A New Chuck Website!

sort of…

I’ve recently encountered a website by a fellow Chuck fan that takes a fun and in-depth look at a few fan favorite sort of questions from the show. It’s the sort of analysis that Ernie Davis, if he’s still living, would love!

But the site isn’t really a fan site at all.   It’s the personal musings of a philosophy professor at Auburn University, one Kelly Dean Jolley. Who is apparently a Chuck fan!  This link will take you to  the Chuck posts at the site.  There is really some fun stuff here, especially sorting out Season Three and the Finale.  The writing goes into good depth without being too difficult.

Bonus points, Professor Jolley has also written a book, “Chuck: Real Love in the Spy Life” and includes links to multiple free formats. There is plenty of material here to keep a Chuck fan interested and entertained. Check it out!

~ Dave 

 

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About atcDave

I'm 54 years old and live in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I'm happily married to Jodie. I've been an air traffic controller for 31 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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30 Responses to A New Chuck Website!

  1. Wilf says:

    Looks interesting … thanks for finding this

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this and keeping the blog running. I’ve largely stopped rewatching Chuck, but it remains an important part of my life that all too few people understand. (And all too many people give me weird looks when I say things like that.)

  3. Ernie Davis says:

    I can reliably report that I am alive, and do find the webste very interesting. I think it clarified in me something that I had been working on for quire some time. It’s also something I was very aware of, and something people didn’t like, Sarah loved Chuck. Chuck loved Sarah. Chuck didn’t like Chuck. Sarah didn’t like Sarah. No way they run away to happily ever after at a train station in Prague.

    • atcDave says:

      Again, you limit things to one solution. I don’t deny the situation was as you say, but I can so easily see a solution that stopped short of character assassination. Like gee, anything that involves seeing a little of what the other finds lovable in them…

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Granted this is contingent on watching the show on the level I chose to watch it accepting the premises I saw presented. Its just nice to see I wasn’t the only one to see it the way.

      • atcDave says:

        Except the author agrees that it was lousy entertainment. Figuring out what they were doing and endorsing it are two different things.
        I’ll never begrudge understanding, but “liking” isn’t gonna happen.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        I’m not going to get back in to that argument. I said a lot of people didn’t enjoy it right off the bat. I just said it clarified and re-framed something that I saw and tried to talk about with varying success at various times. I’m not saying this was the only possible story, or one that everyone should appreciate, just that I think I understood the writers choice and why they made it, and this clarified to me that I was on the right track.

    • Five years later, Chuckwin’s law has only gained in power.

  4. As I see it (of course I could be wrong about this), there are at least two levels of question that have to be kept distinguished, although they can be brought into relationship carefully. One is what I think of as the intra-world level, where there are no questions about the show, the writers, the plot line, etc., and instead are only questions about the persons in the world and their motivations and the events to which they are subject. Asking these questions requires the pretense that the world of the show is real and that there are no questions to be asked of it other than intra-world questions. The other is the meta-world level, where there are characters, plots, writers, etc.

    Keeping these separate allows you seriously to investigate questions of the first level even if you think that answers to questions at the second level force you to be critical of the show qua show. At the meta-world level, S3 strikes me as a trainwreck (pun intended) but I also find it deeply intriguing at the intra-world level. I do think, and here perhaps Ernie (hello, Ernie!) and I may be in agreement, that there is enough discoverable at the intra-world level to make S3 a *lovable trainwreck*. (And I mean that as paradoxically as it sounds!)

    • atcDave says:

      I can see the distinction, obviously we will disagree on the “lovable” part!
      To me it’s more a matter of, it fails as entertainment so I will find a story teller who can succeed. That I have found so many more enjoyable variations on the story says more to me about why television is broken than anything. To some extant, that so many have felt the need to suss out what was going on shows the inadequacy of what was on screen. Not that it can’t be a fun exercise!

      Thanks for dropping by Kelly. It would have been fun if you’d been here when we had 100 people a day exchanging views! As it is, it’s good for Ernie to have someone to play with. Since the two of us obviously don’t quite speak the same language!

      • I’m late to revisit this topic (school keeps me very busy) but I have to agree with Dave and say it was lousy storytelling. There are plenty of ways to walk that line without utterly destroying the relationship in the process. Blue-bloods for example (which I binged in five days) has been walking the wt//wth won’t they line with the youngest cop and his partner since she was introduced four years ago and that, unlike what went on within Chuck has been entertaining, I found it refreshing that the writers aren’t afraid to have them discuss things and admit to their feelings instead of beating around the bush until tension builds and the relationship reaches a boiling point and then it blows up.

        I don’t know about anybody else but for me I constantly find myself comparing relationships on other shows to Chuck and Sarah and find that they are all handled better and that tells me once and for all that Chuck and Sarah were the victims of bad writing. I certainly appreciate those who are able to look at S3.0 within the context of the show, but my mind functions in an analytical compacity and as such, I cannot see it as anything more than the worst writing of all time, though the end of Dexter is right up there…

      • atcDave says:

        I do always want to reiterate that the things Chuck did well it did extremely well; and that often included writing that made the show both exciting and funny at the same time. Even the Charah relationship itself was often handled in a way that was dramatic, sweet and entertaining all at once, no doubt aided by dynamite cast chemistry.
        But when the writers embraced television doctrine 101 they really looked like hacks. Of the sort that generate boos and rubber bricks.

        I would also agree Chuck has had a lasting impact on how I watch television. After our immersive 5+ years with the show and fandom I’m so much more aware of how things are done and some of the why. It definitely leads to me watching television on a much more “meta” level, which surprisingly doesn’t diminish my enjoyment as much as I would have expected. I still enjoy a good story, even if I’m also more aware of where they are in the scheme of things.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I have to agree that searching for the author’s intent and proposed character state of mind is easier if you confine analysis and discussion to only intra world matters. But that becomes hard with Chuck, because a big part of Chuck and it’s fandom is how the dawning social media world allowed cast and crew to make us a part of the show and it’s production. There are limits of course, but a lot of us FELT included.

      I’d have to say (and thanks again for helping me clarify) that the internal logic of the characters was sometimes hard to see through the third season, but now I think it is because they (Schwedak) in addition to throwing out the premise that Chuck wants out of the spy life (he really wants out of the Buy More but it’s the spy life that keeps him there) they threw out the premise that Chuck and Sarah were perfect for each other (as is). It was not what we wanted to hear, but I now see it as a worthwhile, if problematically told, story with it’s roots as far back as Beefcake and Lethal Weapon. By season 4 their dysfunction as a couple was actually frequently a fun part of the show. It didn’t play well in season 3 on first viewing.

      I’d say rather than a lovable train wreck… No lovable train wreck works on second thought. But there is also an aspect that those lovable scamps were still trying to swing for the fences, even though they only had half a bat to swing with. God bless them for trying, and I appreciate their efforts, but I’m glad they finally figured it out.

      I have to say though that the story didn’t bother me for the most part. What was starting to annoy me as early as First Class were the production slips and decline, which granted was showing up in script and plot as well as technical aspects, thus conflating it at times with story. I liked every episode on first viewing except American Hero. For some reason that last “Shaw is a big damn hero” was one too many for me. My opinion has mellowed.

      Thanks for stopping by, sorry Dave if I got you riled, it wasn’t my intent, but as you noted my absence probably means I’m out of practice at these arguments.

      Now if we can just agree that Fear of Death is an awesome episode if you can just accept the premise that “Sarah is the rock” is, in their world, presented as a plausible premise.

      • atcDave says:

        You know getting riled up was always half the fun of it! And arguing over things absolutely sorted out many of my own thoughts on things.

        No doubt Fear of Death is a fun episode. But Agent Rye was just purely a moron with a firm grasp of the irrelevant.

      • Ernie, I like your phrase: ‘worthwhile if problematically told’. I also agree that there are features of the show and its relationship to its fans that make the levels I distinguished trickier to navigate than they are for some shows.

    • anthropocene says:

      At the meta-world level there’s little or no need to ask, “Is this behavior by these people (with that much history between and among them) authentic or believable?” At the intra-world level, I found myself asking that question far too often during S3.

      • atcDave says:

        I know my wife said “Sarah wouldn’t do that!” at least a half dozen times during *that* arc. Not to say she’s any more an authority than any of us, but that was a gut reaction. And yes, my wife often talks like that that! But I only remember it one other time during the whole series.
        It strikes me as problematic that the reaction came up at that one time and no other.

        My own reaction was more just “the writers broke it”. Apparently my wife has an easier time with immersion than I do…

      • I understand what you are saying, anthropocene, and I had similar worries about S3. But I’m guessing I answered that question “Yes” a few times more often than you did. (I did not answer it “Yes” every time, however.)

        It is worth noting (I am not implying this is news to you) that when your question is answered “No” that normally moves you to the meta-world level, to questions about what the creators were trying to do, or why they did what they did. (Or it moves you turn off your tv and find something else to think about!)

      • Dave, listening to what your wife says during shows you both watch strikes me as an unimpeachable aesthetic principle!

      • atcDave says:

        I always consider her the true authority!

      • anthropocene says:

        Thanks, Kelly. I definitely did some head-scratching and Tuesday-morning quarterbacking in the meta-world, but I never turned the show off.

  5. atcDave says:

    So I now have permission to make a disclosure here. It will be interesting if any readers here can guess at or recognize this connection.
    But Kelly Dean Jolley IS the fan fiction writer Zettel. He did not want the connection made prior to his first story being finished.
    If you’ve ever thought about fan fiction and waffled, or even if you haven’t thought about it before, this might be the time to check out a story. Zettel is a good writer who tells a fun story. Its called “Chuck vs The Beautiful Creatures” and is sort of a mash up with the 2013 movie “Beautiful Creatures”. But the characters are all Chuck (so its not actually a “crossover”). In many ways calling the Intersect “magic” makes more sense than what we saw in canon! And you remember all those times we discussed “Sarah” and “Agent Walker” like they were two different people? Well Zettel makes good use of his setting to make that almost literally true.

    Really, Check this out!

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