What The CHUCK: Scott Krinsky, Mekenna Melvin, Ryan McPartlin, Joshua Gomez, and Vik Sahay Reflect on 91 Episodes of Awesome!

chuck cast

Series finales are extremely tricky. They can either leave you with no closure and ruin character development that was built throughout the show.  But on the other hand, it could show you the characters that you grew to love get the happy ending they’ve always dreamed of.  Personally, I hate both of those types of endings.  The finales I adore most are the ones that leave us with something to think about.  They make you ask “what if” and give the audience the option of deciding the fate of their beloved characters’ lives.
 
The series checked out after ninety-one episodes, leaving its mark on television and igniting a spark in fans everywhere.  “Chucksters” were outraged that they would no longer get to cozy up with their favorite intersect every week.  Much like Agent Bartowski, CHUCK had more to it than meets the eye.  CHUCK wasn’t just a comedy or an action packed primetime series; it was so much more than that.
 
It was clear from the beginning CHUCK wasn’t just about a computer nerd who accidentally downloaded a classified government computer in his head.   The show’s main plot was the love story of Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah. (Yvonne Strahovski) Mission after mission they would try and put off their obvious attraction towards each other until there finally was no more back and forth or on and off.  Every fans dream had come to life, Sarah and Chuck were finally going to get their perfect ending, or so they thought. 
 
It sounds like a broken record, when critics say, “this show was ahead of it’s time.” when trying to justify why it didn’t last as long as it should have.  With CHUCK the longevity of it was not the problem, CHUCK had a great run, and an episode count that network execs today would kill for.  The problem was not many people knew about this wonderful little show.  CHUCK developed a cult following almost immediately after it started airing and still has a tight grip on its fans three years after it left the air.  There’s a reason people still talk about this show and are ferociously devoted to it.  This show never strayed from its true form; it was always a comedy but it also had such intense dramatic elements.  More than anything this little show that could, had heart; This show could have easily taken the cheesy route like most shows often do, but it didn’t.  It was new, exciting and addictive.  It gave the audience what they wanted and then ripped it out from them, but somehow found a way to give it back to them in an even better way.  CHUCK had the ability of making the audience happy while not giving them full control of the story, a quality that’s very hard to find nowadays on TV.  This show was one of a kind and was a true gift to television, in honor of the 3rd anniversary of the shows beautiful and brilliant finale I caught up with some of the shows most beloved cast members.  I chatted with Actors, Scott Krinsky, Mekenna Melvin, Ryan McPartlin, Joshua Gomez, and Vik Sahay about their favorite CHUCK moments, a possible movie, and why the finale worked so well.
 
What was your initial reaction when you signed on? 
Vik Sahay: Well, when I first signed on, Lester was a speck of dust in the pilot. I had just lost the part of Morgan to Josh Gomez.  So I honestly thought okay, nothing ventured nothing gained kind of thing.  Then I found myself on set with McG directing and there was a palpable crackle that day, and I salivated right there. I improvised a button for the scene I was in, he and Josh (Schwartz) and Chris (Fedak) totally got it and we were off.  I left Canada and followed the trail into the Buy More.  And no, I had never been a part of something like that.  I mean there was a special pulp quality to the characters in their dead end jobs that I did find hilarious and lovable.  The creators gambled right in such a deep way. People swooned. It was a beautiful thing, so innocent and open hearted, the opposite of cynical.
 
Joshua Gomez: As soon as I read the pilot, I knew it was awesome and I was in! It’s hard to know though, what will resonate with people and become a hit.
 
Mekenna Melvin: I had seen a few episodes of the show, and then when I signed on I had a weekend where I marathoned all of the episodes and I fell in love with the whole storyline.  It was kind of a gift for me because I became such a huge fan.
 
Scott Krinsky: No, just because I didn’t know too much about the direction of the show as far as my character wasn’t originally a series regular.  Everything that happened to me and Vik (Sahay) with Jeffster, and a few others weren’t regulars to begin with, so we had no idea what was to come. 
 
Ryan McPartlin: My first reaction was to call my agent to get me another job because I thought there was no way that NBC would take a risk on a show that was so outside of what I thought was typical broadcast programming. I give everyone who was at NBC and Warner Brothers television a lot of credit for keeping CHUCK on the air for five seasons. 
  
What was your favorite Chuck episode? 
Vik Sahay: I have to say the birth of Jeffster in “Chuck VS The Best Friend,” because of all that it wrought. It brought the band out of the garage and into the world.  How many people have these secret creative lives that never see the light of day? The whole thing was like a fantasy of what could happen if those parts of us were unleashed.
 
Joshua Gomez: This is always an interesting question because I probably view episodes with a different criteria than a fan may. For me, I recall certain memories or episodes that were particularly fun to make. “Chuck VS The Beard” was really exciting.  Zac  (Levi) was directing, and I was thrilled for Morgan to finally find out Chuck’s secret.  So many stand out to me.  Shooting the Pilot was magical, “Chuck VS The Honeymooners” and “Chuck VS The First Fight,” are a few more that come to mind. 
 
Mekenna Melvin: I had a lot of fun doing “Chuck VS The Curse” with the pants box.  That was a really fun episode for me because I felt like it was one of the first episodes where I really got in on the spy stuff.  It was one of the first scenes where I got to hold a big gun. (laughs)
 
Scott Krinsky: When we got into Jeff’s background and his history those ones were always my favorite and the first time Jeffster performed, where we did “Africa.”  That one always kind of stays in my mind, and the Pilot, I still remember the first day showing up and shooting scenes with Vik, Zac, and McG our director.  I still vividly remember it and have great memories of that day.
 
Ryan McPartlin: The one that stands out is “Chuck VS Operation Awesome.” We all loved getting in on the spy action but what I miss most is the laughter and the tears in the Woodcomb/ Bartowski household. It was a pretty special place whether the cameras were rolling or not. 
 
What was your favorite Jeffster moment? 
Vik Sahay: Pretty impossible to narrow it down to one, but just thinking in the moment, today I’ll say the experience of shooting the Blaze of Glory video, it really took us into some pretty surreal territory. Whenever I see it, it shocks me with its absurdity and its glory.
 
How was doing the first Jeffster performance? 
Vik Sahay: When I sang ‘Africa’, I was nervous, finding my way, much in parallel to Lester, but nothing compared to ‘Fat-Bottomed Girls’ ~ Our first appearance at Comic-Con was mythic.  I was terrified and sick with terror. The crowd swelled, the cast rallied behind us, I barely remember it, but it was beyond reality in a good way.
 
Scott Krinsky: It was great it was a rush!  It was nerve wracking though because we didn’t know how it would be received.
 
What storyline surprised you the most during your time on CHUCK? 
Vik Sahay: Well, I would have to go behind the “limelight” of the band and recall the moment when Lester realized he was going to lose Jeff as he grew brilliant with health and resorted to trying to keep poisoning him with exhaust to keep him close. That’s when you know you love someone, when you secretly expose them to noxious fumes.
 
Joshua Gomez: More importantly, what surprising storyline didn’t make it into CHUCK? Morgan and Ellie – helllloooo?
 
Mekenna Melvin: I think that was the coolest thing about the show.  It’s such a testament to the writing that every time I got a script I was so shocked by it.  Just when you thought the characters could go one way they surprised you every time!
 
Scott Krinsky: There are so many great storylines.  I loved when we started getting in on the surveillance and learning about Chuck.  The bachelor party episode was great. The Christmas episode where we were all stuck at the Buy More was great!
 
Ryan McPartlin: I was delightfully surprised when Morgan became the Intersect. I could’ve watched him act like that douchey jerk for an entire season. It was hilarious!
 
In the final episodes we saw Chuck make some tough decisions regarding Sarah.  Do you think the ending would have worked the way it did if Chuck had used the last intersect upload on Sarah?  What was your initial reaction when you read the finale?
Vik Sahay: I loved it.  I loved that they meet again and there is a mystery, a vague sense of something that has happened before. In life, when we meet a soul mate for the “first” time, it feels like that anyway, that we have shared a whole lifetime with them before, and it’s like THERE you are! I’ve been looking all over space and time for you! They have to trust that mystery. 
 
Joshua Gomez: I was a little surprised by the ending when I read the finale, but I’m not opposed to stories that end a bit ambiguously and leave things to the imagination. Maybe the kiss on the beach triggered an intersect-like flash of all her memories with Chuck. If not, at worst, she gets to experience the joy of falling in love all over again. To have a second “first kiss” is something we’ve all wished for at some point, no?
 
Mekenna Melvin: I thought it ended beautifully!  I remember closing it and having a really emotional moment because A. the show was ending and B. because everybody’s character really got a beautiful bow at the end.  That was the whole thing, that Chuck is going to love Sarah forever and he is going to sacrifice everything for her.  I thought the finale was perfect I loved it.
 
Scott Krinsky: I love the way the show ended.  I think mainly the finale was well received; I really loved how the show concluded.  I’m happy that we knew when the show was going to end and were able to give the fans a proper ending.
 
Ryan McPartlin: Personally, I loved it the way the show ended.  Watching Chuck and Sarah fall in love all over again was very poetic and possibly left a door cracked for future storytelling. 
 
What do you think your character is doing now?
Joshua Gomez: Team Bartowski is still together and taking down bad guys but maybe with a few more additions? Spy Kids: Burbank edition!
 
Mekenna Melvin:  I think her and Morgan would be in a house somewhere with babies.  Morgan would be fighting crime; I’d like to think that Alex got in on the action. (Laughs)
 
The fans really helped launch this show do you think their power can give us a CHUCK movie? If there ever is a CHUCK movie what would you like to see happen in it?
Vik Sahay: I would believe anything of CHUCK fans. I would want Lester to end being the villain of whatever the new world order of CHUCK would be.  It would have to be a script that really took the mythology of the series and the characters to a whole other level. 
 
Joshua Gomez: Our fans are amazing. If there’s any one factor that could tip the scales, it would be our fans! They are the reason we got to make 5 seasons.
 
Mekenna Melvin: Everyone always talks about it, I have no idea but what I do know is if there ever was a CHUCK movie I would be so excited and so on board.  I’d like to see a lot of big action scenes; it’d be really exciting to see where all of the characters have been.  I feel like there are so many different ways it could go!
 
Scott Krinsky: Yeah, I think anything’s possible, there’s talk about that but I kind of just read and hear what everyone else hears.  Ultimately it’s up to the studio and Warner Brothers. I’d be all for it though, I think it would be great a lot of fun to get everyone together.  Something would obviously have to bring us all together, some big spy story that’s going to somehow lead us all to each other.  What would the condition of Jeffster be being they’re touring (Laughs) what would we look like?   It would be fun to kind of revisit the characters a little down the road and see what they look like and how they’ve held up
 
Ryan McPartlin: It’s pretty difficult to go viral these days because there is a lot of content out there but our fans pretty much invented the renewal campaign with their Subway strategy so I don’t see why not. However, it’ll probably have to be a new approach that nobody has done before to grab the media’s attention. My bet is that one of our CHUCK fans can figure it out. I’d love for Morgan, Ellie and Devon to have opened a Chicago brewery called “Awesome City Brew” and of course, Devon has really packed on the pounds. This is why we leave the writing to Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak.
 
Is there anything specific you remember your character saying?  Favorite line from your character?
Vik Sahay: I do recall Lester saying, “My biological clock is tick-tocking…” It was a line that I had improvised, but they kept it in. I like to think that it still is, that he’s out there, scheming and dreaming.
 
Joshua Gomez: Does singing count? Singing “The Imperial March” with Zac (Levi) and then getting to walk into the actual John Williams score was a dream come true.
 
Mekenna Melvin: My favorite line would definitely be my first line ever, “Mom” that was how I go the job.  I had one line in the audition room, it was supposed to be one costar and then it turned into twenty-four episodes.
 
Scott Krinsky: I had a line “My mom used to say knowledge is powder” which I thought was really funny.
 
Ryan McPartlin: Besides a heartfelt “Awesome” with a teary eye when Clara was born, I loved that our writer, Ali Adler let me pay homage to Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward in “Chuck vs. The Broken Heart” by saying to Ellie, “Why would I go out for hamburger, when I have steak at home?” 
 
You can should watch all five seasons of CHUCK on Netflix.

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  • José

    Miss the show very much. Hope we get the movie

  • José

    Thank you for the article, by the way. Us good to see the actors miss the show too

  • Miles

    The finale was dreadful and pretty much every fan hated it.

    It’s always a great example of how NOT to end your show.

  • skorpeo

    Josh Gomez said “If not, at worst, she gets to experience the joy of falling in love all over again. To have a second “first kiss” is something we’ve all wished for at some point, no?” What a beatiful way way to look at the finale!!

  • Kev T

    I loathe the finale, it’s just a giant middle-finger towards the fans and especially the character Sarah Walker who went through more character development than any other on the show. For anyone looking to start CHUCK, I recommend you stop after season 4, for a far better, actually satisfying ending.

    I still hope they manage to do that movie, if only to set things right.

  • v-aaharr@outlook.com

    The finale was perfect, but heart wrenching. I wanted more but ending on the beach with the roles reversed was perfect. The fans that didn’t like might not understand the show. I loved a good nerdy comedy that gave me the ability to experience all emotions. I have yet to find a suitable replacement.

  • Trent

    The finale made sure I’ll never trust Fedak or Schwartz enough to watch another show by them. Whatever made them think throwing 5 years of character growth away would be a good idea. Just disgraceful.

  • Erwin Custer

    Chuck movie please

  • Allen Shepherd

    I miss this show being on air. I have all 5 seasons on Blu ray and just started watching them again.

  • Sebastián Prieto

    Why a movie? why not a new run with Netflix like Arrested Development? It would be AWESOME!

  • Potter

    Vik’s answers are gorgeous, and hilarious, and so smart!

  • Clint Irwin

    I loved the show up till that last season. I feel like they kind of destructively deconstructed each character that us fans came to love in that final season and did whatever they wanted in that final season. I hope it gets a movie real soon! One more Mission to not stay in the car!

  • Tuxedo Man

    The ending, by itself, was very sad but so beautiful at the same time I still re-watch it often. Wiping clean FIVE YEARS of the most beautiful relationship ever created on television to get to that point was gut wrenching and wrong. The scene of Quinn taking Sarah’s memories away is so emotionally horrific I can’t watch it. None the less this is the best show I have ever seen. A great collection of stories about the loving ties that bind- family, friends old and new, and the perseverance of true love found.

  • Peter Eng

    So, I’m in the minority, then. Good to know.

  • Robert Meier Jr.

    Chuck was a great show. I miss it.

  • sara ellis

    “In life, when we meet a soul mate for the “first” time, it feels like
    that anyway, that we have shared a whole lifetime with them before, and
    it’s like THERE you are! I’ve been looking all over space and time for
    you!” Aww, who knew Vic was such a romantic? That was beautiful and so true. Kinda made me feel better about the crappy ending to my beloved show.

  • Andrei Marinescu
  • Memese

    Best show ever!!!

  • Igeuls

    This show could have easily taken the cheesy route like most shows often
    do, but it didn’t. It was new, exciting and addictive. It gave the
    audience what they wanted and then ripped it out from them, but somehow
    found a way to give it back to them in an even better way. CHUCK had
    the ability of making the audience happy while not giving them full
    control of the story, a quality that’s very hard to find nowadays on
    TV.

    What an amazing way to summarize the beauty of the end of the show, too bad so muchpeople just don’t see it that way

  • Anthony Warburton

    I want a jeffster album

  • Seth Fox

    All of Sarah’s character development went right out the window. That’s why my spouse hates the ending and likely a lot of other folks too.

  • Ferdi

    Although where is Zach himself in here?

  • Ray

    This show was so amazingly addictive that I finished all 5 seasons in 7 fuzzy days. Ambiguity is a good weapon to use at the end of a season, but honestly I couldn’t derive enough closure from the unnecessary, ambiguous series finale. Really hope for a movie, if only for some more closure, but at least I’d know that my favorite couple actually remember moments I would never want to forget.

  • HeadlessSparrow

    I just finished watching Chuck. From Season 1, I always wanted a happy ending when the show ended in season 5. I got that happy ending for the most part with the characters, but I did not like how it ended with Sarah and Chuck. Even though they were “kind of together” at the end, I wanted them to be together like how they were in season 4 and throughout season 5 before her memory wiped out.

    But I have to say that the ending of Chuck was a proper ending to a great show, with hopefully a Chuck movie because I want to see more!

  • http://www.neilperulli.com Neil Perulli

    I am glad to see people still talking about the show. I personally just watched the entire series again recently and am still disappointed with the finally. After all that character development and talk about leaving the spy game It was hard to see things spiral at the end. I think the tone set at the end of the episode “Chuck vs the baby” would have been a more fitting ending.

    I do hope they make a movie where Chuck and the old gang are back together.

  • Susi

    As much as I loved this show when it was on NBC (I always recorded it and never missed an episode), I have become addicted to it on Netflix. When I make it to the end, I just start over again. Watching the series this way so many times has caused me to wonder why I am so addicted that I just can’t stop watching. I think it has something to do with how they ended each episode. It always leads you into the next episode, so that it makes it hard to stop watching. It’s one thing when you have to wait a week to find out what happens, but it’s another thing altogether when you can just go to the next episode on Netflix. It’s always hard for me to find a stopping place. Anyway, for my own sanity, I sure do wish they would make a movie or maybe a Netflix series like Orange I
    s the New Black so that I can move on and quit watching these same episodes over and over. Anyway, thanks for the article. It was nice to see what some of the actors thought about the show.

  • Tristan John Wannet

    miss the show very much have a movie please

  • Tristan John Wannet

    or have netflix continue the series

  • Tammy S

    Please bring back Chuck!

  • Prometheus

    Great show. Watching again on Netflix. Miss it.

    I hope, if it does come back (rumors abound), the same creative team comes together and that magic is there. If not … I hope they don’t do it. I’d rather wonder about Chuck and Sarah than see them over-explain it and ruin the show.

  • Prometheus

    At first, I’ll admit the finale (Chuck vs. The Goodbye) didn’t really sit well with me. I had a hard time not getting the ending that I had become used to with Chuck. That was a show where the good guy always got the girl in the end. After 5 seasons of the Chuck/Sarah love story, it was hard to digest it all boiling down to that one moment on the beach.

    However, I’ve gone back through the series a couple time since Netflix got it, and my attitude about it has changed. In a lot of ways, that final episode was a great homage to all the memories collected during that great 5 season run. It was really a testimony to Chuck’s love for Sarah and his character and commitment to his family and friends.

    The episode that I think actually leaves a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth in the conclusion of the series is Chuck vs. Sarah. That is the one, as I have gone back and given myself the chance to look at it again with a fresher perspective, that gives me the most heartburn. There are missed opportunities in the story telling in that episode that were outside of what I had come to expect from Chuck. It doesn’t change my appreciation for the show … but I think that episode is where my heartburn comes from, not the actual finale.

    I just finished watching it again (a third time … yeah … I know) on Netflix and this time I skipped Chuck vs. Sarah. I actually ended up enjoying the finale quite a bit more. I don’t know what it was about that episode, but it just didn’t work well for me. I thought a lot of the actual finale was quite good, and served to really offer a solid and well deserved thanks to the cast and crew for a wonderful series.

  • Prometheus

    Morgan was often the unwitting oracle of the show, making what seemed like goofy or Pollyanic suggestions and observations at the time, but which would eventually come true or foreshadow a development only he could apparently see. I think the suggestion of the “one magical kiss” was one of those plot devices to tip off the audience that when Chuck and Sarah kissed on the beach, the story came full circle and she got all her memories back … that the power of the love between those two characters was strong enough to overcome the obstacle placed in their path.

    I think the standing logic among the cast, crew and writers is that she got her memory back … some of the cast have said as much in interviews. It was hard to stomach at first, because Chuck and Sarah had changed and grown so much over the 5 years, and it was hard to see Chuck at the end of that stage of the journey, and Sarah all the way back at the beginning. I thought there were new loose ends introduced in that memory loss story line that made it harder to just enjoy the finale (like, does she remember Bryce Larkin? or, why didn’t Chuck call her by her real name (Sam)? or, why didn’t Chuck tell her he knew about the baby?). But, all that aside, I like to think that kiss stimulated a “reboot” for her that restored her memory and character to where she should have been at the end of the show. After all, Quinn told her (as he was wiping out her memory) that the cards activated a suppression of her memories … just like the way Chuck’s mom suppressed the Intersect in him.

  • David B

    I actually just saw the entire DVD Chuck set again and am for a Chuck movie but the reality is that Chuck was a whiny neurotic apologist and the message of the series was that sometimes the supermodel gets the nerd.
    The ending was completely and absolutely appalling. I won’t watch the last few eps of S5 because it makes me grate my teeth with disgust .
    Just casting about the net’s chuck forums for the most part the ending wasn’t that well received.
    That being said if they want to do a movie I’m all for it but it would be well advised to address some issues and make the movie better than the series.

  • Emily Thomas

    Thank you for this great article! I really want more Chuck :)

  • aman
  • José

    Nice, i just signed! Hope it works