Survivor

Not Lost At All

Chuck‘s been renewed, and the relief is palpable. Happy, Happy, Happy! It’s Miller Time ™, it’s time to celebrate and, as Lawrence Welk would say, “Let’s a-get down, a-get fun-ky.”

Or something.

I can’t say if we dodged a bullet, or had a close shave or anything. Those are metaphors which can’t come close to describing the actual details of how Chuck got renewed, or how close it came to not being renewed. I did start to wonder, though, what I’d be watching on television if I didn’t have my favorite show to obsess over, and what I’ll be watching now that season end is on the (near) horizon.  Hank Stuever at the Washington Post (free registration required) takes a stab at it.

Now, with the regular television season ending, it’s time for the enjoyably weird summer season, which has gained a reputation as an experimental recess period. The stakes are a little bit lower and the concepts are slightly looser, resulting in edgier dramas, goonier comedy and more humiliating reality shows. It’s also a convenient time to discover shows you’ve overlooked.

My reaction? Put thumb firmly to nose and say “Bleech!”


We have reality shows like The Biggest Loser (the new one being Losing It With Jillian), and reality shows like Real Housewives (the new one being Ruby). I can’t say that these sound promising to me at all. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen a reality show yet that engages me. Am I defective that way, or just weird? Maybe. There are so many on the air that somebody must be watching them.

But what about shows that I do like? I like The Big Bang Theory, of course. It’s very popular, very well done and very funny. But Stuever brings me up short with this:

[M]uch beloved Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory,” played by Jim Parsons (season finale is May 24), suggest that there is great potential in finding a way to translate the array of behaviors related to Asperger’s and high-functioning autism into a comedy that could be tinged with struggle.

He then goes on to mention a new show, The Big C, intimating that there’s an audience for shows that feature characters with such illnesses and disorders.  Maybe.  But I must admit, I find Jim Parson’s character “quirky”, not suffering from a disorder. That makes me think that someone is missing the boat here.

All in all, I can’t say that I look forward to the crop of shows that will soon be airing for the first time.  Maybe I’m getting picky in my old age!

I am looking forward to the July return, of Neil (Bryce Larkin) Cafferty and Kate in White Collar, and the June return of Hank and Jill in Royal Pains and Michael and Feona in Burn Notice. I sense a pattern here. These shows have a few things in common; wit, style, a sense of adventure and a romance between compelling characters (and doesn’t that sound familiar). I like that. They’re also all on the USA network. I wonder why they, or shows like them, can’t find a bigger audience on, say, NBC, CBS and ABC.

My tastes can be pretty pedestrian.  I enjoy some shows whose seasons are coming to an end; NCIS, occasionally, Bones. They are well done and deserve their success. It’s just me, I’m sure, but I prefer them to established offerings like any of the Law and Order franchise shows. I think it’s the deadpan, intentionally humorless presentation. It’s just not my cup of tea. I note that both Bones and especially NCIS also feature humor and some sort of romantic angle (although I find the romances unbearably stilted compared to Chuck. I must be spoiled!). I also have enjoyed (but have not watched regularly) highly regarded shows like Glee, Medium and Ghost Whisperer. I find them to be worthy, but not “must see TV”.  Glee deserves more of a chance than I’ve given it, perhaps.

What I have not seen, for no apparent reason, are some block buster shows that are gone, like Lost, 24 and I’ve barely seen the returning V. I started to watch V when it premiered last fall, but it lost me about the second episode when it seemed like the tension would be unrelieved. I’m glad Sci-Fi has an audience, though. I missed Battlestar Galactica and Firefly when they aired, and now I’m sorry I did. Being mildly determined to not let a good show slip by again, so I hope to sample a few to see if I want to make the investment. J.J. Abrams, anyone?

So tell me, please.  What are your hot prospects?  What is it that you look for in a television show, and do you feel like I do that the bar has raised just a bit this time around?

– joe

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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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94 Responses to Survivor

  1. JC says:

    I can’t wait for White Collar and Burn Notice to return. I highly recommend them to Chuck fans. Matt Bomer is going to be a huge star.

    Human Target was a pleasant surprise for me. Its like an 80’s action movie every week. And Matt Miller is now a showrunner which makes me happy since the season finale started going into the mythology of the series.

    Community is the only comedy I watch and it just might be the funniest show since Seinfeld. Its hard to describe but just check out the Modern Warfare episode on Hulu. I don’t think I’ve seen so many references and homages to movies packed into a half hour of TV in my life.

    But whats got me excited is the possible return of Deadwood, Rome and the Buffyverse. Both Deadwood and Rome are supposed to be getting either mini series or TV movies to wrap up the story lines. And there’s been hints that Whedon may do a Buffy spin off on FX. If any one of these happened I would be a very happy man.

  2. Ernie Davis says:

    Hey Joe, my big summer project is to get caught up on TBBT. I hope the DVD comes out or they show re-runs. I also want to finish up BSG, though that one and Heroes lost me. It’s almost like picking up that book you put down in chapter seven because they didn’t seem to be going anywhere and then months later thinking you might as well slog through a few more chapters to see where it ends up. I tried Fringe. Didn’t take. I did see one fantastic episode of Community that makes me wander what I’ve missed. The I might venture back to Dollhouse, see what happened. Also I might go back and finish out Sarah Conner Chronicles. Do we see a pattern?

    Of course the full series Chuck re-watch might get in the way of some of this. 🙂

    • joe says:

      I never caught Heros! I was I was missing something for a while, too.

      Good analogy about that book, Ernie! 😉

      Oooohhhh! Forgot to mention about those SNL cast-off comedies – you know, Parks ‘n Rec. and 30-Rock. I put The Office in the same category for some reason. Those are shows that I think I would like, but I just never feel bad about missing an episode. So I wind up seeing very few of them.

      I really like Tina Fey and Amy Polher, but Alec Baldwin I could take or leave (and mostly leave).

  3. Faith says:

    I like my shows to have a little romance, a little comedy and a little action. I’m pretty much made for Chuck haha. So if there’s a show out there with that recipe (and it’s not in ABC—already talked about) I’lll check it out.

    This summer with Chuck and replays of Legend of the Seeker, etc…I’ll be checking out Firefly. And dead like me. I hear it’s good. Both of those actually.

    And of course Eureka comes back.

    But mostly summer for me means going to the beach, reading and movies. I hate that shows like Chuck for example, doesn’t go year round haha.

    • joe says:

      Eureka is one I haven’t heard of, Faith. Please tell me about it? When? Where?

      Hey, folks! I think Faith just invited us all to the beach for the summer! Last one in’s a rotten… (SPLASH!)

      • Faith says:

        LOL.

        Eureka is this show on Sci-fi about this town called Eureka that’s full of geniuses. The story is told through Sheriff Jack’s eyes…he’s the “normal” one and everyone else seems to get into shenanigans on a weekly basis that he has to then solve/find a solution for.

        It’s not necessarily episodic…much like Chuck S2 they had their contained episodes but they also have their arcs. For example last season there was this ship that came in and everything led up to that, and of course the after that. But it’s light-hearted fun, in any other show I’m sure the ship would have contained the end of the world or something…in Eureka it’s a biological computer, one of ours (well there I go telling you the plot lol).

      • Michael says:

        Eureka is really funny and has lots of heart. I love Colin Ferguson’s physical performance. Most hilarious scene I can remember was him being trapped in the gravity field at GD because he had lost his clearance…I had tears in my eyes.

      • Gord says:

        I know it’s been a while, just been very busy lately. I am so happy to see Chuck back and after the first 4 of the back 6, I am seeing Chuck in a whole new light.

        I didn’t think it was possible to like this show anymore than I already did, but wow, since American Hero, I have found Chuck is better than it ever has been.

        Yes I know some will disagree, but having Chuck and Sarah together as a couple has really turned it up a notch, and for me that all started with the end of American Hero, with Honeymooners being the climax of the game changer.

        Thanks NBC for bringing it back for a S4. I really hope this new dynamic in the show will really bring in a swarm of new viewers. If not I’m sure the core fans will still be with it.

        As for Eureka, it is one of the few shows I consider to be quality television. I love how quirky the characters are. So Joe if you get a chance to watch Eureka take it. At least as long as it isn’t running opposite Chuck.

      • joe says:

        I’ll take your advice, Gord!

        BTW, I’ve been reading tons of posts on the NBC boards over the past couple of days. Yours have been inspiring.

        I have to admit, that I think that having C&S as a couple *has* taken it up a notch. I didn’t expect that! Remember? 9 months ago I was worried that the story would lag after that. Well, worried a little. It was more like, I didn’t want their coming together to end.

        It’s very cool to see that “coming together” is an on-going process.

  4. atcdave says:

    I would add Psych to the list. Its more of a pure comedy than Chuck, but has a similar vibe. I guess the romance is underplayed, and its more of a buddy theme; but its a very funny show.

    Castle has been renewed for a third season, but like Chuck, won’t be back until fall. NCIS will certainly be back, but they currently have three key cast members threatening to leave over contract issues (Tony, McGee, and Abbey) so it may be a very different show in the fall.

    I really look forward to Burn Notice and White Collar. I know I’ve mentioned before that I thought Burn Notice was the best show I’d seen in many years, until Chuck premiered two months later. I guess that makes this a sort of golden age for me; I have seriously NEVER had so many shows on that I really like.

    Like you Joe, I already gave up on V; too much angst, too little ACTION!

    • joe says:

      I sort of like Psych (and love that theme song!), but I have such a hard time following them. James Roday (Shawn Spenser) talks about twice as fast as I can follow! Now if they only started a good romance between Shawn and Juliet…

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah, the theme song is one of the best parts; and they change it for special episodes, very fun.

  5. Merve says:

    First and foremost, I want a television show to entertain me. Barring the now-cancelled Better Off Ted (shed a tear with me, please), in my opinion Chuck does that better than any other show on television.

    To talk about some of the shows you’ve mentioned, I like White Collar. Occasionally, it can be a little slow, but Matt Bomer really brings Neal Caffrey to life; the character is a better fit for him than Bryce ever was. Tim DeKay also does a great job. If there’s a problem with it, it’s the same problem that I have with Chuck‘s first six episodes: lots of questions, not a lot of answers, and we’re still stuck with many of the same questions that we had at the start of the series.

    I tried to get into Big Bang Theory, but I just couldn’t. Sheldon and Leonard are two of the most annoying characters on television. In order to like a show, I have to like the characters. I also gave Burn Notice a spin, but it just bored me for some reason. Does it get better after the pilot episode?

    Bones used to be a really good show in its first two and a half seasons. Somewhere towards the end of the third, it lost its way. I like shows that have good storylines, and somewhere in the fourth season, Bones stopped having a storyline. The other problem with Bones is that the will-they/won’t-they tension has been dragged out for so long that it’s become ridiculous. (It’s not even comparable to Chuck at all.) I might drop the show once this season is over.

    Other shows that I’m probably dropping at the end of this season: How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, and Modern Family. All of them have failed to engage me this season. Either the storylines have been terrible (or just absent) or the jokes just haven’t been landing. In the case of 30 Rock, the characters have become total caricatures to the extent that they’re no longer comparable to their season one counterparts.

    The shows that I’m continuing with: Cougar Town, 18 to Life, and Community. All of them make me laugh. A lot. In case you haven’t noticed, I like to laugh. I don’t watch any real dramas; at best, I watch a few comedy-dramas. With the three shows I mentioned above, the entertainment factor is high. They all make me laugh about as much as Chuck. I highly recommend that you check them out. (Though you might want to skip over the first six or seven Cougar Town episodes if the original premise seems awful to you.)

    Finally, about next season’s prospects. In truth, the only one that I’m going to check out is Undercovers. It looks as if it’s going to be a relatively lighthearted comedy-drama, and that’s the kind of stuff I like. All the other upcoming dramas seem silly or doomed to fail. Some of the upcoming comedies (e.g. Friends With Benefits, Outsourced) look downright awful.

    Wow, that was really long, and it didn’t have much to do with Chuck

    • atcdave says:

      Merve, Have you tried Psych? I know some people find it too silly, but it makes me laugh, Hard!

      I’m not sure why Burn Notice didn’t click for you, it worked for me right from the start. I would say S2 currently seems to be its strongest, but there aren’t huge tone differences like between the seasons of Chuck.

      • Merve says:

        I tried Psych. I only watched the pilot and it didn’t hold my interest, so I didn’t watch any more. I don’t think that I really gave it a fair shot, though. It might be something that I go back to in the future if I’m bored.

    • joe says:

      You still might like Burn Notice, Merve. The episodes are mostly stand alone, but the continuing thread is Micheal getting himself un-burned. That lets the show get a bit more complex as you stick with it. The romance between Michael and Feona is a notch or two cooler than between Chuck and Sarah (if not more), but has good potential. The characters are pretty engaging.

      Less comedy than Chuck, but nearly as witty.

      I absolutely agree with you about Bones, btw.

      • Gord says:

        We don’t get Burn Notice on any of the Canadian networks, but based on all the Chuck fans talking about, I picked up the DVD set and did enjoy it. It’s no Chuck but still enjoyable.

        We do get White Collar and I must say I did enjoy the first season of that show.

        The one thing I have noticed about Chuck over any of the other series on television I have seen though, is that I can rewatch an episode of Chuck multiple times and not get tired of it. Where as most other shows, I might rewatch an episode once, but then the DVD will sit on the shelf for a few years before I watch it again.

  6. jason says:

    I watch burn notice, castle, and 24 as my 3 main shows with chuck, a little leverage and eureka. I watched s1 e1 & e2 of fringe, will probably watch that this summer, anyone have any review of fringe?? I also loved wonderfalls and eleventh hour, 2 one season shows that were canceled, I thought 11th hour had some of elements of chuck’s couple theme, with limited comedy and only an A plot.

  7. BDaddyDL says:

    Other then Chuck I only watch usa or Sci fi. I agree Faith Eureka is really good, and I think Warehouse 13 has potential.( if it wasn’t canceled)
    Btw I saw this question on a fan fiction story. The author was obviously also a NCIS and Chuck fan. Who wins in a fight Sarah or Ziva?

    • atcdave says:

      Depends on which show they’re on!

    • bundy says:

      Wharehouse 13 comes back July 6.

    • Mike says:

      I love Eureka, but the show frustrates me. They have short 10-12 episode seasons and then it seems like they go a complete year until the next little mini-season begins. I can’t remember any of the plot from the previous episodes when the new season finally rolls around. Burn Notice and Psych also do short half seasons, but they do so every six months where you can count on them being on.

    • Gord says:

      Warehouse 13 is cancelled – darn – they just started showing that up her in Canada and I have been enjoying it. Sort of like a light-hearted X Files.

  8. lucian says:

    A show I really enjoy is Justified on FX. The characters are well-drawn and engaging. That said, Chuck is the only show that I enjoy enough to buy on iTunes so I can rewatch when the mood strikes.

    • joe says:

      Justified is a new one for me, Lucian. Please describe it?

      • lucian says:

        It’s based on an Elmore Leonard short story. The main character is a U.S. Marshall from Kentucky who is reassigned back to rural Kentucky where he has lots of “history”. What makes it better than most procedurals are the personal connections of the lead character – Raylan Givens. He grew up with the guys he now has to put in jail; his father is a con man; his ex-wife is married to a man involved in some questionable business dealings… The marshall has the persona of a sheriff out of the old west (he worked as a firearms instructor, and has a very quick draw). If you like Elmore Leonard characters and stories, you may like it. Tim Olyphant plays Raylan.

  9. cas says:

    Other than football, Chuck is the only must see t.v. for me. I like Legend of the Seeker but that one is getting canceled….not cool. I wouldn’t mind Cara from LoS to appear as a guest in Chuck.

    • Faith says:

      kindred spirit! Well not the football part (soccer? american football?) but LoTS.

      Are you pumped for the finale? I’m going omg, omg, omg on a weekly basis. Although the last episode I was disheartened and my only comment was: lame. Still love the show though.

      P.S. OMG Nicci!!!!! Sorry, I love her.

      • cas says:

        NFL. Oh I can’t wait for the finale. I just hope its not a major cliffhanger because I don’t think they knew that they were getting cancelled. I actually felt bad when I found out that it was getting canceled because I never really watch that show live(DVR)

      • cas says:

        Did you notice that one of the Lord Sith was the fulcrum Agent in Beefcake?

      • Faith says:

        Yeah, Katrina Law. I actually heard about her gig before she came on and I am such a Chuckie, I first thought of Chuck lol.

    • cas says:

      Finally saw the Legend of the Seeker finale. Somehow I was reminded of Mo Ryans Comment about Loving Sarah more after the Living dead. Well, my love for Sarah after that episode pretty much stayed the same, but I sure as heck love Cara more after that finale

  10. kg says:

    Joe

    I convinced a good buddy of mine to watch Chuck this third season after I allowed him to burn my S1 and S2 DVDs.

    We’re also big fans of the Big Bang Theory, and we face a dilemma next Monday. BBT begins at 9:30 and with Chuck double-dipping a conflict has arisen.

    Don’t worry, when I brought this to his attention and asked him what we were going to do with an earnest and determined look on my face he said with a smile, “I guess we’re going to watch Chuck.”

    We too, think that Big Bang, although a little on the high-brow side, is hilarious, but also sweet and endearing.

    Sheldon is not autistic. He’s just enourmously intelligent, knows it, and wants you to know it. Some of the humor comes from the fact that he’s naive like a child and has no concept or understanding of things like sarcasim.

    And of course his dealings with Penny, Leonard, Raj and Howard are side-splitting at times. One of my memorable moments of Sheldon’s good qualities on diosplay was lending Penny money without any reservations or limits.

    Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is often an adorable love interest for Leonard and a condescending foil for Sheldon, but in the end loses out to Sarah on my Affection-o-meter.

    • joe says:

      Oh, I agree! I’ve had two very pleasant surprises with the show; the first was the Leonard’s mother. She’s been in two, and both times my sides hurt from laughing. Her interactions with both Sheldon and Penny were outrageous.
      The second was how they evolved the Penny character. At first, at least briefly, she was just the standard dumb blond. I’m so glad they let her be a challenge to Sheldon!

      Between Kaley Cuoco and Yvonne Strahovski, I’m sure 20 something dudes are doing a reprise of my generation’s debates about Ginger or MaryAnn.

      • kg says:

        Yeah Joe

        Kaley is a few years younger than Yvonne, but has more TV credits on her resume.

        Pre Big Bang, I’m sure an astute viewer like you knows she was very good on 10 Simple Rules and Charmed.

    • John says:

      Oh geez my nightmare of BBT and Chuck being on at the same time has occured. I sort of lost interest in BBT actually. I used to love it but it seems a little stale, the characters have not really evolved much. Or maybe I just found Chuck and it just doesn’t seem as good now.

      I will catch up on it in a week or so once Chuck concludes.

  11. Crumby says:

    I love LOST. It is a very unique show. I just catched up on the last 5 episodes this week-end to be ready for the season finale next Sunday. I’m so excited. And the 5 episodes just took me away. I can’t wait to see how it ends, but it is kind of sad to think it won’t return.
    One thing I love about this show is that it re-invents itself every season. We started with people crashing on in Island, thinking this may be a Robinson Crusoe-like type of story but with a lot of people. But the Island was weird and mysterious.
    The season 2 was the worst in my opinion but it introduced us to a lot a stuff and important characters.
    The season 3 was the confrontation with the Others, only to realize they may not be the real ennemy after all. The season finale was just genius!
    From then they knew when the end will be, how many episodes they had left, and the story just become even better. The Flash Forward in season 4. How cool was that?
    I haven’t watched season 5 again, yet, but it was great too. I like how they changed the flash backs in something else in season 4, and then again in season 5, and then again in something completely different in season 6.
    And this last season is just sensasional. Ok I’ll stop know I’m just babbling!

    I watch a lot of others shows, some a like, some I like very much.

    I love Bones, and it becomes to be really interesting in terms of relationships. Of course the pace of the romance has been really really slower than in Chuck, but it only make sense, considering how the heroin is, and that it is more of a “stand alone” show, I think. I find really interesting the opposition between believer Booth and rational Brennan about pretty much every thing in life and their debate and bickering about it.

    On a complete different topic, I love Dexter. It is so weird, unique, different. The season 4 finale cliffhanger was just… wow! I can’t wait for season 5 premiere!

    I also love Friday Night Lights. Next year is the finale season and a lot of past characters will return. I’m really curious to see how it ends. It is really good drama.

    Since Chuck came back I haven’t catch up with a lot of my usual shows like HIMYM, TBBT, The Office or 30 Rock. I think I’ll also give Community and Modern Family a shot this summer.
    The Mentalist isn’t bad. The Good Wife too.

    I think that a lot of shows will end in the next 2 years. Shows like Grey’s Anatomy, House, HIMYM, CSI, Desperate Housewifes, aren’t what they used to be. I hope we’ll have some good new stuff in the fall.

    Ok out now, I could go on all day!

    • Crumby says:

      Oh I just wanted to add that Sheldon reminds me of Bones (the character). They have no understanding of others and relationships, and common sense when it comes to social interections. They don’t really understand jokes. When they do jokes they are really pleased with themselves. They’re good people deepdown. They are genius. Etc.
      I don’t know, they’re really alike in many ways, even though the two shows are really different.

  12. Michael says:

    “Burn Notice” is indeed a classy series, I like it very much. Not as much as Chuck, but they’re close. I’ve also fantasized about a “Chuck Vs. Burn Notice” medley, I think it would be great: Chuck Vs. Michael to see who’s got more secret intel in his brain. Casey Vs. Sam battling it out with rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns. And then Sarah Vs. Fiona in a martial arts brawl…though I’d probably pass out as soon as these two are on screen together… 😉 Seriously, I think that would be a hilarious experience, and they could do it without a lot of effort, since the storylines are so similar. Biggest effort would be to get the networks agree on it.

    Talking about US productions, I think the most gripping series besides Chuck at the moment would be “BreakingBad”. Bryan Cranston is giving a breathtaking performance in every episode, whatever awards you have for TV series, he should get two of each. However, it’s certainly not your average feel-good series. They’ve pushed the boundaries for what can be shown on TV pretty far in the first two seasons, some of the scenes can really make you feel quite uncomfortable.

    Then of course, there’s “Doctor Who”, Season 5 – probably unknown to you Americans. 😉 After David Tennants brilliant performance in the last two seasons, the expectations for the new Doctor were not very high, but Matt Smith and Karen Gillian proved that they are up to the challenge – they’re a great, very funny team, and judging from the first episodes I guess the rest of the season will be a hell of a ride.

    • jason says:

      sarah would beat the tar out of whispy skinny fiona, but sarah down deep is a nice person, bruised fiona would retaliate by blowing sarah up in her sleep as ‘fi’ has no conscious whatsoever – casey would beat the tar out of sam, with both hands behind his back while smoking a cigar and trimming his bonsi tree, micheal would flat out do chuck in – in any manner possible – intersect or not, he is written in such a manner that he never mis-thinks, never loses a fight, or at least hardly ever, chuck on the other hand is written as a comedy of errors somehow succeeding in the end – heck chuck couldn’t even keep the girl in season 3 as she took on a awfully written acted character as a lover – not much of a compliment for a so-called expert writing team

      • Michael says:

        Nah, not so sure. Fiona is a tough cookie. Sarah might win, but she’ll remember that fight for some time. And I don’t think she’s a heartless monster, it’s just that she has an even thicker professional shell than Sarah. Michael vs. Chuck – well you said it: Michael never loses, but Chuck always succeeds in the end. Maybe if somehow computers were involved, Chuck’s chances would be better. Sam vs. Casey – I give you that, Casey would probably win. The both have military background and like to have a cigar and a drink, the difference is Sam gets drunk. Bigtime. Or maybe the fight would end with both of them discussing which is the best nightsight for sniper rifles over a Havannah.

      • atcdave says:

        Surprisingly fun conversation, Chuck and Burn Notice invite comparisons with similar teams. My take:

        Michael vs. Chuck. Well, Michael would win any fight easily, but Chuck would never let it come to that. He wants to make friends whenever he can. Whoever tried to pit Michael against Chuck would quickly find them teamed up.

        Casey vs. Sam. Sam is past his prime. He still knows weapons and tactics but seriously, Casey would destroy him.

        Sarah vs. Fiona. Fiona’s a brawler, Sarah’s a machine. I say Sarah in 5 seconds. The only catch is Fiona will fight dirty and is more likely to “get even”. I do think Fiona has a conscience; still not quite as developed as Sarah’s, but she can be easily motivated to help the helpless, which speaks well of her.

      • joe says:

        I can agree about Sarah vs. Fi and Chuck vs. (or not vs.) Michael, Dave. But I’m not so quick to count out Sam yet. I think Sam’s smart enough to not try to take Casey head-on. He’d be sneaky with the weapons and tactics. Not for nothin’ is he a former Navy Seal 😉

      • atcdave says:

        You may be right Joe. I was thinking in a pure hand-to-hand fight. But Sam does have much wisdom from experience, he would probably be smart enough to keep his distance until he can hit Casey with an RPG!

      • Michael says:

        I think we can at least agree that it would be really fun to watch! I’m a bit biased when it comes to Fiona, I like her character very much. She was introduced as a real beast and it was quite difficult to like her, but she’s had some really sweet moments in the later episodes. She kind of takes Chuck’s role in the relationship with Michael…

      • JC says:

        Sarah vs Fiona would be interesting. Sarah would beat her in a fight but Fiona would probably blow up her Porsche.

        Its funny that both Chuck and Michael went through similar arcs this season. Both grew distant from their team, accused of changing, doing things they don’t like to achieve their goals.

  13. Orb says:

    Joe, I bit I would be bored without USA network in this long summer vacation. They’ve got such good quality of their own show. Burn Notice, White Collar, Psych, Royal Pain. They may not be the big show, but they ARE great show! 
    I really enjoy the cliffhanger of spy stuff in Burn Notice, and O, Michael’s funny lines, Sam’s sillyness, well fitting the slogan of “Characters Welcome!” White Collar, again has interesting characters, our buddy Byrce did a great job on it, but, yeah, he has charm and he does charming; contrast to Peter, BOOM, they create a bromance for us to enjoy. Even though I’m only on the halfway of season one, but it’s still enjoyable.
    BTW Is anyone think Elizabeth looks like Ellie? (maybe…eh…older?)
    As for Psych and Royal Pain, I haven’t had a chance to take a look at it, but they will definitely on the top of my list.
    There’s one thing, I wanna say, 
    NBC’s new show-The Cape, it’s sounds interesting to me, anyone know about this?

  14. herder says:

    This summer, World Cup from South Africa, a whole month of matches; sun, footy and beer, it’s hard to beat that.

  15. Mclovin says:

    Hello joe. How’s your collarbone doing? And another thing, going to call you uncle joe from now on. Just being respectful. Hope it doesn’t make u feel old or anything! lol.

    • joe says:

      I’m healing. The sling is a nuisance, but nothing I can’t handle (thanks to my wife…)!

      Uncle? Heh wait! If you’re really Jon or Jake or Russ, I’m going to be all over your father mercilessly! 😉 THEY are the ones who’ve made me feel old, ever since I was 18!

  16. josh says:

    I don’t even watch TV … I like switch Letterman on when I get home and it sort of plays in the background while I get ready to sleep. And if I get in early I might watch a DVD or some silly half hour show my gf dvrs (damn you cougar town), otherwise … Chuck and Sports is the full extent of my tv watching.

    • joe says:

      That’s cool, Josh! How did you happen to discover Chuck? What was it you saw that made you stick with it? Anything besides Yvonne Strahovski? 😉

      • John says:

        I discovered it because Yvonne was so great in Mass Effect 2 and I discovered Chuck was the only thing she ever did before that. I rather impulsively bought the first season and it was the greatest thing I ever saw. Video games and Chuck just goes great together.

    • John says:

      My wife watches TV all the time. Yeah all I really watch is sporting events and Chuck.

      So glad Chuck will be on the hour before Monday Night Football and not at the same time. At least in Central Time, not sure how that will work out on the West Coast.

      • atcdave says:

        Doesn’t MNF usually kick off at 8:15 or something now? Anyway, Chuck is the ONLY thing that will pre-empt football for me. I might (maybe) even choose Chuck over a Bears game.

  17. weaselone says:

    I have cut back significantly on TV viewing over last several years. Chuck’s pretty much it at the moment, although I find The Big Bang Theory quite amusing. I can’t watch any of the CSIs for fear that my eyes will roll so far back in their sockets I might require surgery. A major TV turn off is shows that try to create a slick facade of reality as opposed to asking audiences to suspend disbelief and then proceed to take extreme liberties with the substance of the show.

    CSI is more of an irritation than a dangerous offender. I have enough background in chemistry and engineering that the near instant gratification achieved through forensics in the show needles me. I can’t help but think that a chunk of the population integrates that into their views and believes that forensics amounts to quickly popping something into a machine while trying to formulate your aunt’s long lost lime jello recipe.

    This is why I prefer Chuck, to the more serious and dramatic 24. There’s no real effort to pass off the espionage world in Chuck as a reflection of the real world. You’ve got a guy with a supercomputer in his head. The NSA has assassins. The NSA and CIA who are both tasked overseas operate a top secret location in the US under a yogurt store. The FBI doesn’t seem to mind. The fans, the producers and the writers regard this with a wink and a nod. The assume that in the Chuckverse these things happen. The Chuckverse simply needs to be relatively consistent and sufficiently dramatic. There’s no risk that anyone will take Chuck as the reflection of the real espionage would, or use the situations on the show to justify a legal or policy decision. The reality of Chuck comes from the interactions of the characters, not from the grotesque mimicry of the real world.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      What, you mean forensics labs aren’t lit with neon and staffed by supermodels? Dang.

    • atcdave says:

      You know weaselone, you do hit on something that always concerns me though. People “learning” about reality through television. I loath things like the movie “Pearl Harbor” or “JFK” because of the grotesque liberties they take with history.

      On a show like Chuck, I’m completely OK with the super-computer in the brain (no one would really buy it anyway), or even the CIA on US soil (few people would ever care about the distinction); but I do bristle at the government assassins, because I fear there are people who believe that stuff.

      • John says:

        What or that the CIA has secret recruiters on College Campuses forcing promising students to become government agents against their will? That isn’t true?

      • atcdave says:

        To become agents against their will??!! Sorry, no chance. I also doubt much recruiting is secret in nature. I work for Uncle Sam, secrets are very hard to keep. Especially anything involving payroll, benefits, and pensions. I’d bet money most family even has a good idea what agency their loved ones work for. Specific mission details and assignments may be kept secret, but I’ll bet there isn’t a CIA officer in existence who doesn’t have at least one family member who knows what agency their pay is coming from.

    • Faith says:

      Reality is overrated. Haha. I don’t really want to know just how far people will go to stab each other on the back or for that matter why they all of a sudden fell for 3 women they will never actually have a future with.

      I like my entertainment to have some moral fiber, some caring, some emotion, a soul and not drag me down lower on the dregs of society.

      Suffice is to say I like to be taken into a world far different from mine.

      I like the idea of faux reality Weaselone…or rather I’m with you in that I don’t like it. Ok now I’m confused. I like Chuck…we’ll go with that 😉

  18. Jen says:

    I only have one summer show, My Boys on TBS. ALl the other shows i watch run on the regular season, and from all of them Chuck is a watch or DIE 😛

    I also just recently became a Gleek (Joe, you really must give it a try!). I had never watched before because i knew i would be hooked, and that’s exactly what happened 3 weeks ago when i wathced for th efirst time. Other shows tha ti watch are Cougar Town and In Plain Sight in USA. I gave up on Heroes a while back. I used to watch L&O SVU but i really don’t want to see more “real” drama and situations and blood… i get enough of that by watching the news.

    If you guys haven’t tried In Plain Sight, i highly recommend it. I love the characters in this show, they are deep, giving a chance to analyze them. I’m hooked on them.

    Still… Chuck is King! it’s the only show i watch live and obsses over. I’m glad i found this blog, cause i can obsses over it with all of u 😉

    • John says:

      Good now infiltrate the Gleek ranks and convince them all to also become Chuck fans. With their sheer numbers we will be on the air forever.

      • Jen says:

        If that would happem out then Chuck would be INVINCIBLE! We need a Chuck/Glee alliance.. too bad Glee doesn’t really need any help. How do we bring them over?

        Glee is great TV. It’s incredibly creative and entertaining, well written, and well done. Much like Chuck. We should be able to bring some of those fans over! Maybe i’ll start to follow some Glee peeps on twitter. I only use twitter cause of Chuck.

      • John says:

        Jen I guess we would have to bring up those very same similarities to the campiness and creativity and characters writing and so forth.

        I mean Chuck is not a High School show nor does it have the same sort of music…but there are some similarities.

    • joe says:

      I really like the idea of a Gleek/Chuck alliance. I’ve only seen one episode, but I could easily see myself becoming a real fan. Oh! I’ve been a Jane Lynch fan ever since I first saw her on 2 and a Half Men (followed closely by a guest spot on Monk). She’s a hoot.

      • Jen says:

        Jane Lynch in a genius. YOu should watch the Madonna episode of Glee. She does a music video of Vogue. Hilarious. Oh, and then a version of “Lets get physical” in another episode. Pee in ur pants funny!

  19. Mclovin says:

    Lol. Not any of them. Sounds like a good story as to why they made u feel old since you where 18?

    • joe says:

      Heh! Well written, McLovin! Now I have to figure out which one of my 11 nephews/nieces you may or may not be!

      Of course, if you know any of my brothers or my sister you already know how they aged me and our mother beyond our years! 😉 Why, when we celebrated Mom & Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary, there were no survivors. They still sing epic songs about it!

  20. Mclovin says:

    The fact that u think i may be one of your nephews is cool. Im a guy by the way. Thought the name Mclovin would have given that away. Lol. But seriously though was always taught to respect my elders that’s where the whole uncle thing came from. Peace.

    • joe says:

      Awwww – It would have been fun to find that we *were* related. Most of my relatives seem to keep a pretty low on-line profile, though.

      I did suspect that you were a guy from your handle! One can never be sure. I’m actually a dog, you know.

  21. cas says:

    Previews of the Fall line up if you want to kill time. Watching Undercover Lover made me kind of glad that they didn’t pair it up with chuck. Only because it looks to be a high budget show and it might make some of the stunts/explosion from chuck to be quite mediocre.
    http://www.televisionaryblog.com/2010/05/nbc-show-previews-event-chase.html

    • John says:

      The preview for The Event looks more like a movie preview than a series preview.

      • Merve says:

        The Event seems like the kind of show that will trip over its own ambition (which might make Chuck look better by comparison, so that could be a good thing).

    • lucian says:

      My concern is Chuck trying to compete head-to-head. Ultimately, IMO, Chuck is a show about the lovable nerd who gets the girl; not about two super-cool spies who love each other. I think the charm of Chuck is that he’s smart, he’s a good guy, he’s committed to his friends and family (and Sarah understands that is what makes him special). Because of that, he is a competent spy. The “everyman” quality of Chuck is the heart of the show.

      • John says:

        Chuck will never be a super cool spy. Anyway it is vital that the show continue to evolve and change and still be excellent. So far it has managed that brilliantly though I suppose the next few episodes will be the proof.

  22. HenryH says:

    So I notice the CIA handler in Undercovers (Gerald McRainie) is named Carlton Shaw. And this IS a Warner Brothers show.

    You don’t think that, uh, Carlton Shaw is Daniel Shaw’s father or anything… 🙂

    • AngelTwo says:

      Undercovers looks interesting enough. And since they are both NBC and both Warners, it could make for some VERY interesting synergy. Maybe there could be a two-part cross over story. And boy, wouldn’t it be interesting if Carlton Shaw could somehow be tied back to Daniel Shaw.

      Maybe it could start with Chuck and Sarah going to the Undercovers’ restaurant and Chuck “flashes” on the undercovers…

  23. Mclovin says:

    So uncle joe. Think ll make u my honoroury uncle cause i don’t have many and i could be your honourary nephew. Sounds cool. What do you think? Peace.

  24. Mclovin says:

    Uncle joe! Here’s a completely random thought. In the first season chuck broke up with lou in the ninth episode, in season two he broke up with jill in the eight episode and in season 3 he broke up with hannah in episode eight. Now is that a coincidence, or a developing trend. what do u say about that?

    • joe says:

      I’ll say it’s random! 😉

      Well, Chuck has certainly had good fortune with the petite brunettes – much better than I ever had 😉

      Short as it was, a romance with Hannah was doomed from the start, though. Her name is a palindrome.

      Chuck definitely needs to stick with blonds. They’re much better for him!

  25. Mclovin says:

    Noticed her name was a palindrome too. You beat me to saying it. So which type did u marry uncle joe? blonde or brunette? If it’s too personal a question it’s fine, but considering im your new honourary nephew there should be some benefits. Peace.

    • joe says:

      Oh, you must be just a bit new here, McLovin! But now that you’re family… 😉

      The honest truth is that my wife is a blond whose name is Sara (no ‘h’ at the end). Even more strange is that my first crush was a brunette whose first name started with J. I think it was Faith who once accused me of *being* Chuck. I’m not, but sometimes, ya gotta wonder!

  26. Crumby says:

    Do we have information about what the budget will be like next season? Will it be like this season or more?

    • weaselone says:

      I’ve heard that next season will consist of Zach and Yvonne taking turns reading out of phone books from around the world while making eyes at each other. That should trim the budget some. Personally, I’m looking forward to Yvonne reading from the Warsaw phone book. It should be epic! 🙂

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