • thinkling says:

        I agree, it won’t be the same. It’s sad to think of the cast split up and working on other stuff, sad not to have new Chuck’s to look forward to. I would wish for ff to continue to give some sense that CS are still out there … sniff.

        Books. I’m married to a bibliophile. I look at our 2500+ library and wonder why we still go to book stores, but we do. We all love books. We mostly patronize this great (and huge) used-books store … saves a lot of money. For fall-back, there’s always ebay and Amazon. The sentimental side of me likes physical books: holding them, marking them, fanning through he pages, and looking at them on the shelves. The practical side of me loves ebooks: having a library in my pocket at all times, carrying unlimited books back and forth to Brazil, back lighting, and font size adjustment :). (Calibre is a fantastic ebook library manager/converter) David is paper all the way. No ebooks for him. Often we end up with both the paper and e-version if it’s a book we both like.

      • atcDave says:

        Isn’t it funny how the cast going their separate ways seems sad? I mean, I’ve had a few jobs and I’ve left friends behind; but, for the most part, I’m not overly sad about it. Now I did used to do theater, and that was often sad when a show ended. Maybe I’ve got some sort of transference going on here. I remember watching the “making of” features in “The Lord of the Rings” deluxe sets and it struck me as really melancholy when they reached the end too.
        But I think many of us feel an emotional intensity towards this show that is uncommon (I mean, those of us who are even at this site feel something special, right?). We know we’re going to feel a real loss when it’s over. So we just expect the cast will too. I wonder if that’s true, or if its more like any other job that you can walk away from?

        I do hope the FF continues for some time. But even if it ends fairly soon, I consider us fortunate to have such a great amount of supplement to the show itself.

        I’m 50/50 on the paper vs e-book thing. I love the practicality of the e-books; but darn they don’t feel or smell the same! Although I also have a massive library (I haven’t counted, but your 2500+ sounds very reasonable to me…), and have to admit it presents a space and moving problem. This summer’s vacation may be the first time I’ve ever traveled without a physical book with me!

    • Gord says:

      Here in Canada, we have the Chapters and Indigo bookstores, and I love browsing the bargain bins. I do have an E reader now, but I still prefer reading real books. The e reader is more for when I travel.

      As for the end of Chuck, I’m still hoping that a few years from now there will be a very successful Chuck movie franchise. Look how well Star Trek did and it only lasted a few seasons on TV.

      • thinkling says:

        A movie would be great … or a series of made-for-TV movies, like Columbo and Mystery Woman, etc … a couple or four every year of the continuation of the Bartowski’s H2H meets ATm.

      • atcDave says:

        I’d like a lot Thinkling. It would be nice to get some tighter, self-contained stories that way too.

  8. Silvercat42 says:

    Chuck has a very special place in my life because I discovered it around the time I had a heart attack in Dec. 2008 and spent a lot of time in bed recovering. A friend of mine gave me a copy of the pilot and a few non-consecutive season one episodes that he had DVR’d, and I was hooked. I was able to get all caught up by Chuck vs. 3-D and haven’t missed an ep since.

    I must admit that I liked Season 3 much better than most fans did, probably because it was crucial to Chuck and Sarah’s evolution as a loving couple. But Season 4 is my favorite. Right now, I’m rewatching some eps I haven’t seen for awhile, and find I like them much better than the first time I saw them, such as the Jill and Cole arcs. My main reason was to see Yvonne acting as both a third wheel (the Jill arc) and as a woman interested in but not swept off her feet by James Bond.

    I, of course, am a Trekkie since the 60s and have attended over 20 cons around the country back in my early days. The last show I was this hooked on was Babylon 5. I did enjoy the remade Battlestar Galactaca until the last season when the storyline just went haywire as far as I was concerned. Chuck is totally different from either of those, being a multi-genre comedy-drama-romance show. And yes, I’m really going to miss it.

    • Silvercat42 says:

      Just a little while ago, I thought…. “wait a minute, even though NBC has insisted Chuck will end after 13 episodes, why can’t it come back on a cable network with a new name such as “Team Bartowski,” “Chuck and Sarah,” etc. and, perhaps, some cast changes (except for the core group)? Chuck ends, but a new Chuck show begins…

      A guy can dream, can’t he?

      • atcDave says:

        I hope for that too Silvercat. But I would say, the more talk about the end we hear the less likely that becomes. My guess is we’ll know for sure when they break production this season (early December at the soonest); then the studio will start making arrangements for the sets. If they start breaking stuff up it likely is all over.

    • Faith says:

      That is some story on getting into Chuck. I’m heartened to hear that you’re better and that Chuck did some part in it. Sort of ironic because to me one of Chuck’s strengths is that “heartwarming” factor and in your case almost literally ;).

    • joe says:

      Apologies, Silvercat. I meant to reply to this earlier too, but your words sent me so deep into personal space that I never really sorted out what I wanted to say.

      I’m with you about Babylon 5. That was the last show before Chuck to capture my imagination so strongly. Before that, The Wonder Years got me where I live.

      There’s something about how Chuck has affected people who’ve undergone a major change in their lives. For me, it was a metamorphosis that was like Chuck getting Intersected in miniature. Perhaps, for you it was the changes required by your heart attack. I hope there was an upside for you at least equivalent to the down.

  9. Gord says:

    Chuck is the only show that has gotten me so engaged. As much as I enjoyed the various Star Trek series, and Quantum Leap, I never was so wrapped up in those series that I felt compelled to engage online with other fans. Of course for the most part, the online community didn’t exist when those series were on the air. Even still, Chuck has been a unique experience for me both because of the fan community and how superb the show has been. I will truly miss both the show and the discussions and I doubt there will ever be another show that has such an affect on me. What am I going to do with all that free time?

    Funny I should read this blog the day after the last shuttle mission ended. Another end of an historic era, and I wonder if the space program in the US will ever capture the imagination of future generations like it captured mine. I was a boy when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, I only hope that we will see manned space exploration continue.

    I guess the only consistant thing in life is change.

    • atcDave says:

      We ‘re about the same age Gord, I remember that first moon landing well (my parents bought our first ever color TV for it!). It is indeed the end of another era.

      But I would also agree I’ve never been this engaged with a TV show before. I think Star Trek: TNG, Babylon 5, SG-1 are about the only shows that ever came close for me. Perhaps the Internet community feeds the passion, and I could have been more involved with those other shows if my enthusiasm had been fueled. But some of the passion has to come first. If Chuck hadn’t started when it did, I might (??) have gotten involved with the Burn Notice community. But I don’t know, Chuck seems pretty special and unique in my experience.

  10. atcDave says:

    Not sure how stumbled on this old post. Very amusing to see some slightly off base predictions. A few weeks! HA!

    I do sort of wonder how much the incomplete ending we saw contributed to this community lingering on like it has.

  11. revdr says:

    Way off the subject but I just read that The 1966-68 Batman series is to finally be released sometime in 2014. Now if they would only release The Wonder Years (with original music) my life would be complete…..

  12. Chris Byrnes says:

    As a late arrival to the series of Chuck. In fact so late that I Started half a year later after it ended. However, I have list of shows that make me stop and watch and even follow the actors after production is over and my top 5 series include A-Team, Knight Rider, Sons of Anarchy, Sopranos and finally Chuck. I use to include Dawson’s Creek to the list, but after watching Chuck it totally eliminated it from my must watch.

    What I love is the journey to love and when it comes to the journey it had its ups and downs.different love interest but to quote Jeff none of them put the sparkle in Charah’s eyes like each other. I

    This is why I have a problem with the last two episode of Season 5- The long journey of Sarah and Chuck to marry and want to have a life together and were ready to quit the spy life. for all that work to evaporate with a episode called Chuck vs Sarah and the Goodbye.

    It is not right to end a show with questions rather then answers- This is why I don’t like the ending to Sopranos- I don’t like loose ends.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah the incomplete or “artsy” ending is just terribly popular right now. Its the sort of affectation I’m sure will pass. Of course I’ve been saying that about the sort of overly long wt/wt sort of story telling for 30 years (like S3 of Chuck or S4 of Castle). Sadly, the damage is done for Chuck. Hopefully we’ll get a movie or mini series in a couple years that will do better.
      In the mean time, at least it triggered a slew of terrific fan fiction!

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