Having Faith

Something Important

Over these past few months, I’ve written a lot of words here about belief and trust. Sorry about that. I’m chatty and prone to being philosophical that way. Mostly, I’ve done it in the context of Chuck and Sarah needing to believe and trust in each other, though – It’s part of their story, after all. Time and time again, we’ve seen them say that they wouldn’t lie to each other, and that they’d be there for each other, practically shouting “Trust me! Trust me!” every chance they got. And then we’d watch as they struggle, then prove themselves and earn that trust. We know for a fact that Chuck would give up his life for Sarah, and that she’d give up everything for him. Indeed, they’ve both come very close to doing exactly those things several times already.

But…


We worry! Chuck didn’t tell Sarah that he was going to try to save the Zamibian President – he went to Morgan instead. For nearly three years, Sarah couldn’t get herself to say “I love you.” But she confided her deepest secret to Shaw. Chuck is (more than) hesitant to tell Sarah the truth about what the intersect might be doing to his brain.

Does Chuck trust Morgan more than Sarah? Does she trust Shaw more than Chuck? We know General Beckman trusts nobody, but is Casey the only one who trusts everybody? No, of course not.

Fear Is The Mindkiller

Chuck himself said (to Morgan) that he’s afraid to mess things up with Sarah. Afraid? Yes. Fear is the mindkiller. Chuck is doing his best to shield Sarah from his condition because he is afraid, but it’s important to remember he’s not afraid of her or of what she might do. He’s not afraid that she will abandon him.

Chuck: The dream that I had made me think. Made me know that the President of Zamibia is in danger…and nobody believes me.
Morgan: Sarah doesn’t believe you?
Chuck: I’m trying not to involve Sarah in this. Things are really good with us right now and I don’t want her to think I’m…
Morgan: Crazy.

And Sarah was much more afraid of Shaw, I think, than she could ever be of Chuck. It is the unknown they fear. It is the darkness that scares them. For both, this is uncharted territory.

I know what they lack. Chuck has little faith; Sarah has little faith. Check out the dictionary – Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, concept or thing. Both of them have been surrounded by things (the intersect, the CIA) and people (Jill/Bryce, fathers) that have disappointed them, and both have reason to suspect their own judgment about the trustworthiness of others. In fact, they know that others must put their trust in them. Chuck in particular has set himself up as the one that both Awesome and Morgan have to trust. He’s set himself up as Ellie’s secret protector.

I know what they lack, but I don’t think for a minute that they lack faith in each other. When Sarah was paralyzed and helpless, the only thing she could see clearly was that Chuck was there. Of course, Sarah has always been there for Chuck. They do have faith in each other, but the world is bigger than the two of them, and like The Ring and The Intersect, it contains things beyond even their power to control. What they’ve not been doing is relying on those people, Morgan, Devon, Ellie, and others to help and even look after them. We’ve seen many times that help sometimes comes come in the form of Jeff, Lester and even the occasional Merlin.

I would guess that we’ve been in the same position. It’s part of the human condition, right? Perhaps that’s one of the biggest reasons I’m so invested in this show. As fantastical and farcical as it is sometimes, Chuck is really about me (and I’m sure it’s about you, too). So when I’ve asked people, as I have in the past, to have some faith that Chuck & Sarah would eventually get together, for instance, I was really talking to myself. And when I said that we must make that leap sometimes, and just trust for no reason at all that there will be a season 3, or 4, or 8 in the future, it’s my own courage that I’m screwing up. Lucky for me, the blind leap paid off. Faith is a funny thing that way.

As I was thinking about my own faith (or lack) that I’d be seeing more of a show that I really like, I saw this in a recent post at TV By The Numbers. Commenter AO writes the following.

NBC seems to have two paths that they could follow.

In one path, as some people have argued, they cancel everything that could never be a big hit, which would open up around 15 hours in their schedule next year and hope for the best. That tactic would (almost) surely result in some successes, but could also mean a lot of true stinkers too, shows that might quickly settle into the 1.0 – 1.5 range (or theoretically even lower).

In the other path, which seems to be what they’re doing, then they pick their battles and try to improve themselves in 5-6 hours. Assuming that that’s successful, then they build outwards from that. Imo, it’s obvious that NBC looks at Monday’s at 8:00 as a tough time slot and believes that the first battles to be fought are better off being done elsewhere. Chuck doesn’t have to be advertised and holds numbers that while certainly are not good, are not completely embarrassing either, especially when compared to the average ratings on the whole Network.

Now it looks like we’ve really gone “meta”. It’s NBC’s turn to show some faith, and in fact, all signs seem to say that they’re doing just that.

If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. – 1 Corinthians

Chuck and Sarah are just starting to have faith in each other, and are working on expanding that as they can, to others. We can see that happening. There’s no reason for them to do that, except out of love. Faith, by definition, has no other rationale. We have no reason to watch any television show, except that we want to and prefer it to any other activity at that moment. In the vernacular, we love it. NBC has no reason to put on Chuck except to make a profit. It’s a corporation and has no other motive.

But even the denizens of a cold-hearted corporation are human beings, and they do take a certain pride in what they do. Sometimes, when the decision is tough and rational decision making isn’t helping any, sometimes you just have to go with your heart, ’cause your brain just screws things up. I find myself doing that more and more as I get older, too.

– joe

Update: Okay, now I have to add this. Ausiello:

Woo-to-the-hoo! As I predicted, NBC has indeed done the right thing and picked Chuck up for a 13-episode fourth season! A network rep declined to comment.

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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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231 Responses to Having Faith

  1. Sole says:

    Oh my god! I’ve heard the news…. I’m so super fantastic exicted!!!

  2. joe says:

    Heh! [Hugs all ’round]

  3. Jen says:

    Congratulations to all of us 😛

  4. JC says:

    Is it still 13 with a possible back 9 pickup? Yes I’m greedy.

    • joe says:

      I think it is, JC. But that’s the normal way of doing things, I hear. They usually wait to see some indication of the new season ratings before ordering more.

  5. kg says:

    Joe

    I admit I’m stealing this from the lips of William Payne from the original Miracle on 34th Street, but it has always been my favorite definition of FAITH.

    Payne was playing the lawyer/friend to Kris Kringle and at the time I believe he was talking to love interest Maureen O’Hara.

    “Faith,” he said, “Is believing when common sense tells us not to.”

  6. Faith says:

    You rang?

  7. Rick Holy says:

    Joe. How can I NOT love this article? A quote from 1st Corinthians? How awesome is THAT?

    Just saw over at TVbytheNumbers that they’re “officially” confirming CHUCK’s renewal for a 13 episode pickup!

    Let the good times roll! And KEEP ON CHUCKIN’ everbody!

    • Faith says:

      @ZacharyLevi

      Thank you for all the love and kindness. I hope we can make a fourth season that is deserving of all your support. Blessings to you all.

    • joe says:

      More amazing to me was that TPTB worked it in there, Fr. Rick (even if it wasn’t intentionally)! 😉

    • lucian says:

      Great article, Joe. We care so much because we often see reflections of our best selves in Chuck and Sarah (and sometimes the not so perfect parts).

  8. herder says:

    As to Joe’s idea that they have faith in one another, I agree. I might qualify that by saying that they both are only too happy to demonstrate that faith, but they are reluctant to test the faith of the other. They are only too happy to run in and protect the other, they don’t like to put the other in a position where the other’s has to run in and protect them.

    They are both willing to give up their spy life for the other, they just don’t want to ask the other to remain in the spy life for them. Chuck flies to Paris to save Sarah from Shaw, but doesn’t want to burden Sarah with his intersect problems. Sarah goes to the psyciatrist to help Chuck (I’ll always come back for you) but won’t insist on guns being in the home (ok that’s a bit weak, but my guess is that there is a better example coming up in the next episode). They are better at giving of themselves than demanding of the other, not a bad basis for a relationship.

    And Faith, while Chuck’s lie is wrong, and I think that it will be resolved by the end of the next episode, it isn’t done to excuse himself, it is done to spare Sarah. Depending and relying on another (asking) is much harder than giving of yourself, at least for these two and that is something that they have to learn as part of growing as a couple. It is a hard lesson but it is drama that is occasioned by their relationship, not all will be rainbows and butterflies

    • Crumby says:

      An example for Sarah would probably be “I don’t want you to choose me over something that you want for yourself.” As much as she knows he’ll do it, she doesn’t want him to.

  9. Mclovin says:

    One word sums up the renewal of the show. ”AWESOME”

  10. Michael says:

    I caught a bad cold and stayed at home for the last 4 days, sipping tea and orange juice and building a huge mountain out of paper tissues. As you can probably imagine that also meant treating myself with huge, concentrated doses of our favourite show. I rewatched the beginnings, saw PLIs come and go, went through the whole Angst-Thing again that came up in S3 and finally ended up with Chuck and Sarah taking the first steps into their new life together…all of that with a huge smile on my face. When I wasn’t watching, most of the time a song from the series would run in the background…”down river”…”creature fear”…”here’s looking at you kid”… And when I wasn’t watching or listening to the songs, I would dig up older articles from the blog which I hadn’t read yet and look up the scenes people were talking about, trying to find and enjoy the small details I had missed before (did you see Casey actually smiled on “Tooth”? It lasted about 0.4 seconds, but he did!). But all the time, one question remained unanswered – what is it about this series that it touches me more than all the other stuff on TV (some of it undeniably being execellent stuff, and I’m not talking about people on an island playing with polar bears)? Then, before leaving for the office, I read your post and it contained that wonderful line: “As fantastical and farcical as it is sometimes, Chuck is really about me (…).” That is the spot on answer to my question. It’s really amazing how I could overlook that all the time…it seems so simple. Maybe it’s because other series don’t try to come up with a story teaches you something about yourself, or they try and don’t succeed. Anyway, after that I read the update to your post…talk about fireworks going off in my brain. The only way to comment on what is going on seems to be this line from a song I mentioned earlier:

    Go – don’t stop now – GO! 🙂

    • joe says:

      You just made my day, Michael.

    • jason says:

      I am amazed at how many comments about this series tripping some unique trigger of tv show enjoyment – that was the case for me too.

      I must admit, I am struggling with sustaining that feeling, but the last 4 weeks have been great.

      Now with renewal near guaranteed, the ball is in the court of the creative team to deliver – I can only think of a few ways to screw it up – but I had more faith in NBC than I do in TPTB right now, I hope they can earn more of my trust back by 3.19’s end. With 3.13 thru 3.16, they have made a nice start.

      • Michael says:

        @joe: Thanks, you made mine…classic win-win situation!

        @jason: When Chuck grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, I assumed that for some reason I was just being very receptive for emotional stuff at that particular time. I hadn’t experienced this with any other series before…and I do watch a lot of stuff. Well, time passed, the good feeling stayed and I had to accept I’d literally been trapped by a team of great writers, actors and directors (and all the others I’ve forgotten). I have a good feeling for S4. I think when they created the episodes after “Other Guy”, they were under a lot of stress. Many people thought that it felt like a finale – a good one – so I guess the writers were sweating when they were told they had to come up with six more episodes. From the reactions here and on other sites, you can say that most of the fans seem really satisfied with what they’ve done. So now I imagine they feel kind of liberated – they have created a baseline for what’s to come and can continue to take this story to the next level now. It’s gonna rock, and we’ll talk about it…a lot 😉

  11. Chuckaddict says:

    Everyone request a Nielsen box for next season so we can avoid this next year.

    http://en-us.nielsen.com/tab/measurement/nielsen_families

    I’m mostly kidding, but actually contemplating requesting to become a “Nielsen family”. If you feel like it, go for it.

    Assuming Chuck gets a pick-up for the full 22 episodes next year, that leaves 24 episodes to reach syndication. It’s been stated that the studios are willing to drastically cut licensing costs for season 5 to reach syndication. What does anyone think the chances are of a 24 episode order for season 5?

    • atcdave says:

      I think its unlikely NBC would care place an extended order just for syndication reasons. Its not their show, so unless WB cuts some sort of extraordinary deal, anything other than the standard 13+9 is unlikely. That could really come into play if NBC tries to cancel them after S4, WB may shop around for a deal on cable or their own partial network.

      I think the most likely scenario is better ratings next season if we’re paired with Undercovers, making S5 a more sure thing, but no special deal and Chuck will stand at 98 episodes at that point. If ratings are shakey at that point, we could see some real wheeling and dealing; WB would push hard for at least a partial S6.

      • Chuckaddict says:

        It looks like I worded my post poorly.

        My question is how hard does anyone think WB will push to get a 24 episode season 5?

        I’ve read that a season 4 renewal is basically also a season 5 renewal because that’s when a show typically reaches the 100 episode threshold for syndication. The production studio (WB) will typically take a loss on the season to make big $$$ in syndication. It will take 24 episodes in season 5 for Chuck to reach 100.

        I’m greedy. I want a season 5 also. I agree that the best thing is to get the ratings to improve. There’s been quite a bit of effort put towards that goal this season without much success. I just read the post below, which says Nielsen is going to add on-line viewing to their numbers next year, which is good news. Coupling Chuck with the new JJ Abrams spy show should also help numbers. We’ll see how the line-up looks on Sunday. I’m thankful NBC appears to recognize there’s tough competition on Monday nights.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        While it’s not a very generous impulse I’d love to see Undercovers draw enough viewers to Chuck that Chuck becomes a hit, only to have it eclipse Undercovers. For some reason I feel like Abrams tried to steal our show.

        As far as reaching syndication I agree with Dave, better ratings is probably the best bet, but it could help if WB makes a decent profit on DVD and iTunes and Amazon sales.

      • weaselone says:

        He may have, but honestly it’s not Abrahm’ fault that the show was available to steal.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Fair point. Abrams isn’t dumb so I guess we can’t blame him for acting on a good idea.

      • atcdave says:

        I think its no accident that Abrams saw potential in what Chuck fans were screaming for. I WISH JS/CF had recognized the value of it right away, but I think they were blinded by the genius of their master plan (cue evil laugh). Had they been more responsive to fan reaction Chuck could have had a whole season head start on Undercovers, but it is what it is.

      • JC says:

        I hate to say it but I’m very interested in Undercovers. I’m fully expecting a cross between these back six of Chuck and Alias. Whatever your opinion of Abrams shows he does create some crazy mythology behind them.

      • jason says:

        I think it is the absolute wrong approach to view undercovers as anything other than a complimentary product offering and open up with open arms towards them – If chuck’s natural 2million demo can find the 1million others thru a mixture of undercovers curiosity, abrahms love, and chuck season 4 curiosity – and if both shows can knock of identical 2.5 to 3 million per night, I think we’d be in business, My guess is NBC has chuck positioned in a way to compliment undercovers and visa versa.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Jason, I agree with you now that we know Chuck is renewed, but I still harbor that residual resentment when it looked like Abrams was going to knock Chuck off the air with a knock-off. Which it may not be. I also still harbor some of the residual resentment against TPTB for not seeing the potential Abrams clearly saw and acting on it rather than risking the show with a drawn out angsty front 13.

      • jason says:

        ernie – I have not read that much, other than the mr and mrs smith stuff, but there are alot of lady spy with a gun, with a samrt man stay in the car type guy shows on TV, castle, fringe (only have watched S1E1&2), failed 11th hour, etc – so abrahms may be going in a very different direction? Plus, I have no real idea what direction chuck is heading, other than I have an opinion NBC wants drama less comedy – hence morgan got a serious role, jeffster / big mike less and less, maybe no more buymore, possibly a new PLI/LI for season 4, if not for chuck / sarah, then we have to care about someone enough for it to matter – I keep saying, the only qualified party is ellie, time will tell.

      • cas says:

        I doubt JJ was the only one who saw potential in the Spy “couple” ordeal. There are currently 2 movies made coming soon about spy couples.Both comedy and both with known actors (cruise and diaz,heigl and kutcher) in the Industry. I think Chuck amde an impact on those ideas as well. Or atleast I’d like to think so

      • JC says:

        @Ernie

        It’s crazy when you read the interviews with TPTB about how fearful they were about putting C/S together. We all know the insane chemistry they had but it almost seems like they were blind to it.

        It is a spy story so I never understood the need to draw the drama and tension from the romance instead of the spy world. Of course they’ll be some drama on that front but it doesn’t need to be the driving force on this type of show.

      • atcdave says:

        I’m convinced its screen writing 101. The current crop of professional writers all went to school where they were taught the “lessons” of the late 70s/early 80s. Which means they are taught, as doctrine, that the featured couple must be kept apart until the final act. It ignores past examples from Thin Man to Hart to Hart; and dwells entirely on Moonlighting and Remington Steele. So for any show now to buck the trend, they must go against prevailing “wisdom.” To me, that is why modern TV romance is generally unsatisfying. I HOPE, Chuck is part of new trend; I’m too much of a softy to like the status quo.

        So just like Sarah Walker has go against her professional creed to fall in love with her asset/partner; TPTB have to go against their profession to let us see it happen.

      • jason says:

        I have not expressed this well (a kind of common theme for me posting as of late), but what I was trying to say is JS are probably very aware of whatever the undercovers’ theme is, and ‘chuck’ S4 was sold with an ability to make the 2 shows compliment each other. My problem with s3 chuck and more than likely s4, is I fell for the warmth and comedy of s1 / s2, I think the show is now strictly sold as a drama. What I can’t quite put my arms around, is how seriously do they take the spy stuff, because s1 /s2 I considered the spy plot stictly in there for laughs, to parody real spy shows, I think s3 and beyond they are trying to be serious, for fans like me, that has fallen flat, but maybe with 3.19’s end, I will start to get what they are selling, I am starting to think 3.19 will be a great spy plot & great drama (if u think about it, the shaw, eve, sarah plot was pretty darned great, if it weren’t for the fact the shaw – sarah LI was so repulsive)

      • atcdave says:

        Do you seriously think that Jason? I mean the show has always been pretty much a comedy. Even as much as I hated the darker tone of S3, every episode except Pink Slip was at least a little funny. Honeymooners was possibly the lightest, fluffiest episode ever, and Role Models wasn’t much different. Even Tooth had a warmth to it. They’re calling the back six a preview for season 4; and the main, darker arc of S3 was slammed by fans and critics alike. I fully expect to be pleased with the future direction of the show.

      • Crumby says:

        Plus we may not have the BM anymore but with have Beckman! She’s SO funny!

        I think their is as much as comedy than before, but the comedy is a little different now, it’s a little less “silly” I’d say, and more elaborated, which goes with the more serious tone of the spy story.

        Personnaly with season 2 the BM was really over the top for me, and it had began to be more tiresome than funny to me. It’s actually on of the thing I’ve liked in season 3, there was less BM but it was better included in the story.

        And we’ve seen in American Hero (Chuck going to see Beckman in DC) that there is comedy material in the spy world and when you go out of Castle and Burbank.

      • Rick Holy says:

        I don’t think we have to worry about J.J. Abrams “copying” anybody/anything, particularly CHUCK. One of the things that got me turned onto CHUCK was how I was that it was something of an ALIAS type show, but different. Let’s be honest. Fulcrum? Can anyone say SD6? What about Sydney Bristow not knowing her father’s past and about her mother being out of the picture? Sound anything like Stephen J. Bartowski?

        I’m not saying Schweak copied ALIAS, but one show can influence another.

        What I’m looking for/hoping for/ expecting from UNDERCOVERS is something to where there is “mroe than meets the eye.” What Abrams show HASN’T been like that? I doubt he’s suddenly going to start giving us “standard fare.”

        If they DO pair CHUCK and UNDERCOVERS, I’m looking foward to an exciting night of television, with two “spy themed” shows that might have SOME similar elements, but certainly aren’t going to be copying each other one way or the other.

        I also think it’s good – and it’s nothing personal against the writers who have and are leaving CHUCK, to either turn the show over to a smaller core team of writers, or incorporate some fresh blood into the mix.

        So I’m not fretting in ANY way. I’m PSYCHED about next season. Hopefully (with the departure of my beloved LOST), I’ll have another show in UNDERCOVERS to go along with CHUCK to keep me entertained!

        And on an unrelated note – am I the only one who felt a little sorry for Anna after her triple dissing by Morgan. My friend would call that a “Three Piece,” kind of like you get from a famour Chicken franchise. Only problem is this kind of “Three piece” doesn’t fill your tummy, it breaks your heart.

        Perhaps since Chuck and Sarah are going so well right now – Intersect problems aside – there has to be some “angst” elsewhere on the show. Now it’s Morgan and Anna. Can we call them “Morganna?” (Remember baseball’s very famous – and generously endowed – “Kissing Bandit” around 20 years ago). I kind of like the sound of it.

        Anyway. CELEBRATE all you Chuckaholics. It’s well deserved.

        Happy weekend all – and PEACE!

      • Crumby says:

        Yeah and ALIAS also has a love story between the heroin and her handler…

      • Rick Holy says:

        You’re RIGHT, Crumby. How could I have overlooked the obvious? The LOVE story! Guess when something is as close as the nose on your face sometimes you look past it.

    • jason says:

      a 2 hour movie would do it (98 + 2), I think heroes is going to do a movie? A nice problem to contemplate vs where chuck was at during the olympics?

      • AngelTwo says:

        Really, folks, 100 is a GENERAL number, not a hard-and-fast minimum. S4 and S5 at 22 episodes would make it happen–if there IS any life for Chuck in syndication.

        The show has performed extraordinarily poorly in reruns, which is a decent indicator of syndicated success. Worse, it’s a quirky, arc-heavy show that really needs to be viewed in order. (Okay, well, Season 3 didn’t make much sense regardless of order…) It’s not like a police or medical procedural that can be slapped in or checkerboarded on a schedule without consideration of run order.

        It’s not a great candidate for syndication, frankly.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Hey all. All the syndication talk – I’m assuming that the point of it all is the hope that there will be a FULL season 4 and possibly even a season 5 – because truthfully (and I’m a Chuckaholic), do we really care if the show goes into syndication?? We’ll all probably own all the seasons on DVD – do we care about CHUCK in reruns?? Caring about a S4 and an S5, definitely? Caring about CHUCK reruns on Syfy or someother cable channel? Honestly, no. It would be nice for the actors and for all associated with the show to pocket a little extra cash from reruns, but that’s really the only benefit I can see from syndication.

        Am I wrong? Am I confused? Am I being a “bad” CHUCK fan? If so, let me have it. I can take it!! 🙂

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Typically when a show goes into syndication the cast and some crew make a bundle on syndication royalties. Since Zach, Yvonne, and others gave up a lot of perks to get S3 it’d be nice for them to have it work out to their benefit.

      • atcdave says:

        I think Rick the real concern about syndication has to do with longevity. The more Chuck we get, the harder WB will push to get us STILL MORE Chuck, up to a point. Once they reach that magical syndication point, it reverts to a simple equation of ratings, revenues, and expenses.
        Josh is saying that point is lower than I had assumed, which is kind of bad news. We would reach 65 with just the front 13 next season, so there is no longer any special incentive to the studio to make concessions to achieve longevity. The only reason to really hope for a syndicated pick-up is it exposes more viewers to the show, which helps the new episodes still running (I know several people who have become hooked on NCIS and Law and Order by watching cable channel reruns).
        The other longevity issue is that most show runners structure serielized shows around a 5 or 6 season story. We’ve had the discussion before about how things “morph” to change an original vision (actors come and go, stories go off on odd tangents, networks or advertisers force changes); but the original concept was probably for a specific over all arc (I’ve heard say JS say he had a 5 year plan for the show; and Zach, Yvonne, and Adam all have 6 year contracts). So ideally, we’d like to see the original vision fulfilled. Any good producer should have some idea how to extend or shorten the story as needed, but it would be nice to get a “proper” resolution.

    • josh says:

      Syndication for hour long weekly drama is NOT 100 episodes, it’s 65, but quite frankly, syndication for Chuck isn’t as big a deal as people think it is, as rerun numbers show. It’s just not a show people can just dive in and watch.

      • atcdave says:

        I do agree the rerun situation has not been encouraging. Syndication on a cable channel is a slightly different situation, but not much. The poor rerun ratings may render the issue moot. I’ve seen it said Chuck’s audience a bit on the wealthy and well educated side. Which may mean we do better at things like iTunes and Hulu views; and disc sales. But probably not as well on cable syndication.

      • Chuckaddict says:

        My main hope is that WB will be willing to reduce their licensing fee next year in hopes of reaching syndication, thus giving us a better chance of getting to season 5. If syndication is at 65 episodes, I guess it might be a moot point. Maybe WB already conceded on fees to get a season 4 renewal.

        Like I said earlier, I’m feeling greedy. I’ve read the JS/CF had a 5 year plan for the show when they developed the pilot. I’d really like to see that plan played out.

  12. odysszeuss says:

    Faith and some kind of proof:

    JoshSchwartz76: Interesting article on the future of ratings…. http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=143831

    we are not the only one thinking that it is not OK that all the Chucksters all around obviously invested and interested -and there are really really many- are not count on NIELSEN…

    It’s not our Problem that they have to find new ways to anticipate on this kind of audience with their mix of advertising. But they should really do that. It’s the way their viewers are changing. IT’S 2010. Not 1984… How old is this NIESEN BOX thing?!? In my university education they hammer in to me: Never trust a statistic, that somebody else “faked”. Because: all statistics are changing in their result in the way you are looking at the base numerical data… If any kind of numerical data isn’t included the statistic is “manipulated”. And the person making this, can fake these statistics. Willingly or not, does not matter. It’s the basic problem with statistic. And NIELSEN is statistic. Kind of a tank of the cold war…

    Did anyone get my point… ???

    • Michael says:

      I work in IT and creating reports is something I have to deal with on a daily basis…funny thing is that the people who request reports usually tell you the result they want to see right away. Statistics is a means of telling you approximately where you’re standing, not in which direction you should move. Some people, however, think that statistics are just the base for an even greater magic: Forecasting. I recently heard a professor for statistics say that forecasting and the industry that has evolved around it might be one of the biggest hoaxes ever played…

      • odysszeuss says:

        I recently heard a professor for
        statistics say that forecasting and the industry that has evolved
        around it might be one of the biggest hoaxes ever played…

        GENIAL – ich kann gar nicht aufhören
        zu lachen 🙂 🙂 🙂 (Still laugthing)

        I’ve seen Joe,
        Amy, Jen & Ernie
        are already discussing a kind of the same
        topic…

    • joe says:

      We have a saying here, Oz. “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” It reflects our distrust in them.

      But even if they were exactly accurate (and we know they are not), I question their appropriateness. I know that networks choose shows to maximize their profits, but it’s hard to see that the networks have done that with their decisions.

      I’m sort of interested in the idea that this “mass medium” is changing. There’s going to be much more use of the internet and interactive media involved with television shows in general, and really, I thought that Chuck was going to be at the vanguard of that change. I thought that the “webisodes” we were promised last summer would point the way.

      That didn’t happen, and I’m not exactly sure why (except that the show’s production team seemed to be working on a very fast schedule after ComicCon, and maybe they just concentrated on that).

      Regardless, our on-line presence is not going to be ignored. Even NBC is not that foolish.

      Added: Check this out!

      • odysszeuss says:

        Added: Check this out!

        That’s new. I see. This wasn’t in the follow-up mail. That’s your Webmaster-Magic you wrote last time 😉

        Chucksters are a little nit-picking. Could it be? They are concerned about details a normal viewer never would recognize. They talk hours and hours about the same small tiny things. Mostly their opinions are close, but everyone is having his little different POV. WB and TBTP (or was it TPTB-egal) should place the advertising noticeable in the background. Finding a Chuck way of product placement… Earning more money and having more explosions or Guest stars (or both). With this kind of advertising it isn’t necessary if you watch the Show online or on TV. Well, they already doing it: throwing an IPhone in the pool and out of the train. I was emotional sorry for that tini tiny phone…

    • josh says:

      What you think of the Nielsen system is, frankly, irrelevant. What’s relevant is that nobody thus far has gone to ad agencies and suggested a better way to measure potential clients and/or convince them to start spreading their ad dollars away from TV.

      You may watch on hulu and wish to be counted, doesn’t change the fact that to an advertising agency you ‘re not important. It’s not statistics’ fault, it’s the perceptions of people that manage the ad money.

      • odysszeuss says:

        Is it that simple? I think not, any more…

        Obviously, NBC is aware about that “Social Media Marketing” Effect. I’m in that camp, that NIELSEN wasn’t the reason for renewing Chuck again. I think the effect that the Chuck community is making advertises for the whole NBC network is the real reason. That makes Chuck special. NBC is using the Chuck hype in the Internet in a “Social Media Marketing” (*) way – or is anyone sure about a 1.9/5 is the reason for a Season 4???

        (*) meanwhile i receive nbc or nbcchuck twitter massages about everything they do (new Show, congrats to josh schwartz, etc. etc. …) Before the Chuck twitter campaign – i never really understand whats all about that twitter thing.

        …and before Chuck i wasn’t knowing there is NBC 😉

      • josh says:

        It is that simple since NBC is a business and wants money to flow its way. And advertising is the only (ok only significant) form of income it has. Social Media Marketing is aimed at you watching NBC (and the ads it shows) not making money out of Chuck branded keychains.

        The reason for season 4 is probably a mix of Chuck having a ratings “bottom”, meaning a group of people that will watch it no matter what, and NBC lacking shows that can beat Chuck with which to fill up the timeslots. Plus somebody pitched the theme night idea and they will try it out.

      • odysszeuss says:

        Thx Josh! I get your Point. And especially thx for the little explanations inside, i apprechiate that. Meanwhile i think we do not really have a contrary view. I really can good life with your POV. Perhaps it’s THE POV – don’t know.

    • atcdave says:

      I’m not sure OZ. I had a few statistics courses, and I’d start by saying I love statistics and numbers. But you have to be realistic about what you’re measuring and what the failings might be. 30 years ago, the Nielson system was being questioned by many for its validity and the smallness of their sample sets; but they always made a good case for the value of their numbers. The changes today are worth looking at. Many people view programming through non-traditional venues like Hulu or iTunes, so how are they measured? and what are they worth to the revenue stream? I have a co-worker who, until recently, was a Nielson viewer. Her story about how she got a Nielson box concerns me; they were going door-to-door in her neighborhood. Well, my wife and I work full time and are often not home (especially during business hours); and my wife won’t answer the door if she’s home alone, and we also tend not to answer the door if we aren’t expecting anyone. We also don’t answer the phone if we don’t recognize the caller. So how will we (and introverts like us) ever be measured? We have other frinds with similar practices. My parents always answer the door and phone, so perhaps Nielson’s metrics simply work better with an older generation.
      Its an interesting field, but I have more questions than answers.

      • odysszeuss says:

        That’s the real problem i think. That statistics normally really working is no Problem at all – IF (!!!) the small group IS representable for the big group. And like you said, the younger or the nerdy people are more like you described them (me too, i must smile reading your quote). They count not in the small sample group nor in the big one. That IS the problem. …and you are there and you buy cars and food and tissues…

      • joe says:

        That’s an interesting point, Dave. Introverts are subject to a large “selection effect”.

        And the extroverts? I suspect many young-ins’ (those around the age of 25 or so), are extroverts wrt social media, but don’t watch TV as much as, say, a 45 year old. They text, they do YouTube, and I suspect they watch various versions of on-line streaming media, Hulu included. That’s where the advertisers want to be, I think. The Neilsen system is not in danger of being wrong, so much as irrelevant. TV itself is becoming less relevant.

        But like radio, it’s not going away, either.

      • odysszeuss says:

        OK, learned something again, the small group are the introverts and the big one are the extroverts. Let’s see in life where this is good for 😉

        Radio will ever survive so long cars need a driver…

        But TV??? I never watch TV… all various versions of on-line streaming media – indeed

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think this is an interesting topic. One I’ve thought about for a while. In a way this started when HBO and other “premium” channels started producing original content rather than just running movies. That was the first real crack in the old network TV model. The model, where essentially nearly all network revenues come from advertisers, clearly is becoming less relevant, and needs to evolve. Consumers have shown, and are showing more and more, that they are willing to pay for entertainment to be able to watch it conveniently, and absent commercials. With more and more people using DVR’s I think it’s not surprising that advertisers are starting to see the flaws in the old model and are looking for new ways to capture potential customers attention. The article Joe linked to, and another one I linked to on another thread make that clear.

        Where I think Chuck is breaking new ground is how well they’ve managed to forge a connection with their fan base. I’m kind of new to this fandom thing, but I think it is absolutely amazing how the cast and crew and even TPTB have gone out of their way to interact with the fans and make them feel a part of the show. With that comes incredible potential to organize and mobilize. Something that someone will eventually figure out how to sell to advertisers.

      • odysszeuss says:

        oups, i’ve seen already my mistake. introverts/extroverts are having other meanings. Not your job teaching me your language. SORRY…

      • odysszeuss says:

        Where I think Chuck is breaking new ground is how well they’ve managed to forge a connection with their fan base.

        I would like to ad: Zac is travelling through Europe. I don’t know if you noticed it, but he is playing Schnitzeljagd (treasure hunt) with his fans (http://twitter.com/ZacharyLevi). Did anyone knows any other actor doing something like that???

      • weaselone says:

        Schnitzeljagd? 🙂 Hoffentlich ist den Preis keinen Schrank den mit geshlagenem, gebratenem Fleisch angefullt ist. Wenn man findet es in weniger als eine stunde ware es wohlscheckend aber wenn es langer dauert findet man etwas nicht so angenehm..

      • odysszeuss says:

        hi weasel, your right 😉 Never thought about it. But really a Schnitzel as a prize could be really ugly 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Michael says:

        Chuck Versus The Schnitzel. Can you dig it?

  13. Ernie Davis says:

    Oh, and just to be clear to everyone who may not have heard, like those in other countries and time zones Chuck is officially renewed, we’re not speculating anymore.

  14. rac2873 says:

    Listen to this Podcast. Jenkins and Le Franc rock. They are fans of the show and they are shippers. They are also writing this weeks episode. With such youthful enthusiasm infused into the writers room who cannot love this show. I cannot wait until Monday and if it is any good as Tic Tac or Honey Mooners we are in for a real treat.

    Can I get a Heck Yeah. Chuck is officially renwed , Bromstad loves the creative direction the show is going in. NBC must have loved the Season 4 pitch.

    • Jen says:

      Heck Yeah!!!!!

      I’ve been so excited since last night when i heard the news and i’m still celebrating!

  15. Faith says:

    Joe, just to get back on the topic of faith (ha) for a minute.

    I think there’s a certain amount of being in love, having fallen in love that you can’t believe it. That you question not just your worthiness—it’s not even an insecurity thing, esp as it relates to personal esteem. Those of high esteem tend to reach the point of narcissim to the tune where they sabotage their own relationships, but I digress…You don’t just question your worthiness but also it’s a question of fate. What did you do, what is it that led to this point and how can I keep it, how can I keep this person in love with me. You fear rocking the boat so to speak.

    I never questioned that. I believe in and appreciate the intentions. It’s admirable to put yourself out there and all the more to keep love than it is to fall in love. So in that I have no objections.

    In a lot of ways I feel like I’m the only one with the objection haha, but my hope is that while I can be a pain in the ass in this instance you guys see that it’s not a question of anything but the act of lie itself. I believe that Chuck trusts Sarah, I know he loves her. I don’t question his devotion, I don’t even question his friendship with Morgan but just because there are excuses doesn’t make his deception any less than what it is…which is deception.

    For days now I’ve had to defend not only my view but also my life/experienceses (not here as much no worries). I’ve said it repeatedly that I am unmovable but that I appreciate the attempt and having the full picture being drawn to me. But really it’s as simple as this: when I ask my boyfriend (I’m not with anyone right now, jut got out of a rel. But stick with my analogy lol) how his day was and he says it’s fine when it really isn’t…I am still hurt at the deception. You amplify that if he were to not tell me he’s dying…admirable and valor aside, by not telling me he is deceiving me. That’s it. Just because his intentions are good doesn’t mean the act itself isn’t an offense. The greatest harm can come from the best intentions.

    • Faith says:

      There is a little bit of revisionist history with that^. Yesterday with weaselone I brought up the idea of trust and Morgan. When viewed in context of actions comparitive to how Chuck is with Morgan to me it crosses the mistrust line…but outside of that I believe it when Chuck says for instance in First Kill: “I already know that. I don’t trust anyone but you.”

    • cas says:

      Faith- I see where you are coming from. You actually had me convinced in the other thread, ending in “he was wrong on this one. But I too have faith, faith that Chuck will realize that what he did was wrong and that he will learn from that mistake and not do it again. Hopefully in the next ep

      • Faith says:

        Thank you Cas.

        I’m going to wait for some rebuttal/comments and then I am officially done with this lol. This’ll teach me to take a strong stand on something lol.

    • atcdave says:

      Faith, I do agree with your basic position that a lie is a lie, and no good can come from it. I think the only reason some are downplaying is because there is no intent to harm. Chuck DOES need to knock it off and come clean; BUT, it should be easily forgiven because there is no malicious intent. Of course, the longer he drags it out the bigger deal it becomes. I do understand an omission, while wating for the right moment. With something as big as what Chuck is sitting on, that right moment needs to come (even be forced if needed) quickly.

      I think I’ve said all along the lie was biggest downer of the episode to me, hopefully he will come clean first thing Monday night. The longer he waits, the worse it becomes.

      • Faith says:

        I think there are levels of lies. I had a boyfriend be honest with me once about whether I looked unattractive in this one outfit…deep down I was hurt that he didn’t lie. So really, who wins? 😀

        But at the same time you’re right…the longer he drags it out, the bigger deal it becomes. I’m of the mindset that he actually continues this til almost the end of the next epi. Unfounded of course, but I assume so because he has Morgan (again one of my objections^) do something for him when Sarah deserves, no she begs to help doesn’t get the same courtesy. But I will be all the more happy to be proven wrong and my fears allayed.

      • odysszeuss says:

        you said it yourself, Faith. boys have to lie to their girls: outfit especially…

        i think someone (Dave?) said it before: health condition is a tricky problem. your girl will always make herself a bad time by being concerned about you. you (as a guy) don’ want that… -if you have a real problem. if it’s like nothing i want my girl as a nurse. 😉

    • jason says:

      faith / dave – the lie could pass in the next ep in a very romantic way, chuck stirring in the night and sarah comforting him, chuck, I am here for you, I always will be – you still having nightmares – ILU – etc etc or it could become a plot contrivance to create angst

      either is possible, we (or at least I) don’t know which it will be, if either, heck, maybe it will just get swept under the carpet?

      As long as it is not a contrivance, this scene will simply go away – a real waste of sarah saying ILU however – but not nearly so much so as the waste of the name reveal? Very poor writing if nothing else.

      • Faith says:

        I’ve actually said this before…as a plot device it’s actually pretty smart and creative. I don’t think it’s a contrivance at all…because as many here and many everywhere have stated to me personally “it’s a guy thing” LIterally stated that.

        So in that sense it’s plausible. But I stick by my stickiness lol.

        And you brought up a scene…I am actually interested in why he didn’t tell her after his nightmare (end of epi). But I’m sure there are excuses for that too.

      • herder says:

        Yes there are excuses, the same ones but they get thinner and less credible as time goes by. While I agree that the deception is wrong, a bit of short term deception about this type of thing isn’t terrible but the longer it goes on the worse it becomes.

        I don’t think he comes clean until later in the episode, probably after his talk with Papa B. Sarah knows something is going on and it likely will cause some tension between them but I think it ultimately will end well.

      • Jen says:

        I know! as if Sarah could fall for the “Nothing, go back to sleep” after he wakes up from YET ANOTHER NIGHTMARE!

        Silly Chuck!

      • Faith says:

        Herder, I do think Sarah knows he’s lying to her.

        I think she can tell…”Chuck, I know I’m your partner but I’m also your girlfriend.” I’m not gonna get into that lie…but the point is she knows. And it’s all the more painful in my opinion in situations where you know you’re being lied to. Good intentions or not, it hurts.

        This isn’t exactly new either. In Predator she found out he’s been keeping the search from Orion from her…and that hurt her all the same. “You should have trusted me.”

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Faith, I think the key to this is, as others have said, timing. The way I looked at it telling Sarah just after her first ILY and talking about a future together would have been almost cruel. But then no-win situations are a favorite form of angst. My feeling is that Sarah knows something is up after the last dream, but is willing to let Chuck “protect” her for a while. My guess, it’s resolved by the end of the next ep with minimal angst and Sarah showing great growth.

      • weaselone says:

        Nightmare is easy. It was about Shaw…the man who drugged her and tried to drown her in Paris. He’s not going to suggest that Shaw is alive to Sarah unless he has actual proof. No need for her to have nightmares as well. That’s why he taps Morgan in the next episode.

      • Faith says:

        and you don’t see anything wrong with that?

      • weaselone says:

        Given that he shot Shaw twice in the chest, watched him bleed for awhile and then fall in the river any reasonable person would assume Shaw and Grant share a common status although not a common tomb. Chuck at this point is probably 99.9%+ certain that Shaw is actually dead so the question is does one share with a significant other a merely troubling dream that is their worst nightmare?

        From a logic standpoint, it’s a no brainer. Sharing that dream has a fairly severe downside with a high probability of occurrence. Sarah will likely share in Chuck’s nightmares. On the flip side, Shaw is unlikely to be alive there’s likely to be any concrete, productive response to Chuck’s admission.

        From a purely personal perspective, Chuck promised Sarah that he wouldn’t lie or keep secrets from her so he should tell her until she cries uncle and tells him to keep his mouth shut.

    • joe says:

      Well, I hope you don’t put this away, Faith, because it really is an important discussion about relationships. That’s what Chuck&Sarah are all about, after all.

      You know me. I could go on way past any reasonable point on this. But for now, it’s easy to say that most everyone is going to agree with your point (even when it doesn’t sound like it!). You see, it *is* a deception. There’s no disputing that. Chuck’s also promised to NOT DO THAT!!! seven ways from Sunday. He’s wrong.

      But (big but). We also know that 1) this fictional character is human (go figure), and not being up-front about his condition at that moment is a very human thing. 2) He’s not lying, yet. He’s wondering and being very careful about what to say, how it say it and when to say it. Certainly, the second after Sarah has finally said “I love you.” is NOT the right time, Chuck has no clue about how to say he may have a real problem (he’s also not sure THAT he has a real problem) and as articulate as this shnook is, he doesn’t know the right words.

      One way or another (and I really hope, to a lesser extent) almost all of us face this dilemma sooner or later. It’s never an easy one, which makes us empathetic and makes it a good part of the story!

      • Faith says:

        Joe, don’t worry lol…there will be many more relationship aspects up for debate in the future. But this one? Well I’m not one to beat a dead horse lol. I’m really just revisiting it because of my respect for you guys.

        I’ve drawn a line in the NBC boards yesterday and I’ve stuck by it. And it’s not just because I’m contractually obligated to not get into heated debates…but because I just don’t see the point in going back and forth on this. But you guys, I have much respect for that I’m willing to do this one last time.

        In any case, you summed up the situation exactly. We don’t always do the right thing, but doing it with the best of intentions are often all that matters.

        Of course I’m obligated to repeat my line: “the greatest harm can come from the best intentions” 😀 Let’s hope Chuck remedies this lickety split.

      • SWnerd says:

        “the greatest harm can come from the best intentions”

        Wizard’s Second Rule I believe. 😉

      • joe says:

        “the greatest harm can come from the best intentions”

        Ooooohhhh! I like it!

        Great discussion, Faith. Thanks!

      • Faith says:

        LOL great catch SW. It is indeed wizard’s second rule 😉

    • Jen says:

      I agree with what you say. In the show we get to see it from both sides, Chuck’s and Sarah’s. I understand what Chuck means when he says he doesn’t want to get Sarah involved until he gets proof or that they are doing so good right now that he doesn’t want to mess up anything… but the reality is that relationships and situations are never perfect, so you can’t hide everytime something tense come up. I think that in the first situation, when Chuck took off with Morgan, he should have let her know and i’m convinced she would have backed him up. Even Morgan assumes Chuck would have told Sarah when he asks if even Sarah didn’t believe him. You can see in Sarah’s face when she says “you should have told me, i would have helped you” that she would have backed him up. He then appeals to her saying “I love you and now i need you to believe me” or something of the sort… that’s not fair. She had to swallow her hurt or anger at that moment and take off with him. So i don’t agree with Chuck’s actions here…Specially after honeymooners and seeing how well they work together. She’s a professional after all, the best spy, and most of all…loyal to him.

      There is such a thing as timing too, and sometimes you have to think of what the best time to say something is… like Chuck not telling Sarah that he may start losing his mind right after she says ILY. Maybe he should have told her then and he shouldn’t have lied, but that was a tough situation… i’m sure he just didn’t have the heart to do it.
      In the end, no one is perfect and these situations happen in real relationships, romantic or otherwise. I’m sure C&S will be ok 🙂

      This si a pice of the lyrics from “Here’s looking at you kid”, song by The Gaslight Anthem, the song that is playing during the ILY moment. I have 2 of their albums and i love them!

      “But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
      that can cut you to ribbons sometimes.
      And all you can do is just wait by the moon
      and bleed if it’s what she says you ought a do”

      I want to apply this to the moment correctly, but dont’ knwo if i am. To me, Chuck was hurting at that momen, i’m sure… he’s getting the Love declaration he’s been waitign for for so long, but the moment is bittersweet because he doens’t want to hold the truth about his condition from Sarah, but doens’t want to hurt her.

      Thankfully i didn’t ramble uh? 😛

      • jason says:

        jen / faith – I think chuck’s newly re-enforced knowledge of how important the spy life is to sarah somewhat forces him to exclude her from these constant rogue missions – I could see sarah getting shaw’s job, which would even put this more into play – possibly creating near impossible professional delimna’s for our fav couple, which they painstakingly attempt to keep separate from their romantic life – comedy gold really

      • Jen says:

        If Chuck were to start going out on “rogue” missions with Sarah finding out after the fact, i think that would strain the relationship. He just needs to tell Sarah next time… she is his partner, in work and in life.
        Having said that, and keeping in mind that this is just a TV show and could be taken in any direction… it could be fun if Sarah became Chuck’s boss. She will always be mnore loyal to him thiough 🙂

      • Faith says:

        Jen, you’ve played on my weakness lol…lyrics/song and scene combined.

        But this line:
        “And even if that’s a lie, she should’ve given me a try.”

        Makes me think it’s more applicable to Sarah’s perspective. “Chuck, should have given me a try.” = “You should have told me, I would have helped you.”

        “it’s hard to tell you this” obviously applies.

      • Faith says:

        Jason if it does, I’ll be way more upset than I am about this lie.

        That’s no longer a question of protection, but of oppression.

      • Jen says:

        Jem, the song is awesome. I have it almost on contstant replay (i just moved to Kings Of Leon right now after listening to The Gaslight Anterm all day)

        I think “And even if that’s a lie, she should’ve given me a try.” could also be applied to Chuck. He is lyign to Sarah and he is going to need her to forgive him for it later and still trust them.

        Ah, u made me turn back to listening to this song. Oh well.. i love it 🙂

      • joe says:

        Jen, Thanks for pointing me to Gaslight Anthem. I’m going to check them out.

        Based on the strength of the lyric snippet, I’m going to like it!

  16. JC says:

    From Televisionary. Hopefully its not true.

    While the news of Chuck’s renewal is cause for celebration, there is a bit of news that may put a damper on the joyous occasion: Televisionary has learned exclusively that executive producer Ali Adler will not be returning to Chuck for a fourth season.

    According to a source close to the situation, Adler has accepted a position on ABC’s new superhero family drama No Ordinary Family, from executive producers Greg Berlanti and Jon Harmon Feldman and ABC Studios. Series, which stars Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, and Tate Donovan, revolves around a family who gains superpowers when their plane crashes in the Amazon rainforest. Adler is said to have signed on to No Ordinary Family earlier this month, prior to NBC’s decision on Chuck’s fate

    • Faith says:

      Curses!

    • atcdave says:

      She wrote some good stuff; but she also wrote Fake Name and that insulting “I’m the romance writer” drivel last summer. I think the remaining writers will do fine.

      • JC says:

        But its worrying how many people Chuck has lost this season. Rosenbaum, Miller and now Ali. They really need to lock up Judkins and LeFranc.

      • Faith says:

        Dave, sometimes I think she is our (shippers) only ally. Watch this:
        http://www.nbc.com/chuck/video/romantic-writer/1140599/

        In a lot of ways after Mask, she really had to take a lot on. And in my opinion she chose the fake name reveal as a substitute for breaking the Sarah rule (which may or may not have been broken later…I think it was but at least it wasn’t shoved in our faces).

      • herder says:

        Well, last year the rumour about the cost cutting was that they would have to reduce cast and writers, only the cast was reduced. Maybe this year they are reducing the writing staff, or at least it’s cost to save money.

        In truth they are probably a bit top heavy in writers, for the last four episodes 3.16 – 3.18 the writers are: Zev Borrow and Max Denby; Annie LeFranc and Rafe Judkins; Ali Adler, Matt Miller and Phil Klemmer; Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz. Nine writers for nine regular characters (ten if you count the Gerneral) seems an odd ratio.

      • atcdave says:

        Actually Faith, that’s exactly the video I dislike so much. It just seemed terribly contrived to me. Ali Adler did not write Colonel, or the dialogue for Honeymooners; its not like she’s the only one who is interersted in the romantic angle of the show. I like the new writers, and continuity should actually improve with fewer “cooks.” So I’m OK with the latest news (always reserve the right to change my mind later!).

      • Faith says:

        lol I think she knew the kind of crap we would be subjected to before that video…hence the subject matter.

        I actually always preferred Matt Miller. And he too is gone. So in light of the fact that he didn’t do much this year I switched to her…and in her defense Honeymooners is her story.

        The new writers are good, they have a really good concept of dialogue and they’re self-declared shippers. But I think it’s important to realize that at this point they’re not writing their stuff so much as writing what they’re told. There’s a difference.

        So where does this leave me? Absolutely devastated all around. Which is in itself a drag because we got picked up for season 4. Should be a day of celebration.

      • amyabn says:

        I’m with Dave on this one. I really was perturbed with the Fake Name episode. I really like what Judkins and Lefranc have done so far. I’m just happy we got another season. Score a victory for us little people!

      • Merve says:

        Adler wrote “Three Words” and “Fake Name,” which are two of my least favourite Chuck episodes, so her track record this season isn’t all that great. (But to be fair, “Fake Name” was absolutely hilarious; it just had a terrible underlying plotline.)

      • Faith says:

        Ok fair enough…but we’re left with who…

        CF, JS, Phil Klemmer from the original team. Phil Klemmer wrote Mask. I’d rather have Ali Adler on board. 🙂

      • atcdave says:

        I just really hope fewer writers leads to better continuity. I also think, even JS means for Chuck and Sarah to be together in S4 (and probably married by the end of it).

        I’ll also agree with Merve’s statement that Fake Name was a funny episode with a terrible story, which actually is how I think of Ali Adler all the way back to Wookie.

      • Merve says:

        Phil Klemmer did write “Mask,” but he also wrote “Sandworm,” “Undercover Lover,” “Tom Sawyer,” “Suburbs,” and “Angel de la Muerte,” so he’s built up a good rep in my books.

        In all honesty, I’m sad to see any of the writing team go, but I hope that Judkins, LeFranc, and Denby can fill their shoes, and from what I’ve seen so far, they’ve done a pretty good job. I’m not too worried.

      • jason says:

        A remarkably talented and in demand writing team, isn’t it, yet many would aruge the shaw arc was an epic fail, but with fedak, schwartz, klemmer, miller, rosenblom, adler in the room, they must have had some heated discussions over sarah, shaw, chuck, etc and season 3 – I would love to know retrospectively who was on whose side. A bunch of you did not like when I stated someone likely would get fired over the handling of sarah with shaw, I think the opposite may have happened, those who didn’t like it did may have done the most reasonable thing one could do when creative differences occur. Unless someone tells us, we will never know, but it is interesting, although to be fair and balanced, all 3 leavings were for promotions.

      • cas says:

        In chuckTV.net they did an interview with Rafe,and Lauren. They kind of tell you a litlle bit of what goes on in the writer meeting. They also made it seem like IMO that they are the last shippers left in the writting crew. I thought it was an okay interview.

      • cas says:

        oh I forgot. They also mentioned something about 1 particular deleted scene after tic tac.

    • cas says:

      can’t really fault them for leaving. They probably didn’t know that they were getting a fourth season so they went job hunting earlier this year.Hell, the fans did’t even know if they were going to stay or go earlier this yeay

      • rac2873 says:

        I think Ali was sent to make that video but it was Fedak who put them together. Charah is in for the long haul so we shouldn’t worry there. We have our two new shipper advocates. I am not worried at all. Maybe they are actually going in the direction we all wanted. A hear writer. That way the story lines are more co-hesive. Fedak has already started writing season 4.

    • josh says:

      Phil Klemmer has also left the show

      • Crumby says:

        Makes you wonder if the direction the season 4 will be taking is the reason for all those departures?

        Could also be a budget manner though.

      • Aardvark7734 says:

        It’s hard to believe they’ll do S4 with just Fedak, Borow, LeFranc & Judkins and Max Denby.

        But what do I know? J. Michael Straczynski wrote 92 out of 110 episodes of Babylon 5 by himself, including 59 episodes in a row across S3-S4.

        Compared to a Herculean effort like that, what’s 3 episodes apiece? 😉

      • Crumby says:

        They can recruit writers that would cost less than the one who left though.

      • JC says:

        I like the idea of a smaller group of writers. The story arc and characters don’t seem to be all over the place like they do when you have a larger group of writers.

      • atcdave says:

        I think the smaller group is a good thing. I believe Burn Notice is written almost entirely by Matt Nix; and Aardvark already mentioned Babylon 5. Both outstanding shows.

        I do wonder if some of this is fallout from S3. Do writers feel they were forced to serve an arc they didn’t like, or did we hurt their feelings (egos)? We discussed a Chuckapolypse during the season; it seems we’re seeing another type now.

      • JC says:

        My guess job security and writing new things. Chuck will always be a bubble show. And even if it’s rating would go high enough, I honestly can’t see it lasting past a sixth season.

        Miller, Adler and Rosenbaum all left for shows either finishing their first season or will premier in the fall. And if I’m not mistaken Miller and Rosenbaum are show runners now.

      • Merve says:

        I’m going to have to agree with JC here. In the end, writing for television is a job, and people follow the money. Being a showrunner can be a huge boost to one’s career, so if given the opportunity, one would surely take it.

      • HenryH says:

        Is there any confirmation that Klemmer is leaving the show? I haven’t seen anything that says he has left and/or signed on elsewhere? And as much as I disliked Mask (although probably not for the same reasons as some others), I really LOVED Suburbs. And I think Tom Sawyer, Role Models and Sandworm are all terrific episodes, too.

        And who is Max Denby? There’s zilch info on him beyond working on Chuck. Of course, there was nothing on Fedak before Chuck, for that matter…

      • Merve says:

        This excellent article sheds some light on the situation:
        http://www.chuckpodcast.com/shades-of-gray/?p=333

  17. rac2873 says:

    Well they were both Executive Producers on the show as well. That had to save them money.

    I like the newbies they are so funny and they will try anything. They are writing on MOnday and they have Sarah carrying an axe. Enough said.

  18. cas says:

    According to Michael Ausiello of EW, “Chuck” has been renewed. Yay! And by the way, I think you’ll like Monday’s episode — it contains a moment that will make “Chuck” fans love Sarah Walker even more.

    Not possible…

    • Jen says:

      Like we need to Love Sarah Walker even more! 😛

      AAAH, now i’m su curious i wanna see the ep right now! I’ll be patient…

    • JC says:

      Something to make fans love Sarah more? Hmmm that’s very interesting.

      • atcdave says:

        And seriously, is that even possible?

      • Merve says:

        I’m guessing that it has something to do with lingerie. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      • cas says:

        The comment about loving Sarah more was from Mo Ryan. I doubt she was thinking about Sarah in a lingere =)

      • herder says:

        My guess, out of the blue is that she insists to Chuck that she is a member of the Bartowski family and has a say about dealing with Papa B and Ellie.

      • joe says:

        Herder, you’re right! That would do it for me! (and here, I didn’t think it was possible either! 😉 )

      • atcdave says:

        That would be pretty powerful and awesome herder; I hope you’re on the right track.

        I was kind of thinking she saves the day by single handedly rescuing both Chuck and Orion. Of course, for Sarah that’s just more of the same.

    • Crumby says:

      Ok that may be the thing I’m the more curious about in this ep now! lol

      • Crumby says:

        More seriously, I think she will take the highroad (okay I have no idea if this is a real good use of this expression but I’m always wanted to say it) about Chuck’s lie. She will save the day, and tell Chuck that what’s important is for him to be OK and that they will figure out a way to make him OK together.

    • weaselone says:

      I’m going to go with the hatchet. It has to be something that she does with the hatchet. Not certain what she does with it. She could split man’s skull at 100 yards, set off those propane tanks in the cabin, destroying it in a fireball, once up Cole and take down a helicopter with it, or all of the above. Whatever it might be, Sarah Walker gets her first true “I am a complete bad ass” moment of the season.

      This would also be the perfect time for her to turn to Chuck and tell him that she understands and forgives him for keeping his condition from her.

      Sarah: Chuck, I understand why you lied to me, so I’m going to forgive you this one secret because Casey spilled his guts about the mole.

      Chuck: Sarah I’m…

      Sarah: There’s nothing to apologize for Chuck, but if you lie to me again I’m going to kick your *Sarah’s last word is drowned out by a secondary explosion*

      Chuck: Ummm…got it. Honesty is the best policy.

      • Crumby says:

        LOL weaselone maybe you should take Adler’s spot!

      • odysszeuss says:

        ich weiß genau was du meinst, wasel. das darf Mann aber gar nicht so laut sagen. na klar bin ich ein fan von dem ganzen romantischen kram zwischen chuck & sarah. langsam müssen da aber auch mal wieder sarah girlfigths, casey oder Sarah badass figths kommen. ein nerdy chuck saving the day wäre auch nicht schlecht…

      • AngelTwo says:

        You know, all this spec is probably wrong and I certainly have no idea about either the axe or the “love Sarah more” meme.

        But what I do think is interesting about Season 3.5 so far is how they continue to have Sarah demand complete transparency from Chuck. In Season 1/2, it was in the guise of “I’m here to protect you, you have to tell me.” Now it’s with the caveat, “I’m not just your partner, I’m your girlfriend, you can talk to me…”

        On the other hand, Sarah continues to expect understanding for her inability to communicate with Chuck. In Role Models, it was “you know how I was brought up” and in Tooth it was “I never felt this way before so…”

        It’s remarkably clever storytelling if they can logically keep it up. Sarah continuing to demand all from Chuck, yet also demanding understanding when she doesn’t do the same.

        It’s a very clever continuation of the Season 1/2 state of affairs. And just another example of how much TPTB are distancing themselves from almost ANYTHING in Season 3…

      • joe says:

        I’m not sure I understand that last part, Angeltwo. But speaking strictly from the male POV, what you’re saying about their relative need for transparency doesn’t seem all that unusual (Joe nods and smiles to his wife!).

        It does seem consistent with the characters, though. Even when Sarah offered to tell him one thing true about her herself, Chuck said “No thanks. I know who you are.”

        It’s not like Chuck to keep secrets anyway, I don’t think. I suspect that’s one of the things bothering Faith and Amy about this episode a bit (twice Chuck keeps secrets from Sarah, depending on how you count them and who’s counting).

      • herder says:

        I tend to take the view that 3.01 to 3.12 was a different show with the same characters. A show that didn’t engage me the way that seasons 1 & 2 did although it did have bits of the original show peeking out from time to time. Since then though I’m back to where I was last spring watching the episodes over and over again and completely enjoying them each time.

      • AngelTwo says:

        Joe, I think Herder clarified my final point for me. There is every indication that TPTB are literally disowning everything from S3 e1-11. All the callbacks and plot lines regarding Chuck and Sarah are a reaffirmation of Season 1/2 feelings and actions. Or they are Season 3.5 inventions, i.e. Sarah is no longer the CIA’s “best” but a “young” agent.

      • Crumby says:

        @AngelTwo
        “There is every indication that TPTB are literally disowning everything from S3 e1-11.”

        I don’t know about that. For example, Chuck never wanted to be a spy before Season 3, he wanted out.
        And considering that C/S weren’t in either a real or fake relationship, the dynamic between them had to be different.

      • AngelTwo says:

        Well, Chuck decided to be a spy at the end of Ring when he re-intersected. TPTB never actually explained how or why Chuck thought reintersecting would make him a spy, but that’s their claim.

        And it is only the Season 3 retconners who claim Chuck and Sarah weren’t together at the end of Colonel. They were. Otherwise there’d be no resonance to Sarah saying she’s leaving at the beginning of Ring or her decision to stay toward the end of Ring.

        I KNOW season 3 has confused a lot of folks (it certainly has me…) but I know what I was told to believe by TPTB in Colonel and Ring. And just because they tried to convince us otherwise in Season 3 doesn’t mean they did. Season 3 is well on its way to being disowned by TPTB and that is a journey I’m willing to take with them.

        Fingers in ears, mouth going “Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah,” Season 3 never happened. (Sorry if that image doesn’t translate well, Crumby 🙂 )

      • Crumby says:

        LOL AngelTwo the image is really clear 🙂 .

        I know Chuck re-intersecting happenned in Ring, but until that episode and again in Ring, Chuck stated that he didn’t want to have anything to do with the spy life, if he had the choice. He chose to go be a hero because of Sarah (“Dad, I love her”) and then re-intersected for whatever reason I’m not sure about.

        Before Pink Slip, I personnaly had no clue that Chuck wanted to be a spy, even though he liked some aspect of it. And even there, I think he didn’t chose to be a spy when he re-intersected, but in Prague once he had 3 weeks to think about it, that really important people had told him he could save the world, and that he had begun his training. The decision to re-intersect was more a “in the moment” decision than a real choice about what he wanted to do with his future IMO.

        So I really take Chuck wanted to be a spy has a season 3.0 thing, and it goes on in season 3.5.

      • joe says:

        Crumby – that’s a good point. We spent some time last summer and fall trying to decide exactly when Sarah knew she was in love with Chuck (and vise versa, iirc). Now it would be interesting to pinpoint when Chuck decided he wanted to be a spy.

        He told us in the Prague scene, but the re-intersecting scene (with the flash-backs) is a good candidate. Maybe even earlier, in Dream Job when he’s suiting up to go save his father could be a possibility.

      • Crumby says:

        Joe, I see Pink Slip as being when Chuck chose because in Ring he said no to Beckman about working for the government.

        But it’s also true that when he and Sarah danced and she told him he’s a hero, he didn’t say that he doesn’t want this life. He said he wanted more. So and this is just hypothesis, but if he thought that he couldn’t have both, then that’s why he refused Beckman’s offer. So basically, after having lost Sarah anyway (because she’s leaving with Bryce) he could have chose to be what he wanted: a spy.

        I honestly don’t know. But some had argue that the show ended at Colonel and that a new show began after that. And I think Ring has elements leading to Season 3, so even though retrospectively you can say that his choice happened in Ring, to me it is Season 3 material.

      • Crumby says:

        I would also had that there is a difference between being a hero in the heat of the moment, and choosing willingly to become a spy and make it your life.

      • atcdave says:

        I was thinking something like Crumby’s last. Chuck basically rose to the occassion in The Ring. Mainly because Sarah (and Casey) were in mortal peril, so he did what he always does. He knew it would have major ramifications (all the flashbacks, he knew he was making a life changing decision). But Pink Slip is when he first starts to deal with it and think about it. I really didn’t take the Prague train station as Chuck rejecting Sarah, just rejecting her plan A. It was Sarah who took it as complete rejection. Chuck quickly understood that was how she saw it, but I didn’t think that was his original intent.

        As the season ran, my initial perceptions seemed wrong. More like Chuck knew his decision would cost him dear. But either way, it sets off a miserable season long story arc.

        Sorry, got long winded. I say Chuck first decided he wanted to be a spy in 2.22; then dealt with the consequences until 3.13. I stand by 3.14 was the episode 3.01 should have been. Its incidental that a half dozen of the front 13 are fun and watchable episodes on their own merits. (dang I can’t let that go, sorry, sorry, sorry)

      • cas says:

        I really didn’t take the Prague train station as Chuck rejecting Sarah, just rejecting her plan A.

        That was my original take on that scene as well but then he kept saying ( in more than one episode I might add) ” I gave up everything for this” doesn’t that include Sarah? He even said that to Sarah in more than 1 occasion…I think? So I can see why Sarah would feel rejected in a way.

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, that’s why I said my initial impressions seemed wrong. Of course it could just be that Chuck saw how Sarah had taken it fairly quickly.
        I know this will sound shallow, but I seriously think far far (far) less of Chuck if he was rejecting Sarah. I understand the idea of serving a greater good, but I firmly believe serving a greater good is a false god if you loose the ordinary human good to get there. To return to I Corinthians again (13:3 NIV):

        “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

        That’s about sacrifice of wealth and life (the flames being a direct reference to the type of martyrdom that was common in Nero’s reign). Its not to say that isn’t important, or even occassionally necessary. But how we live with regards to those people who are actually a part of our lives is elevated to an even higher level.

        I’m just full of tangents today. Let’s just say I don’t always think highly of sacrificing those around you in pursuit of a greater good. Its counterproductive to serve a greater good by hurting those you’re closest to.

      • cas says:

        I concur

  19. herder says:

    I’m wondering about the potential for deaths of characters. To date, all the deaths have been peripheral characters; Bryce, Shaw (maybe not), Graham, Eve Shaw (maybe not) and Emmitt Milbarge. Lost has taught us that even major characters are expendible as has ER and numerous others. Usually they rehabilitate a character (Rosalind from LA Law before walking into the elevator shaft) or make them evil (Shaw) before killing them, giving a heroic death or a deserved one.

    This year we have had very positive growth for Morgan, somewhat positive for the General, positive for Casey and I think we saw the turn for Awesome back to, well Awesome. I think that the three leads are safe, I think that one of the others may be at risk and then there are the peripheral characters. One of Awesome, Morgan, the General, Big Mike and Papa B are likely at risk, that and a bad guy; Shaw (if alive) the Ring Director, Justin and Eve Shaw (if alive). Then again we may have someone introduced who is the equivalent of the Away Team red shirts in Star Trek; Casey’s fiancee, his daughter or some new bad guy.

    Last year in the finale we had Bryce and Roark, this year who is most likely to take the dirt nap.

    • joe says:

      All true (except you left out Jeff & Lester). But sadly, you just can’t ignore that the purpose is to save $.

      Shaw and Eve may be in for the last 3 episodes, but that should be it. Stephen is a treat, and should always be able to come back for 1 or 2 episodes a season to help ratings without killing the budget, so I really don’t see the point of killing him off. Awesome? Helps the budget, but really, really upsets the story in a big way. That can’t help ratings, so it may hurt the budget as much as it helps.

      Jeff, Lester & Big Mike are, sadly, expendable (as is the Buy More as a set), but we know that the B-M helps tremendously with product placement. It’s probably bad for the budget to get rid of it, or at least, a wash. Big Mike may be completely expendable, sadly; Jeffster seems too popular to get rid of, and I don’t think Morgan could ever be expendable to the story or to the fans.

      I don’t know how you’d do it, ’cause Team B. needs an overseer. But Beckman may be expendable. The character could exists without ever being heard or seen. She just leaves messages/orders.

      Sadly, I fear that the first causality may be – (drum roll, please) Skip Johnson! Oh Nossss!

      • JC says:

        There’s also the possibility that someone dies in name only like Alex Coburn did.

        But they have foreshadowed Awesome, Morgan and Casey as possible deaths.

        Awesome has been targeted twice already. Now they’re using his wife.

        Morgan has shown no fear about the spy world and in Role Models has shown he’s willing to sacrifice himself.

        Casey has talked about choices a lot this year. He chose the greater good over his family. But we’ve seen the softer side of him and if his daughter was in danger I could see him dying to protect her.

      • lucian says:

        I am hoping it will be
        – Shaw
        – Zombie Shaw
        – Psycho Shaw
        – Plywood Shaw
        – Shaw’s father
        – Shaw’s mother
        – Shaw’s second cousin Ned

      • Ernie Davis says:

        You forgot Daniel (AKA Kenny) Shaw. He’s only been filled full of lead twice. He at least needs a good McBain (shot with a mini-gun blown out the skyscraper window to fall 60 stories into a fuel truck that then explodes) before he can be really dead dead. I’m still holding out for the tank.

      • lucian says:

        We all appreciate the tank.

      • BDaddyDL says:

        I noticed int he tooth there was no castle. I think they are preparing for it to go, if it goes, by by by more.

  20. Lola says:

    Guys,
    I haven’t even read your posts yet. But as soon as i heard all wanted to do was commenting here: WE ARE RENEWED!!! yuupii!!

    Ok, now i’m gonna read everything you ‘ve posted.
    best!

  21. Aardvark7734 says:

    Posted a new link to some season finale screenshots in the spoiler thread. Some seen previously, some not.

    If you can read body language, you can make a few deductions from these shots, which all seem to come from the same location if not the same scene.

    • joe says:

      Thanks for the link, Aardvark. That one pict of Chuck leaning on the car, face grim and his back to Sarah is intriguing.

      BTW, I’ve really enjoyed your writing in ChuckTV.net. Everyone up there does a great job.

    • Crumby says:

      Not related to what you were saying at all, but I just wanted to say that I’m currently reading a lot of the fan fictions you’ve talked to us about in the last Dave’s Alternate Realities post. And this have been GREAT! So thanks really!

      • BDaddyDL says:

        Last night was the first time I was asleep before 11 since you made those posts. I have so enjoyed reading the stories.
        I am looking forward to the summer when the season 3 stories start.

      • atcdave says:

        Hey I’m really happy to be keeping you guys up at night!

        Even though the response to those posts is always weak, the folks who like it seem to REALLY like it. So I expect I’ll post from time to time about what I’m reading in Chuck fanfics and what’s new.

      • Crumby says:

        Well Dave yes I have to thank you too, cause before your posts about it I didn’t really know about Fan Fic. And well now I’m really enjoying it!

      • BDaddyDL says:

        I am just not sure if it has been mentioned..
        The author BILATWORK is in the middle of a fascinating story ark. The last in the series is called “The Dark Intersect.”
        The author writes great stuff, its a little light, but it reads great. This last story though will lead to some great stuff, I cant wait for him to finish.

      • atcdave says:

        You know I always push Billatwork’s stuff. I’m very excited about Ninjavanish’s writing too; its darker, more intense, more “male” I suppose, but very fun.

      • atcdave says:

        Oh sorry if Billatwork is lurking here. I didn’t mean that as a slam on his manhood! Only that I think his work is more likely to appeal to a mixed audience. Ninjavanish is more likely to appeal to males, especially guys who like lots of explosions and gunplay.

    • Aardvark7734 says:

      Thanks, Joe – I think Mel, Liz and Gray are all cyborgs or something, they seem to have boundless energy. 😉 For myself, I’ve enjoyed the few articles I’ve done for them and Mel has always been tremendously supportive and collaborative, particularly on that pic-heavy last post.

      Crumby, the fic list was the least I could do to promote those incredibly talented writers. Any of the titles I posted serves to disprove the notion that fanfic cannot rise to the quality of any other published entertainment. While it’s wonderful that these folks are able to give so freely of their talents, it’s a shame that the IP entanglements prevent the authors from being compensated in any way except through their readers’ gratitude. Because they deserve so much more.

    • Jen says:

      Hi Aardvark… I can’t find that link. It’s in the new spoilers thread?

      • BDaddyDL says:

        its in the new spoilers thread in the comment section most of the way down. The pics are just wetting anticipation for Monday.

  22. joe says:

    Apropos of almost nothing, Chuck music director Tim Jones vs. the beard. It came off yesterday, after the renewal announcement, I hear.

  23. Crumby says:

    I have a question for you guys.

    Bonita Friedericy is credited as guest and not as regulars. I think she got as much screen time than Jeffster or Big Mike. So which one of them cost the most? Is it the same cost between a guest and a regular? I was just wandering why she wasn’t considered as a regular when I consider her as important as the buy morons.

    • Crumby says:

      Another question: do we know if Chuck’s coming back in the fall or later?

      • atcdave says:

        The schedule is supposed to posted Sunday, but we’re pretty sure Chuck will be in the fall. I never understand how they decide what to call various cast members. I can guess Adam Baldwin gets an “and” at the end of the opening credits for because he’s the only known name, and he clearly isn’t the star of the show. But the more subtle distinctions (guest star vs, special guest star ??!!). There may be specific guidelines in SAG rules, or there may be some typical usages, I don’t know.

    • Crumby says:

      I’m guessing it’s contractual things, so that why I think there is cost differences.
      IMO a special guest star cost more.

      Anyway, my question was oriented of course, it was if they don’t have jeffster and big mike as regulars but still have them guest staring it may save some money. And from a story POV I don’t see the difference between a guest like Beckman, and them, so it wouldn’t make any difference. Of course it would make difference for the actors…

      • atcdave says:

        It may make a difference in how available they are too (full season contract vs one episode at a time?) It can be hard to require an underutilized actor to just sit around waiting for their next episode. I do know Jeff and Lester (and Anna) were always guest stars in S1, but regulars in S2. I imagine the guest star route is cheaper, but involves a certain risk to continuity.

        My usual expectation on a “special guest star” is its normally a known name in a small part. But they seem to play a lot of games with these things and I’m honestly not sure.

    • Aardvark7734 says:

      I listened to this podcast last night, and my impression is that TPTB couldn’t have picked a better team of writers to replace Ali Adler’s strengths than LeFranc and Judkins.

      The fact that LeFranc was an avowed “Chuck and Sarah” fan before she ever got the writing gig, and “couldn’t stop watching the S1 episodes” is really indicative of her positioning.

      I think they’re two for two in their aired episodes, and we’ll see if it’s three out of three in the next couple of days. Bloggers who’ve seen the episode already have hinted that it’s “strong”.

    • Crumby says:

      One interesting thing that was pointed out in the podcast was that their not only shippers but they also wrote some majors fight scenes this season. I think the action scenes poll, Ernie made during the hiatus proved that Tic Tac had really apreciated action scenes. I mean Chuck and the Laudanol, Sarah kicking 5 guys’ butts after going down the car that way, etc. and the handcuffed scene in the Café in Honeymooners. Those are great stuff. And apparently they gave Sarah an axe in that one, made Chuck jumping from a roof, and had Sarah and Chuck climbing a building… Also they’re pretty funny in that interview, and like writing comedy. Honeymooners was great on that and Tic Tac had Fitzroy.

      So they’re basically made for Chuck. They like romance, action, comedy, and they love the show by himself, the characters, the drama…

    • joe says:

      Loved the interview. It’s really great to come away with the feeling that they like the show and the characters as much as I do! 😉

      • Crumby says:

        Yeah, they said things about every character that have been said here.

        Like how excited they were to write a story where Ellie was included in more than a “domestic” manner. (BTW what they said about that for the upcoming episode was really interesting, I’m really looking forward to it).

        Or how they were really excited to have a Casey centric episode, and show a more personnal side of him.

        Or how fun Morgan is since he knows the truth.

        They’re obviously huge fan of YS acting like all of us, and also the chemistry ZL and her has.

        Also they said that they often talked about how involved the fans are, and how grateful they are about that.

        I was really pleased to hear all those things and understand everything they were talking about. Like yeah we are talking about the exact same show, even though they’re part of it and I’m just a viewer. Makes you feel that we’re all part of it somehow!

    • BDaddyDL says:

      My favorite part of the podcast was an alternate ending of tic tac, where Chuck and Morgan are by the fountain. Morgan has a notebook out ready to write down what Chuck is going to tell him about the mission. After a few seconds of talking Morgan realizes what needs to be talked about is Sarah.
      I hope that’s in the DVD in special features, for me its worth the price right there. I am such a softy.

      • joe says:

        Oh yeah! That explains part of Tooth too, when Morgan complains to Chuck that they’re always talking about Sarah. Makes a whole lot of sense now.

      • herder says:

        Was this ending in addition to or instead of Sarah in the cab in Washington.

      • Crumby says:

        I think it was in addition to, because they said something like Morgan realised Chuck wanted to talk about Sarah because he was down she left.

  24. Lawrence says:

    Joe, this is one of the best discussions of Chuck I have read anywhere. You are right. We bring much of ourselves to the dramatic presentation and much of how we respond relates to our unique personal experiences. That is certainly reflected in the variety of posts on this forum, and we all owe you big time for supporting a place where we can freely express our diverse responses without fear of personal attacks or flaming from others who may disagree. I know I am about to get into trouble here, because there is much about the feminine mystique men (ok, I should speak for myself) will never completely understand. Maybe we are just wired in different ways or maybe I am just too dim-witted to see what is obvious to my wife, or what Faith sees when Chuck doesn’t tell Sarah that may be a problem with the intersect. I loved your references to Dune (a novel full of wonder and grand vision) and to the Bible. Certainly faith and love are essential ingredients of the show we have grown to love, and the relationship between Chuck and Sarah. However, I like what Isaac Asimov wrote about the universe we live in: some things which seem to be absolutes are not; we live in a world of probabilities. So what is Truth? Is it absolute? Should Chuck tell Sarah that there is a possibility the intersect may damage his mind or should he treasure the love she has just expressed to him? When my mother had to be placed in a facility for the elderly because she could no longer remember the realities of the hour, the day, or the year, she asked me where my father was. He had died years before. I told her the truth: he had passed away. She placed her hands on her face and sobbed, experiencing the bitter loss again. When she asked again, I told her that he was away, but that they would be together soon. Then she asked how I was feeling. I told her I was fine, hiding the fact that I was fighting cancer, which had recently taken her other son, who was a Fulbright Scholar and a college Dean. I lied to protect her, so I understand what Chuck did. He held back information to protect the feelings of the one he loved. Should Sarah tell Chuck everything about Shaw or should she keep some things to herself? How often has Sarah lied to Chuck to protect him? Here is another Biblical reference for you Joe, from 1 Corinthians 13:13, English standard Version:

    So now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    Because Chuck loves Sarah, he will do whatever it takes to protect her and their relationship, just as she has done for him on several occasions. Chuck and Sarah have captured what we have experienced in our lives in a way that is almost magical. They trust, they have hope, and they have faith in each other. Whatever ethical dilemma they face, they protect each other.

    And Faith, my wife already told me you are right and I better not hide anything from her!

    Lawrence

    • Aardvark7734 says:

      That was an awesome post, Lawrence. Heartfelt and powerful. I agree that “Chuck and Sarah” is somehow much more than just a relationship between two fictional characters. It seems to be some kind of metaphor for the unquantifiable hope and joy that we want to believe are a part of life. In rooting for their success we’re expressing our faith in that belief.

      The question of whether Chuck should have told Sarah about the doctor’s prognosis seems like a bipolar one, but I wonder if the tension between the two sides would have never formed had Chuck simply said, “I love you too, and I’m so happy to hear you say that. Because love is about caring for and supporting each other in good times and not-so-good times. See, while the doctor said I’m fine right now, there’s still the possibility that things could happen in the future. But if they do, there’s no one in the world I’d rather have at my side than you.”

      Anyway, great post, but maybe in the future I can humbly ask you to add a few more paragraph breaks? That first one was a monster! 🙂

    • joe says:

      Lawrence, Thank you. But I can’t take credit for what the commenters here have done – make this place simultaneously friendly and stimulating (it’s a rare combination on-line). At best, I only tried to set the tone. Well, that and prayed for the best. Got the best, too.

      Your story touched everyone here, I’m sure. Faith and I can (and probably will) jibe each other with friendly smiles about this for a while, but the issues become very real, very quickly.

      Have you noticed? Chuck is only a television show, but the way it affects us is quite real. (And in passing, I notice that everyone involved, from Zac on down to the fans seem to know this, and act accordingly. That’s quite amazing.) What we’ve seen has been quite magical – great word to describe it, btw. But you know, it’s the kind of magic we have right in front of us every day.

      Thanks for this post, Lawrence.

    • Faith says:

      Lawrence that was an inspired post. Worthy of what you deem “best discussion ever” 🙂

      In a lot of ways I think life is just a sequence of events without meaning, without reason and certainly without right answers. So yes, in situations like that with your mother there are no right and wrong. What you did for her is as much a comfort for her as it is for you. Dementia is one of the most tragic diseases there are (I’ve done my rotations in several nursing homes so I’m fully aware and sympathetic), and in a lot of ways it hurts the family more than the patient. So I applaud you for having the courage to give her what she needed at that point in time.

      Now to bring this back to the situation at hand. You’re right that in essence it’s not that different a situation. What you did for your mother is an act of love just as Chuck’s is to Sarah, I’m sure. But your mother would find no comfort in knowing the truth. Sarah in my opinion can and would. I keep on going back to the idea of sickness, in health, richer or poorer…granted this is not that exact situation I think when you love someone you want to be given the opportunity, you want to be useful, you want in your own way to give comfort when someone you love is hurting. By not telling her he’s denying her of that and that’s where the deception will at its core always be a deception to me. Sarah knows something is wrong, and by not telling her (the longer he puts it off) the more he is hurting her. Will it do her any good to know? Honestly who knows…but IMO I think it would give her comfort to be able to do something…just like she begged the Dr. to let her.

      But then again, I reiterate…in a lot of ways life is without right and wrong, and this, more and more I’m coming to see is just one of them. My hope is that when she finds out, he’ll soften her pain by conveying just how much he loves her.

      • herder says:

        One thing that I have been thinking about with regard to this whole issue is that Sarah is a pretty smart character. She was taken in by Chuck the first time that he said he was fine, I doubt she was a second time especially after the nightmare at the end of the Tooth. I understand why Chuck might not have come clean immediately but he has to do so PDQ as what he is hiding is probably not as bad as what she is suspecting. Fears are always worse than the truth. At some point the worry caused by the non-disclosure is greater than the worry caused by the truth.

      • Crumby says:

        Also I think it was pretty hurtful to learn from Beckman about Dr. Dreyfus first diagnostic, when she had given Chuck a chance to tell her. “He told me he was fine.”

        This time there is no professional reason not to tell her, like protecting her career or anything.

        So learning about Chuck’s condition from someone else, again, could really be even more hurtful this time.

      • Faith says:

        Herder, great point about fear.

      • sd says:

        I don’t know if this has been supposed…but given Mo Ryan’s comment about “loving Sarah Walker more” after Monday’s ep…this is my spec.

        Chuck will come clean about his condition ie: Possible brain melt and that his dad doesn’t know if he can solve the problem (remember this issue continues throught the season finale)

        He gives Sarah the option to cut and run–which before Chuck–was her MO. She basically tells him she is in it for “better and worse”…and they trade “vows” like they did in Honeymooners…

        What do you think?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I like it. Sarah refuses to give up on Chuck and refuses to let him give up. I tend to think it’s going to be family related somehow.

        Herder, Faith, remember fear is the mind killer. Hmmmm…..

      • herder says:

        I tend to agree with Ernie (there’s an original comment) that it is somehow family related. Up to now the struggle for Sarah has been to accept the things that Chuck has offered her; his love, a relationship, living accomodations. I think that now it will be her demonstrating her desire for those things by fighting for them and accepting that she wants both the good and the bad (or hard parts) that go with it.

        On a slightly different topic is it today or tommorrow that we find out if Chuck is on in the fall, winter or in the bullpen to take over for a failed show.

      • josh says:

        NBC upfonts are tomorrow in NY so unless they preempt their own upfronts we ‘ll find out what their schedules are tomorrow.

        But I m pretty sure Chuck will be a fall pickup, 13 episode order plus 9 episode option indicates that.

      • josh says:

        Rofl … seems NBC are preempting their own upfronts … with a leak.
        Ausiello has an “insider” NBC fall schedule posted
        http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2010/05/16/nbc-new-fall-schedule/

        Chuck stays Monday at 8 before 2 new shows, and odly no J Abrams on Monday, it’s supposed to air Wednesday at 8

      • Chuck604 says:

        Well Ernie,

        I think that unlike in role models where Chuck waited for Sarah to resolve the moving in situation, I think Sarah will have a sneaking suspicion of Chuck’s deteriorating mental faculty. But I’m guessing instead of waiting she’ll work the the truth out of Chuck without her feeling that Chuck should have trusted her more.

  25. Rick Holy says:

    O.K., folks. Help the ignorant here. I do not own an IPOD – and don’t ever intend to. I have a cell phone that makes/takes calls, texts, and takes voice messages. It has a camera that I’ve never even tried to use and probably wouldn’t even know how.

    It’s not that I’m a techno hater. I’m not. Have a digital camera, one of those new mini digital video recorders (a Kodak – and I LOVE it), and of course the computer stuff, etc.

    But here’s my question. I saw a survey where CHUCK’s most recent episode (The Tooth) was among the top 5 downloaded “itunes.” Do you HAVE to have an IPOD in order to download something from ITUNES? Can you download an “itune” on to your computer and then watch it through media player or whatever?

    If so, can you do it through Amazon? Not that I need to download any episode of CHUCK – I record each episode on DVD so I can watch it again and again and again (although there were a number of episodes which I didn’t bother watching more than once this season). But if more attention is going to be paid to things like itune downloads, and if I can pay a couple of bucks per episode, I’d be willing to do it – but just so I could actually watch it on my laptop and not have to get an IPOD.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Also, on FACEBOOK, there is a page for “Get Zach Levi to host SNL” and another one for “Get Betty White to guest star on Chuck.” (Personally, I think she would make a great “mom” for Casey – after all, he is her little “Johhny boy!”). I think these are linked either on chucktv.net or zacharylevi.net – I don’t remember. But sign up for both – couldn’t hurt.

    Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there are commercials recently for something called Xfinity. It’s something from Comcast – which I believe is now associated with NBC. Anyway, Zach’s getting a lot of exposure on these Xfinity commercials. I think an SNL appearance would be AWESOME. (And even MORE AWESOME if Yvonne co-hosted with him).

    Anyway, I’m too long already – so if someone can help me with my “do I need and IPOD in order to download and watch Itunes” question, I’d be grateful.

    P.S. As far as something happening in the next episode that would make me “love Sarah MORE?” No way. Couldn’t love her any more than I already do!

    Thanks, all. And “Keep on Chuckin!”

    • atcdave says:

      Well for starters, you know, ditto about Sarah.

      I’m not the greatest tech guy either, but I do know iTunes. There are three possible uses; downloading to an iPod is only the first. You can play directly from your computer (iTunes has its own media player), or you can load it on an “AppleTV” (which is basically a big iPod, capable of HD).
      I can think of a few reasons for doing this. First, you pay 1.99 an episode for standard def or 2.99 an episode for HD (remember if you’re using an iPod, there is no HD playback, so don’t waste your time), which adds to the revenue stream of the show (WB, not NBC, but it still affects the bottom line). Second, no commercials. Third, good portability.

      I never watch TV at my computer, but by downloading HD (only the episodes I like, of course) I can put a standard def episode on my iPod, which I show to anyone who seems inclined to sit still for 43 minutes. AND, I put a HD version on my AppleTV, so I can watch it HD commercial-free whenever I plop down in my recliner.
      Of course, I’ll be all over the Blu-Rays when they come out, can you say 1080P (oh yeah!).

    • Faith says:

      Fr. Rick you don’t need an ipod to buy and watch Chuck from itunes. In fact it’s a lot better certainly in terms of quality to buy it in itunes and play on your computer because the quality is HD as opposed to standard (albeit widescreen) for an ipod.

      Unfortunately outside of say having a cable to connect your computer to your TV (VGA to newer HDTV, HMDI to even newer more crisper HDTVs) you can’t watch that itunes video in your TV. There is no way to convert DRM (digital rights management) files to be watched elsewhere. Which means no DVD player conversion either.

      Having an ipod just allows you to watch on the go…say on a train or something. But the file that you download from itunes plays just as well (if not better see^) from your computer. And someday if you do decide to buy an ipod, the video will work in the ipod all the same.

      Amazon.com TV shows are playable only through the web. So if you buy an episode you have to have an internet connection to be able to watch it, although I understand you can watch it as many times as you want. I’ve not heard of being able to convert files from Amazon to watch in a mobile device for example since they went web based. There is such a thing as unbox video player in amazon but it’s somewhat complicated.

      On a side note, I’ve been watching diligently how high we (Chuck) gets in iTunes and we peak at 3 or thereabouts. Honeymooners got all the way to 2. But the positive thing is we tend to stay on the top 10 for days and not just on tuesdays. That bodes well not only for WB but also NBC (who gets the revenue from our direct dollars).

      • atcdave says:

        See above Faith, you can move iTunes HD to any standard TV via AppleTV, it costs about the same as an iPod but is less portable.

      • Faith says:

        Ah. How could have I forgotten lol. Thanks Dave.

      • joe says:

        I can only add that I don’t know if the Amazon downloads can be played on your laptop if you’re running a Linux OS like Ubuntu.

        There may be something in the repositories that can do that, but I’m not aware of one at present.

      • Rick Holy says:

        Thanks, all. I assume I go to an itunes website – like itunes.com? in order to do the downloading? I’ll give it a whirl after this upcoming episode of CHUCK which is SOMEHOW (although I don’t think it’s possible) supposed to make me love Sarah more.

        Off to Mass. The 6:30 a.m. crowd (the roosters – those up before the sun) will be waiting!

        Happy Sunday, all! And PEACE!

      • Jen says:

        Morning Rick!

        You’ll need a program called iTunes installed on your computer to access the iTunes store. Go to apple.com n download iTunes from there. Install it in ur computer. Once installed, run it. In iTunes, u’ll see a bar on the left you’ll see an option for iTunes Store. Click on there and you’ll be taken to the store… All this within the iTunes program. You’ll be asked to create an iTunes account: it will request name, address, CC info, and ask you to create a username and password. Once done you’ll be taken yo the store n u r ready to buy all ur favorite Chuck eps 🙂 just type Chuck on the search bar. That will return more than just “our Chuck” but it will be one of the first options.

        Hope this helps 🙂

      • Rick Holy says:

        Thanks, Jen – and EVERYBODY.

        Back to the theme of this discussion, it just shows why this is such a great program and why it’s so important to us. It’s just a shame that MORE people aren’t seeing it.

        Well, we do what we can in that regard. But like the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water……”

        Take care, all! And “Happy Chuckin’!!”

  26. herder says:

    TVBTN has the NBC Schedule, Chuck on Mondays at 8PM folowed by The Event and Chase. Undercovers gets Wednesday at 8PM. Of course things can change, but it looks like we get a fall start in our usual death slot.

    • cas says:

      They left Chuck there because of its loyal fan base. I guess they are content with 5 mil viewers….for now

  27. Faith says:

    I was just watching Pink Slip and I caught something I didn’t see before.

    And in light of all our “wha-ha? That’s so cool!” on the pictures Sarah put up in Role models, I thought this was an equally fun find.

    Picture

    It’s a variation on the picture Jill saw in Fat Lady. Pretty damn cool that they took several pictures in Palm Springs…apparently lol.

    • Faith says:

      doesn’t work. Try this:

      Picture

      • Merve says:

        I always thought that the one in Season 2 and that picture were the same picture. Guess I was wrong. Nice catch.

    • joe says:

      Question! Who do you think is taking the picture?

      I hope Casey had the good taste to leave them alone in Palm Springs! 😉

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I think the one Jill saw was also the one on the nightstand in American Hero. It seems plausible that they occasionally posed for pictures for Ellie and Devon or had Casey take a few for “cover”. I’m sure he had a good grunt in response. I find it interesting that Sarah keeps pictures from the cover dating days, although to be fair they were pretty openly emotionally involved and sort of acknowledging it in both Seduction and Suburbs.

      • Faith says:

        well if you go by the idea that the fake relationship was always real to her…then it’s not that out of bounds for her to keep and treasure those pictures/memories.

        Chuck in his own way also kept his own memories…except in his case it’s on his phone.

        Joe, I’m gonna go with Timer. Seems like Chuck’s thing to want to capture the memories techno wise lol.

        Here’s a question, which anniversary do they celebrate? First date? Second-first date? Or Paris?

      • herder says:

        My guess is that to be safe they celebrate the day she walked into the Buy More which changed both their lives.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        That would be a safe bet, but I wonder about something. Has Sarah ever told Chuck that she was the ninja who kicked him across the room that same day? After all, Chuck kicked her across the room in Fake Name, so they’re even now.

      • Faith says:

        I like it.

        Now if we have a fall premiere…that would be a really good thing to see first scene.

        Aardvark, you’re welcome 🙂

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I think the fall premier is confirmed, which means not only do we NOT have to wait 10 months, but we SHOULD get both a Thanksgiving and a heartwarming Christmas episode. Chuck just needs to take the hit and buy Sarah some Christmas morning appropriate sleepwear.

    • Aardvark7734 says:

      That’s awesome, Faith.

      I completely missed that the first time through.

      Thanks for sharing!

  28. herder says:

    Under the heading “Interesting, but not sure it’s true”, I was checking out the Chuck home page and under the spy dossiers heading they had added a few. One was for Dr Leo Dreyfus who was appointed to the intersect project 3 years ago. Like the spy notes these dossiers often have errors, but the thought that they have had a psyciatrist reviewing Chuck’s condition for 3 years is credible within the context of the story. The queston is will it play any part in the rest of the story or is it just an interesting quasi-fact.

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