Insulated

I have been reflecting on all the things that made Season 3 good, bad, funny, exciting, etc.  We do that very well here at Chuck This, if I do say so myself, and that is a credit to all involved with our little corner of the Chuckiverse.  We make it a point here (as I speak for my 3 partners in crime and myself) to keep things civil and open to all points of view-which, if you have participated in other forums (for Chuck or another fandom), can be a challenge.  It was in this reflection and consumption of all things Chuck (previews, spoilers, interviews for Season 4-what can I say, my name is Amy and I’m a Chuckaholic!), I found myself truly enjoying the cast.  It is in this light that I wish to explore our reactions-how we react to things.  More in a moment…

Season 3 was a disaster on many fronts.  Ok, that’s just my opinion here, but I know a lot of you echo that sentiment.  Rather than rehashing the why of it all (which we do very well here in various posts), I would just gently remind everyone of the people behind the show.  Yes, I raise my hand gingerly in acknowledgement of some rather stinging criticism of TPTB.   I am certainly guilty-I wish I had Joe’s positivity all of the time.  I am not really backing off of that criticism-I think most of it was rational, well thought out, and honest in my assessment of the season.  We all have various levels of where we would rate the season, on a scale from 1 to 10.  Knowing that the timing of production and release of the episodes of Season 3 is really what I am trying to get to.  Love them (episodes), hate them-the scheduling really left no time for TPTB to react to the vitriol that their work produced.  The actors are caught in the middle.

My opinion of the Chuck cast is very high.  They strike me as humble, appreciative, hardworking, and really cool.  They cannot control what the writers bring to the page and with Season 3, I feel they did the best they could with very uneven material.  I’ve been watching the S3 Blooper reel, Comic Con interviews, and other snippets of info.  One of the clips I’d seen was them filming some of the stuff between Yvonne and Nicole Ritchie.  It was like 0200 (that’s 2 a.m. for you civilian types 🙂 ) and they were still shooting.  It was shot by Zac Levi on one of his live streams.  I’ve seen clips where they talk about the long hours and how they appreciate the fans support-that is why they enjoy Comic Con/fan interaction so much.  That is one of the few times they really get feedback.  That is the insulation I speak of.

This season, we have a shorter flash to bang-it will be much sooner between filming and screening.  The dreaded TPTB have gone out of their way to issue mea culpas (that’s how I read their statements of having “learned their lesson”) and have been more generous than “normal” to feed the beast-er…uh…..fans….with information.  I guess I’m saying is that while it is ok to be critical, take into account the people who are bringing the show to us.  I will in no way morph into a cheerleader, blindly thanking the writers/producers for what they have put out for our consumption, ala “thank you, may I have another?”  (The Shaw arc comes to mind).  And while I would love to hang out with Zac, Yvonne, and Adam to try and suss out their opinions of last season, I know I would never hear them, as they are all too professional to dish.  Even poor Brandon Routh, who tried to remain professional and diplomatic in his comments, was left with trying to act out a character without purpose or direction.

I don’t know what Season 4 will bring.  I have ideas and speculation and a few spoilers.  Other than that, I have to try and enjoy the ride along with all of you.  I will just try to remember that the cast-insulated from feedback (which can be good and bad), are doing a heck of a job with what they are given.  If they weren’t I would have stopped watching at Season 1.  Criticism will surely come, but I’m trying to make sure I know exactly where I’m aiming this season before I unleash it.  -amyabn

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About amyabn

My name is Amy and I'm in the active Army as my profession. I love the show Chuck and want to see it succeed for many seasons to come. My twitter handle is amyabn.
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39 Responses to Insulated

  1. Matt says:

    We weren’t supposed to get a 3rd season, and now we are starting our fourth season. I have faith that the show will at the very least get a back 6 episodes to end things if not a season 5. The fans have brought this show back twice, and no one can stop us from doing it a third time if there are enough of us watching.

    Here’s to an awesome season 4!

  2. atcdave says:

    One of my co-workers is a re-hire who lost his job when President Reagan fired 10000 controllers in 1981. He always says “I was fired by the president of the United States on national television.” Of course it wasn’t really personal, but it felt that way to him.

    That’s sort of my take on S3 as a Chuck fan. I know the story wasn’t a personal jab at me, but as a very invested fan who participated in the save the show campaign after S2, it sure felt that way. My wife, who is a far more casual viewer than I, called it a betrayal.

    That makes it a big challenge for me to not make it personal when talking about last season. You are completely right Amy when you talk about how decent and appreciative the whole cast seems to be. Even the much disparaged Schwartz and Fedak seem to have made an honest effort to appease frustrated fans as the season unfolded. No matter how things felt at times, they do honestly want to entertain us. As involved viewers our best response is to be clear about what we like or don’t; and what we want or don’t. We never need to get personal or nasty with anyone about it (I am honestly and truly sorry if I crossed the line at any time). Again, I’m not apologizing for being firm or clear in my opinions; but I do apologize if I crossed the line into personal. All of us have tried and failed at something in our lives, probably even at something we earn our livelihood from and draw professional pride from. We should be thankful to those who have helped us recognize and correct those mistakes. (I’m tempted to launch a defense of my use of the word hubris; maybe another time, but suffice to say I still stand by it). Even better if someone helps us learn or fix a mistake while respecting our personal dignity.
    I do believe lessons were learned last season, and I am seriously excited about what S4 holds for us. I expect we will provide much more positive feedback this season than last. The first two seasons of Chuck were the best television I’ve ever seen, period. By the end of S3 we saw signs of them getting the magic back. I may need mind bleach to get past certain parts of S3. But I am SO ready for S4 to begin!

  3. andyt says:

    Great Article, Amy.

    One important point is that much of the cast and crew are pretty insulated from fan reactions to the episodes and storylines. They work very long days each week that absorb much of their time and energy. What little they outside the show, for the actors, probably goes into reading scripts, holding meeting, and doing auditions for upcoming projects after their commitment to the show ends. Adam, Zach and Yvonne also do voice-work for animation and video games. And each of them as has projects and interests in philanthropic and political areas that take up their time. They just do not have the time to peruse fan reaction that much. Also, even though the writers probably take fan reaction more into their mixture of thinking about future episodes; the logistics of running a show mitigate against large course corrections due to contracts and other items.

    Fan response will be most vital to the network in the next two-three months, any decision to extend the show for a back nine will be made based on the ratings and reactions to the first seven to nine episodes. By this point last year, they had filmed probably about four or five episodes. By the end of October, they delivered the first batch to the network. As much as some fans disliked the first thirteen of last season, these early episodes sold the network on giving Chuck six more episodes and on moving the show up to January from March(and of course the complete failure of the Leno experiment and their new shows). This was without any fan input AT ALL.

    Great thoughts to keep us and how enthusiasm in perspective, but I can’t wait till 8 p.m. tomorrow!!

  4. old geezer says:

    I am way, way out of the demographics for Chuck. However, I have watched the show since S1. I am not a fanatic, never bought a DVD, didn’t buy a sandwich to help save the show, can’t tell you from memory what is in each show. But I do enjoy the show (not S3 but about that later).

    I have never posted here or anywhere else on any fan board. What brought me to this board was my total and complete disillusionment at 3.07. I would classify myself as a major shipper. I thought, as I believe the great majority of the fan base does, that the chemistry between Chuck and Sarah is simply amazing.

    When S3 started and Prague happened and the next few episodes, I went with the flow. As I said, I never considered myself a Chuck fanatic–just a regular viewer who enjoyed the show. But with the start of Shaw as a PLI/about to be LI of Sarah in 3.07, my interest level rose in direct proportion to my discontent at the direction the show seemed to be moving. Thus, I searched for forums to see if others shared my feelings or if I was in the minority. I found this board and have been lurking on a regular basis ever since. At the time of 3.07, I never knew what Comic Con was or what TPTB had said about another round of PLIs. I guess you could call me your average fan–one of millions who watch a show to enjoy but who do not get so invested as to become a regular on a blog. And obviously, millions of my type of viewer switched channels as S3 progressed deeper and deeper into the dreaded Shaw debacle.

    So why am I writing now? With the beginning of S4 tomorrow (and previews that have been made available do seem to indicate that the season will be great), this is probably the last opportunity to hit on an issue that has been gnawing away at me. And also a comment was made in this post that makes this the perfect place for this issue.

    In the post it is said that there was no time between production and release for TPTB to react to the firestorm of discontent that was created. And I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. When 3.07 came out and the internet went crazy with negative reactions, I am sure that there was many a sleepless night with the TPTB knowing that at least 3.08, parts of 3.10, 3.11 and parts of 3.12 were completed and waiting for airing and would cause more damage to the fan base. But there was nothing that they could do about it.

    At that time, when I turned to this site (and others), I remember reading that Ali Adler said that she would fix it. Well, the first opportunity to do so was 3.14–Honeymooners, and it was great.

    But now comes my problem. Knowing how the great majority of the fan base reacted to Shaw and his involvement with Sarah (whatever it was), why oh why would they insert the interrogation scene in Living Dead???? Sure it was played for humor (I personally did not find it humorous). But it was also put in to tell the viewer more than was shown after the fact about S/S when C/S were finally together. If TPTB were truly interested in reacting to the viewer, they could have left those 2 or 3 minutes out. It was not critical to the story. They could have located what they wanted another way. And they could have left the S/S debacle (and they knew at the time of writing this scene that the vast majority of fans believed it to be a debacle) alone. When they only thought they had 13 episodes and didn’t know fan reaction was going to be so negative, they kept S/S very vague and open to interpretation by the individual viewer (because of fear of alienating viewers perhaps). I, for one, as the episodes after 3.07 unfolded kept guessing -wrong each time- that 1) it was a fake-out and there was really nothing more than we saw in 3.07 and 3.08–when the hotel worker in 3.09 said they made a great couple–that was to mislead us as they were not together at all as their actions in that scene seemed to indicate 2) that they would be done after Shaw left Chuck alone and then wanted to blow him up in 3.09 3) that they would certainly be done after Shaw played Sarah to play Chuck in 3.11. I was wrong each time.

    But by 3.17, when they knew of the strong negative reaction to S/S, then they tell us things. Why?? To ramp up the angst for the finale? There was plenty of angst in the finale without it. There was absolutely no purpose to add that scene –through humor or any other way–unless perhaps to say–“take that”

    I just don’t get it.

    Sorry for this long post. I didn’t mean it to be this long. I thought you should know where I was coming from before getting to my issue to put it in perspective.

    • Kisku says:

      It was a lark and they put it there because they knew they failed at the S/S story, at least romance part of it, so they were making fun of it – that scene and the scene in the room with all those Shaw books like for example “Guide to getting it On” – i was lauging and many ppl were too, but it seems some ppl take this whole stuff so seriously, that they can’t take step back and laugh at it too.

      I like Chuck/Sarah a lot, i think the actors have great chemistry and i agree that Shaw character was a failure, but really, if you can’t take it even if something is clearly not played seriously, than you are more than regular viewer, because no regular viewer would reacted to it like that.

    • atcdave says:

      Hi Old Geezer and welcome to our site! It is always a pleasure to read such a detailed and well reasoned comment. I was really not much different than you just a season earlier, I started frequenting the NBC forums mid S2 when I heard the ratings were weak; and gradually got more involved from there.

      I’ll respond to a couple things; first, I don’t quite buy into the “no lead time” argument. I mean, its true as a stand alone fact; but fan commentary was so overwhelmingly negative when the whole “PLI” thing was first broached at Comic-Con in 7/2009. There was plenty of time then to dial it back a notch. Maybe turn it all into a scam or a misdirection like you suggested. My use of the term hubris is meant in the professional sense, they were so sure they knew better than the vast majority of viewers that they went their own way; never mind that most of the people vocally complaining were serious and committed viewers who know what they enjoy and want to watch. As an old fart like you (apparently?) I know I have more experience as a serious television viewer than any of them do as television writers. So I consider it reckless and foolish for them to disregard our wishes as completely as they did. Also, they could have changed the whole feeling of that mid-season arc with just a few changed lines of dialog.

      Moving on the the interrogation scene, I agree with you entirely. It was tasteless, not very funny, and a bit of insult to their fans. They also have now painted themselves into a corner that makes it harder to undo the hated S3 triangle arc. My only guess is, someone thought it was funny. I think often, writers don’t take their own creation as seriously as the fans do. I don’t think it caused the uproar earlier stuff did simply because it was in the past, and the rest of the episode played out pretty favorably for Chuck and Sarah. I would love to see a carefully parsed denial by Sarah of her involvement with Shaw; after all, Casey never explicitly cornered her on what went on behind closed doors. Obviously, we’re looking at a very high “appearance of impropriety” here; but there still might be room for a denial like “Shaw was trying awfully hard to get in my pants but he never did.” That doesn’t quite track right with Sarah’s desperation to protect Shaw in American Hero, but I might buy it just from shear distaste of the alternative.

      • herder says:

        Dave, I think much more likely is a simple statement to someone (another spy) saying that they had heard that she was with Shaw that Shaw was a mistake.

      • atcdave says:

        Herder I do agree that is likely the best we will ever get. But I hate that arc soooo much!

      • old geezer says:

        Thanks,Dave, for the response. An out I thought about, though I doubt it will happen, is that Shaw was consoling her on her heartbreak at what she perceived Chuck had become after the Red Test. It has been said by many that Shaw should have been her friend and sounding board. What if now, after the fact, they make him only that. Then her reaction in 3.12 to him sacrificing himself–her good friend and confidante–would fly. As would her comment to Chuck that it’s “different”. It would take some retcon and make his character more sympathetic–essentially make him what everyone (but TPTB) thought he should have been in the first place. Everything was left vague enough in the episodes for it to work. She could say that early on–from the end of 3.08–she and Shaw realized there was no spark because of Chuck (on Sarah’s part) and Evelyn (on Shaw’s). From 3.09 to 3.12 there was no reason to tell anyone for it was none of their business. And turning against Sarah for killing his wife and turning into a villain still works.

        With the retcons that TPTB have done, this would fly. The fan base would be delighted—but—I don’t see it happening.

        And, Kisku, I don’t see it as a lark.

      • jason says:

        geezer – that 3×17 interrogation scene was symbolic of how polarized the fan base was in season 3 – some fans were really PO’d about being insulted yet again by TPTB, others were redfaced mad that the shippers couldn’t take a little joke. I kind of let the fan reaction to my reactions go, but I would assume a polarized fan base is not good for a tv show, so lets hope in season 4 TPTB can come up with something we can all mostly agree on is funny, action packed, and good tv – I really think they will

      • Judy says:

        I thought the interrogation scene was very funny. I thought it added a lot to the episode.

      • atcdave says:

        The problem I have with the “just friends” argument is some of the stuff we learned in the interrogation scene. The Tiffany earrings and couples message sounds like a little more than friendly intentions. It seems clear Shaw at least wanted something more. Maybe though, some combination of “I thought he was a friend” and he was after something. Its just a little tricky to reconcile those two; I don’t think most women can maintain friendly feelings towards a guy who’s pushing so hard for something else.

      • thinkling says:

        I think the implications definitely lean toward more than friends, though I don’t think either loved the other. Not that that makes it better.

        There is one line, however, that makes me think just maybe Shaw was trying but never allowed. It’s a stretch, but I’d love to think it never went quite that far.

        The trip to DC was right before Final Exam. At the end of Final Exam, Shaw asks Sarah, “Are you still in love with him?” If stuff was going on, then it was with the knowledge that Sarah was really still in love with Chuck. That would make it nauseatingly worse. So maybe Shaw was waiting for her to get over him. I know. It sounds a little lame to me, too, but I hate where it all apparently went. Same goes for Hannah.

      • atcdave says:

        I agree Thinkling, Hannah really can’t be retconned (although, I still recommend “Chuck and Sarah vs. Themselves” by NinjaVanish for a fun and outrageous retelling of the episode!) so that will simply remain an ugly incident from an ugly chapter of Chuck’s life.

        The Sham could still be explained away, but it would require some good creative writing.

    • Joseph (can't be Joe) says:

      I swore to never talk about S3 again, so I’ll just say. “What Dave said”.

    • joe says:

      Nice to see you come out of lurking, Old Geezer! Welcome.

      This caught my attention, ’cause I rewatched Subway just last night and thought exactly the same thing. I’m not quite so convinced as Dave that they had time to “adjust” things as the season progressed, but I have to say that when I watched all of S3 in rapid sequence, almost everything looks very, very deliberate and thought out. Especially the interrogation scene.

      It was deliberate that the scene was constructed so that it was obtuse for the young yet easily taken as one to be played for laughs, if that’s what the more casual (but observant) fan wanted to do. To the not-so casual fans like us and to those who are trying to understand the underlying details, they were shouting a very loud message.

      And I have no idea what that was.

      [A chorus of voices rises up to say, once again, “It shouldn’t be that way. It’s their fault if the message wasn’t understood!” And they’re right, but hear me out.]

      Perhaps they wanted to tell us not to be too naive about Sarah and her relationship to Shaw. We’ve mentioned “The Sarah Rule” before. Did you notice that when Casey tells her, when Shaw has them incarcerated, “You picked a good on this time, Walker.”, he adds the word “Finally.” to take a dig at her not-so-chaste past?

      It’s almost like TPTB were telling us to not think of Sarah as perfect (and with all the Sarah-adulation on-line, we probably are). Perhaps they wanted us to think of her as more human.

      • old geezer says:

        You know, Joe, I’ve always wondered about Casey’s comments about Sarah’s involvement with prior agents. Sarah and Casey come from different agencies. And if memory serves me correctly, before coming together to look after Chuck, they didn’t even know each other. (The Pilot). Thus, how does Casey know about her past–but for Bryce and Cole or rumor? Casey’s comments throughout (for example–Bartowski’s going to need a walker when Walker’s through with him) may be Casey being Casey. Of course, he does know that she uses seduction skills (all seduction skills) as required on missions but what is his first hand knowledge of her involvement with other agents.

        As to the interrogation scene, I agree that it was there for a reason and portrayed in the manner it was (with humor) intentionally and when it was (after C/S were solidly together) intentionally. Prior to that scene, because of the vagueness of the portrayal of S/S, each viewer could draw his own interpretation of what it was. With that scene, they are adding paint to the canvas and, as Dave said, painting themselves more in a corner if they ever want to retcon it away.

        But after having aired my thoughts on this issue that was bothering me (as that restaurant scene was bothering you), I am more than ready to take the advice of Jason and others and say—–On to S4

      • JC says:

        See the problem is Joe they went out their to play the S/S as nothing. That scene in Am Hero was clearly intended to show that was a S/S first date. Then all of the sudden you have dinner dates and couple massages. You can’t have it both ways.

        Like everything in those first thirteen related to Sarah and Shaw it was a plot device to move Chuck forward. It was poorly thought out, why did Shaw stay in a hotel and Castle if he had a loft?

      • atcdave says:

        You’ve always been more patient with them than I am Joe; but I do agree we tend to put (or want to put) Sarah on a pedestal. I think most of us get that Sarah has fairly unsavory past; the problem really is, in Other Guy Sarah tells us she fell for Chuck back in the Pilot. So she virtually asks to be judged more harshly for her actions since then. She’s more or less admitted at this point she was sleeping with one guy while she was in love with another. Not that that’s unheard of; but its nearly the definition of sleazy. And its not “past history” anymore. They’ve made Sarah Walker a less appealing character now. My take-away of it is that the writers have no clue what constitutes sleazy.

        As I was saying earlier, I would love to see it explained away somehow. But I think they are more likely to ignore the past or write it off with a simple “Shaw was a mistake.” I can live with that. I’m ready to just have fun with S4. But I will always consider it a mistake.

        And Joe, are you really saying you don’t believe they could have altered their direction in July of 2009 when they just found out how POed the fans who just saved the show were? They’d only just started shooting and they had 4 months yet until anything aired. I think they had plenty of time to make things right if they weren’t so sure they knew better than their supporters. We hear about series and episodes being reworked, re-edited and re-shot all the time; remember the original Pilot featured an organic triangle involving Chuck’s infatuation with a neighbor in the apartment complex. Scripts were written and footage shot, yet the character was written out and never seen on screen. There was plenty of time to fix things in late summer/early fall of 2009.

      • joe says:

        Heh, Yeah, OG. Sarah apparently had a reputation that extended beyond the CIA. Sigh.

        @JC, that’s a good point. I don’t pretend to understand why they thought it was necessary to present S/S as both tentative and deeply involved, but they did. I understand that the creative talent likes to have us believe one thing for a while and then turn it all around (it’s a fun game for some). But for my money, the interrogation scene just didn’t add anything to the story at that point. Yet, it was so deliberate. Wow.

        My speculation is that they will play the same type of game with MEB starting today – Is she good or evil? She’ll seem to switch back and forth.

        @Dave, well, you’re right, of course. In July ’09 things could have been done differently. But not by the airing of The Fake Name, when a much bigger ruckus occurred. The jello was much stiffer by then and it was too late.

        My suspicion was that, since in July they thought the show was starting in March, they thought they had more time to consider than they did. In July they had 13 episodes to bring it to a conclusion. Shaw was going to be killed in Paris after (only) 6 appearances and C&S might have to live happily ever after.

        The stretching out made Shaw overstay his welcome and caused S/S to go on way too long – which wasn’t the plan, I think! The real culprit wasn’t so much that Shaw was badly written (really, he had to be emotionless to be compared by Sarah to Chuck’s emotion-filled existence, and it’s hard to make an emotionless character a love interest). It’s that the whole thing was drawn out too long – not the story, but the S/S relationship.

        As great as it was, the back 6 relied on Chuck defeating his arch-nemesis in front of the woman he loved. But to be that nemesis, Shaw had to be in Sarah’s heart, somehow.

        Yeah, disgusting. I know.

        Okay – that’s just my 2 cents! Tear it up, everybody! 😉

      • atcdave says:

        I do agree by the time Fake Name aired it was too late to do much. Although they still could have re-edited/deleted the interrogation scene.

        I do agree it comes down to them misjudging the reaction. I just think there is no excuse for that, they were CLEARLY warned by the core audience that was paying attention in the off season what we thought of their ideas.

        Oh well, it is past now. Better days ahead!

      • JC says:

        @Joe

        Here’s the problem with those type of fake outs, as audience we can’t believe anything on screen. You lose all dramatid impact if retcon away things five episodes later. That’s why the interrogation scene bothered me, it reeks of scared and lazy writing. And throw in the fact of that they made Sarah look like a moron again with the earrings. That would have been funny had Bryce or Cole given them to her but the guy who tried to murder her and Chuck not so much.

        About changing the story, we know they did it already with Shaw and Hannah once already. My question is didn’t anyone see how bad the romance was? How Routh had zero chemistry with the cast especially Yvonne. The damage it did to Sarah’s character and I don’t mean sex. Why did they push it when it clearly wasn’t working. That worries me going into this season, either they were blind to it or too stuborn to do anything about it.

      • Merve says:

        @old geezer: In the pilot, it was clear that Sarah knew who Casey was. It wasn’t so clear that Casey knew who Sarah was. Subsequent episodes (“Crown Vic” especially) seem to establish that Casey knew of Sarah’s agency reputation.

  5. hiswings says:

    Well S3 aside – which at this point is “in the past” – I am so looking forward to what S4 has to offer – some of the previews and sneak peaks look so hilariously funny that I can’t and don’t want to even imagine anything negative taking place this year to rattle us from our “shipper” status.

    I appreciate all the comments made and do agree that there definitely is insulation that occurs. We viewers are even insulated to some degree in that we aren’t directly in the business and tend to look from the outside in – and then complain when we don’t understand all the steps it takes TPTB to get what we see on screen. I’m not trying to make excuses, I just know that for the most part I know so very little about many things and want to appreciate all the hard work that the actors, directors, writers and producers do to provide us with our much loved TV program.

    I am looking forward to an excellent S4 and can hardly wait for the less than 24 hour countdown to begin.

  6. ChuckNewbie8 says:

    Interesting perspective on what was and will be Amy. Some thoughts…

    – I think it’s fair to say that those in the know are a bit insulated in their perspective. It doesn’t help that you have some close people pandering to their every move. But such is the way of the business. There are critics and well, fanboys.

    – The fact that the dissatisfaction after Mask (aka Chuckapocalypse) came through speaks of just how devastating and how strongly Chuck fans take not only the show but its characters seriously. TPTB may be insulated but even that insulation could not withstand the wrath that came about after the arc of suck. I’ve said then and I say now that it wasn’t so much the fact that they’ve moved on…honestly if you look back I was probably the more rational and inventive in terms of excuses…but rather how it came about. And therein is where this whole “we learned our lesson” matters most. Let’s face it, no one here is saying Chuck should be written this way…or I hate Chuck because…but rather as invested viewers we are emotionally tied and entertainment-ly motivated to react and react we have. They may not always hear us, and honestly we may moan and groan but in the end we’re all collectively after one thing: the best for Chuck. Because we care so much.

    I got a little off tangent there, but essentially what I wanted to say was that yes in most cases they’re insulated but in others we’re far louder than we think. This is a new age of television, one in which not only are the cast and crew first hand witnesses of our most knee-jerk reactions, they also purposely seek it. There was an interview with the lead of Legend of the Seeker where she said that television is a lot different from theater and how she wishes it was much more so. And that distinction is why exactly she joined twitter…for the little feedback she could receive.

    And that is why I favor disclaimers on knee-jerk reactions and am in favor constructive macrocosm thoughts whenever possible.

    No one is saying we don’t appreciate the works of the cast members (no one SHOULD)…heck I’ve been most vocal of Brandon Routh’s lack of acting skills…but rather it’s a commentary on the product. But perhaps a disclaimer distinction is needed. In the end we all lost in some ways with S3. We lost the depth at which the chemistry flourishes and we lost the appreciation we have of the actors and actresses because of the overall product. Well I wouldn’t exactly say the appreciation for the actors has been lost, but rather that aspect has been buried by the overall perspective of S3. And that just might be the saddest aspect of it all.

    • Jan says:

      I like to think that today we can officially put Season 3 behind us. I hope so, because we face serious issues for Season 4.

      While all the sneak peaks and online promos present a new season that looks amazing, the dearth of promotional support that NBC has provided brings into question how many folks will be tuning into CHUCK…no matter how good it may be.

      When Yvonne posts twitter links to youtube promos, I think it’s safe to say that TPTB, cast and crew are in a full court press for fan support.

      Personally, I think the ratings tonight will be awful. I’m less worried, however, than I was last year. I think there is the potential to turn them around. I also think there’s a strong chance that all NBC’s effort for THE EVENT and CHASE may not help 2 marginal shows succeed,. If CHUCK’s numbers are still the best on Monday night 4 weeks from now, NBC will step up promotion for CHUCK ahead of the Nov. sweeps.

      So I intend to enjoy the ride…keep talking up the show to friends and advertisers (as Amy suggested) and not fret until the CHUCK die is cast. The show looks so much better than last year…the guest stars are amazing…the shippers seem to have much to look forward to with C/S…and then there’s Morgan! Here’s to a great new beginning, tonight.

      • Jan says:

        from Daniel Fienberg’s review of CHASE on hitfix.com:

        here are at least a handful of fall pilots that are notably worse than NBC’s “Chase,” but there are very few fall pilots that it’s actually better than. Does that make any sense at all? It’s an issue of attrition almost. So I can tell you that “Chase” actively annoyed me significantly less than “The Event,” its Monday night lead-in. But despite being irked and frustrated by “The Event,” which definitely has more negative elements than “Chase,” “The Event” also had elements that at least left me curious, there’s no direction I can foresee “Chase” going that would cause me to watch it again.

      • ChuckNewbie8 says:

        There was a review at TV Guide that was equally scathing.

        And Jan, I agree…Season 4 is where we are and where we are is good 🙂

      • Merve says:

        It turns out that Dan Fienberg doesn’t like The Event either.

        Jan, I don’t think that The Event will tank immediately, but I think that people will start abandoning it within six or seven weeks. (I say this without having seen the pilot, which I’m going to watch tonight out of morbid curiosity.) Hopefully, that spells good news for Chuck. Remember, it’s not about outrunning the bear; it’s about outrunning the slowest guy. That’s the guy who’s going to get eaten.

      • herder says:

        Yeah, but how many guys does Chuck have to outrun before it is safe from the Bear.

      • Jan says:

        I agree Merve, the show won’t tank immediately. However, if the show doesn’t match the hype, people will abandon it. If it’s a great show, people will stay. I’m just not seeing a lot that leads me to believe it’s “great.”

      • Merve says:

        @herder: It’s NBC. They tend to drop their new shows directly into the bear enclosure. 😉 (By which I mean the new shows don’t look so good…)

        @Jan: I totally agree. The Event doesn’t look like a quality show to me. I’m just curious to see how bad it is. Worst comes to worst, I’ll have wasted an hour of my life laughing at a train wreck.

      • sniderman says:

        I’m getting a “Flashforward” vibe from “The Event.” Starts off strong with a fascinating pilot, then slowly loses viewers as the drag out the “So what IS going on?!?!” plotline.

      • JC says:

        Lets be honest NBC’s lineup on Monday is going to get crushed. The Event is against Two and Half Men and the back half of DWTS. Chase is against Castle and the Hawaii Five O premier.

        Like Merve I think the Event will start strong but tail off and once again Chuck will be NBC’s steadiest show once again. Hopefully this will wake NBC up and they’ll move it to Friday night where the numbers it gets would be considered strong.

    • atcdave says:

      Some good comments as always CN8. The entertainment industry is notorious for surrounding creative talent with fanboys who only tell them what they want to hear. Making the new feedback model of the internet work to the advantage of the industry is among the things I would most like to see. But making those creative forces responsive to their fans, while retaining artistic vision will always be a fine line.

      And just wondering about “off tangent”. Does that mean you accidentally got back on topic? Sorry, I was born a smart a**.

  7. Jan says:

    the first word should be “There”

  8. Gringo Chuck Fan says:

    OOOHHHHHHH! can’t wait for S4 to begin tonight…
    I love what we’ve seen in the sneak peaks – and previews –
    but mostly – I want to be able to start thinking and discussing S4 – rather than rehash all the faults and fumbles in S3.
    [ That should just be left for talking about
    the weekend football games]

    Forgive another analogy – [I seem to have a fondness for food….]
    S3 was like eating at a buffet –
    We had a small sample of everything – now
    I want to go back for another plate full [S4!]-
    and get some of that bad taste outta my mouth.
    … and – I still don’t think we’ve gotten to the desserts yet!

    I’m sure I’ll be seeing yall tomorrow!

  9. Sarah Sam says:

    You cats were on the right track when old geezer started the thread but as with most forums you enede it with blinding optimism for season 4. I understand I love Chuck too, but what many don’t want to say I will. Sarah Walker is similar to one of my favorite movie charcaters of all time Colonel Nathan Jessup of “A Few Good Men” She is a necessary evil. We want her on that wall we need her on that wall, but truthfully she is a CIA sanctioned whore and that is part of the reason she has such low self-esteem and allows herself to indulge in “casual” relationships. What sense does it make that she can give to Shaw the things she denied the man she loves. for whatever reason ? Is that love? Is she even capable of it without resorting to CIA training? We see her as a hero because of what she does but she has sold her soul to do it which is why she really needs Chuck. At some levels, she realizes her needs but not enough to be truly deserving of what Chuck gives her.She is like a pornstar in her compartmentalization “this is real..this isn’t’ Unbelievable BS from a very mentally damaged woman. People call it a rebound and in sense that’s true but the reality is…she was tripped by shaw because she was having sex with him. I don’t care how people try to portray it at the core Sarah/Sam is very emotional and she must have some connection to the person she is with. That was Shaw…before Chuck which is why she can deflect Chuck’s efforts from 3/11 to 3/13. If Shaw did’nt go after The Ring in 3/13 where would Sarah be…shacking with shaw in DC knowing Chuck loves her. The easy choice. Sarah Walker’s character has been trashed. That’s why Chuck doesn’t completely trust her. If you save a chick’s life and you still have to remind her you’re still the same guy. YOU DON”T NEED HER IN YOUR LIFE. Thanks writers.

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