#Chuck vs. The 6th Year Anniversary Rewatch

(Quick reminder: the rewatch begins at 9ET. You can talk about it here, or on twitter–trend #Chuck.)

Wow 6 years, and always near and dear to our hearts. It’s been 19 months and 4 weeks since Chuck’s series finale and 6 years to the day of Chuck’s series premiere. So much has happened during that span and if you’re willing, I’d like to reminisce a bit. After the jump…

Season 1 Poster and catch phrase

Season 1 Poster and catch phrase

Chuck premiered with a bit of a fanfare. It was one of the first few shows to have its pilot widely disseminated even before its network premiere. Chuck (vs. The Intersect) was released via iTunes, Amazon Prime and was available On Demand the night before its premiere. Some lucky few, got to watch Chuck’s pilot on a United Airlines Flight before the premiere…needless to say NBC (long before it became permanent residents of the cellar) had faith on the show and worked to make it a hit. Some even luckier few got to watch the pilot and interact with the cast at Comic-Con 2007 where a very affable Zac Levi and Joshua Gomez play acted the infamous ninja scene.

Then the writer’s strike occured and Chuck begun to stumble. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that though Chuck had a 22 episode order (from NBC on November 2007) they were only able to air (and film) 13 episodes. Some might say that was the beginning of the end but Chuck, “Chuck is like a duck” and somehow it kept on chugging along with its tiny but able legs.

Fans helped. You, me and the vast majority of the web did our part. From ChuckTV to Wendy (of Subway and a finale) to WeHeartChuck (donated money to American Heart Association), fans refused to let Chuck go gently into the good night. The camaraderie and the passion could be felt from the (now defunct) NBC boards, to ChuckGasmic to IMDB. Even the critics got into the campaign with both Alan Sepinwall and Mo Ryan penning with their golden pens a plea for Chuck. In the end, I truly believe that what turned the tide was sponsorship. In the height of the recession, Chuck, like many shows were looking to drastically cut budgets and a show like Chuck (with its special effects, stunts, crew and others) just couldn’t be made from pennies. Somehow in a compromise with Subway, NBC, WB and TPTB, Chuck returned. Sure there were less lighting, sure there were more comical special effects and sure Yvonne Strahovski had to wear less (just kidding, I assume Robin had to cut corners too but maybe for YS, it was by design) but we got our 3rd season and what a season it was.

The funny thing about getting what you want is that it doesn’t always come the way you want it. To this day, season 3 is the most debated, analyzed and divisive of all the seasons of Chuck. And while we can focus (and have on this blog) on this negative aspect, really I think we can all agree that life after death for Chuck was welcomed, in any form.

She's pretty good with knives.

She’s pretty good with knives.

Today, for Chuck’s Anniversary, we will be watching Chuck vs. the Honeymooners–a gift of an episode we would not have gotten had we failed in our campaign. Let’s take a moment and realize that we had to campaign for Chuck after Time Magazine called it one of the 10 Best TV Shows after season 2 (sigh).

Still, things did not get any easier for Chuck after we won (and got our season 3). Season 3.5 was on the bubble, as was Season 4, Season 4.5 and Season 5 (you get the picture). Thankfully we had the (then already) abysmal state of NBC to thank for a renewal–a state in which Chuck was virtually a lock as it was one of the few shows that had fans but to our credit, we didn’t just sit on our bums and let fate dictate Chuck‘s future. WeGiveAChuck and our very own Chuckthisblog came into Chuck‘s defense. #NotANielsenFamily was a huge success, as was our sponsor outreach. Combined, we extended Chuck’s life for another day.

Chuck Tour

Which brings us to today, Chuck’s 6th year anniversary. Looking back, it is AMAZING to me (with capital letters), that Chuck was on the air as long as it was. Amazing to me to have met lifelong friends through Chuck. I am amazed every day by all of you. You guys, Chuck fans, are the cream of the crop and I am thankful to have been on this journey with you.

Now let’s get to rewatching Chuck vs. the Honeymooners and embrace the feels. As an aside, it is unheard of for shows to put their leads together. Some like Bones prolong it as long as possible in deference to the “Moonlighting Curse,” but Chuck, Chuck has always been a show that takes risk and we’re thankful for it. Onto the rewatch (9ET!)…

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About Faith

Eternally faith-ful at least as it relates to my beloved Los Angeles Lakers. Yes that's where the username comes from. Other than that self-professed Chuckaholic, Laker blogger and part time internet addict. Ok, full time.
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90 Responses to #Chuck vs. The 6th Year Anniversary Rewatch

  1. BillAtWork says:

    Faith,

    I don’t know how into spoilers you are. But those of us that are looked forward to this episode for months. It got us thru the dark days.

    Some French blogger ‘accidently’ released a copy of the shooting schedule. We pieced it together faster than Jeff could find porn on the internet and quickly realized that they were finally going to be together, lol.

    Then Zac posted a webcam from the train set and we figured out that Yvonne was wearing a wedding ring in between takes. OMG, the place went nuts, lol.

    • Faith says:

      I was all over spoilers back then Bill. I even remember the Canadian promo being way more spoilery and they had a shot of her wearing a wedding ring. Spec was it was a real marriage! Lol. That was a fond memory. Thanks for the reminder.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I’m pretty sure that the shooting schedule was intentionally leaked. If it wasn’t, it should have been. 🙂 It was right after Mask/Fake Name and morale was at an all time low. And the schedule had a lot more detail about the scenes than a shooting schedule ever would.

        Then there was a casting call for the porter that had way, way more detail than usual about how he couldn’t ever get them out of their room, lol.

        I get on TPTB a lot for their lack of awareness, but they (if it was intentional) hit that one out of the park.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree with that Bill. The leaks about Honeymooners were a huge part of keeping morale up at that time. We argued (er, discussed) over if it would really take that long to get better, but knew better days were ahead.
        And now look, it remains one of (possibly THE) the most loved episodes of the series.

    • joe says:

      The comments on our “spoilers permitted” pages were epic back then, Bill. The numbers were off the charts too. I, for one, was absolutely stunned at the fan interest that even spilled over into our little effort (ooof!) here.

      I mean, I thought at first that Chuck fans were a bit of a secret society, complete with secret handshake and passcodes. Something about pineapples, IIRC. 😉

      Even more amazing; that feeling never entirely goes away.

  2. joe says:

    Great write-up, Jem (and I love the picture)!

  3. Faith says:

    7 minutes!

  4. Faith says:

    And start! John Carpenter…

  5. Ernie Davis says:

    Roll credits! Morgan isn’t picking up on Casey’s innuendo. Not nearly as fun as Bartowski and Walker.

  6. atcDave says:

    Always a fun episode.

  7. atcDave says:

    The first appearance of the Texan!

  8. Ernie Davis says:

    The early Morgansect in action. Comic book day was april 14th, but Chuck had better stuff to do

  9. atcDave says:

    Chuck says “one last mission”. This can’t end well!

  10. atcDave says:

    Sarah asks Chuck what the plan is, too funny!

  11. Ernie Davis says:

    It’s not the size of the instrument …

  12. atcDave says:

    Beware of gypsies. I feel so,sorry for that conductor.

  13. Ernie Davis says:

    Great parallel conversations. Still about a season till they actually talk to each other. It’s a start.

  14. atcDave says:

    I love how Casey keeps shutting down Arnaldo.

  15. Richard says:

    Morgan Grimes: “Oh Canada”

  16. atcDave says:

    Jeffster’s best performance ever. Vic can actually sing!

  17. atcDave says:

    The cuffed fight is a favorite.

  18. atcDave says:

    Casey is such a ten year old (eww, kissing).

  19. Richard says:

    Tim Jones Music. The Best……..

  20. atcDave says:

    Hah, good luck getting a Logitech 880 remote to work with a Bose system!

  21. atcDave says:

    Best ending ever.

  22. BillAtWork says:

    The last 90 seconds might be the very best scene of the series.

  23. Dave says:

    A bit OT, but I surfed over to the PoI site since it premiers in 10 minutes or so, and I have concluded that the name Shaw must be cursed. Apparently there is a vocal minority over there hating on the Shaw character and I read she’s a series regular this season…Oh, boy…maybe Chuck S3 about to be repeated over there on Person of Interest.

    • atcDave says:

      Oh that’s funny. I think it’s always dicey to tamper with the core cast and chemistry.

    • joe says:

      Yeah, they used Feeling Good, and not to bad effect, either.
      Between that and “Shaw”, I was thinking “What a coincidence!” myself.

    • Jason says:

      I like the shaw character. She reminds me a bit of Sarah pre-Chuck, or maybe how Sarah might have turned out if things went wrong. I like that they brought in help. Shows need to evolve, she seems like a logical move, I also like the crazy lady (she was also a baddie on Alias I think) story. And, the ‘fixer’ lady is also a hoot. I hope the lady detective, no cop story doesn’t get screwed up this season, it seems like the most dicey thing they’re trying. POI has a nice mix of serious, and yet not too serious.

      • atcDave says:

        I like the psycho Shaw too. POI is a good mix of action, drama and humor. Definitely darker than Chuck, but fun nonetheless. I also hope they keep that balance just right.

  24. resaw says:

    A very satisfying re-watch with members of the #Chuck twitterverse.

  25. Faith says:

    We trended you guys! Great job!

  26. uplink2 says:

    It was a great night with what may be for me one of the best episodes of television ever. It definitely for me is the greatest final scene of any television show ever. Thanks for a great night!

  27. bigfan22 says:

    That was probably one of my favorite episodes after second season. I really wish that the Charles personas would have been used more often. Im not sure if its just me, but after season 2, it seemed like the chemistry between Zack and Yvonne was lacking for the majority of the episodes. Maybe it was written to be like that, but I really appreciated this episode for their interaction.

    • BillAtWork says:

      Yeah, BigFan

      I purposly bit my tougne yesterday. It was a great episode that we had been anticipating for weeks. And it didn’t lose anything in the rewatch.

      But this is the Sarah we should have always seen. It’s what the show had built up to. She loved him for 2 years but wasn’t allowed to say it. So her mindset was that nothing is going to mess this up. She was perfectly willing to run away with him. And if he wanted to, they would have.

      But then they immediately changed Sarah. The very next episode she didn’t want to move in together. She struggled to say ILY, couldn’t unpack, feared committment. But the Sarah in Honeymooners didn’t have any of those issues. She was going to run away with him… a lifetime committment.

      I liked her a lot better. And giving her all of those hangups didn’t ring true. We saw her without them.

      • uplink2 says:

        Did some research last night after that great rewatch and found these quotes.. These are the first comments that I can find about season 3 back long before Comicon. Nothing is said about the spy story, it was all about the WTWT trapezoid and the OLI’s and they seem giddy about it. Considering how this was just after the renewal announcement it amazes me how out of touch they were with their fanbase or at least a huge part of it. The worshiping at the altar of relationship geometry was in full force.

        (Sepinwall) Given how vague you were when we talked after the finale, I’m guessing you don’t want to say too much more about next season. But given how long we’re all going to have to wait, is there anything you can tell the fans about next season that might in some way sate their appetites?

        (Fedak) I will say this: Season three will not be lacking in romance. (May 19, 2009)

        MICHAEL AUSIELLO: Will Chuck and Sarah start the season off as a full-fledged couple?
        SCHWARTZ: Chuck having the Intersect in his head will severely
        complicate their ability to be a couple … [And] look for
        a potential new love interest on the show.

        AUSIELLO Really? For who?
        SCHWARTZ Someone who could triangulate between a couple of characters.

        AUSIELLO Male or female?
        SCHWARTZ Gosh, isn’t it more fun to tease? (May 21, 2009)

        Fedak’s comments I find particularly disturbing as there was absolutely no romance in the story as conceived at this point until DYLM which as he knew at this time was the final episode of the series. They walked into Comicon expecting for fans to kiss their feet and they were stunned by the reaction. I remember seeing a taped interview with Schwartz after that incident where he basically admits he put his foot in his mouth and was shocked at the reaction and was already trying to do damage control.

        God I Iove the history of this time period but in some ways I’m glad I didn’t live it. How telling fans there were new OLI’s coming was going to sate their appetites for 10 months is beyond me how clueless that is.

      • atcDave says:

        There is no doubt He had an odd impression of what this audience wanted. I always find it interesting how Sepinwall and Mo Ryan should have served as part of that early warning that things might not be well received. JS in particular, did not understand we aren’t teen girls. Trying to be together when the government was against it, or simply trying to be a couple in such a life and death world could have been very romantic. A misunderstanding that leads to both characters pursuing third parties is the antithesis of that.

        As for Bill’s comment; I do agree, and I am on record as saying, the moving in and unpacking suitcase stories do not fit after Honeymooners (maybe if they’d done a slower coupling after Ring).
        BUT, I am mostly pleased with the tone at that point. The stories were funny, and they always ended in a good place. Had I been in charge, this isn’t how it would have gone. But I’m okay with the fun we had. Especially in S4, I think they handled things pretty well.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Dave, here is the problem. It’s not that moving in or unpacking were crushing angst. They weren’t. They were mostly silly. But they spent the last two seasons on a pretend wt/wt binge (wt/wt get engaged, married, start a family) when they could have told a better story.

        It’s missed opportunity.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh I agree they could have done better on a lot of things. But as we were saying the other day, perfect can be the enemy of good. Its not that I can’t imagine better, its just that I enjoyed what they did.
        I save my getting annoyed for true fubars like the S3 main arc.

  28. bigfan22 says:

    Yeah. The sudden switch in her total commitment always left me a little baffled. It seemed like the writers kept trying to milk the “on again” “off again” storyline from the first two seasons. I wish they would have just kept Sarah like that.

    Hope all is well with you Bill. I miss reading new stories from you. Hopefully that insane imagination of yours is working overtime to create a new masterpiece!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Not that puzzling really. It was a honeymoon. No outside interference, no worries about jobs or careers or schedules, jus having fun with each other. I think every couple goes through that at the beginning of any relationship, where other matters are just pushed aside in deference to enjoying each other. Inevitably the real world creeps back in and you have to leave your compartment. The job re-asserts it’s presence, things come up that need to be discussed about the future, little things creep in, like needing that 20 minutes of silence before sleep if it isn’t constant #sexytimes every night. I thought the slight pull-back (especially when Beckman mentions the Turners are a married spy team and Sarah’s reaction) was a quite natural direction to go.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Ernie, here is the disconnect.

        In Honeymooners Sarah didn’t have relationship hangups. She was willing, eager even, to make a committment to Chuck, to run off with him and start a normal life,

        Then they tried to sell us that she was afraid of those things later.

        I liked Honeymooners Sarah tons better. And she was also what I expected after seeing her pine in S1 and S2.

        Hangup Sarah seemed out of place. And I think it was time that they could have used to tell a better story.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Running away together and starting a normal life aren’t the same thing. Sarah has never been frightened by the thought of life on the run. It’s her natural environment. The commitment doesn’t frighten her when they constantly change places and identities. Whether they’d have been OK in the long run with that type of life (the one Chuck turned down at the start of the season) is an open question, but this episode strongly hints at no for the answer. But for Sarah running away has always held a lot of appeal.

        Back in the “real” world of Chuck and Sarah her fears of roots and commitment and all the rest re-surface.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Wow, Ernie. Real nice try. 🙂

        But they already sold us in S1 and S2 that Sarah was pining for those very real world things.

        Did you see her look in Suburbs when they were breaking down the house? That Sarah wasn’t afraid of those things. She ached for them.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Yes she has pined for them, but we’re shown just as thoroughly that she doesn’t think she can ever “really” have them, but she can get a taste of what it might be like with Chuck.

        You see what you want to see, as do we all. I don’t see a problem, but then I didn’t see Colonel as a definitive “they are now officially together” moment when all angst between them must stop irrevocably. Clearly TPTB didn’t either.

        And I doubt you meant it this way, but you could be read as implying that I’m merely rationalizing to defend a version of the story that was clearly not on the screen. Subsequent seasons re-visit precisely the issues I’m talking about, so I think I can make a decent case for my views.

      • Faith says:

        This is going to sound weird and really a little more than what you all should know about me. An ex once called me agent Walker. That wasn’t by accident because I really did/do have my moments. In this case, personally it is completely believable for the “all in,” Sarah of Honeymooners to be the same Sarah as in Role Models.

        To those of us commitment phobes, we may desire a better life, a more meaningful connection but every step of the way is painful, scary and very much like pulling teeth. Every step brings more fears, and definitely more to lose and when you’ve lived your entire life being guarded sometimes the walls just find its way back up even when you have grown and opened up. To me Sarah’s progression into this full, actualized, confidently secure woman is one of the show’s best. If not THE best. I can relate and I can see the struggle every step of the way much like I struggle through life and love myself.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Did you mean Honeymooners? Colonel doesn’t make sense. Or am I missing what you’re saying?

        It’s the subsequent seasons re-hashing that I have the problem with. It seems a more consistent story IMO to show Sarah pining for those things in S1 S2, finally getting them, and moving forward. Honeymooner’s Sarah is exactly what I would expect.at that point.

        What was the final scene supposed to be telling us? It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me. Wasn’t the honeymoon over at that point?

        Suitcase Sarah and Cubic Z Sarah seem like artifical regressions to me.

      • uplink2 says:

        Agreed. The ache of envy during the final scene in Marlin. Her question to Casey in Crown Vic . Even in the epic fail of Fake Name she is dying inside looking at Hannah in her seat, in her “home”, with her “guy”, in her “life” or at least the life she dreamed of.

        I can kind of see Ernie’s point as it also relates to the motel in Barstow. With none of the outside pressures she can grab at what she desperately wants but when those external pressure reappear it gets tougher for her to deal with. But the mistake was making her act like she didn’t want them as even when there was absolutely no chance of it ever happening, she still was shown to desperately want them. Now when they were readily open to her they have her pull back on even wanting them. It’s odd behavior.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Well said Uplink, except for one thing I’ve always said (confirmed by TPTB in Coup d’Etat). Chuck relentlessly moves forward looking towards the next step in the journey, the next stage of happiness, Sarah desperately clings to the status quo, because it’s the happiest she’s ever been. Sarah has lived a life full of change and it’s usually brought her nothing but heartbreak and loneliness.

        Sarah is not acting as if she doesn’t want the things she’s dreamed of, she’s acting as if she’s desperately afraid that changing things will cost her the happiness she’s found.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Well, Ernie, that’s a good point. I think she even said something like that in Coup D’etat. What if we do… I do… and it changes things?

        I still don’t get the distinction between running away together and making couple type growth committments. It seems to me that running away is instant lifetime committment, at least as risky as saying ILY or unpacking.

      • atcDave says:

        Real people are sometimes flaky, so I don’t think this is a huge thing. But some of the “regressions” were a bit much. Especially Role Models and Suitcase struck me as silly. But in the end, they were all in fun, so I really have no problem.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        No, Bill, I meant Colonel. It was a very similar thing. On the run and secluded in the motel room Sarah could let her guard down and take what she wanted, but back out in the real world she was ready to leave the day after the wedding for a new assignment.

        My point was that a lot of people saw that motel room and a few subsequent encounters as proof that suddenly Chuck and Sarah should be able to be together and communicate their hopes, fears, and desires toward that end. I didn’t see that in those characters at that time.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Okay I get you. And now I really disagree, lol.

        Colonel wasn’t about Barstow. It was really about the moment at the end of First Kill. Agent Walker had been putting her duty ahead of her feelings for 2 whole years. And she went into the Buy More reluctently willing to follow her orders and betray him. And she found that she couldn’t do it. It was the moment when Sarah trumpted Agent Walker. It was the climax of the love story. Love became more important than duty. That’s why her decision in Ring was so abrupt. She had already decided to commit treason for him. Getting off the hook on that one was really a stretch in the first place. Beckman is a idiot for buyng any of that steaming pile.

        So I didn’t expect that they would instantly become a mature couple after Colonel. So I might buy the mini panics of Role Models, Suitcase, etc. What seems out of place in that continuim is how relaxed and giddy she was in Honeymooners. So I don’t see you being able to have it both ways. Either she was ooc in Honeymooners… or Role Models, Suitcase, etc.

      • joe says:

        Every step brings more fears, and definitely more to lose and when you’ve lived your entire life being guarded sometimes the walls just find its way back up even when you have grown and opened up.

        Jem, that was fantastic. You just reminded all of us that we’ve been lacking a woman’s perspective here.

        Six years now, and I’m still learning more about the characters.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Bill, I’ll just leave it as running being more Sarah’s comfort zone than staying and progressing a relationship in a traditional manner.

        Yes, you are right, Sarah has direct exposition about her fear of change in Coup d’Etat, in fact much of the episode explores that very theme, from Devon’s sudden baby obsession costing the Awesomes quality time together to the Goya’s marriage falling apart because of the changes in their lives. But there is also a scene at the end of Cubic Z that speaks to that and sets up Coup d’Etat. Chuck and Sarah finally start talking to each other honestly and frankly after Sarah’s latest relationship freak-out, and as they do, the wedding ring makes it’s symbolic journey, essentially dropping the question in their lap. Once they started talking it was inevitable that the question of their future together would come up, and they’d have to face it together.

      • atcDave says:

        Ernie I never see why it should be one or the other. I think somewhere in between is reasonable, and would have been more entertaining/more fun.
        The “realism” of it can be written any which way. Real people often are pretty irrational or nuts. The problem is the seesawing back and forth implies the characters are irrational or nuts.

        I do think, as long as the tone is kept light, like in the S4 stories, its not a huge issue. But it still earns an eye roll or two.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Dave I exaggerate a bit for effect. Re: Colonel.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well I’ll say that these inconsistencies bother me much less than the inconsistencies post Colonel. I think much of that comes from the misreading of their audience that I pointed out above. Sarah’s decision in Ring was quickly resolved and I might grant Ernie’s view of it based on her history but Pink Slip is a different story. These later inconsistencies do seem to fit well into Faith’s posting and though they seem confusing to me as a guy, I can see how they might apply to a more complex female character that is so multi-layered like Sarah. There is a real, possible explanation for her behavior. I may still see it as lazy storytelling but it has a real basis possibly.

        The inconsistencies of behavior in Pink Slip and beyond only make sense when you apply that TPTB simply wanted another round of OLI’s. No story basis works, no character basis works, and all discussion is simply trying to justify the unjustifiable beyond just what Schwartz and Fedak said the very first time they talked about season 3 in public. It was all about more WTWT and OLI’s. No spy story was ever mentioned. I also agree with Dave that the secret relationship or fighting the CIA on the run really is a great romantic story. Sarah/Shaw and Chuck/Hannah have absolutely no romance to them. In fact they are insulting the viewer by trying to say they were. It is an inconsistent story because it was driven by a goal. The inconsistencies post Honeymooners are far less bothersome because even though they were plot driven, they fit a certain image of the character and were not about forcing a contrived story down our throats.

  29. Jason says:

    Honeymooners was my favorite episode. I someday would really enjoy hearing someone who really knew what the writers were doing with the show (i.e. a showrunner or at least a writer), because most of what I view and interpret myself or read about the show literally causes my forehead to get sore from my constant self inflicted head-palms. In many ways, I wish Honeymooners hadn’t happened, cause if the show would have skipped Honeymooners I’m pretty sure I would have quit, the angsty goofiness would have taken me down. The show really didn’t change that much after coupling up Chuck and Sarah, its like they wrote one episode that many people wanted to see because they got scared when people (and critics) revolted, then went right back to the odd style they always had, simply replacing wt/wt or LI/PLI angst with some other nagging angst or oddly inconsistent mannerisms. Strange. But then again, I really don’t watch any comedy, I made it thru about 60 seconds of Community for example, so I’m willing to concede I just misjudged the type of show Chuck was. The problem was, the good wasn’t good either, it was great, even if that was one or two scenes an episode on average, with only one or two episodes complete per season ascending to that level.

    • BillAtWork says:

      Exactly, Jason.

      I can buy Ernie and Faith’s explanation of Sarah’s panic attacks in S4. The thing that stands out is how she acted in Honeymooners.

      And franlkly, I liked her a lot better in Honeymooners. If they had asked me (and sadly they didn’t 🙂 ) I would have built off the momentum of Honeymooners and shortened the whole committment storyline into a couple or three episodes, not and entire extended season.

      I didn’t think the wt/wt of S4 to be all that compelling of a story.

    • atcDave says:

      I totally disagree with that Jason. They did maintain much of the dark tone through S3. But S4 and later is just a whole different ballgame. I never saw the melodramatic angst that dominated the previous season again. Apart from a few misunderstandings mostly played for laughs, there was never another moment after S3 when we really thought there would be anything that would break up the couple. There were issues to deal with, many of which I thought were completely legitimate to the setting, but nothing that looked like a serious problem, at least not for more than a few screen minutes.

      • Jason says:

        I know Dave. I liked s4/s5 much more than s3 too, but at some point, compared to other stuff I watch, it was not up to the standards of normal TV, I don’t even know how to describe it, as I said, I’d love to hear from someone who really knew, what they were trying to accompish with Chuck being so insecure, whiny, hapless, hopeless, clueless, while Morgan became sage. Or why keep beating on Sarah in every main arc, rather than have CS work as a team. Or why tease the engagement 18 eps, then the wedding another 12, then a happy ending for 13, then don’t give it. I used to call it mean, that probably isn’t fair, I think its supposed to be funny, although the ending on the beach, Chuck and Sarah were about as unhappy as two people can be. How often was Chuck happy the last two seasons? Or Sarah. Did those two smiles flash in the final season much? Why give everyone the intersect? Why was Chuck still going off on his own in S5, worried about a family curse? Funny? Dramatic? Sarah not trusting Chuck and the team in the baby? Dramatic I guess? Tease a pregnancy test 5 eps b4 the season is over, and not even have the lead remember who she is by the end. Funny? Dramatic? Mean? I don’t get it?

        End of rant?

      • BillAtWork says:

        Jason,

        The reason that I got into writing fanfic is that there was a Chuck writers forum on the TWoP site, Anybody into Chuck fanfic would probably recognize most of the names GoChuckGo, LeeCan, Notorious JMG, BrickRoad, SharpAsAMarble, etc. They were having so much fun that I decided to write my first story so that I would be worth of joining the discussion, lol.

        I bring this up because none of those people (except maybe me and BrickRoad are still writing. We had a reunion blog Saturday night. And all of those fanatic old timers all told a consistent story (okay, Ernie, yes. The sample was very small, lol). The show was simply never the same after S2. It never as fun, as engaging, as awe inspiring. And they all pointed to the same core event that turned them off the show. Prague and The trapizoid.

        Now I understand how group think works. And that’s very possibly an explanation. But I don’t think so.

        All of the things that you stated in your rant, I agree with them all. Maybe to a lesser extent than you expressed… but they all have a ring of validity.

      • Jason says:

        OK I lied. Not end of rant. Why not take this obviously successful format in Honeymooners and franchise it? Use the format when writing a ‘big’ or ‘epic’ arc, start them off together fooling around and having fun, get things serious and bad, maybe a little tandem fighting with throwns and kicks, and at the end have them overcome thbe big bad together, in some clever manner BECAUSE they trusted each other and had each other. Then, one more scene where they celebrate in style. Wouldn’t a callback to Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ to successfully jog Sarah’s memory on the beach simply knocked everyone’s socks off on that final night, rather than the beautiful, but melancholy whaling of Rivers and Roads?

        Writing TV doesn’t need to be that hard. There WAS enough built in love for this show, that it shouldn’t have gotten screwed up. Honeymooners near universal acceptance is proof of that.

      • uplink2 says:

        Bill, I wish I could read that somewhere. I also wish they would all come back. I read soem tweets that Sharps may be and I’d like that a lot as I think the point he left in Watch was such a controversial point that I’d like to see where he took it. I wrote the longest review of my life for that final chapter lol. Over 1000 words. I liked his writing a lot, just didn’t think those chapters and that critical scene were consistent or worked for me at all.

        But I agree, it wasn’t the same and what they cited was the cause, I completely agree. Looking at the research I did last night its really funny to read what they were saying about story, budget, characters etc before the season and what actually ended up on screen. It’s like 2 completely different universes and they have almost no common ground.

      • atcDave says:

        Well you know I agree S3 permanently damaged something that could never be reclaimed. And no doubt the later seasons could have been better too, if they’d consistently told the story of Chuck and Sarah vs the world.
        But I thought the story they told was fun too. Not what I would have preferred, but a good story. I saw the chemistry and the charm all the way through. There were a few missteps, I think Curse may have been the worst. But I saw a fun, sweet story, and a joyful end. Again, I can see room for improvement, and S3 just needs to be completely scrapped, but I thought we got a wonderful show. And I can enjoy any episode after American Hero, even if they aren’t all perfect. There was only one Honeymooners. It is too bad they didn’t follow that formula better to the end, but we did get Phase Three, Wedding Planner, and many other awesome episodes.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Dave, I’m trying to be fair. I basically agree with you. S4 was light and mostly fun. I had more problems with S5. But light and fun isn’t what I had come to expect from Chuck.

        There were moments in S1 and S2 that TV simply never delivers. There were times when you literally pumped your fist in adoration. There were other times when your heart broke for Chuck at first, and then Sarah.

        So it’s hard to overly criticize light and fun. But it was simply not the same show ever after Pink Slip.

      • atcDave says:

        I do agree Pink Slip changed everything, and not for the better. It really did serious damage.

  30. Dave says:

    Uplink

    That’s why, during the Chuckpocalypse, I quit listening to what they were saying and payed attention to what they showed. And what they showed us was not good. I nearly left as well, but I came back every week to see it resolved as we were promised. I had no idea it would last essentially till the final scenes of episode 12…whew, that just sucked. I marvel to this day how anyone could have felt 12 episodes of gloom was a good idea.

    • BillAtWork says:

      Dave,

      Fortunately, right after Fake Name was when we started getting the spoilers that said Honeymooners was likely to be so happy.

      • Dave says:

        Bill

        One of the reasons I came back every week. I just hoped Honeymooners was after two or three happier episodes…alas, not so.

    • atcDave says:

      I completely agree the 12 down beat episodes was just a terrible plan. They pretty much did the worst possible thing.

    • uplink2 says:

      Unfortunately Bill, Dave and Dave for folks like me who simply watched week to week with no knowledge about anything other than the NBC promos, I had no idea it would ever end. After Fake Name I simply tried to trust in the love one more time, and hope that the love would triumph in the end. But the showrunners had completely broken that trust I had with them. I have to say if Beard had been as depressing and insulting to me as a viewer who actually cared about these characters as Fake Name was, I would have left and probably never come back. It was that close.

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