The Chuck Book

Written by Kelly Dean Jolley, the book Chuck: Real Love in the Spy Life is available from this link.

I have a suggestion for all. READ IT READ IT READ IT!!!

Too subtle? How about READ IT NOW!!! And if you’re still puzzling over how I *really* feel…

A bit more after the jump.

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Open Comment Thread

Hi. My name is Joe and I’m a Chuck addict.

“Hi, Joe.”

It’s been quite I while since I’ve posted anything here (Wow! WordPress has changed everything!). But the recent flurry of comments in an old thread (here) has been more than interesting and engaging.

So I was wondering – what would our ‘old’ friends like to discuss? A plot for a movie? How much we hate Shaw or Quinn? Sarah? My trigger is the idea that Bryce should have stayed at least through S3! Can you imagine if he had been intersected in “vs. The Ring”, been put in charge of the Intersect Project, and then, after a season of wooing Sarah and “going Volkoff”, was saved from Intersect Insanity by Stephen?

Not your idea of a great continuation? Please tell us yours! We’re guaranteed to forgive you your Chuck addiction!

~ joe

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More Fan Fiction… Again!

What a run!  Just dang.  More than ten years past the start of the show, and more than five since it ended, and we’ve just gone through a burst of fan fiction activity that’s reminiscent of the Season Three golden age.  Things are definitely slowing down now, but still busier than they were a year or two ago.  I think two writers are mostly responsible, although as a sort of outsider (a fan but not a writer) I may be missing some other factors.  But it looks to me like two writers have boosted a lot of interest and enthusiasm, of the sort that gets others writing. Including writers whose output had slowed down in the last couple years. Readers who are familiar with my favorites list will know I mostly favorite stories rather than writers.  Only writers who turn out several stories with a high percentage of really good ones get favorited.  Since the first burst of post series stories emerged I have favorited exactly one author (wvonb). Well, earlier this year I added two more.
What I think I’ll do with this post is credit the two who I think started this, then look at one other story that has come along recently.

It seems to have started with Zettel (Kelly Dean Jolley).  His first two stories have already been mentioned on this site; Chuck vs the Beautiful Creatures and Cables to Aces are both complete and fun all the way through.
Zettel recently started and finished a third story, Miss Trust.  This is a short AU, and obviously based more directly on the writer’s own personal universe. Chuck is a new professor at a Florida college who is immediately smitten with a colleague, Sarah Walker (who else!). A colleague who will go to great lengths to avoid him. The story takes off pretty quickly and has a nice adventure, but the focus is always on the two main characters discovering each other. Its fun and a fast read; maybe four hours and rated PG-13 for some strongly suggested heat and one very disturbing bit of back story.
Zettel has since started another new story, Turned Tables: The Long Story. Yes, there was an earlier one-shot that led to this tale; but its repeated in Chapter One here so no need for a separate link.  I was initially only tepid about this set up, but it has really become something special.  It starts right at Nemesis (1.10) then goes extremely AU. It seems the whole Intersect project was bogus.  Director Graham organized it as a test of his best agent Sarah Walker’s loyalty. He utilized his most unlikely agent, Charles Carmichael, who has a photographic memory but is otherwise disappointing, to memorize relevant mission files then fake the whole flashing thing.  That mission ends when Bryce Larkin fails in his attempt to recruit Sarah for Fulcrum.  So Graham should be pleased; except now his best agent and his worst agent want to be partners…
I love the way this story works on a couple different levels.  Its early on, yet Chuck and Sarah’s missions have been exciting and well written, with more than a little drama. The characters, including the one’s Sarah only thought she knew (like Agent Ellie) are well crafted.   The whole second first date thing takes on a different nuance here. And I think my favorite part may be watching Graham’s growing frustration as his worst agent ruins his enforcer; while finishing missions differently than he wanted.
This story would be rated “PG-13” for some violence and language. Currently it would take 5+ hours to read, but I believe its early with a lot of story yet to tell.  Zettel’s pace of updating has slowed some too, maybe a couple a week. I liked blazing fast, but I hope our writer hasn’t burned himself out.

The other author I credit with this FF renaissance, and the second one I favorited in short order, is David.Carner. His first story (Chuck vs the Nanny) started prior to Zettel’s writing, but his productivity sky-rocketed about the same time Zettel started.  He currently has three AU’s on-going that I really like, plus an assortment of other series and one-shots.
The first I’ll mention is Chuck and Sarah vs the Break-Up. This starts with the Chuck and Sarah discussion at the end of episode 2.03, but that all goes quite different from canon.  Now we have Season Two unfolding with Chuck and Sarah making their own rules.  I love Chuck fixing Jill up with Morgan…    Just wild fun stuff.  I’ve often said I didn’t need any changes in Season Two, but it is so much fun watching someone wreck havoc with those well loved story-lines.  Unfortunately this seems to be the least favorite of its own writer and it is updating the most slowly.
So far it could be read in a couple hours and contains little objectionable.
Next up is Chuck vs Truffaut Industries.  This is a full AU. Chuck was being watched by the CIA as a student at Stanford and Bryce was his primary minder. But when Bryce is called elsewhere for a long weekend another trainee agent, Jenny Burton is sent in to cover for him.  Jenny and Chuck take to each other pretty fast, but the weekend comes to end.  No, this isn’t a teen version of the story, it jumps ahead a couple years.  Chuck has been expelled like canon.  But Sarah Walker will never be his handler, because after she got pregnant during training she left the agency.  There is no mystery of them reuniting and Chuck getting to know his daughter, that actually happens pretty fast. But this world is another interesting mix-up of canon elements with something very different.
This story is also ongoing. It could be read in three hours so far, I don’t know how long it might get.
The last story I want to draw attention to has really just started. Buy More High School is the most completely AU of the bunch. Chuck and Sarah are teachers at a high school who apparently don’t like each other very much. The first chapter is funny, familiar and different all at once. I look forward to more, chapter one can be devoured in 15 minutes or less.  But David.Carner has been writing at a ferocious rate and I expect we’ll be ten chapters in before we know it.

Regular readers here may remember I previously recommended wvonb’s intriguing Chuck vs the Man Who Never Was.  This was a double story, Chuck wakes from a coma wondering where Ellie, Sarah and the others are. General Beckman is there to tell him a story of how he has it all wrong, there is no Chuck Bartowski only Agent Charles Carmichael and his memories are all messed up.  The story then branches in two different directions; one story where Beckman told the truth, the other where she lied.  Both tales are fascinating, although I have a clear favorite! This story is now complete, sort of.
The writer started another branch, Chuck Versus The Man Who Never Was: The Third Arc.  The beginning is pretty awful, apparently we got the lying Beckman but TeamB failed to stop her dastardly plot.  I’m sure an exciting rescue is in the works, but so far we have a pretty depressing set up with the Intersect Agent being successfully separated from his loved ones.  Wvonb always spins an exciting story and I have no doubt this will be fun to see unfold.  So far it could be read in less than two hours and would be rated PG.

I think I’ll leave this post at that. Its better if everyone reads the stories and not my lame describing of them!  There have been a number of other excellent stories in the last few months, and several old favorites have unexpectedly seen new updates! So be sure to check my favorites list once you’ve run out of the longer recommendations here. If things keep going like this there will be another of these posts before long.  What a wonderful surprise this has all been.


~ Dave 

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More Fan Fiction

Last time I went over a year between updates, now its only been a few months!  There is quite a bit of life in Chuck Fan Fiction.  This won’t be a huge post, but some of what’s coming out now is interesting so I felt a need to update.

Let me start with the most obvious, Zettel has finished Chuck vs The Beautiful Creatures. That was a fun story all the way to the end.
Perhaps the biggest news though is that he has started a new story.  Cables to Aces is very different from his first work.  It is an S1 AU that starts right at the end of Imported Hard Salami (1.09).  We see significant decisions made by both Chuck and Sarah that make this immediately “alternate”.  Chuck embraces his inner Piranha.  Funny how in canon he didn’t really remember his hacker past until S5, well this time he will use his skills to work on taking control of his life quite early.  Whether that means researching the Intersect or giving himself privacy when he wants it.
Sarah also makes a change, instead of denying the “incident”, she has an honest talk with Chuck.  This has a far bigger impact on the story than just the obvious.  Chuck and Sarah will still have some major issues to face, but this time that is done more together and at a much earlier date.
Things unfold rapidly from there, things that played out over a longer a period in canon, starting with Ellie being read in.  But look for the 2.0, Orion, Frost all to come at them fast.  It’s almost like the whole series in a few months which makes things breathless and exciting.  The pace of the updates is almost as breathless as the pace of the story. Zettel has written 51 chapters in 51 days! Granted they are shorter chapters, but dang!  This is a sort of excitement I haven’t felt in fan fiction for years.  Every time I open my browser I’m thinking something new could be up, its awesome! (Devon would be proud!)
So far the story would be rated PG-13 for some mildly intense action and violence and would require a couple days to read.  I believe we’re into the last act (maybe 10 chapters to go?) but only time will tell. And at this pace, not very much time!

The second story to mention is updating almost as rapidly.   Sarah vs The Life Unexpected by David.Carner is the best sort of fluff piece. Really. It says so right in the author’s description, along with the warning it may cause diabetes.  It almost shockingly sweet, and that is a big part of the fun of it.  There are two major changes to canon right from the start.  You remember in the Pilot when Morgan tells Chuck that Bryce remembered his birthday?  Well no worries this time, when Morgan sees who the e-mail is from he deletes it without saying a word. Perfect.  And apparently just before that when Sarah took baby Molly to her mom, Emma said “only if we raise her together”.
So the story starts five years later.  Some not entirely happy things have happened in that time, but the upshot of it has a much more open and mature Sarah Walker running her own security business while raising Molly with Emma.  And a likable and decent but sadder Chuck running a software company while raising Clara.
When Chuck and Sarah meet things unfold at a blistering pace.  Molly is a big part in all the proceedings, beyond precocious.
This story would be rated PG, only for a lot of talk about where babies come from.  It could be read in a few hours. It isn’t done and updates are coming at a rate of several a week, I’m not sure how much further it might go.
Just to make the point about where this is heading, a short add-in is already published and complete. Sarah vs The Life Unexpected: Christmas Time is Here is a holiday piece set only a few months after the parent story and starts with a Chuck and Sarah Bartowski.  This could be no surprise after even one chapter of the original so it spoils nothing.  But it deals with Sarah helping Chuck come to terms with his first Christmas without Ellie.
All of this is great fun, especially for those who just want to have fun with favorite characters.

Next I have a new story by a new writer, Crashing Castle by Dillwg.  This is an action piece, of the sort ninjavanish used to write.  Lots of gunfire and a reasonably knowledgeable description of weapons and capabilities.  Fun in the BOOM sense of the word.  It is nominally set in S3, but it feels more like mid S2 to me.  At least to say Chuck and Sarah are fine but apparently still in a cover situation? It’s early, and I’m not sure yet what significance may be in the author saying S3.  The story is straight forward, bad guys show up to attack Castle. Casey is in the Orange Orange while Chuck and Sarah are across the mall getting stuff for a weekend getaway.  Gunfire ensues.
It might have been early for to me recommend this, its only two chapters in. But its well written and the style is fun.  It might be PG-13 for violence, but again, its early and things could get more graphic?  Currently it could be read in less than an hour.

Lastly, many readers may have noticed there was no update from KateMcK on Its a Wonderful Cover Life this Christmas. But that isn’t quite true.  She posted a ten years later short one-shot called It’s a Wonderful Family Life. I could say it spoils a lot of the main story, but again, we all knew where that was heading anyway!  Kate has not been very active in the community these last couple years but she insists the story will continue. The Author’s Note to this suggests maybe a new chapter before another full year passes? We can always hope!

These last couple months have been the busiest period for fan fiction in several years.  Its been a lot of fun to tag along for the ride.  At this rate, it may not be long before I have another update!

~ Dave 

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Surprise!

So I now have permission to make a disclosure here. It will be interesting if any readers here can guess at or recognize this connection.
But Kelly Dean Jolley, the philosophy professor who writes about Chuck at his blog here;  IS the fan fiction writer Zettel, whose first work I previously recommended in my last fan fiction post. He did not want the connection made prior to his first story being finished.
If you’ve ever thought about fan fiction and waffled, or even if you haven’t thought about it before, this might be the time to check out a story. Zettel is a good writer who tells a fun story. Its called “Chuck vs The Beautiful Creatures” and is sort of a mash up with the 2013 movie “Beautiful Creatures”. But the characters are all Chuck (so its not actually a “crossover”). In many ways calling the Intersect “magic” makes more sense than what we saw in canon! And you remember all those times we discussed “Sarah” and “Agent Walker” like they were two different people? Well Zettel makes good use of his setting to make that almost literally true.

Really, Check this out!

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A New Chuck Website!

sort of…

I’ve recently encountered a website by a fellow Chuck fan that takes a fun and in-depth look at a few fan favorite sort of questions from the show. It’s the sort of analysis that Ernie Davis, if he’s still living, would love!

But the site isn’t really a fan site at all.   It’s the personal musings of a philosophy professor at Auburn University, one Kelly Dean Jolley. Who is apparently a Chuck fan!  This link will take you to  the Chuck posts at the site.  There is really some fun stuff here, especially sorting out Season Three and the Finale.  The writing goes into good depth without being too difficult.

Bonus points, Professor Jolley has also written a book, “Chuck: Real Love in the Spy Life” and includes links to multiple free formats. There is plenty of material here to keep a Chuck fan interested and entertained. Check it out!

~ Dave 

 

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Fan Fiction Again

One thing with fan fiction output slowed way down, it almost seems like less is going on than actually is.  I was surprised the other day when I took a look at my favorites list to realize there were quite a number of stories I’ve favorited in the last year.  So I guess that means its time for a new post! Continue reading

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Where were you? 10 years ago today…

Today is the 10th anniversary of the first airing of the Chuck pilot.  Over the last couple years the show has finally started to fade from the forefront of my thoughts.  But it’s still had the biggest impact on my life (and spare time!) of any show I’ve seen.  And no, I’m not trying for any silly “how Chuck changed my life” sort of testimonial here; I only mean to say it was the largest hobby any television show ever has been or is likely to be for me.

So this anniversary just has me fondly remembering that first viewing and first experience.  I can’t swear I saw it Monday night.  Not only is Monday always a gym night for my wife and I, but of course, this is football season.  So really good chance I actually watched it on Tuesday.  But I sure do remember that first viewing!

My wife always insists she had read about the show in a magazine or something and told me about it. I mostly just remember the previews during Sunday Night Football.  It’s always a good sign when I laugh several times in a preview.  I had no doubt this was something to check out. And it sure didn’t disappoint.  I’ve said here before, Chuck may have been the most completely satisfying pilot I ever saw.  I have had many favorite shows over the years, and I still have a few that I eagerly look forward to every week.  But dang Chuck was something special.  I still can’t believe how much I enjoyed this show.  Every week I was excited.  Even when I was steaming mad at the choices the writers made there was never even a question of missing an episode*.  It had a hold on me!

To this day I read Chuck fan fiction, even if the amount of new stuff has slowed way down. I still hope for a movie some day.  And I still miss the daily discussion/celebration/argument at this site. That was the most fun part of the whole experience!

Sorry if this didn’t deliver the sort of deep analysis and retrospective this show may have deserved on its tenth anniversary.  But feel free to correct my failing in comments below!  Once again, I would love to hear from old friends and new fans.

~ Dave 

* – such absolute statements do not apply to rewatches; complete, thematic or otherwise!

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Is the CIA Operating in Northern Michigan?

Processed with MOLDIV

You be the judge.

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Fan Fiction Update

Hi I’m Dave and like to welcome you all to this new web site…

I think we just set a record for longest period between posts here at Chuck This. Sadly, this may be the new normal.  I still have a couple ideas percolating in my little brain, but for now things will likely remain slow.  But, as I’ve said before, don’t mistake slow for completely dead (!).  And since there is still a trickle of new fan fiction being published I thought I would take that as an excuse for a new post.

So once again, after the jump… Continue reading

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