'Chuck': What We Loved (and Hated) About the Series

Television Without Pity

View photo

We've been frustrated with this last season, but there was a time when we found "Chuck" quite charming, so much so that we actually looked forward to each new episode. Now we're mostly glad that the series is finally ending. Here's what we've missed about the series, and what we won't once it's gone.

Loved: Chuck Was an Adorable Geek with an Intersect in His Brain
When the series began, Chuck Bartowski was just an ordinary video game enthusiast with a knack for fixing computers. He was working a dead-end job alongside his childhood best friend, with few dating prospects on the horizon. A dorky but lovable everyman who was totally relatable, but who, because he knew a fella named Bryce Larkin, ended up with all of the government's secrets implanted in his brain.

Hated: Chuck Stopped Being Nerdy
We were excited when the Intersect 2.0 gave Chuck a special kung fu grip, but sadly it meant that our little nerd had become a real action hero. He suddenly developed spy skills that he kept once the Intersect was removed from his brain. And instead of being a charming IT guy, he started his own company, landed a hot wife, and still went out on adventures. Long gone was the clumsy dope we loved so much.

[Photos: 40 of the Most Memorable 'Chuck' Guest Stars]

Loved: Sarah's Odd Jobs
Sarah's always been stunning, particularly in the parade of bikinis she's had to wear over the years. But we also loved seeing her make the Wienerlicious and Orange Orange costumes work. And the fact that she had to keep up her cover at those goofy fast-food joints.

Hated: Chuck and Sarah Got Married
We're not entirely cold-hearted, so seeing this couple get married might have made a fitting series finale. But their post-nuptial not-so-bliss was nothing but a drain on the show. The two bickered about keeping secrets and struggled to cope with their conflicting views of the future. It was remarkably annoying, and we far preferred the "will they or won't they" suspense of the earlier seasons.

Loved: Casey vs. Chuck
When Chuck first got the Intersect, he was more than a little inept when it came to the spy game, much to the disappointment of Casey. The gruff NSA agent always put down Chuck at every possible moment and constantly tried to get him sidelined. Still, with all the ribbing and jabs between them, Chuck torturing Casey (largely inadvertently) was responsible for a huge portion of the show's humor.

Hated: Casey vs. Morgan
Once Chuck became a full-fledged agent (and Casey's boss of sorts at Carmichael Industries), Casey had fewer issues with him and the abrasive but endearing relationship between them became an actual friendship. But since Casey still had to be rough around the edges, Morgan became his go-to irritant. While Morgan did a good job of being a pest, it seemed like Casey was just phoning in his annoyance.

Loved: Lots of Pop Culture References
We're always happy to get our geek on, and this show was filled with sci-fi and fantasy references galore. With its homages to movies (particularly the "Die Hard" tie-in during the Christmas episode) or the use of a "Tron" (the original, natch) poster as a secret hiding place for intel, this show intertwined mentions of current video games with movies from our childhoods effortlessly.

[Check Out More Photos of the 'Chuck' Cast]

Hated: Too Many Product Placements
It's not that we object to the product placements -- after all, the Subway campaign kept the show on far longer than anyone would have anticipated -- and ads built into shows are par for the course on TV these days. But there had to have been a more subtle, seamless way to integrate products than by having Big Mike talking about his $5 footlong all the time.

Loved: Great Guest Stars
In addition to the pop culture references, the show has been chock-full of cult icons and just really cool people, from Linda Hamilton to Christopher Lloyd to Scott Bakula to Chevy Chase to Brandon Routh. The show even made Nicole Richie seem pretty cool, which is no small feat.

Hated: Everyone Got the Intersect
The whole premise of the show was that Bryce put the Intersect into Chuck's brain because he knew that Chuck's capacity for code could handle it. But in the past season, the Intersect has turned into Halloween candy, where anyone who dons a pair of glasses can upload it. We're glad that the show is ending before Ellie's baby ends up putting on the glasses.

Loved: Keeping Secrets from Loved Ones
The whole great thing about spies is that they can lead those double lives. Watching Chuck try and maintain his family life and social life while balancing this whopper of a secret led to so very many near-misses that added plenty of drama as well as lighthearted moments to the show.

Hated: Everyone Is On Team Bartowski
By the time even Jeff and Lester found out that Chuck's a spy, they might as well have put up a billboard in the middle of Burbank to announce it. Morgan discovering the secret made a certain amount of sense, but when Ellie and Awesome were looped in, we knew the show was in trouble.

Loved: Jeffster! and Nerd Herd Humor
The first time we saw Jeffster! perform "Africa," we laughed out loud at the bizarreness of this duo. Same goes for when we witnessed the appalling, ridiculous behavior of the other Buy More employees. Perhaps it was the Fritos that we could practically smell wafting from the store's back room that made it all seem so appealing.

Hated: Too Much Jeffster! and Buy More
Jeffster! rocking a live performance at Ellie and Awesome's wedding? Fun. Jeffster! trying to make it as a real band? Too much. The Buy More getting destroyed repeatedly? Good times. The Buy More being shoehorned in as a plotline long after that cover story was really necessary? Not so good.

The series finale of "Chuck" airs Friday, 1/27 at 8pm ET on NBC.

More from Television Without Pity:

View Comments