Chuck Versus Chuck Versus Chuck

Still Our Favorite Nerd?

Opinions are still forming on last night’s episode, but one thing is clear, we’re meeting the new edgier slightly darker Chuck.  In one episode we’ve gone from the overzealous wanna be spy who badly fumbles his first attempt to work a mark to the hard drinking loner who can drop the twerp in a deep dark hole for life.

One of the discussions that seems to be quickly developing is season 3’s new Chuck.  Has he jumped the shark?  Gone too far?  We’ve seen it before, the reset of the character to someone new, but similar.  I think they pulled it off rather deftly between season 1 and 2.  Season 2 to 3?  Lets just say opinions vary, and discuss, after the jump.

I’m starting a poll and opening this up for discussion, and I know there a lot of strong feelings on this, so lets keep it fun and civil.  I even promise not to bash Fedak.  Much.

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About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
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57 Responses to Chuck Versus Chuck Versus Chuck

  1. Matt says:

    I don’t think there is any doubt i my mind which way Sarah would vote in this poll. She was falling apart last night when she had seen what the government had created from what used to be Chuck.

  2. OldDarth says:

    I think the poll is unfair at this point.

    Chuck will swing to the cold side before getting comfortable as a spy which includes finding his place in that new world.

    By the end of the 13 episode arc, Chuck will find an equilibrium point that combines the best of old and new Chuck.

    That is a journey worth taking.

    • Chuckaddict says:

      I agree. I think Chuck is struggling with his new persona. He’s learning that he can’t trust anyone because his life is on the line and he’s now being asked to make decisions and not rely on Sarah and Casey. That is ultimately why he didn’t let Manoosh go. He couldn’t trust him with his life.

      I think in the end Sarah will be the one to bring him back to equilibrium. We saw how Chuck brought her back from being the same as Carina. Sarah will be the one to “save” Chuck. They’ll end up more as equals, which is good. They’re the only people each can trust and will need to rely on each other as they bring down the ring.

      • atcdave says:

        I think you’re right, and that’s exactly what I want to see. The problem is, in the meantime, we have some fairly unenjoyable episodes. Perhaps (!) they will be more fun once we see how things play out. I’m still hoping we’ll get a light at the end of the tunnel in 3.08, and the ride to the conclusion will be a lot more fun than its been so far.

    • weaselone says:

      I agree. It’s difficult to grade Chuck without seeing the finished product. Plus, everyone’s view of Chuck this season seams to switch with the passing breeze. There’s a cadre that always seems to take his actions and interpret the worst from them.

      Episode 1: Chuck’s a jerk for not running away with Sarah and what kind of loser confines himself to his couch eating cheese balls after losing the job he gave up the love of his life for.
      Episode 2: Chuck’s a winy moron and an incompetent spy. Plus he’s still a jerk for not running away with Sarah.
      Episode 3: Chuck’s an arrogant prick. Look how badly he treated Devon. He’s almost as much an insufferable jerk to him as he was to Sarah.
      Episode 4: Chuck’s becoming a cold, ruthless super spy? When is he going to man up and pull the trigger. Why didn’t he come to Sarah’s aid when she was fighting Sydney? He’s still a jerk for not running with Sarah.
      Episode 5: Chuck’s too eager to be a spy. He hung his team out to dry. He’s a serial philanderer. Sarah’s lucky the jerk didn’t run away with her.
      Episode 6: Chuck’s a lying, cold-hearted doppelganger of his previous self. Poor Sarah, but at least she dodged a bullet when the jerk didnt’ run away with her.

      I have a theory that the consistent negative and often conflicting interpretations of Chuck’s character stem from a certain segment of the fan base being unable to forgive Chuck for not running with Sarah in Prague. As such they are predisposed to focus on his flaws and see his actions in the worst possible manner. Something along the lines of girlfriends comforting a heart broken friend by excoriating the guy who hurt her.

      • atcdave says:

        Hah! Your final conclusion was pretty easy to guess after reading your hypothetical knocks on Chuck! I think most of us were pretty enthused about episodes 3 and 4.

      • joe says:

        [Joe reads weaselone’s post, points to his own nose, then to weaselone.]

      • weaselone says:

        Most people were. But in three, you had a select group complaining he was arrogant and demeaning to Devon. Then in episode four you had people complaining he was turning into a cold emotionless super spy.

        And yes, I did broadcast my conclusion with my hypothetical complaints.

    • Rick Holy says:

      Simply put – Agree as well. Just like life’s journey consists of peaks and valleys, Chuck’s journey is going to see its peaks and valleys as well. Right now he’s in a valley – but he – and I’m majorly hoping with the help of Sarah – will climb his way out of it and find himself back on level ground – hopefully heading to a peak (in his “career” and in his relationship with Sarah)by season’s end.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      We’re 6 episodes in to an originally 13 episode season, if they’re still establishing a character reset they’re taking their time about it. I know the season is about Chuck changing, but the show is supposed to be entertaining week to week. I think they did a great job in S1/S2 transition. This one not so much.

      As for unfair, I just want to see what people think at this point, it’s a snapshot, not the whole story, just like favorite episodes change as the season goes on so will peoples opinion of Chuck. The question is will it turn them off enough to stop watching? Some now seem to be saying yes.

    • Waverly says:

      If we’re about at the half-way point of the journey, has Chuck hit the bottom of the arc?

      We can certainly imagine worse things for Chuck, but there’s got to be a limit for how dark this show will go. Is there nowhere to go but up?

  3. weaselone says:

    I’ve said it on the NBC boards and I’ll say it again here, I don’t see where people see the cold, unfeeling Charles Carmichael in this episode. The entire show basically consists of Chuck feeling bad, bad about lying, about manipulating his asset, about breaking bonds of trust, about dropping his asset into a deep dark hole. Manoush developed an Intersect and was attempting to pawn it off to the highest bidder. He’s not the Chuck of episode one. He was going into a hole regardless of Chuck’s actions. Chuck didn’t want to do it, well Sarah was willing to do the dirty work and Casey probably would have relished the opportunity to throw the little worm under a rock, or even better chucked him in a shallow hole as opposed to a deep one.

    • Matt says:

      Its not that Chuck didn’t feel bad about doing it, it is the fact that he did it at all. 2 years ago, Chuck wouldn’t have done it. Now, he does it but feels bad. Next, he does it and doesn’t feel bad?

      I hope OldDarth is right, hopefully we’ve seen him at his worst.

      • weaselone says:

        If I’m interpreting you correctly, you think Chuck is on some sort of slippery slope,but becoming more competent at doing something unsavory, or being willing to do it himself instead of by proxy doesn’t logically lead to him losing his sense of ethics, morality, and kind nature.

        You’re right,season 1 and season 2 Chuck wouldn’t have chucked Manoush into a bunker, he would have let Sarah or Casey toss Manoush into either a deep or shallow hole. The change in Chuck doesn’t involve his sense of morality, the depth of his feelings, or his dedication to his family, it’s a form of maturation. He still lied in seasons one and two, just not as well. That doesn’t mean he likes lying, just that he’s more adept at hit. Chuck personally took responsibility for putting Manoush underground, but would have been no less culpable in the act if he had simply let Sarah and Casey do it. In season one, it’s a fairly safe bet that Laszlo is heading back to a bunker thanks to Chuck’s efforts. Just because he doesn’t claim the responsibility doesn’t mean his actions didn’t lead to the well justified bunkering.

        I’m also curious. Chuck’s already sent someone to a bunker. Her name is Jill. Why all the lamentations about a geek who was going to sell intersect technology to terrorists or evil warlords, but not his ex girlfriend?

      • Waverly says:

        Good point about Jill. It was only when she went too far, perhaps threatening to kill Sarah, that he decided it was too much. (Although I didn’t think the scene was sufficiently motivating.)

        And in the end (to date) he did let Jill go after she held up her end of the bargain as Chuck saw it. I wonder if she’ll show up again. Probably not.

        Chuck is much farther away from Manoush emotionally. So of course it’s easier to make such consequential decisions. Especially if he thought he really didn’t have any.

        I thought Chuck only decided to shoot him with that borrowed dart gun when Casey was about to shoot him.

      • joe says:

        There’s a difference between Manoosh (that’s the spelling I’ve seen, btw) and Jill. He was in it for the money.

        Also, the choice presented to Chuck was to either let Casey shoot him, or let Casey capture him after he tranq’d him. With Jill he did have the choice of letting her escape. Not here.

        The energy in everybody’s response is amazing.

      • atcdave says:

        I would say my objections so far aren’t really limited to Chuck’s behavior; its the tone of the show. I do appreciate Chuck needs to learn how to do hard things as part of growing up. The problem, as I see it, is the show is markedly less fun; not because of Chuck’s growth, but because he is doing it alone. In past seasons Sarah was his counselor, advisor, mentor. Now she’s partly cut out of the loop. Which leaves Chuck dealing with more things on his own; so we see a stressed out Chuck, and a rueful Sarah.

        It simply isn’t as fun as it was. Perhaps I’m a simpleton, but I see no good reason for it. In all the rough spots of life I’ve had friends to help me through. Chuck’s situation is extraordinary; but he has a friend who in seasons past was there to help, and is currently estranged due to a reset; who’s only real function I can see; is sucking the fun out of the show!

      • amyabn says:

        Chuck also aided in the bunkering of Laszlo in Sandworm, but didn’t have a reaction like he’s having with Manoosh.

      • atcdave says:

        Lazlo was clearly nuts, he belonged in a bunker (even if the bunker is what drove him nuts). Manoosh was a more pedestrian sort of evil. greedy, but not psychotic; with just enough of Chuck in him to really confuse the issue.

  4. lou federico says:

    sometimes you have to assend into darkness before the sun will shine. As Casey says “its a spy’s life Chuck.” It is not glamous and exciting like the movies as chuck thought. Sarah tried to protect him but sometimes you have to let the kid touch the hot burner him/herself. I sure Chuck is wishing that he would have got on the train. Do worry Sarah will not let him assend too far into darkness before saving him.

  5. wdm0744 says:

    I think Old Darth is exactly right.

    No matter what people may have thought the show was about before (be it romance, comedy, or spy action), I think we can now safely say that “Chuck” is about Chuck Bartowski’s journey from an underachieving, insecure man-boy to a fully grown, confident, (and caring) man.

    Just as the character is growing up, the show itself has matured and grown darker and more serious. Now, I know that some fans didn’t want that (and truth be told it may be a hard pill to swallow) but I think that “Chuck” had to evolve as a show past the episodic bumblings of computer geek that gets in trouble and has to be bailed out by Sarah and Casey. If it had remained the same, I don’t think it would have survived much longer.

    I personally don’t feel like things changed with “Pink Slip” (although the change may have been pronounced). We saw this change in course toward a more story-driven narrative start in earnest with “Dream Job” and all the episodes in Season 3 have followed the same break-neck pace (only more so).

    What we are seeing now is actually a continuation of the thread begun in the final episodes of Season 2. A continuation that must reach its apex before we can all have a satisfying resolution. I, for one, am happy to follow the thread as long as the conclusion is the one we all seem to desire.

    And I have every reason to believe that we will get the happy ending we are all hoping for. Every narrative indicator seems to point to a resolution that will find Chuck ultimately rejecting the ways of a cold-blood spy and embracing his true self.

    I mean, they’re doing everything they can to make the spy life seem “evil” and completely opposite to all the values Chuck (and his fans) hold dear.

    The question is, will he completely leave the spy life behind (unlikely as then we wouldn’t really have a show) or will he find a middle ground – utilizing his abilities for the good of the nation without compromising his soul.

    This seems the most likely scenario, and that’s why I think Old Darth is exactly right. It makes sense that just as Chuck softened Sarah, she will now soften him. They will balance each other out, meet in the middle.

    I have no doubt that Chuck and Sarah will be together and that Chuck’s soul will remain intact despite the growing pains we now witness.

    Growing up is hard.

    I really identify with Chuck’s predicament in “Pink Slip” and “Three Words”. He loves Sarah with all his heart, but he is also a good, decent guy. He knows that to run away with her would be the most selfish thing he could do. Not only would he deny his country the value of his unique abilities, but he would ruin Sarah’s career, and break his friends’ and family’s heart.

    So, he does the honorable thing. He does what he feels he must do knowing that, even if it doesn’t seem like it, giving of himself in this way is the most loving thing to do for everyone involved (including Sarah).

    Chuck didn’t make a bad call – just a difficult one that was then invalidated by his firing.

    It’s a more dramatic example of what every adult goes through. There is that constant tension between providing for those you love (working) and being with those you love (spending “quality time” together). We all struggle to find that balance. Most of us would rather hang out with our spouses or our kids and friends all day, but we know that would be supremely selfish, so we give of ourselves to serve them.

    You can go too far one way and the other. Adult life is all about finding that balance.

    Chuck is trying to find that balance now. He has to find that balance between work and family, between love and duty, between utilizing his gifts and letting them destroy his soul.

    I agree, Darth. Definitely a journey worth taking.

    • joe says:

      I personally don’t feel like things changed with “Pink Slip” (although the change may have been pronounced). We saw this change in course toward a more story-driven narrative start in earnest with “Dream Job” and all the episodes in Season 3 have followed the same break-neck pace (only more so).

      Well put! Great post, WDM. And it echoes my sentiments.

    • atcdave says:

      Excellent post. I do agree with most of what you say. Again, my only beef is, they need to make the journey itself more fun. We’ve had too many dark episodes this year. I’m hoping we will get over a hump in 3.08, and the remainder of the season will be more upbeat.

      • weaselone says:

        I’m going to surprise you and agree. This is my complaint about the show as well. It’s not nearly as much fun. What the writers are giving us now is much better covered in written fiction(and has been through fan fiction) as opposed to playing out on our TV screens.

        The only two characters I’m fond of at this point in the season are Casey, Chuck (Chuck has redeemed himself since 3.1 and 3.2), and Jeffster. I’m irritated with pretty much the remainder of the lot.

      • atcdave says:

        Actually, I read your post below first, so I’m not at all surprised. Often, when I say the show needs to be more fun, it is that Chuck/Sarah dynamic at the heart of it. It is NUTS not to have them together more.

  6. OldDarth says:

    The proof will be in the pudding. By the end of 3.13 everyone will be saying how kick ass yet caring Chuck is.

    Take that to the bank.

    • herder says:

      But isn’t that just another way of saying it isn’t the journey, it’s the destination.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      By the end of 3.13 everyone will be saying how kick ass yet caring Chuck is.

      Take that to the bank.

      Only if they are still watching.

      Every journey has a destination. But how can one make a final value judgment when the trip is not yet complete?

      I’ve occasionally had to travel for work, and one particular trip comes to mind. To be blunt, it sucked. Lost luggage, delayed flights, missed connections, being “randomly” selected for special security multiple times due to a constantly changing itinerary and no luggage or one way tickets purchased at the last minute…we all know the story. Arriving at my destination meant the end of a long tedious agonizing and frustrating day. It didn’t suddenly make the journey better. It made me glad it was over, that’s all.

      It’s a week to week contract. You don’t get to stand on episode 13 and tell everyone “See, you really DID enjoy episodes six through eight!”, but I know some people will. But the really funny thing is that all us shippers, constantly accused of missing the big picture, seem to be a lot more into the characters, the story, and how they tell it than those who say we’re missing the point, it’s all about the journey, not the destination, so you have to put up with this, because the last episode will be great.

      • atcdave says:

        The whole point to entertainment is to enjoy the ride. If the ride (the journey) stops being satisfying what’s the point. I do believe things will look up soon. And its possible I’ll even enjoy episodes 5 and 6 at some point in future (I was hugely pleased with 3 and 4, anyone can look back at my posts and see how much I did!). But right now I don’t like what they’re doing. As a hard core fan I will certainly stick it out. But I will always question the wisdom of having a dark, unpleasent arc dominate so much of the season on a show with marginal ratings to begin with.

  7. AngelTwo says:

    Sorry, folks, you’re simply incorrect. The viewers are deciding this is NOT a journey worth taking. The ratings are dropping, and substantially, in just the four weeks since Chuck has been in the Monday slot. And each of those episodes, starting with Angel of Death, have Chuck and Sarah drifting further apart.

    Moreover, all of the key relationships are now screwed up. Devon and Ellie are at odds. Chuck and Morgan no longer trust each other. And Sarah and Chuck no longer even talk to each other outside of missons. Why SHOULD anyone care about these people?

    Bottom line: Most viewers have decided the journey ain’t worth it. It doesn’t matter where the show will be by episode 8 or 13. There won’t be enough viewers left who care.

    TPTB made a bet on what to do with the key relationships of the shows in S3 and they are being proven wrong. The show could have been reset without this damage to the relationships. Chuck was a great show. It may be a great show again when they put everyone back together. But by then it’ll probably be too late from the standpoint of the casual viewers.

    • joe says:

      Only slightly, AngelTwo. The words used over at TVBTN is “Steadyish”, with a 2.4 in the 18-49 demo (which is actually a tad up from last season, IIRC).

      The words used by the non-casual viewers to describe last night’s episode seems to come down to “intense”. Some, of course, can only take so much of that. Others (like me) love it.

      • AngelTwo says:

        Joe-
        With all due respect, you don’t matter. Nor do I. We’re in for the season. We were in for last season. The battle this year was to score new viewers.

        And what new viewers are presented with is a show that has dysfunctional relationships on all fronts. So I ask again: Why would a casual viewer stay with this show? It’s depressing and with very little redeeming values. And the magnetic chemistry at the heart of the show–Levi and Strahovski–get no face time together.

        As for the definition of the ratings, well, we’ve gone from “steady” to “steadish” and from 3.0 to 2.4 in the crucial demographics. And we’re just 21 or 22 days from a massive publicity campaign to reboot this show.

        And, apparently, a downer episode comes next week, followed by two weeks of no show.

        So I ask again: Why would a casual viewer care anymore?

        This is dreadful showrunning.

    • ReadySet says:

      I have to agree with Angeltwo on this. We’re fans. Despite what Ernie Davis says about the “weekly contract,” we will give Chuck maybe as much as the whole season to get to a good place.

      But if I’ve a casual viewer, there’s not a lot worth liking about this show now. The lead character is morose and not particularly heroic. His putative love interest is catatonic. Casey is virtually a homocidial maniac. The BuyMore crew is a creepy bunch of stalkers. And even poor Ellie and Awesome are sniping at each other.

      All of you reading this: Put yourself in the shoes (or on the couch) of the average viewer. This isn’t happy television right now and who needs a relentlessly black show that only finds humor in the giggly use of “intercourse” and the feeble humor of one guy going after another’s with his mouth and maybe a laser? I’d certainly go elsewhere for my entertainment.

      It’s not a compelling show now. There’s no one to root for, no one to care about and no joy whatever.

      • kg says:

        Ready Set is absolutely correct. We’ll keep watching because we have for about three years now and we’re basically all in.

        We think we know the characters and despite some obstables we have hope things will eventually straighten out.

        But if I started watching this show this winter I would say, “this show blows. What was all the hype about.”

    • weaselone says:

      I agree with you regarding the handling of the relationships, but TPTB won’t be proven wrong. Ratings will still hold up going into the Olympics and then if we get atrocious ratings, well it won’t be what they did with the relationships, but rather the Olympic break that destroyed the show.

      I’m also going to second the Zach-Yvonne dynamic. It’s one of the shows key assets and for some reason the show refuses to utilize it.

      • Lucian says:

        Chuck and Sarah as “spy buddies” doesn’t work at this point. Too much has happened to make that a satisfying approach. They have really screwed up the heart and soul of the show. It’s hard to see how they are going to put humpty back together again.

      • atcdave says:

        I think Chuck and Sarah as a real romantic couple will work just fine. They’ve always been a little more than “just buddies.” If they really wanted to go that route they would have done things differently from the outset. Their relationship was never based on the sort of bickering or rivalry that make those pairings a problem. As I’ve been saying since last April, there is really no need for any “reset” between Chuck and Sarah at all. their relationship has been warm, functional, and important to the show from the start. All they’ve done is shoot themselves in the foot. Granted, all will be forgiven if they make things right without much more damage to the characters; hopefully the ratings will hold up until they get their act together (writers or characters, whichever you prefer).

  8. Mike B says:

    Exactly. The Chuck and Sarah relationship has always been the heart of the show. Zach and Yvonne have great screen chemistry. Hopefully once we know the final outcome we’ll have a better appreciation for these first episodes and maybe have a fe “ah ha” moments when we rewatch them.

    • herder says:

      But it is the comitted fans who rewatch the show who will get the “ah ha” moments, casual fans won’t not the least because no repeats air.

  9. Rick Holy says:

    I have to agree with the sentiments of those who are expressing some or a lot of dissatisfaction. It’s a great question to ask: What would keep me watching this show this season if I were a “new viewer?” A lot of the charm is missing – and that’s unfortunate.

    But here’s my observation. Yes, there has been a steady decline in ratings this season. But if memory serves, it seems like CHUCK also experienced drops over time from the S1 and S2 season premieres as well. Perhaps there was an occasional “bump” (like the 3D post Superbowl episode), but it seemed like each season started with better ratings, then a gradual decline, then a little up/down, then kind of a steady state for the remainder of the season.

    It seems like the start of each “new” season has been a chance to attract new fans – with this season being the best chance. Unfortunately, it seems like that chance has been blown.

    Now we’re back to the “base,” the “die-hards,” and the “addicts.” (Myself included). But now a part/some/many (take your pick) of the “base” aren’t pleased, either. That’s not good.

    I hope things turn around quickly. They should have by now – especially since we’re watching a story arc which is only 13 episodes. TBTG that NBC ordered an additional six (Season 3.2), otherwise it seems like this season would have the potential to be one in which a good portion of the episodes were less than satisfactory.

    I hate to say this, but this is kind of reminding me of HEROES. I LOVED that show in Season 1. I thought I would be “in it” like I used to be with ALIAS and like I’ve been with LOST. But in S2 it started to lose me and by a few episodes into S3 I turend it off and have never tuned in again. It’d be a shame if that’s what is (or starts) happening with some of CHUCK’s loyal fans.

    I’ll watch it until NBC cancels it. But then again, I’m an addict. Most viewers aren’t.

    • herder says:

      It’s strange, I too have a sense of dissatisfaction, not because I’m not enjoying the episodes, in fact I am, especially the last four. It’s the overall story and the unhappiness of so many of the characters that leads to it, of course I’ll watch until the end, but why they chose this story to tell or at least tell it in this way that I don’t understand.

      Part of it is that we know that at least the next two episodes are the angsty ones, but if you are given a thirteen episode run, why make it that for at least the first eight of them the characters are unhappy (with a very few exceptions) is a puzzle.

      My only thought is that they wanted 3.08 to be what Leathal Weapon was last year, the big change, the Aha moment leading to a run of the last five episodes that resolve all the problems brought up in the first eight leading to a big finish.

      The thing is that last year throughout they had those tender moments that showed what the characters (here I’m talking mostly, but not exclusively of Chuck and Sarah) were working towards, that gave a hint of what was to come. This year they seem to be relying on collective memory to supply those moments without them being shown on the screen. This puts a lot of faith in the goodwill of the audience and I can’t even imagine why, at this point a new viewer would regard Chuck and Sarah coming together as something to be desired based upon what we have seen.

      I mean really, at this point, if you didn’t know Chuck’s character from last year, would you, on the evidence of the last two episodes beleive that Chuck even wanted to get back together with Sarah? Sarah seems to be mired in some sort of blue funk and I don’t really see any great indication that she wants to clean up the mess that she and Chuck have made. Awesome seems reduced to a shell shocked mass of jelly who is about to break with Chuck. Morgan seems to be someone who is living off the memories of the friendship that he used to have. The only two who seem content are Casey and Shaw.

      The Chuck becoming a spy story is interesting but the show seems to have left behind a lot of the heart that it used to have. Maybe this is intentional, to show the depth that these characters have risen from, but for now, and I suspect for at least two more episodes things seem pretty grim on most fronts.

      Sorry about the downer post, I usually like to put up more positive stuff, but even an excellent episode like the last seems to lack the heart and soul of the show that I liked so much.

      I know there are those who say by the end all these problems will be forgotten, but on an upbeat show like this the journey should have as many ups as downs, so far as I can see it has been almost exclusively downs with precious few ups.

      • atcdave says:

        Excellent post herder; I agree entirely. I am an addict and will stick it out, but casual viewers I know are getting bored. Its not that the show is suddenly bad, its just very different in mood and tone; so those who enjoyed the light funny spy caper, with a sweet romance thrown in for bonus; barely recognize the show, and are loosing interest.
        Last season, after DeLorean, My wife said it was the best thing on television; this season, she doesn’t rank it in her top 5. If it weren’t for me, she would probably stop watching.
        I do think they will recapture the previous mood, but the show is starting a slow decline in ratings; I hope there is time to rebuild ratings after things look up.

  10. ReadySet says:

    There’s simply no story being told this year with Chuck and Sarah apart that couldn’t have been told with them together. And that’s not a shipper talking. It’s someone who looks at the screen and sees what everyone sees: great chemistry between the two leads.

    You create a season that has the chemistry wasted because you keep the characters apart or at odds with each other and that makes you a stupid showrunner.

    Chuck, frankly, doesn’t deserve a fourth season right now because TPTB chose to reset the series and tell an arc that keeps their best assets–Levi and Strahovski–apart. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Bad television and, thus, bad business.

    • herder says:

      The only thing that I can think of on that front is that TPTB are so enamoured of the angsty way of telling the story and that they have decided that they will put the two characters together that they wanted to do one last really big angsty story. But as they realize how much the fans dislike having them with others that they have tried to do it a different way, by eliminating the closeness, at least for a big part of the season. But that is really this same thing just done differently. And it eliminates one of the most appealing parts of the story, the dedication of the two, Chuck and Sarah towards each other. Last year Sarah glowed with pride when Chuck succeded at something, not this year. Last year Chuck regularly threw himself into harms way when Sarah was in danger, not this year. Maybe I’m forgetting something but off the top of my head, except for Chuck jumping on Sarah in Pink Slip, I can’t think of another instance of either trait.

    • Mike B says:

      You are exactly right. When you have a winning combination like Levi and Strahovski, you capitalize on it, you do not go out of you way to avoid it.

    • JLR says:

      The “chemistry” between C/S, I suspect, is mostly only perceptible to those of us who invested in Chuck during it’s entire run. Several people I know who have tried watching Chuck this season for the first time (none of whom have yet taken the time to watch previous seasons), “don’t get” why C/S are “supposed” to be together; they sense no chemistry. I’ve told them all what has transpired in past seasons, but more than one of them have said to me, “so, basically, I’ll have to watch 2 previous seasons to care about the Chuck/Sarah thing?” Oddly enough, a couple people really like the show, BECAUSE it shows Chuck going through growing pains. The others have quit watching b/s the find the plot implausible, and since they have no reason to care about the characters, why watch?

  11. OldDarth says:

    Part 2 of my take on why the characters are not ‘together’ – http://tinyurl.com/yfb77lj ….

    …..yet. 😉

  12. herder says:

    One thing that might be interesting is that as a result of the punch Chuck is refusing to talk to Sarah except on missions in 3.08. I say interesting because you could have a situation where Sarah is trying to get Chuck to talk about their relationship and interfering with the mission as a counter part to Chuck doing that in Three Words, also written by Ali Adler.

  13. Ashley says:

    I’m sorry but theres only been 6 shows so far, i really don’t understand what people were expecting i think the show is still as good as season 2 and they had to go along this dark route so chuck could see what he had. Also i agree they need Chuck and Sarah to hurry up and patch up there problems but Sarah is maybe still hurt and Chuck still thinks as he has the intersect he needs become a spy (even if he doesn’t fully like the ways they work) to make a difference. i fully believe leaving Sarah in Prague was the hardest thing he’s had to do but i think the general etc really made him feel like he could make a real difference. I think in the same situation most would do the same.

    Don’t mean to sound rude or anything everyone has their opinion and this is mine. I really love the show.

    • joe says:

      Don’t feel too alone, Ashley. There’s plenty of us who feel this way, more or less.

      We always like to see new people here, btw. And my opinion is we need more of the women’s point of view. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Ashley says:

        Just a quick Jump in about Chuck’s Ratings too. I personally think Chuck is suffering from being under NBC, when u look at there ratings alot of there shows are low. I think Chuck would get a hell of alot more viewers with say CBS,FOX or ABC

    • atcdave says:

      I think all of us here believe Chuck is a great show. Its why we’re here. But I’ve never seen a show where I couldn’t find some aspect that was disappointing to me. That’s just part of paying attention to the how and why of things that are done. I try to be generous with praise when I like something; the two Awesome episodes were among the best Chuck I’ve ever seen. But if something doesn’t seem right to me, you can bet I’ll pick at it ’till I figure it out. I think the fundamental problems this year can all be traced to the reset. It has never felt faithful to the characters I’ve liked since the start. We can analyze what’s been done from a scholarly perspective to gain some appreciation for the intent; but the willingness to believe in these characters will be harder to restore. Its not about the things they’ve done or not done this season; its about that kernel of a bad idea from the writing staff that started this whole current circumstance.

  14. Ernie Davis says:

    I know a lot of my posts seem negative, but I’m generally pretty happy with S3 from episode 3 on. I just often get asked about some of the negatives I see so a lot of my comments tend to be about the negatives. I also tend to do a lot of commiserating with those who weren’t happy with the direction TPTB chose to take things. So don’t feel alone in saying that you think its a good show and you enjoy it, almost all of us would agree at some level.

  15. Rick Holy says:

    There’s nothing particularly “wrong” with the reset, the overall lack of Chuck and Sarah “moments” which contribute so much to the show, and the down/darker aspects that are a part of this season.

    The primary problem imho is that these things are DOMINATING the season thus far. AGAIN, we’re talking about a 13-episode story arc here – and it appears that we’ll have exhausted more than half of those 13 episodes before (hopefully) things change and begin to look “up,” be more positive, and return (hopefully) to so many of the light-hearted and charming aspects of the show.

    The “reset” – of which there is nothing wrong in and of itself – is being draaaaaaaged on for tooooooo looooong. I’m no writer, I’m just a fan with an opinion – and it seems to me like the “reset” could have been accomplished in the first 3 (4 at the most) episodes and we could be moving on. Do we really need for the “reset” and the “angst” (whatever variety it might come in) to take up 75-80% of a 13 episode story arc?

    Is it really “CHUCK” we’re watching if we have to endure 8-10 episodes of “reset” darkness and angst in order for a likely 3 episode (5 if we’re lucky) payoff??

    I’ll be around for the hoped for payoff – but I also hope that we won’t have too many abandoning ship. We don’t need any further decline in the ratings.

    The show holds too much promise. I don’t want to see it end before it should (not until AT LEAST 5 seasons!!).

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