Reaction to the Reactions

The Meta-Thread

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. There’s been so much written (and read!) over these past 3 days I can’t keep up. And the vast majority of it is well considered, well written and even deep.   I’m surprised how little of what I’ve seen, even on the NBC Boards, is just silly trolling and easily dismissed. Much like the Subway campaign this spring, the reaction is “not what a normal fan would do.”

Sarah has a hard time expressing her feelings.

But that’s not to say I agree with it (as if there was only one reaction with which to agree or disagree). If you permit me to write about myself, I feel like an absolute minority of one when I realize that I actually liked The Mask, even the last 10 minutes. It’s not that I don’t understand the reactions I’ve seen; it’s that, to me, each part of the story carries such elements of inevitability I can’t see how it’s improved by changing any part. (Well, maybe I can, but when I’ve tried that in the past my imagination wasn’t “all that”. YMMV) I see the story as an incomplete puzzle, with pieces scattered on the table – some with matching colors connected and some not. Filing down a nub to make it fit doesn’t help, and sometimes (not always) it feels like many fans want to do just that for the sake of the characters (the best of all reasons). I have to step back and consciously realize that it’s not intended that way at all; it’s not an attempt to deface a painting. Disagreement is certainly not an attack on me ’cause I enjoyed the episode (especially since I made a point of questioning the pace of the story, wondering if the rushed feel was intentional or a budget-induced lapse).

This is where that awful word “entitlement” comes in. Both sides get upset when someone uses that word alone. They fill in the unwritten what-it-is-you’re-feeling-entitled-to with something other than the intended. Of course fans are not entitled to write the story themselves (and writing by committee never works anyway, except in encyclopedias). Of course the fans are entitled to express their honest opinions and to speak out, even to the point of complaining. FREE SPEECH!!! No one is entitled to happiness and satisfaction by dint of birth. But they are entitled to say “Hey! That painting is a portrait, and you didn’t make the woman pretty enough.”, and the painter is allowed to say “This is exactly how pretty she is.” And of course everyone is entitled to take their ball and go home, or to turn the TV off. In fact, no one can stop them. It’s never been in question.

Yet, I continue to see silver linings. I see them in the story (which makes me want to council “patience!” for the umpteenth time to people who have been extra patient already). I see it in the vehemence of the reactions. People just don’t react like this when they don’t care.

And man, we care. This can only be a good thing.

– joe

About joe

In my life I've been a professor, martial artist, rock 'n roller, rocket scientist, lover, poet and brain surgeon. I'm lying about the brain surgery.
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56 Responses to Reaction to the Reactions

  1. weaselone says:

    The problem being that the responses to fan disappointment has basically been to paint all those dissatisfied as crazy “shipper” trolls. I actually liked the episode, I’m mainly irritated by the commentary of the critics, the producers and even some of the fans towards the portion of the fan base that didn’t think the last 1/4 of the episode was good quality TV viewing.

    So on one side we have mostly sane fans, most including the shippers who are behaving and a handful of mixed nuts calling for a boycott. You have shippers, anti-shippers and those who couldn’t care less who Chuck and Sarah pair off with trying to get their voices heard. Most of their arguments revolve around key developments being too rushed, characters acting far outside of norms established over the previous two seasons, and blatant sacrifice of story telling to maneuver the characters into a desired position.

    On the flip side you have the vast majority of critics as well as the show’s executive producers stating this is all a hullabaloo created by shippers going supernova over the PLI pairings. Then they precede to dump on the complainers as entitled brats and whiners while suggesting that everyone is calling for a show boycott. When people post to the blogs trying to clarify their positions, they get dumped on by the boards resident sycophants and the shows unabashed cheerleaders.

    If it’s only shippers that find fault with the episode, why is it that the crew of “Chuck you Tuesday” who normally leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of shipper tweaking just happen to have opinions that parallel what a vast majority of upset fans are saying?

  2. John says:

    I like how 99% of the media glosses over the fact that the fans (well most of them) are not angry about the new S/S C/H relationships. They are disappointed about how the final 10 minutes of the show transpired.

  3. Fake Empire says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Joe. I have only watched the Mask once because I had to leave the DC area Tuesday morning and go to Richmond on business. (Missed the second blizzard!) I return home tonight and will most likely watch it again to see if I can see signs (hope??) of the conjecture put up by many posters that this is actually a “con within a con.”

    My first impression of the first 2/3 of Mask was positive, but, to me, the final portion was utterly mind-numbing in its shockingly devastating character portayal. The plot twist also shook me. I will look hard for that silver lining tonight – if only to hang onto to hope in the show.

  4. Mike B says:

    Well here is something to react to and interview by Ausiello:

    Question: I absolutely love Kristin Kreuk as Hannah on Chuck. Any idea how many more episodes she will be in this season? —Jeremy
    Ausiello: Just one. Schwartz and Fedak confirmed that Kreuk’s arc will conclude on March 1. Meanwhile, Brandon Routh’s stay has been extended yet again, although Team um… Schwedak (?) wouldn’t provide an updated episode count.

    Could this mean that Shaw is in the back 6?

    • weaselone says:

      Honestly, the guy is supposed to be a guest star. He’s in more episodes this season than all but the primary three cast members and possibly Josh Gomez.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, and I like him less than Emmitt.

      • Mike B says:

        Tony hale was in 15 episodes, looks like we are headed in the same direction. What doesn’t make sense is due to budget cuts the regular supporting cast doesn’t appear in every episode but they keep bring back a recurring guest star.

      • kg says:

        Yeah guys, I don’t even care WHY anymore. I just can’t wait for this clown to get popped.

        He needs to get his!!! LOL.

    • atcdave says:

      Sounds like it to me, since they’ve already said they’re writing 3.19. My objections to Shaw as a spy are few; I still don’t like what he does to the TeamB dynamic, but that may yet morph again. He may be exposed as a villain in 3.13, for some reason, I’d really like to see Casey take him out. I’m less enthused if he remains the hero. Every aspect of the Chuck/Sarah/Casey relationship has been diminished by his presense, I would much prefer it if they were taking shots at him.

    • Fake Empire says:

      Anybody know where we can get kryptonite on the black market?

      • Jason says:

        the rest of the interview was somewhat encouraging, was it not? I think they may have realized that so far, Routh’s career post chuck is essentially over, he probably is playing the role as it was written, giving him a little more time in subsequent episodes to recover might be a favor to zach levi (routh’s buddy) than anything. AFter the interview, I am much more sure of the next episodes being what I want to see, than I was after the interview given right after 3.7

      • Faith says:

        I agree Jason. Though I get the feeling CF talked more in that epi than you know who lol.

    • lizjames says:

      Hey, guys, not to beat on a fellow media type, but this guy Ausiellio has a habit of presenting old news as a scoop. As far as anyone can tell, Routh is in for eight, concluding with e13. That was upped several times in the past. But there is no indication (as yet) that he has been extended into the 3.5 arc.

      • herder says:

        Also a couple of weeks ago Ausiello announced that Routh’s episode order had gone from 3 to 6, he could be just catching up to the extention to 8.

  5. Ernie Davis says:

    Joe, I liked the episode too, even parts of the last 10 minutes. It is clear that there is more going on here than meets the eye, but it is also clear TPTB misjudged the intensity of the reaction to making Sarah Walker look like a flake who really does fall for every guy she works with, and doing it with virtually no setup as opposed to what they’d done with Chuck, even if it is only temporary. My decision to just watch and let them tell it their way in no way lessens my disappointment with what they APPEAR to be doing at this point, but by taking things at face value it does heighten my enjoyment of these episodes. If you take at face value that Chuck has moved on, and once again Sarah was unable to speak up to stop him, the last scene in the hallway is rather moving. Once again Sarah is sacrificing for Chuck, clearly she hasn’t moved on, but now sees herself standing in his way if she isn’t willing to accept who he is and is becoming. Allowing the impression to stand that she and Shaw are somehow together at that point is her way of easing Chuck’s departure. He doesn’t see himself as breaking her heart again, because she’s moved on, and he is further convinced he should move on. We however know the truth. She still loves Chuck, but is still in that state of Sarah paralysis between running away with him and helping him become “that guy”, as she so often encouraged him to be. With the changes she sees in him she also may be thinking that he’s outgrown her. He doesn’t need protecting and doesn’t need her holding him back in his old life. Is she seeking solace in a rebound with a man she finds attractive? We don’t really know at this point. We only saw hints at possibilities.

    I originally thought that Hannah was going to be closer to a Lou than a Jill, but I now think Hannah is Shaw’s new babysitter for Chuck, someone to give him a reason to move on, brought in, because, as said in First Class, Shaw had a theory as to why Sarah didn’t seem to be pushing Chuck to preform. But come March 1, all those theories go away, and I watch the show free of preconceptions. I will take the story at face value, relying only on what was on the screen so far.

  6. Faith says:

    Good thoughts Joe. Having already expressed all my opinions (it’s a mask, a con, blah blah blah) I’ll try to go another way for this post…

    I think it was KevinCalvin that first pointed out that if taken at face value (and he was)…the last 10 minutes even for a “writer” is just plain awful. There’s a lack of exposition which is boring yet so imperative for stories in general and Chuck in particular (there’s a reason Chuck flashes on bad guys and we don’t just assume they’re bad). Any good writer would know you don’t blindside the fans with events without background information and then expect them to like the end product. Because they will rise up and say, WTF! I don’t get it and leave. Why was the third matrix the worse of the 3? Not because of the death, but because it just got way too convoluted that the explanation got left out. So they can defend their “vision” all they want, but I would argue that vision is standing on a weak foundation.

    • Jason says:

      faith, I want a CS con as much as anyone, but it may just be chuck (albeit very poorly written) just pulled back, remember, he seemingly did not care in the nacho seduction either, different thing, but …. and sarah is who knows where, lets just say luke warm (somewhere between rev’d up and on a con) right now, and this whole mess will be over with the punch and hannah departure. Not CS back together 100%, but trending in the right direction, talking, 1 on 1 screen time, etc actually beginning to build the relationship not of a schoolboy and his overprotective nanny, but of two mature, equally grounded adults.

    • Faith says:

      Ali Adler twittered the other day to not worry about Chuck because Chuck will always be Chuck. That combined with the spoilers in the EW link makes me believe that Chuck is once again being a good guy and bowing out. So you might be right.

      Still there are some very iffy things going on even with his relationship with Hannah.

      It’s funny you say “trending in the right direction” because you can argue that’s what they were doing after “friends” and “clean up the mess.” That went to potty now.

      • Mike B says:

        Faith, What was the spoiler in the EW link?

      • Faith says:

        “we want to stress, Chuck and Sarah are not emotionally in the same place at the end of this episode.”

        “There are things far greater than a relationship that threaten Chuck and Sarah… Stay tuned.”

      • Mike B says:

        That’s pretty cryptic. What’s your take on it?

      • ReadySet says:

        My take is that Chuck was right in Pink Slip. The assassin may have been after Sarah. I guess the way they finally put these two together again is under the stress of an attack on one (or both) of them. I gather that this time, since the S3 story is about Chuck becoming a super hero, Chuck will have to rescue the damsel in distress…

      • lizjames says:

        Or the ludicrous “the Intersect agent is meant to work alone” line they started in Mask is followed through and Shaw decides either Chuck or Sarah are to leave LA…

      • Faith says:

        My take?

        “we want to stress, Chuck and Sarah are not emotionally in the same place at the end of this episode.”

        Chuck is in a place where he has let Sarah go. He really does believe that she belongs with a hero and having never really seen himself as measuring up to that, he’s given up and just decided to put her needs above his own. Which is not to say he no longer loves her, but sometimes love is not enough.

        Sarah is NOT at that place. She’s likely running a con on Shaw being suspicious of not only his actions but on his intentions as it relates to Chuck. Besides I like to think that having fallen in love with Chuck, she would know it’s implausible for Shaw to just all of a sudden be over his dead wife.

        “There are things far greater than a relationship that threaten Chuck and Sarah… Stay tuned.”

        Shaw is evil. And so is Hannah.

      • lizjames says:

        Of course, Shaw and Hannah are evil. Except that most of the writers are men. What do THEY know about evil… 🙂

      • Faith says:

        LMAO Liz.

      • ReadySet says:

        If you’re right that they are positioning Chuck has actually haven given up Sarah, that allows Chuck to pop Shaw in a way that positions Chuck as defending Sarah’s honor or honesty in some way.

        It also allows Sarah to realize that she loves Chuck and then forces her to pursue Chuck, which would fit into the Chuck-on-top meme that my friend Liz insists how we should view the season…

      • weaselone says:

        Or maybe Chuck just grows up a little more and decides he’s not going to settle for another brunette just because Sarah’s emotionally gutless.

  7. Lucian says:

    Personally, I think the story will be much improved when there is no misunderstanding of their status as a couple. Chuck can focus on becoming a spy; Sarah can focus on dealing with her emotional constipation. They’ll be in a much better place in 1 – 2 months (amazing how tv time just flies; I wish I could address all my issues so quickly).

  8. Lucian says:

    Spoiler alert! I have figured out why Chuck punches Shaw. After Sarah tells Shaw she wants to keep things professional, Shaw calls Chuck: “Chuck, you need to take her back; I can’t deal with this ‘you’re so great’ then ‘let’s be professional’. Pa-leeeze take her back; she is driving me nuts.” Then the punch. Chuck then smiles and says, “good luck Shaw; now you know what I’ve been dealing with for two years. You thought being a spy was hard…..”

    • Mike B says:

      Or after Chuck punches Shaw Chuck says” That’s what it feels like being in a relationship with Sarah, good luck”

    • ReadySet says:

      Uh, guys, in fairness, Chuck never told Sarah he loved her until Three Words. I’m just saying. For a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, he was not pillar of emotional honesty, either.

      I was thinking today how much (if any) difference we’d feel about how the relation were handled if we didn’t have that insanely long layoff after S1, the brutal layoff after S2 and now the unintended three-week break now…

      At least some of the drag-it-out feeling is due to how much down time there’s been. For 42 hours of television, there has been insane amounts of downtime…

      • Mike B says:

        Why would Chuck tell her that he loved her? We know he is insecure, he is afraid to put it out there only to be shot down. How many times did he tell her he was carzy about her, she was everything he wanted in a girl,he wanted a real relatinship with her, yadda, yadda, yadda. Sarah would just sit there and say nothing or tell him why they can’t be together.

      • ReadySet says:

        Can you find any time when Chuck actually LET Sarah speak while he was babbling like that? The one time they actually DID speak–in First Date–Sarah did okay. It’s actually why First Date rates so high on everyone’s “best list.” Actual character interaction!

        Believe me, I am not saying Sarah is Chatty Cathy. Obviously, she is not. My point is that neither of them have ever seized the day–Is that a Star Trek: Voyager line?–and gone for it.

        It will be interesting to see how TPTB make them come together. And whether they actually talk about things or just jump into the relationship. I am rooting for talking. I mean, we’ve seen kisses and as much of a sex scene as we could see anyway.

        It would be INSANELY sexy if these two actually said stuff to each other–AND answered back!

      • Anonymous says:

        That would be to daring for TPTB. They rather stick with the same old tired formula of the constant interuptions when one of them is trying to say something meaningful(of course they never go back to finish the conversation). The constant influx of PLI’s or now LI’s. The reasons why they can’t be together that don’t seem to apply to anyone else..etc. etc.

        One of my main reasons for watching Chuck was the story of an average guy who has the super hot sexy spy fall in love with him. She falls in love with him because of who he is and his value system. He never asked to be a spy it was thrusted upon him and because he’s a good guy he did what was asked of him, by his government, to the best of his abilities with no formal training, no spy skills, just good intentions. This is why I love Chuck, this is why Sarah loves Chuck. So then why do TPTB constantly feel the need to bring in new PLI’s to shake the foundation of the story they got me hooked on. And of course it always has to be a super smooth character that brings out all the insecurities in Chuck. This latest one is the worst of all because besides the obvious physical attraction what else is there between Sarah and Shaw. His witty sense of His electrifying personality..I think not. It’s not even his spy skills because he was pretty inept in this last episode. So if it is purely physical they are making Sarah out to be shallow and superficial..another character assasination. Again I’m taking everything at face value. This is my long winded way of saying I wish TPTB would have tried something different and original not just more of the same.

  9. kg says:


    You are undoubtedly correct in that Javier was directly aiming at Sarah and told Chuck of his sinister interest in her while they were prisoners in Mexico.

    Chuck is still a relative unknown in the spy industry. Casey is renowned as an assassin, Bryce Larkin is assumed dead. Therefore, the Ring probably knows that Sarah and Larkin were close, that Larkin was in on the Omaha Project and It may believe she’s the key to the Intersect.

    And, as you say, if Chuck were to heroically save or rescue Sarah, that would elicit much joy and pride from we the fans.

    Another scenario to consider is Chuck taking a bullet for Sarah, a la Cole. Chuck’s been in a few tight spots and the worst he’s taken is a busted ankle. Getting shot would certainly cause some emotional output from Sarah and the fans.

    • joe says:

      You’re onto something here, kg. We’ve seen time and again in S3 that Chuck has had opportunities to act out with Sarah exactly those heroic scenarios he saw others perform. Bryce’s Lambada dance with Sarah is replayed with Chuck in Angel; Bryce’s fight scene with her in Nemesis is replayed in The Mask. His protection of Manoosh is like the protection Bryce tried to provide for him. In each case, Chuck does it better.

      If Chuck takes a bullet for Sarah, it’s for him to be like Cole.

      • ReadySet says:

        I would hate it if Chuck is STILL so confused about what Sarah loved about him. That’s what breaks my heart about this year’s story arc. Apparently, TV can’t be about a smart, strong, sexy (albeit emotionally closed) woman who loves a smart, emotionally open, sexy (albeit not physically overpowering) guy.

        That’s too bad. Chuck and Sarah at the end of Season 2 were simply wonderful, a couple I’d like to know and share a cheeseburger dinner with. Chuck and Sarah, even at the happy ending in e13, not so much…

      • joe says:

        I think I mean something a little different, ReadySet. Chuck getting to re-live the events, but this time in the staring role, is a chance for him to re-gain the confidence he lost in the years starting with Stanford and Jill, and continuing up to the moment he chooses to re-intersect. (Wow! Did I just type all that?)

        If anything, that non-confident, articulate schnook is the one Sarah *did* fall in love with. Sarah may have lost that guy, and may not be so infatuated with the new, improved Chuck. Question: Is he still there, underneath the superspy? We’ve heard from Ali Adler herself that yes, he is. Taken at face value, the couple you (and I) saw at the end of The Colonel is exactly where we’re heading.

      • ReadySet says:

        And, Joe, I guess I mean something different, too. I loved the fact that Chuck idealized Sarah and that Sarah idealized Chuck. The adoration that they wrote into the characters in S2 was sweet and tender. Great relationships work because each partner idealizes the other in some way.

        And I know there was something of a logical disconnect: Sarah knew everything about Chuck and Chuck never knew much about Sarah. I suspect that is the actual heavy lifting Ali Adler has to do in e8. Chuck can’t be the “I don’t need to know what you were” lover from Cougars. He does need to know…

        That said, a pairing of older, wiser, sadder, less adoring Chuck and Sarah may meet all the requirements of the new “darker” show.

        But I like my characters “real.” And, oddly, in real life, couples that work together adore each other–even when they know they shouldn’t.

      • atcdave says:

        Some good points Readyset, the one thing I’d add is; Chuck’s multiple infatuations during his time with Sarah, makes his devotion and character suspect. Certainly the first two can excused for different reasons, and we haven’t seen how this will play out; but I currently respect and like Chuck far less than at any other point in the show.
        I would ditto some of that for Sarah, although her previous LIs were less damaging to her character, IF she actually has fallen for Shaw, it will be a permanent stain on her.

  10. Gord says:

    Wow got to love Windows 7 automatic updates, I was halfway through writing a post and it decided to restart my computer for me without warning to apply updates. By the way if you are thinking about buying a new laptop with windows 7 and you have lots of older software that you like using, don’t bother – it wont work any more.

    Well enough of a rant on Windows 7, back to what I was saying.

    I am one of those who did not like The Mask, but Joe I’m glad you enjoyed it. In fact to all those fans who enjoyed it (all 5 of you – just kidding I think), I’m happy for you.
    I have to admit that when I rewatched it, it didn’t seem as bad, and I found a few more good things in the episode.
    I think I have already mentioned in previous posts, I liked Chuck’s spy development. With the exception of a few information flashes (who the bad guy was, antidote for gas and what vase it was in), Chuck completed the mission successfully withou the use of intersect 2.0. No super skills, just Chuck Bartowski.
    The way they handled the relationship stuff was what bothered me most. It seemed juvenile, rushed and contrived.

    I could accept Chuck and Sarah deciding to move on to other people, but I think that should have been a fountain side discussion held a few episodes earlier rather than after the fact that they had hooked up with others. Also, Sarah’s attraction to Shaw should have evolved more slowly. They should have developed it over the course of the previous Shaw episodes, rather than have it go from I hate you, I don’t trust you, you’re an arrogant jerk, stop hitting on me over 3 and 3/4 epsiodes to “I really liked how you kissed my neck” lets hook up in about 10 minutes at the end of this episode. If that is me having a sense of entitlement, so be it. I’m just expressing my opinion.

    Also, the effects of the budget cuts were really felt in this episode – where was the humour? With the end of the previous episode they had some real opportunities to have some Jeffster humour. Having those two stalking Chuck in their “spy van” could have been so funny.

    Instead we saw 5 regulars – Chuck, Sarah, Casey, Morgan and Ellie. The Morgan/Ellie scenes were slightly amusing, but certainly didn’t make me laugh.

    All this being said, just because I thought this was the worst episode of Chuck ever, doesn’t mean I am giving up on the show, or calling for a boycott. Every series is entitled (oops using entitlement again) to have an episode that is a stinker for most of the fans or for how many fans didn’t like it.

    The spoilers and casting calls we have seen for future episodes still have me excited about Chuck. I am really looking forward to learning Sarah’s real name, to seeing Zach’s directoral debut, and to seeing the episode on the train. Also learning that there is an episode called Chuck vs The Final Exam has me excited – I just know that episode is going to be great.

    What makes me the angriest is I am now worried that the writers/creators have turned off too many casual viewers. I am pretty sure that most of us hard-core fans are willing to stick it out, but I would hate to lose S4 because enough fans just couldn’t take the juvenile approach to relationships (at least as perceived by them). I am hoping when I see the next few episodes, what I saw at the end of this episode will make some sense.

    Because if it doesn’t then I might get angry again because I will be thinking that their silly antics cost us all a great show. I hope that we see the ratings climb again after the break there is just so many possibilities left for great Chuck episodes.

    • joe says:

      Gord, if there’s one person I know has had a positive view of the show from the beginning, it’s you. Believe me, no matter what I think of a particular episode, I know in my bones that if you were disappointed, the episode has problems.

      I’m definitely looking forward to what’s coming down the pike. The Role Models and the casting of Christopher Lloyd has got me really excited.

      Hey! We’re all virtually visiting Canada these next two-plus weeks. The Winter Games are always great – I always love to watch the Luge and Bobsled events. The rest of the world should just cede the gold in Curling to Canada 😉 Hockey? You’ll have to fight for that one!

    • atcdave says:

      Great rant Gord! I agree entirely. I do expect good things ahead, I’m mainly concerned if I can hold my breath ’til we get there. And the situation with casual viewers seriously concerns me. That my wife can go from saying last year “Chuck’s the best show I’ve seen in a decade” to this year “I don’t really like Chuck anymore” is a pretty breathtaking fall from grace.

    • JLR says:

      Re: alienating casual viewers; I’m hearing a mixed bag from people I know. Before season 3 premiered, I “recruited” 7 households to start watching Chuck. As of Tuesday, Feb 9, none of those households will be watching any more (4 households had quit before the Mask aired; and I know these people, so I believe it when they say it). However, I have heard from 2 new Chuck viewers (I didn’t recruit) this week who say they are enjoying the episodes & plan to keep watching, schedule permitting. Myself? I’m hardly a casual viewer, but I won’t be watching live any more most weeks. I had shuffled things around to clear Monday nights (my rec league basketball team has been w/out it’s star shooting guard since Chuck started) to watch Chuck, but I no longer plan to miss out. I’ll catch Chuck online, time permitting, barring the rare Monday night when I won’t be playing ball.

      I figure I gave it 7 episodes, even though I came into this season not liking what happened in Vs the Ring, and knowing we were getting more of the same WRT the romantic drama aspect of the show. I was willing to give it a chance b/c I love many different aspects of the show. However, IMHO, the way the season has played out for the most part, too many things, not the least of which is the likability of the primary lead characters, has been sacrificed so the TPTB can tell the story they want to tell and how they want to tell it. I can handle all the C/S angst they want to dish out, but having Sarah become a helpless damsel in distress, relegating Casey to the sidelines & lessening (IMO) the humor factor in order to devote time to romantic tension via PLIs AGAIN means me compromising too much. I also anticipate Chuck acting like a needy little child once Hannah exits, and that especially I am not looking forward to seeing…AGAIN.

      Speaking a bit off-topic, but regarding screen time to Routh/Kreuk, the latter of which I happen to think has done a fine job… My youngest sister is a fanatical follower of Glee. She actually twigged me to one of the issues I’m having w/ Chuck this season: time for guest stars comes at the expense of the regular cast. In Glee parlance, I believe those showrunners call it “stunt casting.” My sisters & many of her Glee cohorts are getting upset that all of these celebrities wanting in on the Glee magic is gonna come at a cost. I know it’s an entirely different formula, but I have a similar concern about what Chuck the show is doing… Anyways, just my 2 cents.

      • atcdave says:

        You make a great point about the guest casting. I know, my hope for Chuck has always been the light hearted spy-couple type theme with their excentric and amusing friends and family. Not only has the show veered sharply from what I had hoped to see, but as you say, the heavy use of guest stars is taking screen time away from the characters I actually want to see.

  11. Merve says:

    A few days later and I’ve finally realized why the initial fan reaction bothered me so much. People were using words like “we,” “us,” and “the fans,” as if everyone had the same gripes they did. I think that it’s incredibly unfair to use such words and paint the entire Chuck fanbase with the same brush. Saying things like, “The fans wanted to see Chuck and Sarah together as a spy couple this season,” is making sweeping generalizations. (Heck, after the events of “the Ring,” even barring all the romantic misunderstandings, I wouldn’t have liked to have seen that just yet, but that’s not my point.) The problem with making sweeping generalizations is that they’re very often inaccurate. To be fair, most people have been saying, “I didn’t like ____ because ____” and that’s completely fine with me. But when people start saying “We didn’t like…” then it makes many different people complaining about many different things seem like one angry mob. I would like to reiterate: people didn’t like “the Mask” for different reasons. (And some people liked it too.) I’m not even defending the episode; I really didn’t enjoy the last quarter of it. But some people had problems with the entire episode. Some had problems with the PLIs. Some had problems not the with the PLIs themselves but with the way the PLIs were introduced. Some didn’t have problems with the PLIs but were disappointed that good use wasn’t made of the supporting cast. Some were dissatisfied that some of the dramatic threads from the previous episode weren’t touched upon. Some weren’t amused because of the lack of humour. Some found the spy story too silly. And some have been disappointed with Season 3 as a whole. Those are a lot of different, often non-overlapping complaints.

    So, in a nutshell: speak for yourself. It avoids a lot of confusion and hurt feelings.

    • joe says:

      Hi, Merve. Welcome to our blog.

      I gotta say, I’ve learned more in these past few days about the characters and their motivations, and more about the story we’ve been seeing than I thought possible. It’s because I’ve seen so many points of view expressed so well.

      No one’s even trying to speak for everybody here; we’ve having a good time speaking for ourselves!

  12. Pingback: Episode of the Week: Chuck vs The Mask (3.07) | Chuck This

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