Good Luck Charlie said goodbye on Sunday night with an hour-long episode that efficiently circled back on numerous themes and dynamics from the show’s four-season, 100-episode run — much of which I have been exposed to as the father of twin boys.
Setting the stage for the series finale was Teddy’s imminent departure to attend college at Yale, before which she aimed to record one last wisdom-filled video diary for kid sister Charlie. Teddy, though, struggled to find a theme for her ultimate advice.
In the meantime, PJ near-instantly went from being an unemployed cooking school grad to the owner of his own food truck, with dad Bob along as his partner. But what would the gimmick for PJ’s enterprise be? When Bob scoffed at his eldest son’s first suggestion — a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich truck — it stirred some tension between the two. Until Bob got a literal taste of PJ’s creation, constructed of hand-blended peanuts and artisanal bread and what not. And boom, B&PJ’s PB&J Truck was born. (Frankly, I would have gone with the even more parallel-structured PJ&B’s PB&J’s. But age before lingual beauty. Also, I assume the truck offers a mix-and-match variety of breads, butters and jams…?)
Gabe’s finale storyline had him doing girlfriend Lauren’s bidding, by helping her grandmother aka Mrs. Dabney ward off possible new neighbors, among them a Gabe-like trouble-maker. After Gabe’s bid to plainly counsel the kid to steer clear of “his” target fell on deaf ears, he got the idea to (with an assist from friends and family) scare off the prospective neighbors with a “daily marching band practice.” Groan. This subplot was clumsy, derivative (didn’t Gabe once before meet a younger rival…?) and reliant on the fiction that a family would move into a house before inspection/closing. But that’s me and my gr’up logic talking!
Moving on… Amy discovered that Good Morning, Denver‘s female cohost was leaving for… Good Morning, Waco… creating a plum opportunity for the Duncans’ famously ambitious matriarch. Amy prepped well (and often) for the gig — most amusingly, practicing how to feign interest in one of Debbie Dooley’s duds of a story — yet she bombed during her audition. Like, a Cindy Brady/”Baton Rouge!” type implosion. But an on-air phone call from Charlie ultimately saved the day and got Amy the job, by endearing her to viewers.
And then there was Teddy’s farewell party, to which Bob invited Spencer, who’s back in town for the summer slinging soft-serve at Pile High Yogurt. After dueting “Your Song” at the fete, Teddy and Spencer (who isn’t far from Yale, at college in Boston) agree to stay in touch… “as friends”… and likely more, falling as they do into one of those uber-rare Disney Channel kisses. (As some readers here have fretted, these two never navigated the matter of Spencer cheating. And while I wouldn’t expect Disney to spend a scene discussing such a heady issue as infidelity, they could have at least had Spencer acknowledge a “mistake” he made that “hurt” her. Maybe in a 2024 Kickstarter movie?)
So in the end, Amy has her dream job, PJ and Bob are in business together, Gabe and Mrs. Dabney commemorate the end of their antagonistic era (though Toby seems poised carry the baton) and Teddy fires up the flipcam for one last missive to her sis, about how this crazy family she originally sought to teach her how to deal with, in the end, would bring nothing but “good luck, Charlie.”
And then we got a rock-and-rollin’ version of the theme song (sung by Bridgit Mendler), playing over loads of classic clips. With GLC a goner, what is now your… er, your kids‘… favorite Disney Channel comedy?