The Long Goodbye – Pt. 1

The Fat Lady Isn’t Singing, But She Is Warming Up

No, it’s not over for us yet, so don’t despair. We have nine episodes left to see. But as Yvonne noted days ago, the end of Chuck is here for the cast and for many of the crew.

I’m amazed that many of the other cast members have tweeted about this. I guess I shouldn’t be. Zac and Josh have always admitted to being techo-nerds, and twitter is where the action is at the moment (I’m sure that’ll change tomorrow). That explains why they tweeted. I always suspected that, as a group, they were the sentimental sort (ya hear that, Adam? U 2!). So the mention of tears is not surprising to me at all.

I don’t think I’m invading their privacy, but in passing, I’ll say that I suspect there’s bitter-sweet truth behind Josh’s and Zac’s humorous lines.

These people are a bit special, aren’t they? Ernie wrote a marvelous piece just recently about how the business model for television has changed. One other thing that’s changing, I think, is the relationship between the stars and the fans. They have to be much more accessible than they ever were before. Of course, the cast of Chuck has been on the front lines of this revolution (that’s what it is, really) by being so involved with social media. And boy, have they been involved.

Well, the stars of many other shows do that too. But these guys really want communicate with the fans, and that is something I find unique and amazing. I must say, getting a personal response back from any of them is a joy – and it’s not particularly uncommon.

The fear is that we’ll miss that joy in the future, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’ve seen for years now that the fans of Chuck are an engaged group. We recognize plainly that this comes from the top. It starts with Zac Levi, of course, who’s made a habit of spreading his energy to the rest of the cast, guests, crew and fans. It’s harder to see, but I believe that he gets this from many places (family and friends, most certainly) and from people we’ve been routinely calling TPTB. Yeah, some are studio execs, much more concerned about the bottom line and “the next big thing” than about the health and welfare of one little show (much less the satisfaction of the fans). But some, Chris Fedac and Josh Schwartz among them, are more than business men. We’d know if they didn’t care about the fans, because Zac and Yvonne and the rest would stop caring after a few 16 hour days of shooting. The work world will do that to you. So if this is a “good-bye, for now” to the cast and crew, I want to extend that to those whose faces we didn’t see so often.

Their faces may not be as pretty, but I’m convinced their hearts are.

Sarah: You know, someday, when the Intersect is out of your head and you have the life you always wanted, you’ll forget all about me.
Chuck: I seriously doubt that.

But like I said, it’s not done for us yet. We may be seeing Zac and Yvonne and Josh and Adam and the rest move on to bigger and better things, but Chuck, Sarah, Morgan and Casey aren’t gone yet.

– joe

Quick Update: I’ve been hoping to see this for days, and almost thought it wasn’t going to happen. We’re going to see Mama B one more time.

As a special gift to Chuck fans, Linda Hamilton will return as Chuck’s mama, Mary Bartowski, for the show’s two-hour series finale, airing January 27.

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About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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44 Responses to The Long Goodbye – Pt. 1

  1. You, Joe, are on my list. I post a message about how the farewell twitters are depressing, and then you go do this. Oh, and if you really want to rub it in, there is…

    Goodbye to Mekenna Melvin: http://s1-05.twitpicproxy.com/photos/large/461485311.jpg
    A sign of the apocolypse: http://p.twimg.com/AfZOK9ECIAEjOow.jpg:large

    I need some positive spin. Somebody is supposed to be yelling, “No worries! After tomorrow, we have Chuck every single week!”

    • Verkan_Vall says:

      John Casey with a Hello Kitty geetar?

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Demn you, Jeff.

      • I say, ‘sign of the apocolyspe’ and you clicked the link. I think you need to take some personal responsibility for that one.

        I can only imagine/hope that immediately after that picture, he threw the guitar into the display behind him. Of course that would mean the Buy More set is being torn down, so I’m still not sure how I feel about that.

      • herder says:

        Made me think of the scene in Animal House of John Belushi with the guitar, in the next scene Casey destroys it.

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        You put an active link to the beginning of the end of the world as we know it and I’M supposed to take responsibility?

        ….

        Well, OK. I’m old enough to know that there are some windows you just don’t look through, no matter what you see or hear.

        I’m with Herder though; I’d love to see a scene where John Casey goes belushi in front of sales reps from Hello Kitty’s mother company.

    • joe says:

      Now that’s the John Casey we always knew he could be. 😉

      I hope I’m on your “good” list, Jeff. And yup. We have Chuck every week from now until the grand finale, and that includes the mothers-in-law. I have a feeling it’s going to be the best we’ve seen yet.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Knowing Casey he just wants the guitar strings to garrote someone. Maybe angel de la muerte has a theme song… and Hello Kitty was the closest guitar…

      OK, I got nothing, it’s the apocolypse…

  2. atcDave says:

    This is shaping up to be a meloncholly couple of days. I do wish the best for all of them.

  3. Holly Love says:

    5 great years but I still want more.

  4. Its too bad the the film production is coming to an end – while we still have another whole week of grieving the end before another episode…. I’m sure that wasn’t planned –
    Fans are hanging on every comment and photo tweeted from the cast and crew… and as you [joe] so eloquently pointed out – there is such a wonderful connection…. really – a sense of family.
    I loved the short little game of #FAVChuckMoments that went around a few days ago –
    It started to break up the somber mood…. I was thinking about the first time I watch Jeff eat that pink urinal cake…. ” No, you were only supposed to touch it”… I have never laughed so hard and so long at anything …. ever…. TV or otherwise.
    ~ and yes – I’m very thankful that we’ll be uninterrupted right through to the 2 hour finale!
    ~ and my mind is reeling about the return of MEB…. and this conspiracy thing… and Decker…. and John Casey in a suit… and … and … and…… What has two thumbs and can’t wait? [ this guy]

  5. lappers84 says:

    I honestly don’t think there’ll be a better show on TV once Chuck is finished. Dammit just looking at those tweets has me feeling immensely sad. #Shakes it off# OK so we still have the rest of the series to go and hopefully it’ll just get more epic.

  6. Leigh says:

    I’ve never had this experience of following along with a cast and crew as they wrap for good. Buffy ended and Farscape ended and it was super sad! But it’s nothing compared to reading the tweets and seeing the photos of beloved actors finishing up a long-running show (and in this day and age 5 years is pretty long and lucky considering how many shows get three episodes).

    It’s heartbreaking! And it makes you want to do your best to make sure no show has to go through this. That they all just keep going.

    Or…y’know…fly to LA and steal a piece of the Buy More set…

    But mostly it’s just sad!!!!

    And it’s not even 8 am here!

    *sniff* *is now emotional* I just found this show like five months ago… *pout*

    • Ah, Farscape. The bunny suit in Chuck vs. Business Trip immediately reminded me of Crichton and Harvey fighting in bunny suits in the Farscape finale. Farscape was another action/comedy/drama that is hard to classify. The comedy was even more over the top than Chuck (a couple of the main cast were from the Henson Creature Shop), the drama had higher stakes (cast members died regularly), the sci-fi was more overt, but had less science than Chuck.

      Farscape ended the opposite way from Chuck. Going into season 4 production, SciFi promised them two more seasons. Then they changed their minds around the time of production of the last show. So much for the planned 5th season. The last episode’s last commercial break had a national “Save Farscape” ad bought by fans, which I still think is more impressive than Chuck’s Subway campaign. The fans became a show advertiser, helping to directly fund the (cancelled) show. If the show ended there, it would have had a nice ending. After the last commercial break it had a few more minutes a possible perfect ending. Then an unknown alien attacked, appeared to kill off the lead two characters, and the series ended. It should have been depressing, but instead, I cheered. It felt like a big ‘Frell You!’ from the Farscape producers to SciFi channel execs. It worked, too, because Farscape got a mini-series to resolve the story. The story has continued in comics, written by one of the main show writers, but that is not quite the same. In the end, I felt a little disappointed, but mainly satisfied and not sad.

      At this point, I can only hope Chuck will have a satisfying ending (without killing off Chuck and Sarah). These twitter posts leading up to the end are much more depressing. A good final run can turn that around. Farscape’s best season was its third, but some of the best episodes were the last four. But also hopefully, Chuck does have a main cast member die like one did in Farscape’s mini-series finale.

      • Leigh says:

        I screamed at my TV when that “To Be Continued” lit up on the screen of the Farscape season 4 finale. I was distraught. I scared my parents, until my dad realized what was going on and laughed.

        And you’re right, all that Save Farscape stuff was amazing. I think the fans were so enraged at being tricked into thinking there would be a few more seasons, that they immediately sprung into action.

        I agree that I hope we get a death like Farscape had…and by that I mean, pretty much the same death. I’m convinced that the most fitting end for Casey is a warrior’s sacrifice. It would be super sad, but really good TV I think.

      • Ah! I mean I hope Chuck does NOT have a main cast member die. My subconscious killed Casey!

      • atcDave says:

        I can see a good death scene for Casey being perfectly fitting; but I hope they don’t do it. I’d rather see happy endings all around. Well, maybe not for Lester…

    • Ernie Davis says:

      The funny thing is, personally, I’m not that emotional about the end of the show. I’m sad to see it go but the natural progression was pointing toward a completed journey for all the characters, and I’m glad they got a definite end date to wrap things up properly. Now here’s hoping they wrap things up properly. I’ll be sad to not see them all interacting in interviews, or tweets, or in blooper reels anymore, but I’ll gladly continue to follow all of them and their careers individually. And I still want Adam Baldwin to play the crazy gym teacher on Community next season.

      I do however feel very sorry for the cast and crew. When you think about it they all had their dream job. From what we hear they all got along famously, had a blast (despite the insane hours) and got the chance to do some outstanding work, and that is going away. For them in one sense it’s got to be like a college graduation, the most important people in your life for the last few years will become old friends you occasionally run into, but the next chapter of your life is about to start. It’s got to be sad, exciting, and scary all at the same time. But it’s also got to be more emotional, especially for the actors who have invested so much of themselves in those characters to be moving on from that wonderful world and those friends they created. But in the end, I think that world they created will last, and people will still be watching Chuck when shows like House or HIMYM and TBBT are just a fading memory.

      • jason says:

        Ernie – I am not that upset about the end either, I might even be convinced to admit I am happy it is ending, for me that is. I do agree it is sad for the actors, crew, and support staff, who have to go out and find new jobs. But I think many of them will find better jobs, using what they learned from Chuck about how to do it right, in order to create better entertainment in the future.

      • Faith says:

        I’m really more sad for me. I think the guys, especially Yvonne and Zac are ready to move on.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well I’m sad for you too Faith, and for all the fans (including me) who won’t have new episodes of Chuck to look forward to, but it couldn’t last forever and I think we got the best possible situation and timing for the end (except for maybe getting a full 22 episode season up front).

      • Faith says:

        Can’t say I disagree, for every sunrise, there’s a sunset (insert cliche here). 😦

      • dkd says:

        The show was on the precipice of cancellation so many times in which I already accepted its demise, that this ending doesn’t sadden me at all.

        I’m really glad they got to go out like this with certainty of the ending and not question marks. The show itself has gone so far storywise that I don’t have any “coulda woulda shoulda” feeling about it. I think it has gotten to tell all its major story arcs even before this season started.

    • Verkan_Vall says:

      Farscape!!! Boy, I miss that show, and you’re absolutely right, Jeff, it is very hard to classify. Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, Gigi Edgely, Tammie MacIntosh, Bianca Cheminello (who guested on Chuck once)….

      Sigh.

      And Lord, do I miss despising Ben Browder. Heh, getting a chance to needle him on the Farscape Bulletin Board on Scifi.com was half the reason I got up in the morning some days.

      I heartily recommend a look at Farscape for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. An all-around great show.

      • AAAAAHHHH! How did I miss that the psycho elfin queen was the chick with the stiletto in her wrists?

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Well, if you had spent less time tormenting various percussion instruments and more time stalking talented Australian actresses, you wouldn’t have this problem, would you?

      • Leigh says:

        *giggle*

        Rumor has it Browder is guesting on Chuck in one of the last episodes. Though how you can hate a man who wears leather pants so well, I will never know. 😉

      • Verkan_Vall says:

        Gah! If there is one thing guaranteed to send me screaming over the edge, it’s a discussion that brings up Ben Browder and his stupid leather pants. I would enjoy seeing him in Chuck though, the man does have a talent for comedy.

        But what do you expect from a guy who is Marty Feldman’s love child.
        (the resemblance is unmistakable)

  7. More goodbyes…
    I can’t believe they kept this one around: https://twitter.com/#!/JoshuaEGomez/status/142478567337496577
    The saddest one yet. (and look who’s not in jail): http://twitpic.com/7mzduj

  8. Shepperd of Lost Sheep says:

    Hmm. I don’t know about you. But I’d bid on the Tron poster.

  9. SarahSam says:

    I’m with Ernie, while I’ll miss the show immensely, I’m not too sad about it. It was the best show I’ve ever watched. I want Zach, Yvonne and everyone else to have the opportunity to stretch their creative wings. If there is ever a chance for a “Chuck” movie (network or cinema) I’m certain they will be very loyal. I’m looking forward to syndication. The fact that there will be no weekly “angst” between episodes in my opinion can only help the legend of “Chuck” grow.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’m waiting for all the new fans to start showing up a few months after the show ends going “why didn’t I know this show was on!?!”.

  10. SarahSam says:

    Of course, there is always the possibility that when the finale is truly here, I’ll bawl like a baby. LOL!!!

  11. Faith says:

  12. amyabn says:

    I am very sad at the ending of such a great show, but I echo the sentiment that at least they are going out on their own terms. We as fans have been through the trenches for this show and somehow this seems bigger than just the end of a show. Hope that makes sense! This show has made some not so pleasant, other side of the planet locations (deployments) so much better and bearable. For that, I will be eternally grateful.

  13. herder says:

    Last day of filming and the cast wrap-up party today, expect some sad tweets later this evening.

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