Page 1 of 3
Chuck and his gang of merry nerds make one more super-spy adventure run before hanging up their hats....
Warner / 559 Minutes / 2011-2012 / Unrated / Street Date: May 8, 2012
Chuck (Zachary Levi) is a disturbing oxymoron: He's a cool nerd. At the center of his newly-finished-up eponymous series, this is a guy who showcases flashes of geekiness here and there, but is disquietingly well-dressed, refined, even good-looking. I mean, it's always reassuring to see dorks not marginalized to best-friend or dweeb-with-a-heart-of-gold supporting parts on television, but it feels like Chuck wants it both ways, and this lends the show an air of inauthenticity (or maybe I'm just jealous).
Actually, now that I've seen Chuck's complete narrative arc wrap itself up, I find myself with a newfound respect for the guy. Chuck as a series never had as much appeal that I thought it should, but as a final go-round, this Complete Fifth Season TV-on-BD compilation wraps up the show's remaining tendrils smartly and appropriately. When we left the show at the end of season four, Chuck had been fired from his place in Intersect, but that doesn't stop him from starting up his own business here, purchasing his Buy More store outright (now his front is really his front), and farming out his team's services on a case-by-case basis. It's a little clunky as a story device - for whatever reason, it feels more complex than it needs to be - but eventually, this Complete Fifth Season set returns us to the episode-by-episode Chuck adventures that we enjoyed when the show first arrived on the scene.
In fact, if there's anything that can be said about Chuck and its relatively long run, it's that it delivers what its fans found endearing in the first place. I always found the show to be a bit scattered at its dork core - I suppose my standards for nerd programming are outrageously high - but Chuck as a complete series never jumps the shark, never goes meta, never not feels like Chuck. Whether it's through strong supporting turns (personally, I'm a big fan of Chuck's sister (Sarah Lancaster), and her husband, Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin)), movie star cameos (bless you, Carrie-Anne Moss), or plain old steady TV storytelling, Chuck: The Complete Fifth Season totally works.
It's definitely not a show for everyone - look at all the trouble it had staying on the air - but Chuck lovers shouldn't hesitate to utilize this high-def box set to catch up on any episodes from the series' final lap that they might have missed during the season. I doubt that the show will be able to maintain any kind of major cult following or presence, but for now, with hiccups and all, let us praise Chuck. As a show, it may not have been much, but it stayed true to its major tenets through its multi-season run, which is more than can be said for most other major hour-long programs of late.