Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chuck You Tuesday - Episode 26 (ADULTS ONLY)

We Discuss CHUCK Versus The FINAL EXAM.

ADULT LANGUAGE WARNING! DO NOT let your kids hear this. Also, UNEDITED PODCAST WARNING.  For the first time, I didn't edit... so all comments are unfiltered and insane.  If you are offended, it is your own darn fault.

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  1. Magnus, I haven't watched the episode. Still downloading it. (I do not live in the USA) But I just want your 2 cents on the Chuck fan page chuckthisblog.wordpress

    If you read through the comments of the episode threads, these "fans" just bash away on the show and the characters, saying the writers butchered the characters. Unbelievable. These are the worst fans of ANY tv show I've encountered. They think they deserve more than what season 3 is giving them.

    Just want your opinion on what's supposed to be a "dedicated" fan base site. Can't way to watch Final Exam!


  2. Most shows have "fans" like that. Ignore them. They are just drama queens.

  3. To me that promo showed Chuck at his best. Doing something for Sarah that doesn't benefit him at all.

    Even if that's not how it plays out, it still was nice.

  4. Another homage to A Tale of Two Cities. :)

  5. Magnus, I am calling it now. Casey comes clean to Sarah when he gets her out Castle about the Kill. Chuck backs out of the triangle quietly and leaves for Rome after he saves Shaw. Sarah tells Shaw she is head over heals for Chuck after she gets him medical attention and cant fight in anymore. She literally runs to Chucks place only to find Morgan at the door telling her he has already left for Rome. Que tears streaming down her face and Chucks plane leaving the runway to a good catchy sad song. This is the kind of angst I am talking about my man! I am pumped!


  6. HJ, it is funny that you spec sounds a lot like the one I tossed out a year ago. :)

    awelle, show "fans" on forums get progressively more negative the longer a show runs. And they usually get the worst around season 3 of any show. Season 3 is ALWAYS the worst because... season 1 is when they fall in love. Season 2 is when they draw lines in the sand. Season 3 is when none of their suppositions work out and so they blame the writers for their expectations.

    And I am not posting the preview early. It will go up Wednesday at some point. I am probably going to post two new items each day... maybe more.

  7. Man, this episode is getting so much undeserved hate. Promo at the end didn't help much.

    Speaking of the promo, it didn't seem that bad to me. Schwartz and Fedak have commented that Shaw is there to provide a choice for Sarah, and the promo seems to be stressing that next week's episode has a lot to do with that choice. While I don't expect a positive answer from Sarah to Chuck's "I love you" (judging by Chuck's rationalization for Shaw's rescue), I'm of the opinion that the situation will improve. Bit misleading to call the episode vs. the American Hero when it looks like that's exactly what Chuck is going to be.

    Anyway, I loved this week's episode and I enjoyed the podcast. I'm looking forward to your preview! Hopefully it'll be enough to tide me over till Monday xD And here's to hoping the ratings improve from last week!

  8. r1p, don't worry about the negativity. Most of it comes from the same group of crazy shippers. They just create tons of accounts and run around pretending to be new people as a way to leverage their argument.

  9. Yeah, I don´t think I have ever sticked with a show from the beginning like that. So this is kinda new to me and I guess I didn´t know I was supposed to drew lines in the sand in season 2. So now there are no lines being crossed for me. ;(

    Anyway I just rewatched and I think I might have some kind of understanding of Sarah lying to Chuck about being with him, if he fails. It´s probably grasping at straws but:

    Shaw took great care to play on her fears that if Chuck freezes or hesitates in his decision to kill the target he might be killed himself. So she kind of had a motivation to really manipulate him to be strong in his decision to actually kill the target.

    But of course she didn´t really want him to and wavered when he asked her what would happen, if he couldn´t do it. She pretty much told him that there was nothing wrong with just going back to being Chuck and of course this is what she wanted him to do. This kind of goes against doing everything to make sure he is ready to kill of course, but I think she was really conflicted.

    I hadn´t gotten her worry about him being killed if he hesitates before. I guess she was kind of unsure about her being able to protect him, if he had. At least this way it would make some sense, but like I said it´s probably some desperate grasping at straws on my side. ;)

    Another think I noticed was that she got up and looked kind of annoyed with Shaw in the end when he didn´t really seem to get how much she feels she had lost during her Red Test. So I guess she might be kind of pissed at him after all.

    I would really like to know, what you came to like more about the ep after processing it more, if you´d like to share. I didn´t think it was in the podcast other than that you thought the binoculars scene was cheesy at first, but maybe I missed it.

    And I am a sad panda about the preview only coming on Wednesday but still glad the podcast came up so early. At least there will be new Lost tonight.

  10. awelle, interesting. I suppose one could argue that. Or maybe that is what the writers wanted us to think. I just think that because they sometimes go from tight drama to very loose storylines, they are too willing to accept some weakness as long as it moves the story forward. But then if you dwell on ANY show for too long (as many crazy shippers do with this one), you will find all kinds of problems with it, even when there aren't any.

    The reason my rating for the episode went up is because of the first half. As I said, it is easy to forget how much fun you are having in the first 20 minutes when the other 20 are a downer. So, going back, I had a lot more fun. Actually, the original score was after a second viewing. I did not like the episode all that much the first time (I mean, I liked it but I wasn't totally thrilled).

  11. Thanks for sharing. I agree actually I only really got how fun and romantic the Chuck and Sarah scene before the kill order were when I rewatched. The ending does kind of overshadow that when you watch for the first time.

    Also I absolutely adored the scene with Chuck going into the hotel until he yells about being a naked spy. And I kind of forgot about that in the end.

    And it´s definitely true that you can nitpick anything to death.

    I had really missed that Sarah only agreed to even give Chuck the kill order after Shaw agreed that any wavering on Chuck´s part could get him killed and that that is the reason that Sarah has to give him the order, because only she would be able to convince him. She still could have just told him not to do it and gotten him out of there before the target ever arrived, but it would make sense, that she wanted him to make his own decision.

    Your comment that the promo is very misleading might have influenced my take on Sarah getting up at the end, but I now kinda believe there might be less Sarah/Shaw in the next ep, than I expected before. Also for Chuck to decide to save Shaw because Sarah cares for him, there must be something still going on in his mind at least.

    Gah, I hate Tuesdays.

  12. I think Sarah is upset during the bed scene with Shaw. That does not mean she has no feelings for Shaw or hasn't slept with him. What is it with people twisting every which way to say Sarah and Shaw haven't slept together. They are 2 grownups who are dating, he is in her apartment, they've been on a business trip together, they wouldn't have slept together? Come on people. If JS and CF didn't want that to be implied Sarah and Shaw would have talked at Castle. They didn't. It was in her apartment for a reason...the intimacy of that. If they were naked, in bed, some would say "they're just getting to know each other". Chuck is more family friendly than that...they are leaving it a tease, but a very obvious one.

  13. Honestly, I don't think individuals, even those that "horrible" Chuckthisblog site (which I'll admit I participate in) hate Sarah's character so much as they've just gotten tired of the drama. Sarah's got her reasons, but at this point it's starting to feel like a Monty Python skit and you just want the writers to get on with it already.

    I also happen to agree that at this point Chuck shouldn't get involved with Sarah. If he were a friend of mine, I would be warning him to stay away. It's not because she's abhorrent, but at this stage her emotional issues are just too much for any man not paid by the hour to handle them.

    Crap. Now I've gone off on the whole CS stuff and have to partially redeem myself so as not to be labeled a class one full blown, frothing at the mouth crazy f'ing shipper. I strongly liked the episode. I might not rank it quite as highly as Magnus, but it falls just behind 3.09 and 3.10 for me. There's much to enjoy in the episode.

    -Chuck committing a thoughtful felony by gifting Casey with a government firearm and Casey reciprocating with a thoughtful murder at the end of the episode.

    -Shaw was actually a useful character in this episode for the first time since his original two episodes. I actually enjoyed what he brought, including the creepiness factor. Those eyebrows...*shudders*

    -I thought the whole Buy More plot was hilarious, particularly Casey taking a bite of the partially Jeff eaten tunaroni. It might put me off Subway for the next couple of weeks, so it's probably a mixed bag as far as a Subway promo goes. The written note on the hand had me gasping.

    -Chuck's first mission. The credit card bit was amusing, although nonsensical. The fight in the steam room was excellent, but too short, and Chuck losing the towel was a great call back to episode 1 of the season where he loses his pants. This time the sacrifice was worth it.

    -Screen time between Zach and Yvonne. The two just click, and they were on fire last night. The stakedate was amusing, frustrating and sweet. NBC needs to sell spy seduction cases on their site. Levi's reaction as Chuck when informed that he's been tasked an assassin was intense. It does continue to make me question the general lack of scenes together this season.

    -The Sarah flashback. It was great to be given a little more insight into the Sarah character, although I somewhat wish she'd discussed that particular aspect with Chuck. She really hasn't been much of a friend this season. I think this was a missed opportunity to change that with Sarah interpreting Chuck's lack of emotional upheaval as callousness.

    -The villain. The guy had both the physical presence to make a convincing villain, but also the range and acting chops to be convincing when he's pleading for his life. In many ways this actor probably would have made a better Shaw than Routh.

    -I actually liked the bathroom fight. I know this will probably cause this post to be rejected, but I just wanted Magnus to read it. I also know Magnus will now disregard the rest of my comments and reject all future submissions, but some things are worth the price.

    Some of my quibbles.

    -I'll admit it. I missed Morgan in this episode and that's a big deal given I spent most of seasons one and two irritated with him. The bromances are just firing on all cylinders this year in a way the primary relationship has not. They add the warmth often missing from other areas of the show.

    -The brunette agent that retrieves Chuck at the end of the episode delivered her lines more woodenly than agent plywood. I wonder if Chuck's joining the mile high club on his way to DC. She's a brunette, Sarah's not returning his calls and likely collecting splinters in very sensitive regions so that means Chuck should be go for launch.

    -This one is so bad it gets mentioned twice. The tunaroni sub. I may not eat a sub, tuna, or pepperoni for weeks and I may hesitate to consume bread as well.

  14. weaselone, I am starting to wonder if the tunaroni might be good. Maybe I will make one tonight while watching LOST.

  15. Magnus, great podcast. I agree that I sometimes want to put my fist through the face of some "fans" too... ;oP

    As far as 3.11, I LOVED IT!!! Yeah you were right, it was dark. But also extremely suspenseful, romantic (at times) and exciting on the action front. You could cut the tension with a knife at times. The hour seemed to just FLY by. I couldn't believe it was an whole hour because it didn't feel like it.

    Couple of points that I would like to make: First off, I loved the interaction between Chuck and Sarah. You were right in that Sarah looked very much in love (but trying to fight it) in the first part of the episode. The second half, she looked on the verge of tears THE WHOLE TIME. It must have been agonizing for her to be forced to conduct Chuck's Red Test, and even more so when she thought that she was to blame for essentially killing all of what was left of the "old Chuck" (at least in her eyes). I could almost hear her heartbreaking in that last scene. I felt so bad for her! And BTW, I don't believe for a second that she doesn't love Chuck anymore. She may have said it, but I don't really believe it. I believe she is hurt, and doesn't want to be with a Chuck who is a cold blooded killer (she can go to Shaw/Bryce/Cole etc if she wants that...and IMHO they are all the same to her). But her love for Chuck is still there, if a bit bruised.

    It was interesting how they had Casey take the shot for him. Casey has really evolved, and I like how he has taken the role of mentor and big brother to Chuck. I know you don't like people spec'ing on this blog, so I won't. I have a feeling that Casey's involvement will come to light sooner or later.

    The Buy More plot line was funny. I loved how Jeff and Lester forshadowed the true test with their game of Gothca! through the Buy More. I will really miss the BM stuff if they get rid of it in a (presumptive) S4.

    As for the conclusion of the arc, I think it's pretty obvious now (with the promo and synposis) where this story is going. As a mild to moderate shipper, I can't wait for Chuck and Sarah to finallly just get together, but I am loving the ratcheting up of the spy story too.

    Anyways, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

  16. @Awelle - Yeah I got the same feeling from Sarah in the last scene too. IF S/S are sleeping together, he was going to be on the couch that night... :oP

    Also, I am wondering if Sarah is the type to hold grudges. I get the feeling she's none to happy at the way he used her. I wonder if this is going to play a role in their relationship?

  17. 1.9 demo again. Looks like crazy shippers finally killed the show.

    Good Game cry babies.

    - DD

  18. Ouch Chuck got a 1.9 again

  19. Yep, looks like the next eight episodes will the show's last. I think I'll mostly stay away from internet chatter this week, because it'll be too depressing with the crazy shippers out in full force with this week's ratings.

  20. Great episode I thought and great podcast! All this C/S BS is/has been such a wonderful smokescreen masking Shaw's "true nature" or the rest of his character. Cannot wait to see what happens when we get to see his true intentions. I wonder if Sarah's red test flash back was more than a flashback? Is the chick she capped going to play an important role in 3.13? I say Chucks got a genuine righteous kill in him. I wonder if will get it?

  21. Gwindor, ever since I abandoned forums, I have enjoyed the show so much more. STOP READING FORUMS. Hell, block anyone on Twitter who says negative stuff. ENJOY THESE FINAL 8 EPISODES. Stop allowing other people to ruin the show you love for you.

  22. Oh and crazy shippers did to try kill the show. I don't think they had much to do with it but I am sure they will be happy to try to blame the show runners for it.

    Though, I do find it annoying that the show runners thought it was the best idea ever to continue to mash the same angst button for so many episodes. But I don't think it is why the show has dropped ratings. This is the case of a niche show losing ground to easy to digest shows. Nothing more. We are lucky to get 3-seasons. Enjoy the rest of the season. Stop reading the negativity. None of it makes any difference now anyway.

  23. One thing I think they've done well this season (which a lot of people haven't noticed because they're busy complaining) is the change in Big Mike's character. I like him more as an enthusiastic and outgoing leader who cares about his employees than as a lazy and angry boss. I hope he gets another action hero moment like in Nemesis or Gravitron before the show ends, though.

  24. So Chuck has 5 episodes to save itself from cancellation. Renewals are on May 17th...

    I will be very upset should this be the final season :(

    Kyle fan from the UK

  25. And yes, it's not uncommon for a niche show to barely get renewed and then not survive the next season. Jericho comes to mind (and it was on a network people watched and had a really intense fan campaign...sending peanuts to CBS!)

  26. Monday night is a brutal timeslot for a niche show like Chuck. That is the reality of it. I would love for it to get renewed as I think there are still some good stories to be told. But if this is the last season, at least I enjoyed the story they did get to tell.

    But then again, weirder things have happened in TV. JAG, another one of my favorite long running series, got dropped by NBC after one season, then got picked up by CBS and ran for 10 more.

  27. I apologize if you found my last comment objectionable. My intent was not to take a pot shot at the show runners, or score points. Rather it was a simple acknowledgment that ultimately the failure or success of a show rests on the shoulders of those running things, much like the failure or success of business rests on decisions made by the managers.

    I agree that there were crazy shippers that attempted to hurt the show, but given their continued frothing at the mouth it seems most are actually still watching. Ultimately the shippers can't be held responsible for the downfall of the show any more than car purchasers can be blamed for the downfall of Chrysler.

    I intend to enjoy the rest of the season and treasure the 8 episodes we have left. Hopefully, ratings will rebound to the point where we'll be treated to a season 4, otherwise it's still been a hell of a ride. :)

  28. I enjoyed the podcast very much, you all are a riot to listen too. Overall I enjoyed the episode, but you are right the angst button has been mashed too many times. People need a reprieve or it just becomes to depressing to watch. I like the action and where Chuck seems to be going, but that is really hard to enjoy when the other is so dragged out.
    Love Sarah, Yvonne is the best. Jeff and Lester always entertain me in a sick kinda of way. And Big Mike, "you can't be conking heads in the Buy More, it's the Buy More." Awesome.

  29. Can I ask just one off topic question? How many pseudonyms has Richard used to post on this blog?
    2,3,4 or more?

    Sorry, I just had to ask.

  30. ac, I have no idea but I imagine it has been a few. I reject most of them as they unfairly attack the writers/producers. I am fine with posting anything he has to say under any name, as long as he approaches it reasonably.

    weaselone, if your criticisms are reasonable, then I am happy to approve them. There are ways of being critical while still being respectful of the artists who create one of your favorite shows. You can even be abrasive without being a jerk. But if you are just abrasive, then go post about it somewhere else (and that is not directed at you).

  31. Have only seen it once, but I really liked this ep. The suspense was riveting. I thought all the main actors did a great job actingwise, including Routh, who I think is a fine actor. But then I'm not a really a shipper. I'm not obsessed with the Chuck/Sarah ship. I watch the show for all the aspects in general, and love the whole cast. I just started watching the show last August and loved it. I guess that helps, lol. ;)

    I never had a problem with the Shaw/Sarah relationship at all, in fact I liked it, but after this ep I'm not sure about it anymore. Man, Shaw was too hard on Sarah by making her do that to Chuck, but I guess it was the only way he thought Chuck could will himself to kill? I don't feel like Shaw hates Chuck. On the contrary, I think he admires him and his abilities. Seems to me like he wants to make of him the best spy ever no matter what.

    What's your take on this Magus? guys?

    Can't wait to watch this ep again. I'm still loving this show. I dig the darker tone. This show really entertains me like few others ever have. And if this is the last season, well, it's been a hell of a ride! :) Thanks to all involved.


  32. Magnus, I think I look forward to your podcast about as much as I look forward to the next episode of Chuck. Overall, I liked the episode too and do agree that they've dipped into the "angst well" several times too many.

  33. Great podcast Magnus. Loved the bracelet theory stuff. The unheard heard line from Santa Claus:
    "The bracelet. It's good luck. Except for the time they retrieved it from the side of my mom's dead body after she was gunned down in cold blood."
    Question on the renewal side, and I apologize in advance if it's stupid/naive. Any remote chance that NBC keeps the show but targets a new night/time for it or, if NBC takes a pass, someone else picks it up?

  34. The 3.12's promo is great :) They showed the Chuck-Sarah "kiss" in the 3.11's promo. And we saw how the episode ended. Now they show the Shaw-Sarah kiss ("show the Shaw"... sorry) in the promo... how will it end? :) Do they use always the same technique to be misleading in the promos? Maybe.

    I found interesting that in the promo of episode 11 we see Sarah leaning for the kiss and then we see that Chuck does the same. But actually in the episode Chuck leans for the kiss first. Interesting.

  35. Thanks Magnus. You have been very reasonable with the varied opinions here(including mine).

    I am an optimist and I will continue to have hope for Chuck and its future.

  36. Spell it with me... M... A... G... N... U... S. OK. Cool.

    ac, hope never did anything for me. But I see nothing wrong with hoping for success even if it is nearly impossible.

    BusterK, the best promos mislead. The worst promos don't. I thought this was a great promo.

    bg, I don't think there is much of a chance that CHUCK will be back much less put on a better night. The only way the show ends up on a new network is if WB owns it... and despite what some people think, WB does not own a majority share in the CW.

  37. You know what? I actually liked the episode a lot. My only qualm was the fight scene in the sauna, I just didn't like how it was shot but it wasn't a big deal.

    Final Shaw/Sarah scene though in my opinion was unnecessary, I m not bashing or attacking anybody, I could deal with the scene no problem, I m just saying they could have achieved they same result without potentially riling up some viewers, even if there is no actual reason for them to be riled up and even if anybody with half a brain can see where it's going.

    Oh and stick to unedited podcasts, they are more fun IMO.


  38. I am also going to take your advice about avoiding the forums, especially NBC's. I used to like reading them but they have become quite negative - I prefer to enjoy the show and formulate my own opinion. It will be a real shame if we don't get Chuck back next fall, but like you, I am not holding my breath on it.

  39. Magnus

    I have a question. Now, I was reading the ratings for all the shows last night, and for NBC, Chuck is by far the strongest one right now. Now, with that knowledge, do you think NBC would cancel its strongest show to make way for the ones that are doing worst? I don't think so lol. And if they do cancel Chuck, then they really are stupid, because then their network has no chance of survival. I think NBC is in too fragile a state right now to make that type of monstrous decision, don't you agree?


  40. Magnus, what numbers would Chuck have to do, in your mind, to get a renewal? I know there's probably not a magic number for the network, but what would make confident that there will be a season 4? I just got 3 of my friends into the show and would be dissapointed if it gets canned right as they're catching up.

    And I'm relatively new to the podcast, so whose tweets were you reading at the end of the episode? Gotta say, didn't like the podcast at first, but after hearing a couple episodes it grew on me. Thanks for all the info and the podcast

    - Stan

  41. Sam, I am pretty sure CHUCK is gone. I know Josh and others will try to be positive and they should be. It is their baby. But my sources say it is over and I believe them. CHUCK is not going to build up enough for NBC to bring it back. WB is never going to agree to drop the licensing fee low enough for NBC to consider keeping it (at this point, WB would have to drop it to practically nothing).

    At the end of the day, this is a business and NBC does not own CHUCK so it has no reason to keep a show they make very little money keeping. NBC is not stupid. They are doing what is best for them. Hell, keeping CHUCK might be stupid. Right now, CHUCK is doing the same as HEROES. And NBC owns HEROES. Why wouldn't they just bring back that show and cancel CHUCK?

    There is no reason to keep CHUCK... and NBC won't keep it unless ratings improve significantly. I don't expect that to happen and I am done worrying about it. I am not going to make the last two months of this show about stressing. I am riding this sinking ship into the glory of the open seas. :) And based on what I know about the rest of the season, this is going to be one beautiful journey. I will miss it when it is gone. I am sure many of us will pine for what could have been... but NBC gave it a chance. It just didn't work.

  42. Stan, it would have to do a 2.6 average for the next 8 episodes to guarantee a renewal. It could maybe get renewed if it went back to the 2.4 it was doing until 3.09. Another thing that could secure its return is if PARENTHOOD bombs... MARRIAGE REF tanks... and everything on NBC's development plate looks stupid.

  43. I thought the ratings from last night were higher than House? That both House and Chuck didn't bump from last week and actually Chuck was above House? Not sure they can expect it to beat the monster that is DWTS. But better than House isn't bad is it?

  44. Princess, HOUSE was a repeat. Stop grasping at straws. We need handfuls of bamboo to survive.

  45. Oh well, I guess the only thing left to do after all is said and done, is to buy the season 3 DVD and relive the entire series every so often.

    I loved this episode and if its heading where I think its heading these next 2 are going to be killer, and the back 6 crazy good as well from the little information we've gotten on them.
    I also enjoyed your guy's unedited podcast, you should definitely keep rolling with that format.

    I love this show, and its a shame its going, but at least were going out on a season I've enjoyed as a whole so far, and its only getting better.

    - DD

  46. Based on what you know, would the season finale be a good series finale? I know it'll leave the game opened. Maybe it'll have a cliffhanger too. But could it be considered a good finale? Thanks.

  47. charles, I don't see how it could be considered a good series finale. A great season finale, sure.

  48. Magnus,

    As always thanks for taking the time to do everything you've done for the show and fandom. Your podcasts, blog and tweets have made this whole experience a blast for me.

    Unfortunately, I don't see much hope for S4 right now. I'm learning to live with it ;) I'll sit back and try to enjoy the ride as we go out in a "blaze of glory".

    I know that production has wrapped. All I hope for is that the end we do get is a satisfying one w/o too many dangling threads. It would have been nice to end neatly but we can't always get everything we wan't.


  49. I hate how shows on the bubble are rarely given fair warning to whether they will be cancelled or not so that they can writer a proper send off. I wish and I know it'll never happen that if NBC want to cancel Chuck, that they give them a 13 eppy S4 or a tv movie to resolve the cliff-hangers. If that doesn't happen, and we end after this season I just hope the finale is a good one, that us fans will be satisfied and that Chuck & Sarah are at least a couple (though I doubt the last one will happen).

  50. (posted this in the Nielsen thread. I'll repost here)

    Diane says...

    I said before that I work with Nielsen ratings for a living. I have a tiny bit of good news on the "watch live" front. You all know the "Live + same day" Adult 18-49 rating was a 1.9 and that was the same last week.

    What you don't know is what the pure "Live" rating was. It was a 1.48 and that was UP from last week (1.44 last week). It looks like more people in the key demo DID watch live.

    Also the Male 18-49 rating was up from last week. It was Female 18-49 that wasn't. That's to be expected with Dancing With the Stars.

    It probably isn't enough to save the show, but it's good to pass on something a little bit positive.

  51. You should do an unedited podcast more often! A Laugh Riot!

    I loved the episode, even though I left feeling very melancholy at the end. Next week is going to be great and I'm intrigued to see how this Red Test thing is going to play out.

    I'm so bummed that Chuck is nearing the end of the road. I've enjoyed these 3 seasons immensely and it's tragic to me that 'reality' TV can usurp a show with such a talented cast!

    I kind of want to place some blame on NBC themselves as they haven't felt the need to put any promo behind the show, aside from the run up to the premiere. Apparently they've never heard the saying "you have to spend money to make money". Unless you were a fan before the Olympic break, you likely forgot to tune back in.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed, but not hold my breath. And of course, enjoy the ride up to the finale.

    Looking forward to your preview for next week!

  52. Ha--didn't know House was a repeat. I don't watch it. Obviously. :-)

  53. Diane, I suppose a tick of 0.04 in Pure Live is better than nothing. :)

  54. Sarah: "No, probably not". She says to him he has to kill the mole. So he'll be a real spy and they can be together. But clearly she doesn't want him to kill. If he's capable of killing, then he is not the Chuck she loves. But if he doesn't pass the test, they can't be together either.
    In that moment in Sarah's mind, there is a possibility for them to be together? What is Chuck supposed to do? It's his decision, of course. But "Chuck and Sarah together" is impossible.
    At the end of the episode Sarah knows it's her fault. I think they had to focus on that, but they focused more on the fact that she doesn't love him. "Not anymore".
    All this part was a little... out.

    So Shaw knows she "was" in love with Chuck...

  55. Magnus,

    I think Chuck will be cancelled.Can it return as a midseason show with 13 or less episodes?

  56. Diane says...

    Yeah, it's better than nothing. :-)

    I looked at some other things.

    The 18-34 Live rating was up 28% from last week. The 18-34 Live + same day rating was up 19% from last week.

    That means the damage from DWTS was mostly done among Age 35+ demo. The median age of DWTS's viewers is 54. Chuck's was 46 (lower than last week).

    (Getting ratings geeky and gotta stop)

  57. Diane, thank you. I dig hearing about it. Stay ratings geeky. :)

  58. Hey Magnus ,

    Just found ur blog , and have to say it's one of the best Chuck ones I've come across. Having said that , I have a question about getting a possible S4 which I'll get to in a second . I think it's fairly a given that Chuck and Sarah will get together at some point soon. So my question is this ..
    If NBC saw Chuck's numbers go up say over the course of episodes 12 - 16 ( i mention these eps because they would air before up fronts ) , would they approach CF and JS for what their plan would be for another season before making their decision whether to cancel or renew the show ? Or at this point is it strictly ratings?


  59. Am I the only one who thought Shaw was a little too happy at seeing Chuck 'succeed,' even knowing how much it was hurting Sarah? Made me a little suspicious with him asking if Sarah is still in love with Chuck. It's like his plan came to fruition, both professionally and personally.



  60. I love the "gay boyfriend" comment, right on the money. I'm actually hoping Shaw turns out to be Ring, and Casey shoots him & says, "Don't move" right after. ;-) Anyway: fun podcast, thanks y'all.

  61. I wonder why they setup the final scenes in a way that no matter what Chuck do he can't be with Sarah, if he doesn't kill he'll either die or be dismissed (and she said...or manipulated him that they wont be together than), but when he succesfully completed the mission she hates him (or more precissely herself) for all it. So my question is will those contradicting words/actions of Sarah character be properly explained?

  62. Kisku, shrug.

    V, you obviously don't listen to the podcast.

    Jules, I am sure they will talk to Schwedak before making any decision. Unless they have already decided to renew or cancel it, of course. Otherwise, they will be interested to see where they plan on taking it in S4.

  63. If this is going to be the swan song of the series, so be it. I have loved the ride thoroughly, albeit with some minor quibbles. Thanks Magnus for playing such a large role in promoting the show.


  64. Hard to listen to audio when your speakers are busted.


  65. When is your next 'family friendly' podcast going to be?

  66. Sam04 says:

    Kudos on another great podcast. You and your team cracked me up for the whole 50 minutes. I especially loved the comments from Richard's blog at the end.

    You often bait and make fun of shippers but I felt a lot better about the show after listening to your podcast and I consider myself a shipper. I appreciate that you pointed out how misleading the promo was, I thought the same thing 15 minutes after I saw and it is nice to have confirmation.

    Keep up the good work Mr. Magnus

  67. Magnus,
    Thanks for another awesome podcast! Full of insights and tons of humor as usual. The unedited version was great, and please think about making "crazy fan comments in dramatic voices" a regular end-of-show feature.

    I think you've probably got the right of it and this is a slow march to the end. But I'm going to enjoy it, because everything points to a spectacular final leg to cap off a great show.

    Season 3's been all about identity and the old lines have been blurring: as Chuck moves more into the spy world both Casey and Sarah are regaining awareness of the lives they gave up. They're all suddenly more human and vulnerable. It's been daring, and darker than the previous 2 seasons, and if this is where we have to leave the world of "Chuck" in 8 more episodes, it's not a bad place.

    I'll keep watching and then listening to the podcasts right up until 3x19.


  68. Greatest. Podcast. Ever.

    You guys had me almost in tears I was laughing so hard.

    Keep it up!


  69. OMG. I laughed so hard reading the profile of AgentSamShaw...my boyfriend is Daniel and we are totally doing it??? ROFLMAO!!!

  70. Kisku - I figured they'd set up the perfect way (the only way) for Chuck & Sarah to be together. If he fails, Sarah can't date a civilian, if he passes, she can't be with a Chuck that could kill someone. So Casey pulls the trigger. Chuck becomes a spy without having to kill anyone!

    The more of your comments I read, Magnus, regarding the fate of the show, the more excited I get. I'll be gutted if the show gets canceled, but it made me start thinking about the fact that I'm now such a huge fan of pretty much everyone on the show and I can't wait to see what they bring to future projects.

    I didn't really see what everyone else seemed to see in the preview for next weeks ep. I'm excited to see the return of Sarah's Porshe, Chuck stepping up, and a fantastic explosion!

    If we only get 8 more eps, I'm gonna enjoy every minute of them!!!

  71. Hey Magnus......Love the blog and the podcasts, man. Great work. Have come here as a refuge from some of the other boards, as the negativity is beginning to grate and spoil my enjoyment of what I think has been a great season so far.
    I have to take issue with the nature of some of the "crazy shippers are destroying the ratings" comments though.
    It's not the crazy shippers we're losing - they're all hanging on for the supposed pay off. If you're posting on boards and blogs, whatever your opinion, odds are you're here for the duration, because you're too invested to quit now.
    We've lost a big chunk of the casual viewers - the ones that don't care enough to go into the detail we do, and just want to be entertained for an hour. And I can only guess that we've lost many of them because there isn't enough Chuck and Sarah for them, and/or the show has become too dark and "not fun anymore".
    As I said, I've enjoyed the season - but you know, I completely get why people would think that. If I wanted the light hearted Season 1 and 2, with lots of Chuck and Sarah goodness, I would be gone now. And the ratings don't lie.
    The truth of the matter is that Schwartz and Fedak made a creative/commercial decision to take the show a certain way. They could have gone other ways to maximise Levi/Strahovski screen time. They chose not to. With the benefit of hindsight, it might have been a better bet for a bubble show to play a little safer. We'll never know. But I think the jury is in that the creative choice that they made with Season 3 hasn't worked in terms of ratings. No subsection of viewers have destroyed the show - they've just exercised their constitutional right to switch off a show that they no longer enjoy. As much as I respect Schwartz and Fedak for putting together one of the best shows I have ever seen, at some point, they will need to own the consequences of their choice this season, and learn from it for their future programs. Josh in particular should face some questions given the angst fest that the OC degenerated into. To some extent he's now done the same with Chuck. People are asking if that's all he's got. I think it's a fair question.

  72. Ozzie, we have not lost a "big chunk" of anything until we see the Live+7 ratings. Right now, we are just losing a 0.5 of LIVE+SD of what we had 3-weeks ago. So, unless you have some actual proof as to why that is or who we are losing, I don't think you can say what, why, or who we are losing.

    And I agree that we are not losing crazy shippers. However, crazy shippers are creating negativity everywhere they go. So, they can be thanked for trying to kill the show more so than anyone else (including the writers they so hate).

  73. Magnus.....Fair point about my guessing the motivations of the people that have left. I've done that on the basis of blogs and comments that I've read, but people who post are probably not representative of casual fans. Happy to accept that.
    In terms of ratings, I guess I was referring to the season as a whole, which started out at 3.0, and is now 1.9. Granted the trend last season was similar, but I think it's a fair assumption that they were expecting better off the back of a major reboot of the show and better promotion.
    I guess I am of the opinion that different story choices may have produced better ratings, and I'm on board with the shippers in that opinion. I understand their frustration at some of the choices that have been made. I don't always agree with it, but I do understand it.

    But what's done is done. Like others on here, including yourself, I'm going to try and wring the most enjoyment I can out of the last 8 episodes, on the assumption that Season 3 is all we'll get.

  74. Ozzie, I don't think the ratings dropped because of story lines. There is no rhyme or reason to it. 3.07 and 3.08 would not have upset casual fans much. 3.09 was awesome. The Live+7 for 3.08 showed no real change since the second week. So, we retained the usual audience at least on that front. It will be interesting to see the Live+7 for 3.10 and 3.11. That should tell us if we had a real abandoning of the show or just people DVRing it.

  75. Magnus--I am going with Ozzie on this. The story choices and execution of them has played a part in the ratings imo. I don't think we can let the show runners off the hook with the ratings completely. 7 and 8 would have upset the casual viewer bc the execution wasn't good for many reasons that have been discussed already here and elsewhere. The darker tone is fine, but you have to do it well and I think that Chuck has worked for the casual and hardcore viewer bc you could count on YS and ZL (and AB's) interactions and chemistry that was missing for most of the season due to story choices. A casual viewer would have come away thinking Shaw and Sarah were the focus and Chuck and Sarah were done. In seasons 1 and 2 you could count on that undercurrent with Chuck and Sarah-that connection-in most episodes. Add to that how the team has not been together in many eps I do think they sacrificed some of the foundation of the show for cheesy angst. Budget cuts didn't help, being told you've 13, not you've got 19, couldn't have helped. The deck was stacked. Just my opinion. Respect others.

  76. Hey Magnus, thanks again for another entertaining and inciteful podcast. Great discussion.

    One think that cracked me up in the episode was Chuck's velcro wallet. That coming on the back of the "can I expense this?" question had me rolling on the floor.

  77. The problem with saying ratings went down because of story is that they only significantly dropped after Beard, an episode almost everyone liked. They went up after Mask (with very little Olympic promotion) and only slightly changed after Fake Name.

  78. I wouldn't read the effect of story telling in episode to episode fluctuations, but long term trends in viewership. From episode to episode any sort of erosion or improvement due to story telling would likely get lost in the noise. Only over the long term would a trend be exposed. Think last season as we ramped up to the finale as the counter example to what we've seen this season.

    Now, I'm not willing to go out on a limb and proclaim the erosion of viewers to be a sole consequence of story telling, but I think a strong case can be made that story telling is a major contributing factor in why we had a down trending season as opposed to a season that trended up in viewers.

    Now, if we get lucky, some of these viewers we've lost to the ether and DVR will come back after a string of solid to excellent episodes and for the promise of the final two episodes of the initial arc. Then, if they like what they see and the new story that will be told in the back six appeals to them and a broader spectrum of viewers we might see a shaky climb to where we began the season.

  79. weaselone, until 3.10, the ratings for S3 were 0.01 higher than all of S2. And if you compare the second half of S2 (which had the same competition as S3 has had), then CHUCK was actually 0.3 ahead of last year. So, the ratings had improved. Also, no serious Nielsen tracker will ever suggest that storytelling has this big of an impact on ratings, this quickly, after a steady up and down of the ratings.

    Until we see those Live+7 (I would love to see the +3 but no one reports them) numbers, we won't know anything.

  80. Magnus, fantastic podcast, as always. I look forward to it as much as I look forward to the show! And I'd just like to say that if it weren't for Rachel and Jess, the podcast wouldn't be as funny, you should be nicer to them, LOL.

    Anyway, I do have to disagree with one thing you said. I don't think Casey told Chuck not to tell Sarah because he didn't trust her. It's because he knows she would never betray him or Chuck. At the end, you hear him tell Chuck "she would be implicated too." He's trying to protect Sarah, not himself. It still sets up the same obstacle for Chuck and Sarah but without making Casey look like a jerk.

    OMG, YOUR AgentSamShaw?!? Hahaha, I kept thinking whoever started that was a freakin genius, should have known all along it was you! Please don't stop posting there, even if you don't spoil us. It's just too funny to stop.

    And I know that flashback was not just a flashback. Don't try and convince me otherwise, LOL.

  81. So Chuck is pretty much cancelled? You and Jack said it is over.

    Well we had a good ride. Wish Yvonne and Zach and Adam good luck. Maybe they can do a two hour movie to wrap the show up.


  82. Magnus, first I want to say how much I appreciate all you do. There are alot of us who are big fans of your don't-give-a-sh*t approach and it is refreshing to see in any fandom.

    I work for one of the entities playing an active role in the show, in a capacity that allows me access to information that pertains to it. I read what you said about the show not coming back and the response you got last night. I can confirm that your information is current. It does not look good for renewal. Notwithstanding, hope is not completely lost. So please, as one of the generals of the fandom, do not give up and keep everyone focused on the prize.

    Thank you. -- Secret Agent 0033

  83. GR, as I will be addressing Secrent Agent, it is not canceled yet.

    Secret Agent 0033, if that even is your name, I appreciate you appreciating me. ;) I have no given up. I am just not going to stress over it. I don't think there is anything I can do to change the fate of the show. I am not telling people to give up... but I am not going to tell them that we have a great chance. If you are involved with the show in some way, or know enough about what goes on at NBC and WB, you know the chance is iffy at this point. But could it change? Hell yeah. Do I think it will? Ehhh... I would love to see it. But until I see those demo numbers go up, I am not going to go nuts over it. I just want to be able to enjoy the show I love, if this is to be the end. I don't want to mourn it for two months. I want to have a blast watching it.

    So, I can agree... stay hopeful. But stay realistic as well. And if you want to talk about this more, you can email me at razorback613@gmail.com so we can have some conversations about it away from prying eyes. ;)

  84. Hey, Magnus

    So, I'm a newbie here, and I just wanted to say that you guys are awesome. I used to suffer a lot through this season (big fan of Charah), but now I have a small ritual. I only watch Chuck AFTER listening to your podcast.

    The way you make fun of all the drama (Shaw is Sarah's gay friend?? That was HILLARIOUS) make me able to ignore all that and truly enjoy the episode.

    So, please don't stop podcasting!!


No flaming, baiting, trolling, expletives, or racism allowed. And NO DISCUSSIONS of the actor's personal lives ever.