Summer Watching Schedule

Here at ChuckThisBlog we’re all enjoying a bit of a break.  The season was quite a ride, and we’re looking forward to the next one only 4 short months away.  In the meantime we don’t want to go totally off the air, so we have a few summer projects to be done at a more leisurely pace to pass the time.  Read all about it after the jump.

The first project is a re-watch of the back 6.  The payoff and the setup for the new season is now completed, so we want to see how that develops with a look back, and who knows, maybe some speculation going forward.  As we were afraid Amy wouldn’t be available the rest of us (Ernie, Joe and ATCDave) thought a female perspective might be called for.  In addition to some of our regular guest posters such as Liz and Faith we’ve invited some of the Sarah Walker Fan Girls (SWFG) to share their thoughts as we go.  This is all pretty informal and subject to peoples summer schedules, so we could have some fun with a rather eclectic mix from week to week.  We’ll be doing a Monday re-watch starting June 7 with reviews/discussions hopefully posted the same day or the day after.  Come join the discussion.

In addition to the regular Chuck activities some of us are going to participate in Alan Sepinwall’s summer re-watch of Firefly.  ATCDave and I are both big fans, and Joe has never seen it, so we hope to get both some reviews from us re-watchers and from fresh eyes here in our little community in addition to the activity on Sepinwall’s blog.  Both long time fans and those new to the show are invited to join in.

Most of all as we come and go, everyone have a wonderful summer, and see you next fall.

– Ernie

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About Ernie Davis

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

  1. Chuckaddict says:

    Is Firefly being rebroadcast on a cable channel?I searched for it on my TiVo but came ip with no match.

    • atcdave says:

      Some episodes are available on Hulu. The whole series and Serenity can be found on iTunes. DVDs are often available for under $20 at Target, I believe I’ve seen Serenity for under $10.
      Blu-Rays are a little pricier but holy smokes! They look great at 1080p.

  2. Faith says:

    I’m so excited!

    • Michael says:

      Me too. Adam Baldwin on Firefly was the reason I gave Chuck a chance in the first place. And thanks to whoever suggested Wonderfalls – we just finished watching the series (and saw Jewell Staite play a much different character than Kailie Frye).

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Michael, Wonderfalls probably came from me. But I think I got a few people hooked on that so it could have been someone else also. I came close to proposing Wonderfalls as a summer re-watch, but with so many here never having met Jayne Cobb it just felt right to go with Sepinwall. In any case it does my heart good to find that someone else found that wonderful little show. In the absolute height of stupidity only 3 episodes ever made it to the air, and they were shown out of order.

  3. Ernie Davis says:

    One suggestion for those wanting to do a Firefly re-watch but not yet commit to buying is check your local public library for DVDs. While I don’t recall anything like the Chuck campaign to donate copies you never know, and there also could be inter-library loan programs where they could obtain a copy even if they don’t have one. And who knows, with enough requests they might consider getting a copy or some kind donor might give them one.

    • jason says:

      ernie, you got me to watch wonderfalls, now tonight I watched serenity, I am a bit confused, is serenity the pilot for firefly? I liked it but I was watching Rick Castle (who I consider very non macho, but charming) acting like a tough guy devoid of charm, and Casey acting like casey but named jane, geez, that left me out of sorts, it was pretty good however

      • atcdave says:

        Serenity is the conclusion not the Pilot. (don’t worry, I saw it first too, the show is still outstanding). I saw this before I saw Castle so was spared that baggage; Mal does have charm, but he is a very intelligent thug compared to Castle. Jayne doesn’t have half the brains of Casey, and he simply has no morals at all!
        I think the only real problem with watching Serenty first is knowing two of the characters get killed off. It especially makes Wash and Zoe’s marriage sad in the original episodes, he did love his warrior woman (hmm, maybe a bit of a Chuck and Sarah thing going there). You also see River being freed of her demons first thing. She’s pretty much batsh** crazy in the series with few lucid moments.

        I still hope we see another movie someday, but with so much of the cast pursuing other interests now, it does seem like a long shot.

      • Waverly says:

        Which “Serenity” did you see? Confusingly, both the TV pilot episode for Firefly and the 2005 film were named “Serenity”. The film continues the story of the first and only season of TV episodes.

        I think watching the film first may be a bit confusing, but I suspect it should hold together reasonably well as a stand-alone film. Watching the TV episodes after the film will spoil a few things, but off hand I can’t think of anything too serious. It’s the characters and their relationships combined with the quirky “universe” that gives “Firefly” its charm.

      • Waverly says:

        Oh, and the pilot TV episode named “Serenity” was not shown first, but was broadcast after the rest of the series.

        Three episodes were not broadcast but are part of the DVD set.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Yes, it can be confusing, there are two Serenities, the original pilot (unaired till later, part of the idiocy over how the show was handled) and the movie that was the theatrical sequel. So I’ll ask if there was a samurai sword involved in the Serenity you saw. If not you saw the pilot episode, and the one that should be watched first.

        As for Mal, let’s say he evolves a bit and has his own brand of charm. Jayne is Casey devoid of any higher calling, but even he will eventually surprise you. Schwartz and Fedak I think have basically said Baldwin was the first one cast because they wanted a very similar character for Casey.

      • jason says:

        pretty sure I watched the ‘right’ one, the doctor’s sister was in a cargo box, and the child-like lady engineer was shot in the stomach, at the end, rick Castle invited the doctor and his sister to stay with them, no sword – as I said, I enjoyed it, enough to watch the rest, is episode 3 next?

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Yep, you saw the right one and in the right (as in intended by Whedon) order. Oddly it was Fox who did the same thing to Wonderfalls. They never aired the pilot, aired episodes out of order, repeated the first aired episode before a second, immediately moved the timeslot, and canceled after only 4 episodes were aired. That is how to kill a show.

        And oddly this plays into my weekly contract theory and the real Moonlighting syndrome. The primary reason Moonlighting’s ratings had dropped to the point where TPTB felt they had to put the leads together to bring back viewers was production problems. With so much fast paced dialog, nearly twice as many pages as was normal for a comparable show by some accounts, the show routinely didn’t meet the schedule and had to air a repeat. This meant a new episode was often promoted, and then a repeat aired in it’s place. It was to the point where viewers never knew when a new episode would air and started giving up well before the episode that threw the leads together. After that they were pretty much flailing trying to re-capture the tension with poorly executed love triangles and gimmicks.

        Which brings me to yet another point. Zach gave an interview recently where he basically becomes the third cast member (along with Yvonne and Brandon Routh) to talk about the difficulties of not having scripts and arcs fully written BEFORE shooting the season starts. It is an interesting read. I may have more to say on this later in a regular post.

      • atcdave says:

        Dang, sorry if I blew anything; hadn’t noticed the name of the Pilot before. I also hadn’t noticed how messed up their airdates were, though I did know about the three that didn’t air. At least in the DVD set they put the episodes in the right order. You’d think for the Chuck S2 set they could have fixed the order problem with Best Friends and Suburbs, it really doesn’t play well as aired.

      • jason says:

        thx for all the help, I am on track now so to speak with the ‘train job’, seems sort of like a poor man’s star trek, castle / fillion / mal has a james t kirk feel to him, casey / jane a ‘worf-like’ feel, the black lady fills the spock / ricker role, got a doctor & a quirky, funny engineer – life is good

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah Jason, third rate Star Trek might be an apt description. Except that Mal is far more dangerous than any independent smuggler ought to be. Maybe he’s more like Kirk, if life hadn’t been so good to him.

      • jason says:

        I got my hands on the whole season now, will have it all watched by the end of the weekend. It is definitely good, but has some really dumb stuff in it that doesn’t fit at all, I am not surprised that it got canceled I guess.

        Trouble I see to parallel chuck’s dark season, a show can’t be all genre’s, it has to still have some primary theme’s. The show could be close to appealing to a broad audience, then does some OOC character or show theme thing that just caused me to go WTF.

        you can’t sort of learn to love the captain, have a sort of wt/wt brewing, and then have him do some things that make you hate him, maybe 1 or 2 times per season, but not 1 or 2 times per show.

        IMO the best two characters are the doctor as he nails the emotion with which he loves his sister and inara, who I think is a unique character concept to tv and again, the actress appears to be up to the part – the ron glass preacher character is pretty good too. The sister has not become intriguing yet, but I can sure see potential for her, don’t know if a show has ever had someone flat out crazy in it, the actress either is crazy, or does a great job selling it.

        The baldwin character is a stone cold bust, although I can see how baldwin landed chuck, casey is a ‘fixed’ jane more or less.

      • jason says:

        the episode that I just finished had a water fountain end that caused me to laugh harder than I maybe ever have in watching chuck, when mal and irina are together, and he should have realized irina kissed him to get poisoned, and asks her ‘just one ?’, for sure if he asks her did she kiss him she would have said yes, end of wt/wt, instead he asks her ‘did she kiss the girl’?

        Might not have caught others the same way, but I laughed out loud – for a while – their wt/wt does not bother me one bit, they could dance around each other for ten seasons, I would not be fazed – as many of you know, my reaction to the sarah chuck love story was well ‘different’

      • atcdave says:

        Yeah Jason, its very different from Chuck; I was never invested in Mal and Inara, but they never got far in the show, so they may have made us care eventually. I always did like Mal though, he’s maybe “rough around the edges”, but he seems to know what matters to him and he delights in tweaking the Alliance. I actually didn’t care for the doctor so much, he’s kind of a weenie who never tries to bond with the crew. Zoe and Wash are the one legit couple on the show, and I always like how they are portrayed. Jayne is really just a thug, but a very funny thug (“pain is scary”). Kaylee is the only completely “nice” character in the group, she’s always easy to root for. Book is a pretty good guy, his shady past is fascinating, its really a shame that never got developed more.

  4. michael says:

    “The Train Job” is the next in sequence, but the first that aired – Whedon said on one of the commentaries that Fox wanted a “more jolly” captain, so they wrote this episode in response. It’s very expository because it has to do in 42 minutes what Serenity did in 90 – introduce all the characters.

  5. michael says:

    I hope this comment is going to land somewhere in proximity to Jason and Dave’s, because I’d like to respond to the Star Trek issue – namely, that Star Trek comparisons are a dead end. When the series was described to me (and it turns out that the person lifted this right from the episode commentaries) is that Firefly occurs where the Enterprise would just zoom right by without bothering to stop. If you view Star Trek as holding a mirror to the optimism of the 1960s, I keep thinking that Firefly reflects where we were/are at post 9-11: the hope of Star Trek emerges from the understanding that when humanity learns to look outward, it heals itself. That ain’t Firefly.

    I did the Wikipedia thing after watching Firefly the first time, and read “The Killer Angels”, an accounting of the Battle of Gettysburg, which Joss Whedon lists as inspiration. So you have to frame Mal as a soldier on the losing side, who rose to be a leader not because he won a great prize, but because his leaders either died or left him to his fate. Part of this I’m taking from a deleted scene – on screen we see the end of the battle of Serenity Valley, but in the deleted scene Zoe talks about the Browncoats being left to die during the peace talks.

    I never felt there was a compelling wt/wt building between Mal and Inari – that was the domain of Kaylee and Simon. You knew that Mal loved Inari and vice versa, so it really wasn’t necessary to go there and it wouldn’t have made the show better.

    I’m never really convinced that there’s much genre bending going on in Firefly. To me, it’s simply a character driven period drama, where the period happens to be 500 years from now. The western elements set up the duality of the society.

    • atcdave says:

      All of that is correct Michael, and I am familiar with the commentaries regards Star Trek. But I think they protest too much. Seriously, we can compare/contrast whatever we want. If I told you Firefly reminded be of the grocery produce section it might make for an odd comparison, but it could probably be done. In fact I’d say your refuting the idea was illuminating about both shows; of course Firefly and Star Trek can be compared. I know many people who consider Star Trek: TOS to be the gold standard of sci-fi; those people will likely not find Firefly appealing; but there truly are a lot of parallels between the two. Your last paragraph says it nicely, and could be used to descibe ST:TOS exactly; it was done during the golden age of TV westerns and clearly borrowed heavily from the genre.

      I think a good rule of thumb is: any time a show runner insists his show can’t really be compared to… its almost a dead giveaway they borrowed heavily from the subject in question.

    • jason says:

      I enjoy any banter about it, since I am in the middle of watching it for the first time largely in a vacuum, which is always unique

      fillion just reminds me of shatner, they both are charming, sort of chubby (sorry just my perception), and have a bit of a smirk while being either the ‘tough’ guy or the romantic lead. That observation got me going on the whole comparison.

      I really don’t see much of the B characters being a wt/wt or romantic couple, not cause they aren’t, only in they are B characters, if they fell off a cliff tomorrow, the show goes on. Although I suppose Irina is a B character too, but if the show continued, I would guess she more and more would have become the lead with mal.

      But then again, back to the genre thing, I still think the show is sort of lost, heartwarming one moment, heart breaking the next, crude and over the top so kids can’t watch out of nowhere, then a member of the cast betrays and continues to be on the crew as if nothing happened, then mal murders a guy (rightfully so, but still), then a little B cvharacter wt/wt, then a crazy sister, just all over the map

      I still do like it, sorry micheal if what I say offends you, I obviously know very little about the show, this is off the cuff novice talk – I know – but sometimes I wish we had more of that perspective about chuck, as novice talk is probably closer to the type of viewer that either makes a show or gets it cancelled???

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