January 27, 2013
One year. One year ago today, millions of Chuck fans around the world wept as the moment we dreaded finally arrived. It was bittersweet as we bid farewell to Chuck Bartowski and co., bittersweet in that we had the chance to say goodbye, but were also sad to see them go.
Flash forward one year though and Chuck is still here. Granted, it may be in a different form now, but Chuck is still alive and well… in us. We’re still here; talking, sharing, and reminiscing. Maybe it was through Chuck that you met your best friend or were inspired to take a chance you never thought you would. Whatever the reason, Chuck holds a special place in each of our hearts. It’s hard to express exactly what Chuck has meant to us, but the great thing is, inside, we already know.
We asked fellow Chucksters to try and put into words the impact Chuck has had on each of them and with their help, here’s what we came up with. We also have a BRAND NEW #ChuckLivesOn video at the bottom, so grab a grape pop and take a trip down memory lane with us.
It’s hard to summarize how much Chuck has changed my life. I’ve had so many amazing experiences and met some of the nicest and most generous people because of this special TV show.
I discovered what being part of a fandom was all about. I went trick-or-treating in some really cool Sarah Walker costumes. I wrote letters to TV network execs, ate tons of Subway $5 footlong sandwiches and took part in trending hashtags to save this show. I learned to overcome my shyness and took part in several podcasts talking about CHUCK. I traveled to California not once, but FOUR times to attend CHUCK events. I’ve made friends with some of the nicest and most generous fans on the planet…Chucksters. I spent one whole summer making scrapbooks for Yvonne with messages from her fans. Got to be part of an amazing Goodbye Chuck video that left the cast, crew and fans in tears (Man, that was such a proud moment). I was also lucky enough to see firsthand how sweet, generous and down-to-earth the CHUCK cast are in real life.
But I think the biggest impact CHUCK has made on my life is that it’s inspired me to help others by supporting charities, particularly St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I’m extremely proud of the over $39,000 I’ve raised in 3 years for St.Jude with the help of the CHUCK cast and this crazy and loyal fandom.
So you see, CHUCK may be over, but the impact its made on our lives will live on for years to come.
- Bailey Browning
Many people will say Chuck is just a T.V show; but it’s much more than just a TV show to me. It’s hard to put into words what Chuck actually meant to me, but here’s the best I got. When I started watching Chuck Season 1 in April of 2010, season 3 was still airing, and I was unfamiliar with how quickly I’d fall in love with this show. With the help of a very good friend and my sister, they both convinced me to watch season 1, and so I did. I had never been so invested in any other T.V show and its characters in the first three episodes as much as I was for Chuck. I followed through and watched the first three seasons in just two months, not knowing what to do with myself, having to wait for Season 4. So I then joined twitter and dedicated my twitter account to Chuck in hopes for spoilers and other Chuck related news while I waited. I then became familiar with the most dedicated fan base in the world, and realized how much the fans cared about the show and what they were willing to do to save it year after year. You Chucksters know what I’m talking about. During that summer of 2010, I decided to watch the first three seasons again to help with the wait. This time around, I not only got my immediate family watching, but also got my aunt, uncle, and cousin to watch it as well. This show eventually brought my family closer together as we all fell in love with this perfect family show. We all gathered together to watch Season 4 every Monday night as well as Season 5 on Fridays. It’s only fitting that a show like Chuck that hinges on the importance of loving your family brought my family closer together. And I thank Chuck for doing that.
Furthermore, not only did it bring my family closer together, I also got to meet some of the most wonderful people and some of the most dedicated Chuck fans that I still keep in touch with. Chuck not only taught me how to love your friends and family, but also taught me not to be afraid of who you are. Stay true to yourself and eventually you’ll find happiness is a true lesson learned from Chuck. Going to Chicago for the Chuck panel, San Diego Comic Con for the last Chuck panel, as well as last year’s NerdHQ Chuck panel was probably the best times of my life. I wouldn’t trade those experiences I had for anything, and I’m so glad I got to meet the best cast in the world. Since Chuck has the best cast, it’s only appropriate that Chuck has the best fans in the world. It has been an honor to have been a part of the Chuck fandom and meet some of the great fans, and now friends, in San Diego or Chicago. This show, the cast, and you the fans, certainly changed my life for the better. So if you were to ask what Chuck meant to me, I’d say it meant the world to me, and still does. Thank you Chuck.#ChuckNotForgotten
Where to begin? Chuck may have ended a year ago, but the impact it had on my life will last forever. I could go on for days about this show, but I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. For a long time I felt a lot like Chuck – working a dead end job, not sure how to get out of it or what I wanted to do. Perhaps that’s what drew me in… I could relate. As I became more and more involved with the show over the years I began to realize that I too, was capable of much more.
I was fortunate enough to have some amazing experiences through Chuck, doing things I never thought possible. I’ve made some amazing friends along the way. It’s a blast to get together and reminisce but also make new memories. Those experiences, this show, it lit a fire in me again and inspired me to go try and do what I wanted to do. I knew that I wasn’t living up to my potential and could do so much more. As cliché as it sounds, Chuck changed my life.
Others may see Chuck as just a show, but all of us who’ve been lucky enough to experience it know it’s so much more. We know what it means to be a part of this Chuck community/family and how special that is. Whatever the impact Chuck had on each of us, it holds a special place in our hearts. For me, Chuck helped me to step out of my comfort zone and realize that I didn’t want to just settle anymore. It helped me push myself and grow, and for that I will always be grateful.
“You never give up, you never quit, you never stop for something that you love.”
This advice that Ellie gives to Chuck sums up how this show has affected me and changed my life. Just as Chuck struggled to find his place, I struggled, too. Through Chuck, I was introduced to a community of nerds via thenerdmachine.com and WeGiveAChuck. I initially connected with a group of people over a television show, only to find out that we had so much more in common.
I quickly learned that I wasn’t the only nerd into running. I had been running for a couple of years and had considered running a marathon, but I was always too scared to go through with it. This new community encouraged me to try things I never thought I would. In the fall of 2011, prompted by some fellow Chuck nerds, several of us signed up to run the 2012 LA Marathon and created Team RunNerds! Although we couldn’t do our training runs together, we connected online and never felt alone. Four months later, I flew halfway across the United States for the race and met some of my new friends in person for the first time. I was instantly at home with these fellow nerds. Not only were my RunNerds there, but others from the community had come out to support us in our race, fundraising for Operation Smile and to just hang out. It was such an awesome feeling to be instantly welcomed and accepted.
Prior to this, I had become unsettled with where I was in my life and was looking for a change. I instantly knew that this was where I was meant to be and who I was meant to be with. I had just flown across the country to hang out with people I had never met in person and ran 26.2 miles. I thought, why stop there? I no longer wanted to just settle and live a complacent life. I wanted to be in a place that I loved with people whom I loved. So, I decided to go for it! I am currently searching for a job in Southern California and will soon be living near my new found nerd family!
Because of Chuck, I have trained for and completed a full marathon. Because of Chuck, I have made lifelong friends and am moving halfway across the United States to be closer to them. Because of Chuck, I have learned that I will never give up, never quit, and never stop for something that I love! And my life will never be the same for it!
I never thought a television show could have such an impact on my life. Chuck started off as just a television show but it grew to be so much more. The show taught me that it was cool to be a nerd. I was always into nerdy things but always afraid to let people know because I didn’t want to be made fun of. I decided I was going to let my nerd flag fly and didn’t care what anyone else thought anymore.
I’ve met so many incredible people because of Chuck and now I have the most amazing friends on this planet. I never would have been brave enough to go to SDCC for the first time on my own. Chuck is more than a show, it’s a way of life. It’s been a year since the series ended and Chuck is still strong in my heart. I love that I can quote a line from the show and people will know what I’m talking about. The Chuck fandom is quite possibly the best fandom ever. It is now a year later and we are still talking about Chuck. This fandom is stronger than ever and I am proud to say that I am a Chuckster for life!
- Erin @E_84
Chuck is the most heartfelt & brilliant show I’ve ever seen, thanks to all involved cast & crew. I never thought such a show would have such a huge impact in my life and I cant imagine what my life would be like without it (neither would I want to)!
Part of what makes Chuck unique & amazing is the fandom which to me is a family that I’m honored to be a part of. The interactions, love, respect and adoration between the cast, crew and fans as well as the happenings and events because of Chuck is heartwarming and inspiring.
Chuck is the show that I and many others like me can relate to or at least aspire to be. The nerd gets the girl and his life is filled with numerous thrilling and unexpected adventures.
I’ve made great friends because of Chuck and feel like I have found a home and a place I belong, thanks to this great community/family of fans.
- Hillmy @YSPWNS4E
Chuck…once upon a time that was a word I used to describe the action of throwing an object with great force. Now it’s a name that makes my mouth quirk up into a smile whenever I hear it. For the rest of my life I will never be able to disassociate Chuck from the magical, if insane, journey that my life has taken and I couldn’t be happier. I started out as a sales rep and a simple, but passionate, fan and then something funny happened…I realized there were other people out there like me. Nerds whose love of an hour of escapist TV matched my own and who were willing to do anything to preserve that special hour in their week. I became connected to something bigger than me and suddenly a little idea that started on a Post-It was being spread by a legion of fans and covered by an array of bloggers, journalists, and media….and a nerd army was conceived.
I’ve been blessed with the gift of walking with a mass of fellow fans to demonstrate our support and passion for Chuck by buying sandwiches…and leading that pack to Subway was Zac, who happily donned an apron and gloves to serve the people who were supporting him, the cast, and crew. Time and again, through Chuckfests, Tweet-Ups and Finale Parties the amazing cast and crew of this show have been willing to engage their fans on a level beyond anything I’ve ever seen or heard of in the entertainment industry…and for that I am eternally grateful. Through the charitable efforts of the Chuck cast, crew, & fans, we have created a legacy that has changed and improved lives around the world for children and families in dire need.
A year after Chuck has come to a final close, I’m most struck by the way that generosity actually transformed the direction of my life. I have discovered that I can’t be happy in life without helping others…and as a result, I’ve moved my life (from NJ to CA) and shifted career paths in order to find a profession that embraces my love of entertainment and philanthropy. I never would have found the courage and faith in myself to make those leaps without the urban family that I’ve made through the Chuck fandom over the past 3 years. I doubt there will ever be another show on TV that will rival my love for Chuck, because my affection for that show is tied inexorably with the friendships, memories, and experiences I’ve shared with this community. I love you all…simply put, you are awesome.
My Chuck journey began with a single video. Literally, that was it. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to invest so heavily in a show that I would spend months and months fighting to save it. I didn’t imagine venturing into the craziness of social media or making friends all over the globe. I just wanted to do something fun and creative. Honestly, I was bored. And so, as Chuck’s third season came to a close, I fired up my computer and cut my very first promo, “Emails To Ellie.” There was never any plan to post it, but a friend eventually talked me into doing just that. He kept asking me “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” HA! He should have been asking me “What’s the BEST thing that could happen?” Because two and a half years later, that question seems far more appropriate.
What started as one video, became two, then three, then ten, then twenty. I pretty much lost count after that. The more I edited, the closer I felt to this community I’d accidentally stumbled into. I joined Twitter and the world got bigger and smaller all at once. I talked to people in many states and many nations. I teamed up with Bailey to cut videos for St Jude, then watched in awe as fans raised tens of thousands of dollars for the cause. And then I met another girl who also liked to edit. And as Chuck’s fourth season began to wind down, we came up with an idea, one that would hopefully keep the show on the air for a little while longer. This is how #NotANielsenFamily was born. Two strangers who met over Twitter, designing a campaign over emails and DMs… Chuck has always inspired people to dream big, to take a leap of faith. That’s what we did. It all seemed insane at the time and I’ll admit to being totally exhausted during those weeks and months, but nothing was more satisfying than seeing an entire fandom rise up once again, just two short years after the epic Subway campaign. It was truly remarkable and I’ll never forget it.
What followed was just as surreal, attending the final Chuck panel at SDCC, going to Chuckfest 3, sharing the fan thank you video with the crew on set. These were amazing experiences. Never in a million years would I have dreamed that a show could lead to all this. But Chuck is special. It always has been. Like many fans, this show has had a profound effect on me. I see now that insane adventures can often have modest beginnings. I see that long shots sometimes hit their marks, that lousy odds are simply a cue to fight harder. I see that there is so much kindness and generosity in Hollywood if you just know where to look for it. Here’s a hint… look for it in anyone ever associated with Chuck. You’ll find some of the biggest hearts in the business; I promise you that.
But where Chuck truly continues to amaze me is in the wonderful community that has grown up around it. This, I believe, is the show’s greatest legacy. This is the thing that still touches my life. I’ve made so, so many friends because of this show, some who are almost exactly like me, some who could not be more different. I cherish each and every one of them. They’ve all made my life better, more interesting, more fun. For one incredibly special year, I got to live the dream of every TV fan. But now, that rollercoaster has ended. There are no more episodes. There are no more sets to visit. Chuck, the production, is over and done with. But all those friends I made on this journey? The ones who have supported me, who have cheered me up on my bad days and laughed with me on my good ones? They’re still here. I talk to them every day. They mean the world to me. And I couldn’t be more thankful to the show that brought us together.
It all started with a video. It seems ridiculous to think of that so many years later… a video I never even wanted to post. But isn’t that the typical Chuck fan story? We all walked into this with no expectations, assuming we were just watching a program about nerds and spies… assuming we’d eventually turn off our TVs and forget all about it. And look what happened. Wow. Look what became of our little community. Look what became of our little show… It lives on in all of us, in these stories we tell. It lives on in our adventures, in our friendships. It lives on even now. And I think it will probably live on forever…
For all the many lives it touched and for all those it inspired, Chuck will always hold a special place in our hearts. And even though it’s sad Chuck is over and we miss it, we can’t help but smile whenever we remember all the good times we’ve shared with Team Bartowski and with each other. As the years pass, we’ll continue to tell stories, have meet ups, and share Chuck with others. Chuck’s legacy will continue to live on because WE are its legacy. We’re a living example of the impact one TV show can have. THAT is why Chuck lives on and that is an awesome reason to celebrate. So Happy Chuckiversary everyone… and aces Chuck, you’re still aces.