Fan Fiction Again!

Its always exciting to me when I see enough new stories at fanfiction.net to justify a new fan fiction post.  Traffic and updates are slowing down, as I think we could all expect, but there’s still some great stuff to read.  After the jump, we’ll see what we can find to talk about this time.

I’d like to start this post with just a couple comments on what it means for me to recommend or “favorite” a story. I imagine those who read here regularly won’t be too surprised by anything I say.  So I’ll start with the obvious, I’m not a writer, editor or literature expert!  I do have a college degree, and generally did well in English and writing classes, even if it did come less easily to me than history or math.  In terms of fan fiction I am aware of many failings in grammar, spelling and style; but unless those shortcomings are really serious they don’t normally rule out a story with a fun premise (although such failings don’t do a writer any favors either!).  What really makes a difference to me is a sense of fun.

That idea of fun is what drew me to Chuck in the first place.  It’s about adventure, an ordinary sort of guy I can really relate to getting involved in epic and amazing things; its about being a hero and doing the right thing even its hard or dangerous, a quirky and amusing world, and a good sense of humor through anything.  As I got more familiar with the setting, and when I first came to fan fiction, those things had become more specific centering on a collection of personalities I could love and admire; especially Chuck and Sarah.  Fan fiction I enjoy is almost always about those two characters first and foremost.  Maybe not exclusively, I know I’ve favorited a few things that focus on other characters; but Chuck and Sarah are the primary draw.  Its even more specific than that.  I find myself getting quickly bored with many stories that spend too much time on just one of those characters without the other.  Prequel stories aren’t really favorites of mine either, for that same reason.  I don’t want to make too big a thing of that (because there are exceptions), but Chuck and Sarah doing things together is the main hook of most Chuck stories to me.  I know a few well written, and generally well regarded stories have failed to make my list because I found the separations too long or too frequent.

It is also important to me that both characters are heroes.  I’m really not interested in extremely dark stories, or emphasis on a sordid past, or hopeless no win situations.  I like overcoming the odds, doing what’s right because its right, and warm affection and friendship between the characters.  Not to say an argument or disagreement isn’t fun on occasion, but it shouldn’t dominate or define the story.  I guess a related issue is I’m not so into grim or dreary stories.  Some level of challenge and danger is needed, but I tire of non-stop peril, or challenges that seem to go from bad to worse for an extended period.  I like the happy respite and chance to look at what is worth fighting for.  I really like themes of friendship, family, love overcomes all.  The sappy stuff guys aren’t supposed to publicly admit to.

I’ve come to enjoy the complete Alternate Universe story a lot.  I think that’s partly because my love for the characters exceeds my love for anything specific to the setting.  The depiction of those characters as recognizable to the show is one of the biggest things in me enjoying a story.  They don’t have to be painstakingly recreated from the show, no need to justify every behavior with footnotes or anything.  It can even be fun if traits are emphasized differently than canon; but I do need to be able to recognize the characters I love.

And of course I’m a happy ending sort of guy.  That doesn’t always have to mean married with 2.5 kids.  Specific to Chuck, it can vary a lot based on the time frame of the story.  Something set in Season One can more easily be a friendship sort of story, and even Season Two may count as a happy ending with only a single obstacle overcome (especially a one-shot).  But by the end of S2 I admit I start getting more demanding and specific.  By then I think every story is a Charah story.  Or its not for me.  And that’s fine too!  But really, not for me…  (seriously, the story may be about other characters entirely, that sometimes works too.  But Chuck and Sarah can only mean Charah).  I know, I’m kind of a jerk that way.

I went over some of that just to remind readers what they can count on if I recommend the story.  I know my taste isn’t for everyone.  But I know a number of you like pretty similar things, and I want you all to know what it means if I recommend it.

I do encourage readers to recommend other stories too!  I’ve actually found a lot of excellent new stories through readers and writers who have peddled their wares on this site.  “Family Matters” by Lucky47 always stands out as something I skipped over based on the brief description; but recommendations by other readers here led to me reading it, and discovering a new favorite.  Or more recently “Chuck Versus the Lost Years” by Angus MacNab was one I didn’t like the first chapter and gave up on, until the writer made a good case for his work here, and other readers added their testimonials.  I now consider it one of my very favorites and an outstanding post-series story.

Of course I still might not get excited over a story one of you loves (or writes!).  Sorry.  Really I am.  But please never be threatened by it if my taste and yours aren’t the same. I would like if this site, and these posts could be a good reference place for many fan fiction readers.  Even if your referral fails me, it may be a wonderful thing to someone else.  And Chuck fans communicating and in community together is sort of what this site is all about.  I do ask, if you recommend something that could be considered “R” rated that you include some sort of content warning.  I know fanfiction.net includes a rating system, but I really don’t want to hear of readers jumping straight to something graphically violent or sexual from this site without any warning.  (And we do reserve the right to delete anything really explicit).

Okay, so a lot of text and no new stories yet.  In the last few months there still has been some good new stuff being posted.  I’ll start with “Chuck Versus the Steampunk Chronicles” by (no surprise) Steampunk.Chuckster.  This is a very well written story.  With regards to the lengthy exposition I gave above, I would say this starts with a lot of back story; and it takes quite a while before Sarah is even introduced.  When she is introduced, she is a pretty icy and scary character.  And this kept it off my favorites list for many chapters.  But it really is colorful and fun.  And like canon, Chuck seems to melt Sarah pretty quickly.  Should be a lot of fun to see how this plays out!  It is currently incomplete and could be read in several hours.  I don’t know how long it might go.  It would currently be rated PG-13 for violence and language.

A more recently started story is “Chuck vs The Biggest Loser” by ThereisAnother.  This starts with one little twist from canon, during Chuck’s down and out period after Stanford he ballooned up to over 400 pounds!  So Sarah’s initial cover will be trainer instead of girlfriend.  Apparently this version of Casey has some personal experience with morbid obesity, which also makes him a more sympathetic character at the start.  Very interesting, and reasonable I think, variation on the show’s start.  So far this story is a lot of fun.  The writer has said the story is already complete in outline form, and he’s been updating regularly, twice a week.  Expect 25 chapters when done.  So maybe 6-8 hours of total reading?  It would be rated PG so far; but as Chuck gets more capable of getting into trouble that may change (!).

The final multi-chapter recommendation I have this time is “The Detective and the Tech Guy” by thecharleses (better known as Steampunk.Chuckster and dettiot).  I admit I was confused by this one at first.  The writers describe the Thin Man movies as their inspiration, which I leapt to conclude meant it was set in the 1930s or 40s.  I was very confused by the first chapter!  It’s modern.  The inspiration seems to be more one of mood, with friendly, flirty banter.  As we would expect from these two writers, it is well written and fun.  With a nice upbeat sort of mood.  Its been updating regularly with short chapters.  I’m not sure how long it will run, but could currently be read in about an hour.  So far it has nothing offensive.

My last recommendation will be a one-shot.  “The Bartowskis Versus the Suburbs” by Steampunk.Chuckster (gee, notice someone has been a busy writer recently!) is set a year or so post-series. Chuck and Sarah are settling into normal.  But the main drive of the story is playing with the role reversal that was always at the core of Chuck.  Well played for laughs.  Fun story that can be read in 20 minutes.  It would be rated “R” for some happily marital reasons.

Some other excellent works continue.  Anthropocene’s excellent hypothetical Season Six continues with “Chuck Versus Route 66“.  Maybe too slowly, but it does continue…

Quistie64’s outstanding “Chuck vs the Sound of Music II” is nearing its end.  Words just aren’t enough.  This has been a completely satisfying ride.  Let’s hope Quistie has some more ideas for this AU.  I’m not ready to say goodbye.

And Marc Vun Kannon recently started his alt-S4 with “nine2five Snake in the Grass” which should be a good time.  I linked his author page in addition to the story because he writes shorter individual stories that tie into a bigger whole.

Fan Fiction is slowing down, just like activity has at this blog.  That’s not surprising so long after our show has ended.  Keep in mind when you read anything at ff.net that those writers are getting less feedback than ever.  So don’t forget to post a review on any story you enjoy.  The writers will appreciate it.  And keeping those writers happy is how we all get more Chuck stories!

~ Dave

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About atcDave

I'm 53 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 30 years; grew up in the Chicago area, and am still a fanatic for pizza and the Chicago Bears. My main interest is military history, and my related hobbies include scale model building and strategy games.
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132 Responses to Fan Fiction Again!

  1. anthropocene says:

    Yes, I’ll admit to slowing down a lot recently, but episode 6.06 will be starting soon, I promise!

  2. bigfan22 says:

    Hi…I’m new to the whole fanfiction scene. I actually found it only a few months ago, when I was trying to find an update on the Chuck movie. My search led me to P.J. Murphy’s Chuck vs The Next Generation….If you haven’t read it, I think you should give it a try. It tells the story of Chuck and Sarah’s young son. The story is very well written, and I think a lot of people would enjoy it.

    Once I completed that story, I began to devour some great Chuck fanfiction…since my favorite authors are heavy hitters in the community(Billatwork..my favorite, Apr, Frea, Dettiot, and Uplink, I won’t mention any of their stories, since they already have huge followings).

    I would like to comment on some of Dave’s suggestion’s….

    Thereisanother….This author has some great stories already written(Sarah vs The True Friendship is probably one of my favorite Charah stories on fanfiction). It’s part of the reason I was willing to give this story a chance. I know some people may be hesitant to read about an overweight Chuck, and to be honest I fell into that category. But after reading the chapters that are out already, this story is fantastic. There are so many of the same types of Chuck and Sarah in the stories currently present in the community, I found this new version incredibly refreshing. I would urge people to give this story a try. The best thing is….according to the A/N, the story has multiple chapters already written. So…..that means regular updates!

    Anthropocene….As Dave mentioned earlier, this a hypothetical 6th season. It’s a great read, and very well written. Sometimes when I really miss Chuck, I look for this series, since it gives me hope that someday a network will pick up Chuck again(I know a movie is more likely, but still, let me have this little dream).

    My suggestion:

    Maverick41’s Chuck vs School….Now this story is still in its developing stages. As of now, only two chapters have been written, but I have enjoyed them very much. This is the same author that wrote Chuck vs the Domino Effect, and I have high hopes the writing and story will continue to be excellent.

    Bigfan22’s Tides of War….This one is mine. Sorry for hitting up my own story, but since I’m new to this scene, I don’t really have much of a following to fall back on.

    I got the idea for Tides of War, after watching the episode where Mary brings Volkoff to the post thanksgiving dinner…Chuck vs The Leftovers. While I loved the character of Mary Bartowski(badass CIA Agent), her backstory didn’t make sense to me. It was obvious that the character cared deeply for her children, and I couldn’t understand why she would abandon them for a mission that wasn’t even successful. I started thinking about a good reason for her leaving, and when I came up with my idea, I began working the Chuck story around it.

    As with many people, I was disgusted with the third season. The Sarah/Shaw dynamic angered me greatly, and I hated that she told him her real name after just a few months of knowing him. When I was deciding the time period for my story, I wanted to do it before that craziness occurred. Hence, Tides of War begins right after the Ellie/Devon wedding in season 2.

    Since so many great stories have already been written in regards to the Chuck universe, I had to think hard to be original. In Tides of War, Chuck is kidnapped by the Ring during Bryce’s upload of the 2.0. They learn of Chuck’s retention scores from the Omaha project files and test him for themselves. Once they discover he’s a prime candidate for the Intersect, they use Intersect glasses to upload false memories into Chuck’s head, and convince him to join the Ring. The story follows Chuck’s rise as a Ring agent, while his family/friends (Stephen,Mary,Ellie, Sarah, Devon, Casey) search frantically for him.

    The story follows 3 major arcs….
    1. Chuck gets kidnapped by the Ring/his eventual rescue
    2. The destruction of the Ring by team Bartowski
    3. Volkoff

    I am currently working on chapter 19 which spearheads the three chapter finale of the second arc.

    I know many people are not fans of OCs, but after so many great Chuck stories, I wanted to try something that hasn’t been done. The Dimitry/Michael character that I created, is Chuck and Ellie’s youngest brother. He is also the reason Mary stayed with Volkoff for so long. I won’t tell you any more about the brother, because I don’t want to give anything away. Needless to say, I know its risky adding an OC to the main cast, but I believe I was able to introduce him convincingly.

    I know a lot of readers usually gravitate towards the fluffy stories, unfortunately T.o.W. is not that type of story. I would consider it an intense spy thriller, filled with action/adventure, and ultimately leading to the redemption many of the characters are looking to find. It will be darker than most Chuck stories, but it is still centered on love. The love between Chuck/Sarah, and Chuck/Family is the driving force behind rescuing Chuck from the Ring’s clutches, and preventing them from achieving global domination.

    I hope everyone will give Tides of War a chance. I tried my best to write something that was completely different from anything already present in the community and I believe people will enjoy it.

    • anthropocene says:

      Thank you, bigfan22…I’m truly touched to know that the series helps when you miss Chuck. Writing it does the exact same thing for me. I’m working on episode 6.06 now but I plan to go a lot farther than that…eventually… 🙂

      • bigfan22 says:

        No problem Anthropocene, It’s a great read. I look forward to the next episode. Thanks for writing this series for us. I love reading about what could happen next with our favorite spy couple.

    • garnet says:

      I have been waiting patiently for the next installment of ToW. I have enjoyed the trip so far, there are some dark patches but I am efeinitely enjoying the read. I hope to see an update soon.

      • bigfan22 says:

        Thanks Garnet. I’m glad your enjoying the story. I’m about half way through the chapter. Just been swamped with real life, so I’ve only had a chance to write for an hour or two a day. Hopefully I should have it complete sometime this week,

  3. BillAtWork says:

    BigFan22,

    I happen to like original characters. I enjoy writting them. In the Chuck Author’s forum last week the discussion turned to how many would like to make the transition from fanfic to serious (as if fanfic isn’t serious, lol) writting seeking to be published and perhaps make it a living. There were more than I expected who would like to publish something.

    And I think we decided that the major difference is that a fanfic author doesn’t have to set up his characters. His readers already know who Chick and Sarah are, and in many cases get angry if you try to change their perception of them.

    If you’re going to write something to be published, you have to spend a lot more time developing your characters and getting your reader to connect with them.

    It’s one of the parts that I enjoy, makes me feel like a real author. 🙂

    • authorguy says:

      I don’t mind OCs but to my mind they should be used to enhance the MCs.

      • BillAtWork says:

        To me, as a reader, the most important thing is that the story be interesting to me. If OCs are well done and make the story interesting, that’s good. If they confuse me or take away from the story that I’m interested in, then that would a reason to punt on the story.

        A fair amount of fanfic is so AU that it doesn’t matter. You can have two characters named Chuck and Sarah who met in high school. But those are OCs. They are not C/S from the show.

        My experience is that some readers are very impatient with anything that doesn’t follow the formula. Some barrier to C/S being together is identified, it is resolved with a little (emphasis on little) action, and it quickly gets resolved with them in bed (or the bathtub, or kitchen table, lol). Anything that isn’t that generates impatience.

      • authorguy says:

        To me fan fiction should at least resemble the show it written about. If the story is truly written by the author to continue the story and characters that he is perceiving, then fine (although I personally may not see the story in that way and may not particularly like the fictions that result). (The rest of what I say below assumes a certain congruence between our experiences of the show, to avoid this issue.)
        By definition OCs violate that idea, but as long as they exist to support the MCs I can see a purpose to them that allows the story to still be called fan fiction. Chuck the Pinkerton man, or a HS student, is as much an OC as Mike Jones the Fulcrum boss, and more uninteresting. Mike Jones at least can be used to highlight Chuck and/or Sarah’s characters (i.e., ‘make the story interesting’, to use your phrase), which AU Chucks and Sarahs can never do. The more Mike does so, the more acceptable it is that he exist in the first place. I can accept that Mike may be interesting in his own right but at that point the story ceases to be fan fiction. A lot of them are still interesting, and excellent stories, but I have trouble with the label.
        I’m also pretty impatient with anything that keeps them apart. Dettiot lost me as a reader when she started her Moscow story, once again keeping C&S from getting together. There’s no reason not to let the leads get together except lazy writing. It takes work to keep those stories interesting, but that’s no reason not to do it. They just meet different challenges, like ‘staying together’ instead of ‘getting together’. Many fanfics lose me as much for being trite rehashes as for being too AU.

      • atcDave says:

        I don’t completely object to “non-standard” versions of Chuck or Sarah. That is making one or two significant character or background changes. I even like many stories that over emphasize certain issues. In fact, given the write by committee way the show was written, the canon characters aren’t always even completely consistent either.
        But in the end, they need to be recognizable to me. I need to believe it is Zac and Yvonne as Chuck and Sarah; or my interest in reading quickly ebbs.

    • atcDave says:

      Obviously the main reason most readers turn to fan fiction is to spend more time with their favorite characters. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a well handled OC, I think there’s many that have come from fan fiction that are very popular in their own way, including both friends and enemies.

      I can’t really speak for how patient readers might be in general and I certainly don’t need explicit sex scenes in a story; but as I said before, Chuck and Sarah together is the primary draw both to the show and fan fiction. I look back at the very oldest piece on my favorites list; “Of Stars and Spies and Birthday Wishes” by Brickroad16. Its really not even a romance, its more of a friendship piece, but its heartwarming and sweet, and exactly the sort of thing I like best for a Charah story.

    • bigfan22 says:

      Hey Bill,

      The main reason I wanted to write an OC, is because I just wanted to be new. There are so many fantastic stories in the Chuck community, I wanted to try writing one that wasn’t present in the community already. If I’m not mistaken, we have no stories where Chuck not only joins the Ring, but now his ingenuity and outside the box thinking, is helping the Ring win the war.

      This story is the first thing I’ve ever written in my life, that wasn’t an essay for school. The Michael character’s backstory took me around 3 weeks to create. Not sure if that is good or bad time wise, but I actually created so much backstory, it evolved into a few chapters.

      Man….there is a Chuck author forum? Dang. I went through all the Chuck forums on fanfiction, trying to get advice for my story, and it seemed like the forums were all dead. Where can I read this Bill?

      Your right. Since Chuck and Sarah have already been created, we know how they should be in a certain situation. Now a writer can write them OOC, but that may upset certain readers. While writing T.o.W, I wanted to be a true to the characters as possible(I mean this for their emotional state, and not their physical appearance).

      I’m not sure I’m good enough to be published….that would take a writer like you, Frea, or one of the other heavy hitters in the Chuck community. The one thing I do have….is a fantastic imagination. Hopefully T.o.W will show readers just that.

      I hope you get a chance to read T.o.W Bill….it’s actually because of you that I started writing it. After I read through all of your stories, I started reading CoL remastered. It is such an incredible story…I love it. Since it’s not complete, my imagination began to go wild, while I was waiting for the next chapter to come out.

      • authorguy says:

        In ‘To Live, Love, and Die in Paris’, Chuck stays with Hannah, becomes the Ring Leader’s protege, and ultimately takes over, trying to make it legitimate. It’s the only one I know where he joins the Ring willingly. I think there are others where he is duped or drugged, but I don’t remember them enough to say.

      • I fondly remember how that treacherous old bastard split TLLADIP, one side being the one that OM finished with Chuck and Hannah while the one I really wanted to see finished had chuck drugged and then dropped off, with a oddly disguised Sarah, on a desert island. I thought about maybe trying to finish that side but could never find the chapters that APR had finished and had been posted. Probably for the best since this current block seems to show no signs, except for very brief flashes, of clearing. JT

  4. BillAtWork says:

    Dave,

    I’m not sure if you know. But I have something of an influence on Family Matters. I’m as proud of that story as anything I’ve done. Lucky47 trade scenes via email all the time. A lot of her stuff makes it into my stories. I stopped asking her to beta CoL when it got more adult. Something about a 50 something man asking a 20 something woman to comment on fairly explicit sex scenes seemed a little obscene to me. 🙂

    There is a particular scene that I sent her that I’m dying to make a BillAtWork one shot. I’m just not sure if Lucky47 is going to use it yet, but I don’t think so.

    Sarah and Ellie are tense. Ellie doesn’t think that Sarah is serious about Chuck and doesn’t want him to get hurt. So Sarah, in a desperate attempt to bond with Ellie, invites her out for drinks. Her plan is to get Ellie sloppy drunk and hopefully open up. But Sarah doesn’t realize that Ellie is basically immune to alcohol. So Sarah quickly gets on her ass drunk and really starts to open up to Ellie.

    It would take a little work to make it make sense outside of Family Matters.

    • atcDave says:

      Yeah I knew you worked with Lucky47 Bill. She sure has told a fun story, thank you for being a part of that. Funny about the content issues.
      The idea of tipsy Sarah is a little amusing. Especially if she gets too open with Ellie.

    • uplink2 says:

      Bill, what is the status of Family Matters? I know her updates are very slow but it seemed like it was nearing completion and I was hoping we would get those final chapters.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Uplink,

        I think that you can count on Family Matters being completed. Lucky47’s real life is pretty busy. She keeps telling me that she has a chapter ready for me to look at. But something always comes up.

        I’ll remind her right now. 🙂

        NE71 is one of my favorite authors. His writing is always witty and fun.

        Of course BrickRoad is one of my best friends. And she is brilliant. She honestly has a chance to go ‘pro.’ But she has a style. And she doesn’t necessarily have someone like me in mind when she is writing, lol. She doesn’t like tension or bad guys. She is very defensive of Bryce and Cole, hates it when people try and make them villains, and her Charah is usually more emotionally connecting as friends than as lovers. But she can write the characters better than anyone I know. The way we did Long Brick Road and Long Road Home is that I would write the chapter and then send it to her. I was usually several chapters ahead of her so the plot was pretty set. She would go through and make her changes. When I looked at the finished product, it was amazing. Most of the words were mine. But it didn’t feel anything like one of my stories.

      • atcDave says:

        It’s funny Brickroad would be a big Bryce fan; Sarah breaking his nose in “Superpowers and Superspies” is one of my all time favorite treatments of him!

      • BillAtWork says:

        Actually, Dave, I think that Sarah breaking Bryce’s nose was me, lol. BR doesn’t take a lot of my suggestions, our styles are polar opposites. But S&S and Seven Times were the 2 that I had some input on.

      • atcDave says:

        Well good job! I really like S&S a lot. Seven times is good too, but S&S is a standout to me.

  5. authorguy says:

    I’ve been digging through the archives for a while now, looking for good stories from way back when. I discovered Liam2 and added him to my favorite authors list (his Fight Night is hysterical, especially when we have Phase Three to back it up), and stories like the Hitchhiker, a wonderful bit of Charah with ghostly assistance, are on my fave stories list. I’m also waiting for more Route 66, the last I saw they were trying to outrun a tornado with a busload of kids!
    As a bit of an aside, the title for my current work isn’t entirely accurate, since ff.net doesn’t allow certain characters in the title. I’m calling it ‘nine2five 2.1’, but the dot was deleted. I’ll change it to nine2five 2,1 in the future. I break the stories up into individual units since the tone of the stories change and I don’t want to be stuck with just the one label. Snake in the Grass is my version of the Anniversary, more Charah than my usual style, but there isn’t really a lot of plot so that’s OK. I’ve been collecting some of the complaints about S4 from the rewatch here (such as the lying to Ellie and Sarah), and I’m trying to correct them there. I’m giving the Gretas a bigger role as well, just for fun.
    One more thing to back up what Dave said, in addition to the comments (of which I get few and I appreciate and reply to every one), there is also a button for sharing stories by link to Twitter and Facebook, etc. I try to use it whenever I can, but I don’t know how many people even know it’s there, much less use it.

    • BillAtWork says:

      I was working with Liam2 on one of his stories, Road To Innocence. A lot of people bailed on it because it started off really angsty with C/S in a really bad place. But if romantic Charah (is there any other kind?) is your thing, it was going to get really, really good.

      It’s a shame that the story was abandoned because what we had planned had me (I still am) as excited as for any other Chuck plot I’ve heard.

      • authorguy says:

        I’ve often wondered why great stories get abandoned. Does the show overtake the story? Did they lose interest in S3? I don’t read a lot of great stories simply because they’re unfinished. The better they are, the more painful it is to be left hanging.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah a lot of really good stories get dropped. “The Rome Assignment” is another that comes to mind.
        I think all those things you mention can play into it Marc. We also hear of writer’s real life experiences derailing their plans (like a new job or school). Some are discouraged by bad reviews. And I think some just run afoul of writer’s block.

      • garnet says:

        And sadly the death of several FF writers has had an impact as well. I am thinking of APR, Esardi, and OM.

        On a happier note, Frea has returned to the Chuckverse with My Girl Sarah. A 40’s Detective story.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I would include PassionOverMind. She was 19 when she was killed in a car accident. It was always amazing. Whenever I’d post a chapter, I’d get her review at the same time that I got the email announcing the chapter. I always wondered how she could read it that fast.

        I really miss Esardi. He was uncanny about guessing where my story was going. And since deception is my favorite thing, that was pretty impresive tp me.

      • garnet says:

        Also, if you enjoy period stories, and whodunnits, Jason75 has a nice story that is now complete…Long Island Debutante. I have to say I enjoyed it, and jason reports the possibility of more stories in this AU.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I’ve recommended “Long Island Debutant” here before, it really is a ton of fun. And bonus points for being complete!

      • garnet says:

        I have to admit that one of my first actions when I see a story is to see if it is complete. If it looks promising and has had updates recently (and there is a track record of completed stories) I’ll give some works in progress a try, but it’s more likely I’ll give them a pass….Unfortunately I am running out of completed works to read, and I am looking at taking more chances on stories.

        If you are looking for an angst fest with mainly happy endings I’d suggest Armidillio’s stories, but don’t read them all in a week it will leave you in a bit of a bad mood (trust me I know)

      • uplink2 says:

        I still think his one shot Tuesday is his best work and one of the best pieces of Chuck FF ever.

        My biggest issue with his work is that he just couldn’t let up on the angst. There were many points that a number of his stories had perfect places to end on yet he had to cripple Chuck or Sarah one or five more times lol. The biggest disappointment was Green Eyed Girl I think where he spent like 6 chapters on Charina that I had no interest in when the story had a perfect place to end prior to that.

      • uplink2 says:

        Bill, I really miss him as well. He had such a knack for finding my plot holes and pointing them out to me before I made a fool of myself publishing. He was a great source for me to run ideas by. Many times his reviews were even better reading than the chapters they were in reference to. No one wrote a better flaming review than esardi lol. It will always bother me that he never got to see the completed story he played such a big part in developing. My only saving grace is that he got to read the chapter where Shaw got his bollocks shot off! 😉

      • Garnet, yay! it’s nice that people are happy to see me again, but My Girl Sarah isn’t just mine. It’s mxpw’s return, too. I know his sense of fashion isn’t as high-class as mine (he’s jealous, really), but let’s give him props where props are due. 🙂

      • garnet says:

        Sorry to have missed mxpw. I know I am not alone in welcoming him back. I have read the author’s notes, but not recently enought for it to have been top of mind. ,Now if only he would consider telling us what Bryce has been up to…..:) For the record I really appreciate the frequent updates to My Girl.

      • Oh, he’s told me exactly what Bryce is up to. And it’s really fascinating stuff. Like, I think you’ll really like the part where…oh, wait, I’m not supposed to share. 🙂

        It’s been fun to update as often as we have on MGS. From now on, I’m not posting something until it’s 95% complete. As annoying as it is for readers to have a story stop in the middle, it’s 200 times worse for authors.

      • oldresorter says:

        Thx Garnet and Dave for the LID mention. Funny that a few mention writing on the fly vs writing to near complete b4 releasing. LID was going to be a six chapter fun little Thin Man tribute. I probably spent less than an hour on the first chapter b4 releasing it, with a paper thin outline of the story. The Other Guy, Jill, Missy, Sarah, Chuck scene in the park was supposed to be the final scene. I ended up with 27 chapters and told two whodunnits, so I’m in the writing as I go camp. I think the big drawback to my style, as the story gets longer, there is so much story out there to stay true to, that ‘finishing’ gets harder. I finally dropped a few story lines, simply because the story grew exponentially out of control at some point. I wonder if that is true of TV seasons too, especially those that don’t rely heavily on the plot of the week style?

        I’m pretty close to releasing Ch 1 of The Charles vs Murder on the West Coast Express, a ‘Honeymooners meets Agatha Christie’ type story. Although it’s a sequal to LID, it should not require reading LID to enjoy. This too is planned as a six chapter fun little Honeymooners tribute, with the ending very much in sight as I begin. We’ll see how it ends up, as it has all the elements in place to become a twenty something chapter ‘double feature’.

        I love reading all the Chuck fanfic luminaries weighing in on the topic, thx to Dave for keeping fanfic part of the Chuckthis blog.

      • atcDave says:

        I’m going to guess A LOT of ff writers work with little or no outline. Sometimes its obvious to the reader, but often, especially with something that’s fast paced and fun without a very complicated story, that all works out fine.
        I’d say for a hobbyist writer its all about enjoying what you do, so if it works for you that way its no issue. Although I would guess working without an outline makes you more vulnerable to writer’s block, just because you’re more likely to get stuck with no clear way out.
        Jason I would admit to being very excited to see how well your style fit with a Thin Man tribute story. It was just a great match and made for a good read. I look forward to another installment.
        And I do expect fan fiction will be a part of this site as long as we exist. At this point, its a pretty big part of the whole Chuck experience. And until we hear word of a movie, its the only new Chuck material we will see.

      • jam says:

        How come only garnet has mentioned My Girl Sarah by Frea O and mxpw? If there’s one story everyone should be reading it is this one.

        I am not too familiar with mxpw’s own writings, but apparently a lot of people *really* liked Double Agent. When I first got into reading Chuck fic the story had already been over a year without updates, so I haven’t dared to start reading it. Hopefully it gets finished someday, I’d love to check it out then. Frea, of course, is in a class of her own when it comes to fanfic writers… everyone should read this collaboration!

      • authorguy says:

        To be honest, while the writing was good I’m just a little burnt out on Chuck the Detective type stories. I just started Biggest Loser and I’m enjoying it, but a lot of the stories and authors that lots of people are gaga over just don’t do it for me. Sound of Music 2 is coming to an end, so I’ll stick around for that. BillAtWork’s story is up and funning, I have to add that one to my favorite’s list. One of my big problems with the fanfiction is that I read a lot of it on my iPhone and logging in to comment and favorite stuff is a real pain.
        BTW, in case anyone’s interested, I just posted chapter 3 of Snake in the Grass this morning.

  6. ersk4 says:

    Your comments above about Liam2 and Lucky47 made me think for a moment that they were actually going to continue and/or finish “Road To Innocence” and “Family Matters.” Don’t get my hopes up! I once wrote a piece on why Fan Fiction writers stop writing and it was published here. It had all of those reasons above and then some. And unfortunately, a lot of good stories never get finished. And in regards to some story recommendations (other than ones that already have huge followings)….”Chuck Vs. The Charade” by SomeDeepMystery is one that I really enjoyed and highly recommend. And I would also encourage people to check out “Tides of War” by bigfan22. It’s definitely worth it.

    • atcDave says:

      I almost linked back to your post ersk when this topic came up. But then I got lazy thinking about our archives…
      Do remember what month and year that was?!

      • ersk4 says:

        No, I’m afraid I don’t. I tried to find that string of emails that we exchanged during that time to narrow down the date. But they were all gone. I do still have that article in Text or Word format if you’d a copy.

      • atcDave says:

        Ah! I still have the PMs! That narrows it down. I’ll suss it out when I get some time.

    • noblz says:

      I really liked your work. Super Spy, Beguiling Behavior and Jill Ride were fantastic.

      How apropos was Missing Memories (which was also fantastic) now that we’ve seen the finale, you gave amnesia to the wrong one.

      Your fic could be the setting for a movie, just sub Sarah for Chuck.

      • atcDave says:

        I’ve mentioned before, Ersk has the best percent of favorites from me of any writer with over five stories. Yes, I keep track like its a sport (NV doesn’t count ’cause three of his stories are really one!).

      • ersk4 says:

        Thank you! I’m so glad that you enjoyed those stories. Missing Memories was one of the first works I did. In looking back, I wish I had stretched it out more and made it longer. But I was learning at the time!

      • atcDave says:

        Interesting. Maybe lengthen the actual mystery element of it? No doubt that part was pretty simple. But then that isn’t really the hook of the story either; I think what works is Chuck’s exploration of a life he can’t recognize as his own. I’m not sure that could be played much further though. Of course there’s always the “falling in love all over again” idea. What the show set up but failed to deliver in the finale. It certainly could be fun to pursue that, falling in love with wife and realizing just how well he’d done for himself.

        Maybe we can get another writer doing “remastered” versions of his classics!

  7. uplink2 says:

    Sorry to be a little late to the party here. But I also have to recommend Tides of War. I really like that story, have from the beginning and found the OC, Michae,l one of the most engaging OC’s I have seen in Chuck FF. It is so well written and I was so emotionally engaged in his back story. I am so rooting for him as the story moves along. It is a very difficult thing to get us to care about an OC but bigfan22, you really did an amazing job of pulling me in to his story. I also love the long chapters though that can be a challenge for new readers.

    Another recommendation I have is The Choices We Make by mssupertigz. She just posted the final chapter and it is a very intense and engaging ending to a fantastic story. Very few writers make me think as much about their intricate plotting as she does. I love all her work. It is something you have to think about when you read it and I love that.

    For pure Charah fun that you shuoldn’t take to seriously I’d also recommend Chuck vs The Biggest loser. It’s an over the top premise but if you like Thereisanother’s Charah you will like this one too.

    It’s funny the hobby is going through spits and spurts right now. Low activity and then a resurgence. Great to see so many good authors coming back. Certainly reviews are down but I guess that is to be expected. I’ve never been one who wrote to reviews but they are fun to get and make the effort worth it. I hate to see a new author in particular getting no of just a few reviews. Believe me I was thrilled the first time I got them and all authors and new ones in particular need the encouragement.

    I’m also really looking forward to NE71’s sequel to Chuck vs Fulcrum. Can’t wait for that to show up.

    • bigfan22 says:

      Thank you again for the recommendation Uplink. It feels good that a writer of your quality would enjoy the story so much. Definitely makes me want to write the sequel(which I am planning to do).

      I also look forward to NE71’s sequel to Chuck vs Fulcrum. The entire story is very well written, but I really enjoy the dialogue he writes.

    • uplink2 says:

      Hey you deserve the praise and thank you so much for the undeserved compliment. It’s such a great story.

  8. Just a quick note to let y’all know that OM is still hanging in there. Just got an email so I thought I’d report that the news of his passing was regretfully premature. I can’t say for sure but I get the feeling that he’s close and I’d encourage any one who’s enjoyed any of his stories to drop him a line and let him know.
    I have to agree with all of the suggestions listed above. There are of course many more that could be added to the list but I’ll leave the thrill of discovery(or re-discovery) to readers. I’m thrilled when I get a favorite/follow/review from someone who’s just discovered the great world of Chuck FF. JT aka Jaytoyz

  9. uplink2 says:

    Also want to throw out a recommendation for dettiot’s Two Sides of the Same Coin. It’s in the M folder but I don’t think it needed to be. It just gives her some freedom the story needed. It is such an interesting take and IMO the first chapter of this story may be the best first chapter I have ever read. If you haven’t read it then please give yourself a treat.

    • uplink2 says:

      Also much of dettiot’s and Steampunk’s work can be read early on Tumblr. I’d recommend getting an account there and following them both for some early updates. Steampunk, (VictoriaNoir) just published the second chapter of the second arc of Detective and damn there was a ton of dust in the room all of a sudden as I was reading it. ;). Those 2 really know how to write emotional chapters.

  10. bigfan22 says:

    JT…I would like to second the request for BLDBAL. When I first clicked on it, I must have been half asleep, because I thought it said complete. When I got to the last chapter, I was stunned. I couldn’t believe the story wasn’t done. I have to say…you are a fantastic writer. I would love to see how this story ends. Should you find the time to get back to some of your unfinished works, I hope this one will be at the top of the list.

  11. Angus MacNab says:

    atcDave said: “Obviously the main reason most readers turn to fan fiction is to spend more time with their favorite characters.”

    The ending of Chuck is precisely what brought me to fan fiction. I needed some closer. I needed to know Chuck and Sarah would be okay after the beach. After spending some time reading I decided to dip my toe into it and started writing Lost Years. It was cathartic, to say the least. I was very surprised how much the story consumed me, and how much better I felt after it was all said and done.

    Thank you for your mention of Chuck Versus the Lost Years, atcDave. I do appreciate it very, very much.

    • atcDave says:

      Well thank you for giving us such an awesome addition to the Chuckiverse, Angus!

      I think it is one absolute good thing that came from that ending, a resurgence of Chuck fan fiction. So much really good stuff was written in the aftermath.

  12. quiste64 says:

    Thank you for the recommendation, Dave, not only in this post, but all along as “Chuck vs. the Sound of Music II” progressed over the past year and a half. You have been a wonderful and enthusiastic supporter of the universe and for that, I can’t thank you enough.

    I’m so gratified to know readers have enjoyed the fusion of Chuck, Sarah and their kids with Sarah’s spy world. I appreciate everyone who has come along with me on this very long journey. I only hope the length of the story won’t deter those who haven’t read it yet from giving it a try. I like to think it doesn’t seem all that long and would be worth the time spent.

    • atcDave says:

      The length could be intimidating. But its such a fun read, and I think easy to enjoy either one chapter at a time or several in row, depending on the reader and time available.

      When we were talking about OCs above, the kids you created were one of the first things I thought of. They are endearing and have a life of their own, yet they never detract from the main characters we tune in to see. I think you hit exactly the right balance.

      I know I’m a bit of a cheerleader on this, I like being effusive about the stories (and other things!) that I like. So I’ll just leave it at saying, Thursdays when you update, have been something I’ve looked forward to for a year and a half now. I look forward to the end, but Thursdays will loose something special.

      • quiste64 says:

        Thanks, Dave. I feel the same way about Chuck and Sarah. They’re why I’m here. It’s been my joy to write a story where they are a couple in love and act like it. And I do love those kids. They’re so fun to write and because of them, I’ve had the opportunity to write a more open and fun Sarah and a more responsible and mature Chuck.

        I’m going to miss posting on Thursdays. I can’t promise anything, but I hope to return to this universe again in the future. But in the meantime, there’s another chapter posting this Thursday.

  13. oldresorter says:

    I’ll toss this in under fanfiction, it’s an article about football, TV and critics. I’ve been burned by trying to summarize thoughts of others, but I’ll say this article explores the good and bad of unbridled love along with the service or dis-service that the critics provide. While reading, I couldn’t quite help but think of Chuck’s 5 season vs the parameters of the article, in particular the varying interpretations that the various seasons received from varying POV’s. If anyone takes the time to read the article, be interesting to see what you think? Dave, if you ever take on the rating of seasons as a topic, some of this might provide a backdrop???

    • atcDave says:

      Link?

      • atcDave says:

        Thanks Jason, that’s a really interesting article. I think keeping a healthy balance in criticism is often a difficult thing. I’m maybe a little more okay with the idea of gushing fanboyism than the writer seems to be, and I see real problems with vocal haters. Balanced criticism may occasionally swing to either extreme, when the content warrants it, the important thing is maintaining the objectivity to criticize or praise as the content deserves.
        And as I’ve always maintained, the real value in occasionally being severe in one’s criticism is getting that message back to those responsible. Even if its too late change a finished product, those responsible need to know when a decision is well received or despised for future planning purposes.
        I do find it interesting how many of the thoughts we’ve hit here over the years were echoed in that article. Like how I think the enthusiastic praise of S2 may have led to the hubris that brought us S3. And how the harsh criticism of S3 may have led to the “safer” S4.
        Good stuff.

      • authorguy says:

        I wouldn’t call it hubris so much as overreaching themselves. The story was brilliant, but they couldn’t really write it, for whatever reason. It was also a story that needed to get told, so they had to try, even though they were also pretty much guaranteed to fail. They should have ignored the criticism of S3 and created an S4 that made more sense than the one they made does. The ‘safe’ version may be all pretty and taste good but it just doesn’t hold up. I’m only in episode 1 and I’m stumbling over plot flaws right and left.

      • atcDave says:

        Well you know we’ll never quite agree on much of that Marc. I would only agree with saying the story of Chuck coming of age as a spy needed to be told. But that story was overshadowed and undermined by JS’ affinity for love triangles ad nauseam. And that’s what I’ll always call a fatal hubris; he couldn’t actually tell the story he needed to because he was more interested in an unwanted and unneeded distraction.
        And I can’t quite agree on S4 either. Although I think the season could have had a little more edge, IF it weren’t for the burden of S3; I think the end product is satisfying and fun. Any criticism I have towards S4 is minor. Some staging (making Sarah look bad so Mary can have her moment) and casting (Vivian in particular) problems, but nothing major.

      • authorguy says:

        That’s partly why I said ‘for whatever reason’. The triangles were unnecessary, and pointing Shaw at Chuck and Hannah at Sarah was the better way to go, so that undermined the story. Keeping the Buy More and wasting time on B & C plots rather than a multi-dimensional A plot was a waste, but that was supposedly forced on them by the studio. It wasn’t hubris, though. They had to tell that story, but the telling was fatally flawed.
        S4 is much worse. It may be fun, but only because it doesn’t make much sense. Chuck and Morgan are off all over the world, and no one notices, neither Sarah nor Alex, or especially Ellie? For 6 months, without ever going home? And no surveillance by Beckman, when we know she’s aware of his job hunt? Chuck casually commits treason, when he sees his Mom mission run into Sarah’s national security issue (the Volkoff logo) and doesn’t tell her about it? I read comic books too, but Chuck could have been so much better than that.

      • atcDave says:

        Forced by the studio? I’ve never seen a scrap of documentation on that! When you read interviews immediately after S2 its obvious (in hindsight) JS was already thinking along those lines, before the show had even been renewed. It looks exactly like a JS signature sort of story arc, and I would be stunned if its genesis is anywhere else. The only sure studio/network interference we’ve ever heard of involves budget issues and the Buy More.
        I categorically disagree on S4 issues being worse. Just the opposite, they are trivial in comparison. But then I would say “fun” is the very highest thing a show like Chuck can or should strive for. To me, that is the defining trait and reason for its existence.

      • authorguy says:

        I was referring to the Buy More as being pushed on them from above. No doubt JS is responsible for the love triangles all on his own.
        Trivial? Not when I have to spend twice as long (compared to an S3 episode) reworking the logic to make an S4 episode work and make sense. With as S3 I was flying, with S4 I’m crawling. As for fun, a story that lacks internal coherence cannot be fun, pretty much by definition. It’s like nails on a chalkboard, regardless of whether the chalkboard looks pretty or not. The only things that work are the Charah bits, but finding a story to attach them to is a real job.

      • uplink2 says:

        Really interesting article. I agree with a lot of his positions but I’ve never watched Breaking Bad though I agree with him that The Wire was the finest show I have ever seen on TV.

        I do think that the article does play into the situation with Chuck. I also agree with you Dave that it was absolutely hubris on the part of Schwartz in particular. The worship he saw with season 2 led him to believe he could do no wrong (hello RGIII) His stunned reaction when fans didn’t kiss his feet at Comicon 2009 and the incredible arrogance of his post Mask damage control interview reek of hubris, at least to me. Just after Comicon there was plenty of time to have fixed much of the worst parts of S3 but instead they insisted on going through with the doomed to failure OLI storylines. “It’s going to be great” well sorry Josh, not even close. I think the incredibly visceral nature of the criticism is much of why they swung too far in S4. The storyline wasn’t just disliked, it was despised on an intensely emotional level. I kind of agree with Mark that the spy story needed to be told but the problem was, that wasn’t the story they wanted to tell us. They wanted to tell us the OLI story and loosely wrapped it in the spy story with what ultimately became a totally irrelevant reveal of Sarah killing Eve. Fedak once said that they didn’t put Shaw in there just to be the other guy. But the problem is that is exactly what they did. The Shaw spy story was meaningless and irrelevant. It was all about the threat to the relationship caused by another round of OLI’s. Does anyone at all care about Shaw the spy, Sarah killing Eve or the absurdity of the Red Test? The OLI’s were the story and it was bitterly rejected. The important spy story simply gets lost and overshadowed by it.

        Now because of that visceral hatred, they over reacted but IMO still told an enjoyable story. It simply doesn’t stand up all that well to deep analysis but is sure was a lot of fun to watch.

      • authorguy says:

        I wouldn’t say that the spy story needed to be told. In my opinion one of the things that’s wrong with S3 was that they told a spy story. Chuck should never have wanted that. The spy story could have been used to highlight the love story, though, and that’s what they should have done. C&S were in no way ready for a relationship at the end of S2, and S3 had to be about them becoming so, the story they needed to tell. No way could they have just stepped from Ring into Honeymooners.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I’m really not trying to start a fight. But I’ve heard that way too many times. And every time I scratch my head. Exactly what did S3 teach Chuck or Sarah that prepared them for a lifetime relationship? In fact, from a relationship pov, you could delete every episode from Pink Slip to Other Guy and not have missed a single beat.

        It was pure wt/wt for wt/wt’s sake. It was Moonlighting curse. It was you never put the leads together. And that’s all it was. Trying to claim anything else borders on silly to me.

      • atcDave says:

        Uplink as always, very well put, I agree with all of that.

        And Marc, well, not even close. I would have been fine with a gradually maturing relationship over the course of S3. BUT, I would have been infinitely more satisfied with straight from Ring to Honeymooners than I was with what was delivered. And I just don’t believe that Sarah changed one iota over the front arc of S3, she ended exactly where she began. Which makes it literally pointless from a Sarah perspective. I would buy that Chuck matured in some ways (professional ONLY) in the front arc, but absolutely nothing that would have precluding a romance right from 3.01.

      • oldresorter says:

        3 things I got out of the article not mentioned, at least I think not mentioned yet:

        1 – The show Chuck was alot like Brett Favre’s career, with john Madden as his main media cheerleader. Does that make Sepinwall Chuck’s Madden? I might be the only blogger who lived daily with both phenomenon (Favre and Chuck), and I have to tell you all, that anology is rock solid. Favre was worshiped like a pagan god in Wisconsin in the first half of his career, and if you bring him up now in Wisconsin, no topic can start a fight quicker.

        2 – The extremes are at fault, nobody / nothing is that good – Favre, Breaking Bad or Chuck Seasons 1 or 2 or anything else Chuck and nothing is that bad either – i.e. Favre’s later years or Chuck s3 or anything else Chuck. (Except of course the Honeymooners episode of Chuck, an the Pilot, and Delorean, OK I’m LOL’ing now!)

        3 – The discourse resulting in criticism often motivates entities, Tom Brady was used as an example, as well as several TV shows that the writer felt the critics helped make great. Maybe the Chuck fan base response about s3 made the s4/5 story much ‘nicer’ than had people been silent, otherwise we might have had several new CS (and old) lovers each season, breakups, cheating, who knows what else? this way, after the misery arc, we had none. For all we know, Honeymooners WAS the response to the critics, and without such a severe fan base reaction, we’d have gotten six more angsty episodes following ‘Other Guy’ and more of the same if any seasons followed.

      • BillAtWork says:

        But OldSorter. Had they done several more rounds of angst,they would bo longer have a show. They knew that. S4 wasn’t ‘make nice with the base.’ It was self preservation. They simply didn’t (and still don’t) understand their audience. If they did, S3 would have started with Honeymooers and S4 would have been the spy story of some big bad threatening civilization that only Team B with Intersect 2.0 could stop.

        WT/WT had expired as a legitimate story at Colonel. The fact that they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) make the transition from wt/wt to in love couple against the world shows the limits of their vision.

        It’s why a show with such a devoted fan base, and two stars with such incredible chemistry is no longer on the air. Let’s tell the truth. Chris Fedak was over his head. And in fairness, we all would be as well. But his story often bordered on farce.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I think Honeymooners was long in the can before things really hit the fan, so I don’t believe it was a particular response to criticism.

        But S4, yeah absolutely. I particularly think the no secrets, no lies pledge was a direct response to the remaining complaints in S3.5. And you may be right about some of the other things too. Who knows if we might have seen the return of Jill, or Hannah, or who knows what without the outcry over S3.
        I actually feel really good about the impact we fans (and some professional critics!) had on S4. It proves to me that feedback can work. And I do give CF a lot of credit for responding so well to that feedback.

      • oldresorter says:

        Dave – we didn’t even have a 14th ep until afte 3×1 aired, so I’m not so sure the style of honeymooners wasn’t affected – it certainly wasn’t in the can at comicon for example. Plus, honeymooners and role models felt shoe horned into s3, like they didn’t belong in s3 at all, they were s4 episodes really. The last 4 eps of s3 went back to the darker, uglier show. I disliked those 4 almost as much as any ep of Chuck not in the first 12 eps of s3.

        Bill – I’m all in about honeymooners saving Chuck, unfortunately, Honeymooners was NOT the Chuck the writers wanted to write about. I stick by saying the story direction might have been affected / motivated by the critical fan reaction to s3, just as the writer said and its possible those last six had been much more different without the criticism starting already at Comicon.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Okay, OldResorter (too long of a handle, lol)

        Yes, I misunderstood you. You’re absolutely right. They clearly responded to the uproar even before S3 began. They knew they were in trouble. They had Sepinwal’s ‘calm down’ interview ready to go right after Mask.

        It would be the first time they responded. Remember JS before S2? “We’re going to own the relationship.” That was a direct result of the mood after S1. I believe (with no way to prove it) that the late back order caused them to put the brakes on the relationship a bit and the original 13 would have been even more fluffy.

        And Dave, I think they were shooting Honeymooners about Bread time. Zac did a live webcam from the train set.

      • atcDave says:

        Jason I think they really remained in denial of a problem until the season actually started to air. They started production of Pink Slip immediately after Comic Con, and we know they extended Routh’s contract twice after that. I’m not sure what all the process was that led to a payoff episode like Honeymooners, but as you observed, they went back to a darker mood for much of the back arc too (although I don’t seem to be nearly as down on those episodes as you are!). So I really don’t think the lessons were learned until it was too late for S3. But I do believe they applied their lessons aggressively for S4.

      • atcDave says:

        Bill they shot Honeymooners in Jan/Feb of 2010. Sorry, I can’t decipher “Bread time”! We saw clips of it and Role Models during the Olympics break in February.
        But it was shortly after the season started airing, and before what’s commonly considered the Chuckpocolypse.
        I just don’t think they had real regrets about their story until after Mask ran. They SHOULD have known better from Comic Con on. But what I call hubris is pursuing that story idea after that point, when they should have known better.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Bread is Bill’s finger’s version of Beard.

        I don’t know about January. I remember well the Zac live webcam, because we all saw the wedding of Yvonne’s hand between scenes and it started a firestorm of speculation. When was the Olimpic break, between which episodes? I’m going to see if i can find old emails that would date it.

        But I do think they had serious, maybe not regrets, but sick stomach’s. JS did an interview before S3 even started promising that C/S would soon be resolved, asking for patience, and promised no wt/wt fatigue. I think they were nervous.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I agree they were nervous; with good cause!

        The Olympics break was the last half of February, right after Mask. Just terrible timing. We definitely saw clips from Role Models then, but it is possible (likely even) they were brand spankin’ new at the time.
        And it was our busiest time at this blog by far! Almost 6000 hits a couple days during that break.

        I was giving you hard time about Beard. I love the typos that spell check can’t help with. Almost as much fun as some of the auto-correct strangeness.

      • BillAtWork says:

        You’re right (damn, I hate that, lol). Zac’s live webcam was Jan 29th. I’m thinking of the French spoiler that was around Beard (or Bread according to my fingers).

      • uplink2 says:

        You know it’s still really funny, well sad actually, how out of touch they were with what was really going on, with how folks saw what they were doing so poorly. They absolutely had the post Mask damage control interview cued up long before that one poster in Sepinwall’s blog commented about boycotting the show. But the problem was they came off as incredibly arrogant in Schwartz’s case and clueless in Fedak’s case. Fedak’s interviews with Mo Ryan around Other Guy still had him trying to defend the Sarah/Shaw story, that “On any other spy show they would be a couple and the heroes of the show”. The rest of his comments have been posted many times but I really don’t think he and I were watching the same show. They also tried for a long time to blame the 3 week layoff between Mask and Fake Name as well. From what I’ve read the Mask hatred started the minute it finished airing and the 3 weeks had little to do with anything. They just made the agony worse. The first time they at least hedge that they screwed up publicly was the 2010 Comicon. Plus we all know those leaks were intentional to try and quell the masses.

      • uplink2 says:

        I found this comment reading that Comicon 2009 interview with Mo Ryan and Schwedak that was incredibly negative in the comments section. Talk about being prophetic.

        “Hmmmm yeah, whenever they talk about bringing in new love interests for the two characters it definitely makes me a bit nervous, cause you always run the risk of a couple things by doing that too often:

        a) Making it way too contrived, as if the writers are obviously just looking for more and more reasons to keep them apart, and/or
        b) Ending up with a storyline where one of the characters does something uncharacteristically bad or callous to the other one, to the point where you don’t even LIKE one or both of the characters anymore. THAT is the worst thing that can happen and I’ve seen it happen on a few shows before.”

        Posted by: R | July 27, 2009 at 01:28 AM

        Well this person was dead nuts on. Unfortunately they did BOTH A and in particular B.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah that’s funny Uplink, perfect.

      • uplink2 says:

        Should have included this link. Anyone interested in the history should read these comments. This was before 1 frame of video was shot for season 3. If after reading this and everything else that was going on in Chuckland they still went through with the OLI stories, absolutely it reeks of hubris. They wanted the WTWT storyline and thought they could pull it off one more time but they were fighting a losing battle before they even began. Add in Routh and they got exactly what these folks were predicting 6 months before it even aired.

        http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2009/07/chuck-vs-season-3-whats-coming-next-on-the-spy-dramedy.html

      • BillAtWork says:

        Uplink, thank’s for the… well, the uplink, lol.

        My theory is that by this time they absolutely knew there would be hell to pay. But in their minds they didn’t have any choice. Things had already been pitched to the network and studio, guest stars were already being lined up, etc.

        So they tried to soften the hell they would have to pay. JS gave interviews before the season even started asking for patience and promising a huge payoff. Sepinwal’s post Mask interview came out so quickly that it plainly had to have been pre arrainged. And they intentionally leaked things to make everyone know what the plans were.

        We’ll probably never know, but I think it’s possible, even probable, that they softened some things because of the outcry. It could have been much worse. And maybe that’s why Mask seemed so abrupt. Sarah went from not trusting or liking this dude, to being with him and telling him her real name in about 30 minutes of air time.

      • uplink2 says:

        Bill, what I find amazing is how absolutely dead on “R’s” comment was to that interview. Their biggest fear is exactly what happened to the “T”. It’s like they had been in the writers room and weren’t happy at all with what they were hearing. The follow up damage control interview with Mo is a little less direct in the wrath of the commenters but still folks were not happy one bit. About a month later they released the Ali “love love, trust us” video which I found rather offensive when I saw it for the first time that following summer once I came into the online Chuck world. That at least shows they were well aware of the fact they had a big problem very early on. Maybe they softened it and maybe they made it worse, we’ll never know but they certainly were aware they had a huge problem on their hands before they even shot their first frame of video.

      • atcDave says:

        I still think they only “knew they had a problem” with a certain portion of the fandom (‘shippers). And I think they were convinced we would all be dazzled by the brilliance of the actual story. I don’t think they knew the problem would more widespread until they were already in the maelstrom.
        If they really believed they had a problem during production, they would have fixed it. Look at something like KateMcK’s “Chuck vs The Fight” and see how easily they could have bailed out on that arc AT ANY POINT prior to the end. And I think if they really knew it was going to be so ugly, that’s exactly what they would have done.
        I still remember Zac and JS, at different times, gushing over how awesome it was and how much we were all going to love it. And I completely believe they believed that. They knew they had to convince some of us. But I think they believed they could do it. I don’t believe it was until Mask that they knew the problems were much more serious and widespread.

      • BillAtWork says:

        No way to ever know. Even if they came out and said something, it wouldn’t prove anything to me. Their lips would be moving when they said it.

        I do think that it proves they didn’t understand their audience. S3 might have worked with Gossip Girl or The OC. The Chuck audience was different.

        And anyone who was on the NBC forum knows that we were generally predicting this problem as
        early as S1. They put them together too fast. Wt/wt had a definite shelf life with their audience. They reset them one time too many. They were simply not capible of transitioning from wt/wt to a mature couple fighting outside threats.

        It’s exactly why I write fanfic, to prove, if only to myself, that you can out them together, even have them fanatical about each other, and still tell exciting stories.

        Fedak, et al was never willing or able to do that.

        And when he stumbled upon that kind of episode (Phase Three) he was surprised at how well it was received.

      • uplink2 says:

        Probably Dave but I think it shows they never made the critical connection that R’s comment states so clearly. It really wasn’t the fact that they kept them apart, it was HOW they kept them apart that caused this to be a much bigger problem than just the “shippers”. I’m not sure they totally got that until maybe their comments in the 5 season Sepinwall interview. Maybe if that info about what was going on with the crew is accurate they realized it was far beyond just the shippers but for PR reasons and a bit of hubris they never admitted it till after the season and ultimately series ended. But I think the unfortunate part of that one posters comment about boycotting the show in the post Mask review page before they posted the damage control interview, was that it allowed them to put the focus on the “crazy shippers” as being the problem and not their storyline.

      • I’ve been following along and just had to add my two cents worth. No matter when they noticed that the direction was flawed, I believe that the ending showed that, ultimately, they just didn’t love their characters as much as the fans did. Just an old man’s opinion. JT

      • BillAtWork says:

        Uplink,

        I’ve grown to hate the term ‘shipper’. It has been taken by some bullies in the fandom and given a fanatical, almost crazy connotation… and then used to paint anyone who disagrees with them in any detail with that ‘crazy’ brush.

        So, yes, absolutely, there are a very vocal few in the fandom who would never be happy with anything except C/S in bed 24×7. I don’t think that reflects the main stream of the fandom. I do think that the love story was the main attraction for a majority of viewers. I think they knew that, they certainly wrote to it, marketed to it, and always spoke to it. I just think they miscalculated about how best to exploit it. They clearly thought they could get away with one more reset and a season of triangles. That was their fatal miscalculation. They were wrong.

        I had a long discussion with HitFixDaniel about fan entitlement. I’m actually surprised that he responded to me so many times. I asked him in what other product is the customer not entitled to dictate what it is that they like and don’t like? He kept bringing up the one person who, probably out of frustration, suggested a boycott. I dismissed that as never a main stream idea. And eventually, I think we pretty much agreed on things. But maybe he was just tired on talking, lol.

      • atcDave says:

        Bill, Uplink I agree with all of that.

        JS writing for teenage girls is kind of key to the issue. They did set a blazing fast pace for the relationship in general, and then chose a very clumsy cliche for drawing wt/wt out a season too long. I will concede they likely could have drawn things out so far by using better external obstacles, but they way the did it could never work. And I think the most obvious thing would have been to embrace their fast pace and make it a strength. As you said Bill, there were awesome stories to tell with the couple together, they didn’t make peace with that until too late.

        It is too bad the “boycott” comment was made. But you know, stupid comments are made by both sides in a discussion like this. I’m actually quite pleased with how well our complaints were aired, and I have no doubt it made a difference in Chuck and in the discussion about television romance.
        I remember a couple years ago seeing Nathan Fillion interviewed about Castle. He was asked about Castle and Beckett getting together, and he replied that was really something just for the show’s endgame. The interviewer then cited Chuck as an example that it didn’t have to be so. Nathan just shrugged it off and they moved to other topics. But look at how the show has actually gone since then. The writers DO notice what’s going on.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Dave, I agree with most of that. But here is where I disagree. Chuck is not a good example of debunking the Moonlighting curse. Because they never really put them together. They just shifted the narratve to the wt/wt aspects of being a couple, wt/wt get engaged, wt/wt get married, wt/wt/ start a family. It was lame. And it stopped being the engaging show I had fell in love with. Cute maybe, still enjoyable to watch… but only a shell of it’s former self.

        So I can definitely see the argument that the story ended in Other Guy. After that was simply epilog.

        To really put them together would have required that they transition to a different story. The relationship is no longer in doubt.

        They were never willing or able to do that.

      • atcDave says:

        Binky/JT I’m not sure that’s entirely true, but certainly HOW they love their characters is a little different from how much of the audience does. Surely as a writer you’re often aware that your perspective is very different from your readers, partly because you know what’s really going on and how things will play out.
        I think its also common for the writer to draw more enjoyment from an open ending, they tend to like the freedom of the blank page and what THEY can do with it. While most of us expect to be entertained and have the story fed to us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m firmly in the second group; I believe its their JOB to tell a good story through to a satisfying resolution. I just don’t don’t believe all the disconnect we/I felt in the end means they didn’t care about their characters.

        But I do agree looking at some of the decisions they made, especially S3 and the ending, show me that they were far more willing to use their characters as props to tell the story they wanted. While I think for many viewers the show was actually about the characters first, and would have preferred if the story always served the characters better, rather than the other way around.

      • BillAtWork says:

        I think that most of that argumant centers around the Sarah character. To most of us, we wanted her to be a co-equal character to Chuck.

        And let’s face it, she never was. She was mostly on the sidelines while Chuck became the hero. She was a prop to tell the hero’s journey story.

      • atcDave says:

        Bill we do just have a pretty basic disagreement on that. I think the last two seasons they pretty fully embraced the happy couple as the centerpiece of the show. I can always imagine things they could have maybe done different or better, but they pretty much delivered the product I wanted. Now I do get the feeling CF as a show runner would not have been content to leave the characters happy indefinitely, and I’ve been on record from way back saying for the show to continue they needed a new show runner. Someone who would let the show be a new Thin Man or Hart to Hart. I think I would have been very happy with the LaJudkins team in charge.

      • BillAtWork says:

        But here’s the deal, Dave. They tried to have it both ways, to split the difference. You can certainly point to parts of the last 2 seasons where they were showing times of being a mature couple. But too much of their narrative was the wt/wt aspects.

        Does a loving and mature person live with someone for a year and not unpack?

        Does a loving and mature person not tell her husband that he has a mother-in-law?

        Does she go off on a dangerous mission without telling her husband why? Especially since the story of her rescuing a baby years ago on a mission was certainly not controversial. They clearly tried to make that a relationship angst moment. Why would Sarah be horrified by Shaw asking her if Chuck knew about the baby? So what if he did know. He should have known. There is no excuse for him not knowing. They were clearly trying to give us the impression that Sarah had a deep dark secret that she was keeping from Chuck that would affect their relationship. It was a wt/wt moment.

        And splitting the difference made it not all that engaging.

      • atcDave says:

        Bill I do agree with that about Sarah, but I don’t feel quite as strongly. I think CF saw them as #1 and #2 characters in his story. While to many of us they were both #1. It was ordinarily not a problem, except in so many of the pivotal episodes Sarah was pushed aside (or handcuffed to something!) so Chuck could have his big moment alone. I find it more amusing than anything, but the legacy is, those big climax episodes (ahem, the CF episodes) just aren’t most of my favorites.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Dave,

        Here is what I think is the disconnect. Most people I know would feel that way. Chuck and Sarah would be #1 and #2. Or maybe even put Sarah as #1. she is by far the most interesting character. A lot of fanfic deals with Sarah’s pov and her core conflict.

        But I don’t think that CF saw it that way at all. Chuck was the central character. It was his story. There was a group, Sarah, Ellie, and Morgan who were Chuck’s main relationships. The love story was the most marketable of the three so Sarah might be a little higher in hsi mind. Then there were the main supporting characters of Casey, Devon, and Beckman. Finally came the Buy Morons and Big Mike.

      • oldresorter says:

        I watched a bit of xfiles, but gave up on it (I skipped ahead, and found the later eps woeful), but I’ve been watching Bones as of late (I’m early in the show) and find it delightful, very Castle-like. One thing that might help me with Bones or Chuck fans starting season one now, is I know almost to the ep when Bones and Booth pair up.

        I’m not sure if LI / PLI’s really ruin a show, its when the introduction stops the chemistry, flow, and electricity between the lead couple, thats when things ruin. In Chuck the chemistry was gone in s3, and to a certain extent, in those final two eps. Even on the beach, I felt nothing ‘electric’ between them ( a little spark, but not electricity), the scene didn’t move me the way it needed to. But for the 12 misery eps, the show became a different show, devoid of the banter, cleverness, mutual longing, etc that defines the wt/wt genre. I said a few days ago one of my fav misery arc scenes was the bickering in the museum b4 the drop down mission. S3 forgot what the show was built around, i.e. clever dialouge between Chuck and Sarah. It what near all these shows are built around.

        In Bones or Castle, even with LI’s / PLI’s or whatever else, the actual scenes with the leads hardly change, even at the worst of times the chemistry driven dialogue is outstanding. Now that might not be realistic while the lead couple are bedding other people, but in Chuck, we’re not talking about the most realistic TV show now are we?

      • uplink2 says:

        O.R. You bring up an interesting point about the beach scene. In the pilot what makes that beach scene so incredibly powerful and “electric” is to me at least, Yvonne’s performance. The look she gives Chuck when she asks him to trust her and the shoulder bump at the end are what makes it work. Chuck is simply lost and confused and to me it’s Sarah that dominates that scene and makes it so powerful. In the finale I don’t get that feeling from Chuck. He also comes across as lost which is understandable but it simply doesn’t play to Zack’s strength like the pilot scene plays to Yvonne’s. Plus we had no “shoulder bump” moment. The kiss is hopeful yes but it needed more. It needed the intensity of the chemistry between tham that Yvonne showed us so clearly in the pilot but I don’t think Zack did to that extent in the finale. We/I needed Yvonne to give us that moment, that look, that intensity after the kiss that we never got.

      • BillAtWork says:

        To those who liked the finale, I have this question. If NBC had changed their minds and ordered a sixth season, whould we have gotten that ambiguous ending? I don’t think so.

      • atcDave says:

        Bill I think you’re exactly right about how CF saw the show and relationships. But I also think several of the staff writers saw Sarah as the more interesting character, and I think several of the directors recognized Yvonne as the most capable actor. So even if the character was often pushed aside in climax episodes (and most of S3.0), we got a lot of very satisfying middle episodes, and those were the very episodes that MADE her the most interesting character to many of us.

        And my bet would be, if there were an additional order for more shows, we would have seen one, or at most two episodes where Sarah was getting back to her old self, and then all would be well. Again, much like the Morgan story, but sweeter and more awesome.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Would they have risked going for a whole off season with them not resolved? I don’t think so.

        But maybe they could market the new season that way. Come and see Chuck and Sarah fall in love all over again.

      • atcDave says:

        Oh yeah, they would have been together and “fine” immediately.

      • Wilf says:

        I dunno. With Sarah losing her memory, they could bring back Shaw for another shot at a super-hero romance. 😉

      • atcDave says:

        Bite that tongue!

        Bad Wilf.

      • garnet says:

        I hope I have got this at the right spot, It is really hard to tell…I am surprised no one has mentioned “Chuckwin’s Law” (I hope I have that right), I just haven’t seen a Fan Fiction Thread turn into a season 3-4-5 analysis before. I think I’m off to read the latest SOMII and reread ToW, and maybe A Chopper Pilot Called Chuck, and ersk4’s Vs The Campaign,and the latest installment of The Detective and the Tech Guy, and My Girl Sarah…….. you get the idea. I might eve squeeze in a few minutes of work!

      • BillAtWork says:

        Garnet,

        In fairness I do think there is an on topic discussion that we have at least a little alluded to.

        Fanfic writers understand their audience a lot better is general than Fedak. And his miscalculation in S3 is evidence of that.

        And I get comments all the time from people who say that they turn to fanfiction (not in enough numbers to be scientific, Ernie 🙂 ) because the actual show frustrates them.

        I can’t claim that S3 was the reason I started writing fanfiction, I was well before that. But TPTB love affair with wt/wt was exactly the reason. I was predicting that they would eventually hit a wall with wt/wt where their audience would revolt (or simply stop watching) way back in S1.

      • authorguy says:

        I started writing fanfiction because I found the treatment of Hannah abominable in S3, and I wanted her to have a happier ending. I wrote nothing more until the finale. In every case my own goal in writing was to fix what I saw as errors in the show. Once I get done with S4 and S5 I’ll probably stop. I’m not especially interested in writing independent stories.

      • atcDave says:

        I know we’re pretty pathetic Garnet. Chuckwin’s Law is exactly right!

        Good luck with a little light reading.

      • uplink2 says:

        Bill, according to our “source” in the fanbase, he was told that NBC said to keep the ending ambiguous in case they ordered a back 9. Now that was contrary to their public position but behind the scenes there was still the possibility of a pickup. Unfortunately the season started so late that the decision to keep it 13 episodes came very late and so there was no real chance to change it. Remember Zoom aired Halloween weekend because they wanted to have it lead in to the premier of Grimm which they wanted to air at Halloween. Chuck’s numbers weren’t that great but what really killed the back 9 was Grimm’s were good. Had Grimm’s been lower there might have been a chance for the back 9.

        So all this means we got the ambiguous finale and not just a cliffy into 5.14.

      • atcDave says:

        Bill that difference between what the show was, and what I hoped it would be, is absolutely what got me really hooked on fan fiction that summer between S2 and S3 (or at least what it looked like it would become following Comic Con). But I was already reading a little.

        But I do think that’s an issue related to fan fiction specifically. Fans who really always liked the show, even S3, are far less likely to ever even seek out something like fan fiction. And to this day I notice in various comments that those who remain satisfied with the show are less likely to be interested in ever reading fan fiction.
        And yes, there are exceptions both ways. But I think the fan fiction community will always be heavily populated by the dissatisfied.

      • BillAtWork says:

        Gee,

        I guess I never looked at it that way. In that case maybe I should be thanking him.

        So thanks, CF. Your lack of vision has certainly helped my hobby. 🙂

      • oldresorter says:

        I started writing fanfiction after the amnesia episode pair left me unsatisfied with the actual show. Had the beach scene paid off the unhappiness in the final two episodes, I probably would have never ventured into fanfiction. But it didn’t, so I did.

        I find the entire conversation about whether the beach with 5 seasons of Sarah’s memory wiped clean was the epic ending planned all along. If so, I find that pathetic, so I chose to think the open ended conspiracy theory is correct. But I have no idea if I’m right, since most the logic provided by those who don’t agree with me seems ‘logical’. I simply don’t want to believe that those two episodes and that ending was the best goodbye the writers could come up with!

    • mr2686 says:

      NBC President Robert Greenblatt said on or before Jan 6th, 2012 regarding a chance of Chuck returning:
      “Have you seen the ratings of Chuck?” asks Greenblatt. “Unfortunately that rabid fan base that was going crazy on the net, didn’t come to the show. Maybe it didn’t come to the show because it was Friday, but you think they would find the show. The show is doing a 1 rating. I think Chuck’s time has come. Chuck is over. Let’s alert the masses.”

      That is not someone who had a plan to bring the show back. It doesn’t even sound like he wanted to bring it back for S5, and probably stuck it on Friday so that it could finally die.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I don’t believe Mr. Greenblatt was ever among our “friends”. I think to the Comcast crew Chuck was just a legacy program they had no investment in. Although that doesn’t mean if our ratings had been a little better that we wouldn’t have seen a back order. But the days having anyone at NBC pulling for us were clearly past.

      • uplink2 says:

        MR, that date is well after the time I’m talking about. Production had already stopped and the sets torn down by Jan 2012. This was back in late October/early November 2011 I’m talking about. Plus do you always believe what a media person says in public is the gospel behind the scenes as well? If Chuck debuted in October of 2011 with a rating similar to Grimm’s 2.1 and 6 million viewers no matter what Greenblatt said in public it would have gotten a back 9. Hell if it had ratings similar to the end of season 4 (1.5-1.7) on monday night it would have been picked up. That is what he was saying. The audience simply didn’t follow Chuck to friday but if it had, they definitely would have extended no matter what his PR folks said. That is my exact point.

      • atcDave says:

        A lot of the audience didn’t even know the show had changed nights. We got next to zero advertising, I know I’ve talked to half a dozen people who never knew the show continued past Cliffhanger. No support at all.
        Now I do think its possible NBC was thinking we were the sort of show that could be self promoting through the fan base. And I’m actually surprised anytime I find someone who still finds their television without the help of a DVR or search engine, but apparently, there are still plenty of more traditional type viewers out there. Even many younger than me!

      • mr2686 says:

        Of course the show would have got renewed for a back order if the ratings suddenly picked up and forced NBC’s hand, but that wasn’t going to happen and Greenblatt made sure of it. I think they wanted to get rid of Chuck long before S5 but the Internet fans and sandwiches made it very hard to do. Sticking it on Friday night with little or no promotion was his way of finally getting rid of it. Most executives that take over a network would rather put something new on then keep the “on the bubble” shows. Nobody want’s to go down with the ship while using their previous guy’s captain. All I’m saying is that he seemed very adamant about this show, and I don’t think he really was even thinking about hedging his bets especially after the first few week’s ratings.

    • Angus MacNab says:

      Hey Uplink, I finally got around to reading the interview with Mo at that link you provided. Whoa. The comments. All these guys were so out to lunch, including Zac!
      I find the quote from Josh below to be particularly astounding:

      Josh: [We have to] to come up with ways of keeping them apart in a way that’s incredibly frustrating for the audience, but also, hopefully, incredibly satisfying. And I think, very organically, the story of Chuck has always been this notion that if Sarah were to fall for him, it would compromise her ability to do her job and thus save his life. I think that’s a pretty good obstacle. The minute she thought she was no longer his handler and that the intersect was out of his head, the [romance] game was on.

      Especially this:
      “And I think, very organically, the story of Chuck has always been this notion that if Sarah were to fall for him, it would compromise her ability to do her job and thus save his life. I think that’s a pretty good obstacle. ”

      Sorry, but that’s not organic at all, Josh, and no, that’s an incredibly poor notion and obstacle to premise WT/WT on in this situation. It never worked for me. Good Lord, do these guys actually have successful real life relationships? Do they not understand the clarity that comes from knowing and acknowledging how deeply committed you are to someone, and how that clarity will make you fight in an unearthly way to protect the one you love? Chuck and Sarah already know they love each other. She’s already fallen for him! The angst of the continued separation is what endangers them the most. God, that statement is just astounding to me. If my wife had heard me say that in an interview she would have…

      Ahem. You get the idea. It would have been very, very painful. I’d be singing soprano. If I’d of come home from the studio and floated that ridiculous notion by her at the dinner table, she’d have told me I was nuts!

      And who in the h, e, double hockey sticks puts ‘incredibly frustrating’ and ‘incredibly satisfying’ in the same sentence together and expects an audience to buy into it without being completely delusional? Holy… wow, just wow!

      I’m so glad I never saw this before I became invested in the show. That one statement alone might have been enough for me to say, “Buh, bye! Don’t let the door hit you on the butt on your way out!”

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah it sort of points right at the basic disconnect between these show runners and so many of us fans.
        As I was just talking about on another thread, I think that angst works as long as the obstacles is largely external, as in the government that will snatch Agent Walker away the moment they think she’s compromised.
        And of course that can play to some internal obstacles like Sarah’s own sense of professionalism, and what it means to her to be good at her job.

        But I think once there’s some acknowledgment that Sarah’s first loyalty now belongs to Chuck, those obstacles start to fall away. If they don’t, the story quickly starts to feel dishonest.

        And as far as what’s frustrating/satisfying…

        Any story, whether its a mission that won’t end, a villain who won’t stay dead, or whatever starts to get old the moment it feels manipulative and dishonest. WT/WT is worse than that even, because it is so emotionally charged.
        Television writers NEED to learn that there is a time when their story and characters have to move on to a next stage. The relationship HAS to mature and become the next thing. Never mind being invested in Chuck, these sort of attitudes cause me question watching ANY episodic television.

  14. BillAtWork says:

    Of course I meant It WOULDN’T be the first time they responded. Stupid fingers. 😦

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