Monday, January 23, 2012

Sepinwall Interviews Fedak and Schwartz

A very detailed interview with the creators of CHUCK. Broken up into 5 parts over the next 5 days.

23 January, 2012
CLICK HERE FOR PART 1

24 January, 2012
CLICK HERE FOR PART 2

25 January, 2012
CLICK HERE FOR PART 3

26 January, 2012
CLICK HERE FOR PART 4

27 January, 2012
CLICK HERE FOR PART 5

141 comments:

  1. Lot's of good info about the making of Season 1. I can't wait until they discuss Season 3.

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  2. I am very interested to see how honest they are about season 3. :)

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    1. Me too. One of the things I used to enjoy about listening to Ron Moore's BSG podcasts was his honesty. If he didn't think an episode or storyline worked, he admitted it and explained how it came about.

      Very illuminating.

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  3. It must have been great with all that money in season two! I wonder if the budget for one episode this season could even cover Ashton Kutchers paycheck for one episode of 2.5men?

    Btw when the budget of a show is cut does that also affect the (lead) actors paycheck, or does the six (or seven?) year contract guarantee certain pay until the contract runs out or gets terminated?

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  4. Something like $4 million per episode in season 2 as opposed to I think it was $2 million for season 3 and something less than that for seasons 4 and 5.

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    1. Obviously it's all hypothetical, as no one can really know for 100% certainty, but do you think if NBC was able to support "Chuck" fully over season 3-5, it would have done better.. with more of a budget? That's to say, if it wasn't always on a WT/WT come back sort of thing.

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    2. Nope. I don't think it had much to do with story lines. I will go to my grave saying it was the simplest thing. Monday at 8pm on NBC plus it being a show you can't easily describe or digest like everything else.

      It was a show made for cable but on network TV and it lasted five seasons.

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    3. Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. I suppose I still stand by my statement I made that.. if it did have some semblance of a backing and was able to retain most of it's writers so things could have been slightly more consistent, things would have gone better, but it's something we'll never know sadly.

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    4. Even high-rated, well-funded shows lose writers, particularly if they are offered a promotions by other shows.

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    5. About the cost of an episode, i talked during season 4 to one of the crew guy who told me that an episode in season 4 cost 1.25 millions dollars against 1.75 million before (before = season 3 ?).

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  5. It's funny now how we all mostly blamed the 8 pm Monday time slot for the ratings . Now this year House was moved to 9 pm DWTS was at record lows . I just wonder if it stayed at Mondays at 8 pm the ratings would have been a little better this year . Now with all the shows tanking yet again on the network it might have been conceivable we would be looking at additional eps once again lol . Sure would have been nice to get to 100 .

    I always though CHUCK would have worked really well at 10 pm on Thursdays . It was more of a comedy in S1/S2 and that aspect would have played really well following the Thursday comedies .

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    1. Of course ratings would have been higher on Mondays at 8pm than on Fridays at 8pm. As for HOUSE dropping, slot changes can do that to any show, but I think it has more to do with viewer fatigue with the show. Happens to all shows eventually. Just like at American Idol.

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    2. The basic difference between how many people watch TV on Monday vs. Friday is 15-20%. Chuck's ratings dropped more than that. I think the ratings still may have been lower than last year even it was on Monday.

      I agree with Magnus about viewer fatigue. To that point, there was a big drop in ratings from the first episode on Friday to the second episode. Even the DVR time-shifted ratings were higher. Some people watched and DVR'd the premiere who didn't watch subsequent episodes.

      I think we are starting to see some of those people come back as curiosity sets in for the finale.

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    3. Honestly, there was viewer fatigue with House for sure and I followed it for so long, but dropped it this year. Losing Cuddy may have been part of the reason.. >.>

      But viwer fatigue with Chuck as well, IMO. I've had a couple friends who decided not to keep with it because of certain things here and there. :(

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    4. You know, Heroes was once a huge hit. But, fatigue happened quickly. It ended up with just 78 episodes.

      Chuck never was the "big thing", but it ended up lasting longer than other shows.

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  6. ZAYAFOAMCST (Gina)January 23, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Both NCIS and HIMYM have increased in viewers since debuting so viewer fatigue is an interesting thing. HIMYM is so strange for me, back in seasons 1-3 when they were at their creative peak they were pulling in the 2's in the key demo..now that they have gone kind of crap they are pulling in the 4's in the key demo.

    Fans just do not want to see quality tv or maybe we are wrong and shows like two broke girls are quality tv to the massess. Fans just do not like shows that go for depth sadly, they prefer simple and easy digestable. I mean tv critics are going on and on how they want HIMYM to move on creatively but with the way the show is going and how many viewers it is pulling and how much money they must be raking in...it could go on for 10+ seasons and we may never get to know the mother. I mean realitically the kids in 2030 are at least 16 and 14...that gives them only to 2013 (9 months for a pregnancy if Ted knows her up straight away)...but knowing these numpties they will probably have future Ted say that it he has the 2030 year wrong and it is 2035 or an alternative timeline or something lame...

    Why do people like this lameness? arghh, it gives not incentive to show runners to go for better.

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    1. There's a certain type of TV viewer who loves shows that don't change so much. The CBS network thrives on appealing to those viewers. Law & Order thrived on those viewers.

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    2. Also, the general public flocks to what is popular. Just like in high school.

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  7. ZAYAFOAMCST (Gina)January 23, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    knock her up not knows her up, sorry.

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  8. Thank you for posting this Magnus.

    What i found most interesting about the interview is they said the Harry Tang character would've been a huge part of the series if not for C.S. Lee's commitment to Dexter.

    I've never heard that before and i wonder what exactly they were going to do with him.

    I find these type of interviews interesting especially the parts where the creators talk about ideas they came up with that were never used or regrets over certain storylines.

    I thought seasons 2 and 3 were the best of the show and i'm looking forward to hear Mr.Fedak and Mr.Schwartz talk about that.

    I would love to read a book about everything that went on behind the scenes for this show.

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    1. I'm only guessing, but perhaps Emmitt was a character brought in to do some of the things they envisioned for Harry Tang.

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    2. I don't know what they would have done with Harry Tang, or at least I don't remember that info ever crossing my path, but I wouldn't be shocked if that stuff was handed to Emmett.

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    3. "I thought seasons 2 and 3 were the best of the show and i'm looking forward to hear Mr.Fedak and Mr.Schwartz talk about that."

      Same here...

      S.

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  9. Yeah, i think that's it.

    Emmett acted the same way and did the same things that Harry Tang did during season 1.

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  10. Nice interview.

    A word of warning if you're planning to watch the EPKs. Ryan McPartlin's interview gives some rather big spoilers about Chuck and Sarah plus also about Ellie and Awesome.

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  11. Don't watch the EPKs until you've seen the finale. What's the point? You can't wait four days to have the episodes ruined for you?

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  12. I didn't plan on watching it, someone on another forum just revealed what Ryan said. It didn't really ruin anything for, the Chuck/Sarah thing was what I expected... just wanted to warn folks who are more sensitive to spoilers.

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  13. I wonder if in the finale they actually do a kind of Lost series finale type deal with Sarah's memories. If they do that then I may actually love it! I mean seriously if they can mix in the emotion and the heart and the desire of all 5 seasons where certain people jog Sarah's mind and make her remember the love that she has for Chuck....SQUEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Well... as long as it isn't cheesy.

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    3. I'm confident Zac and Yvonne can make something that is cheesy on paper totally awesome when they film it.

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  14. No spoilers please.

    My thoughts on the interview.

    I always wondered what would have happened if the writers strike hadn't of happened.
    How would a completed arc in season 1 have impacted the future seasons as far as storylines go.

    They mentioned that the plan was to give Chuck fighting abilities at the end of season 1.

    I think that the writers strike benefited the show in that regard because in my opinion it was good for Chuck to be the guy that was out of his element and had to rely entirely on his smarts for the first two seasons.

    I liked it when he got additional abilities in the season 2 finale but you don't want to move too quickly.

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    1. This is the first time they've said Chuck was supposed to get the Intersect 2.0 at the end of season 1. I think they are rewriting history, or misremembering their intentions. Because all they have ever said, in the past, was that the Jill arc would have ended up in season 1 and some other Bryce stuff. I'm not saying they didn't think of doing that at some point, but I think it is more likely that it was something they had in their back pocket for use AT SOME POINT and decided to use it at the end of season 2 because they thought the show was going to be cancelled.

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  15. I love how Chris kept on saying that Zach and Yvonne were perfect and they knew Chuck and Sarah would form the heart of the series....it turned out like that but man I don't know what they planned if the series was massive ratings wise. Something tells me a different route.

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    1. Oh, there is no doubt about it, had the ratings been different, Chuck and Sarah wouldn't have gotten together until season 7.

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  16. @ DR

    Have you heard anything from your ninjas about if Warner Bros is planning any type of special DVD release for the series ? Like special features and deleted scenes etc that were not included in earlier season DVD's ? Or are they just done with chuck now , not spending any more time/money on it ? Hopefully it's the latter :)

    Don

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    1. Nope. My ninjas don't work anywhere near Warner Home Video. But I do know that at one point we were in talks with Warner to have them record Chuckfest3 and put it on the season 5 DVD. Unfortunately, they bowed out late in the game and so we had to scramble to get someone to shoot it... thankfully, Mark's buddy saved the day.

      So, if they have plans to do something really cool, apparently recording fans raising $20,000+ for charity in the name of their show wasn't part of those plans.

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  17. I'm curious what they have to say about season 5/Decker.

    To me it looked like they were building up him to be the big bad of this season but then just suddenly and very unceremoniously they killed him off. It really didn't make much sense to me, anyone else feel that way?

    Other Chuck sites are definitely pretty hazardous now, you can bump into spoilers even in places where there aren't supposed to be any. Ryan McPartlin revealed surprisingly much, others were more secretive.

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    1. And that's why you don't let Ryan know stuff. ;)

      I don't know about Decker. I am sure they had a couple of things considered but like I said before, this whole Sarah thing was in their minds early into working out season 5 (way back in March or April). I just expected it to happen earlier (like 5.07).

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    2. Does Ryan have a history of spoiling stuff?

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  18. What part of stop spoiling the LOST series finale isn't clear?

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  19. Just read the second interview. I'm really enjoying these. The money issue keeps coming up.

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    1. It definitely makes you wonder what could have been. But on the other hand it does make you respect what they were able to accomplish with the budget they had, and of course the time constraints.

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    2. Absolutely, OPD. They probably had to get more clever and rely less on spectacular action sequences.

      It was interesting to find out that the Orange Orange was supposed to be a one year store just like the weinerlicious.

      I suspected that getting rid of Emmett was budget-driven. I suspect Anna's non-appearance is Season 3 was the same, even though they didn't discuss it.

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    3. The two items they mention the most are money and Ali Adler. What if they had both thru the 5 years. Sigh....

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    4. Didn't DR already mentioned back then that they got rid of Emmet and Anna because of budget cuts? Maybe I read it somewhere else, but I'm sure it was mentioned before.

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    5. One of them was budget driven........

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  20. These interviews are really great. It's interesting to see how they develop a show especially in the early seasons, like the point they made about Helicopter. I also love hearing them talk about all the movies and stuff that they drew references from. Also loved their picks in the second article for best Sarah fights!

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  21. I love season 2 but think it's overrated. Alan just LOVES the Roboto sequence.

    Interesting interviews, but I just don't expect them to be 100% honest. Nobody is in Hollywood. They just tell what they think they can at the time being.

    Finally, what has me the most excited about the finale right now is JEFFSTER! Love them, haha!

    S.

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  22. Its interesting that in an interview Adam Baldwin says that Zac Levi is the cast member he admires the most and the one he will miss the most.
    Zach Levi FTW!

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    1. Of course he thinks that... after all, Zac is the only one of the actors who will listen to his political opinions without rolling his eyes. ;)

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    2. Yvonne said in a recent interview that she stopped following Adam's Twitter because she could not keep up with all the political stuff he was spouting out continously.

      If Adam is that bad I got to give credit to Zach for being diplomatic enough to keep him in check.

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  23. No. I think he is genuinely very fond of Zac. Probably thinks of him as a much younger brother.

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    1. What part of OF COURSE don't you understand?

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  24. To me the interesting part that they mention in this part of the interview is that they wanted Sarah to go undercover as a Buymore HR manager and give Jeff and Lester courses about sexual harrassment.

    I always thought that unlike the other characters on the show Sarah hasn't had much interaction with the Buymore crew.

    I always thought that that was a big missed opportunity for the show.

    Sarah working at the Buymore as part of her cover and becoming annoyed by Jeff and Lester is comedic gold.

    I thought that we might have gotten that in season 5 since Chuck and Sarah now own the Buymore but we didn't.

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  25. Well, budget driven or not i'm not sure how Emmett or Anna would fit in now if they stayed.

    Even though they have been using Jeff and Lester more this season the Buymore crew really hasn't had a lot to do overall.

    It would probably be like how they are doing with Big Mike.

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  26. As I was reading article 3, I kept wondering when they would get around to discussing Shaw. I thought they were diplomatic in discussing Routh. While they didn't come out and say there was no chemistry between him and Sarah, you could read between the lines.

    Loved the "back rub" line from Fedak.

    Talking about the fan reaction at Wondercon to watching "Other Guy", I can confirm that the crowd, myself included, did go nuts when Chuck shot Shaw and he and Sarah got together.

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  27. Just as I expected, no discussion of how Bomer was supposed to come back as Bryce. Perhaps because Alan didn't ask. Then again, he didn't pursue another line of questioning that would have been interesting.

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    1. I've never seen the Bomer thing mentioned anywhere else but in your podcasts(or maybe in comments). Maybe Alan doesn't even know about it.

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    2. It's most likely no one but me and real insiders know about it. :)

      Well and the 5 people who read this site.

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  28. Yeah, Alan really did tread carefully in part 3. Would have liked more on the first 13 & something about Bryce vs Shaw.
    Maybe Mo Ryan will get that in. She's usually a tougher interview with these guys.

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  30. Well thankfully for me I was never a Chuck/Sarah shipper (too sappy a couple, imo), so I never had any of the problems many shippers had with season 3 and Shaw/Routh. It's still by far my favorite season! Yay for me.

    S.

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  31. They didn't say anything about Season 3 which disappoints me.

    I would've liked to have known more about Bryce Larkin's role in season 3.
    I know he would have played Brandon Routh's part but how would it have been different.

    I agree that Brandon Routh and Yvonne didn't have much chemistry as as couple but they weren't together very long.

    The shippers that complain about season 3 are just impatient people that need to learn to relax.

    I've watched enough television to know that Sarah and Chuck were going to get together.

    I think the show made the right decision in keeping them apart to create tension and conflict.

    If you have them together from the beginning there'd be no tension or conflict.

    Also if you had put them together from the start of season 3 the casual viewers might've seen the payoff of Chuck and Sarah getting together and stopped watching.

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    1. IMO, if they had gotten together sooner, we wouldn't be watching a fifth season. In particular, I mean if the engagement and marriage had happened any sooner.

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    2. Guess what? They did stop watching. S3 had the biggest ratings drop of any season. Chuck was a great blend of comedy, action, and drama. But mostly a light show. Apparently they forgot that when they broke S3. Also, if you want to keep your leads apart, (even if it was a stupid idea at that point) fine, but don't mangle the characters beyond recognition in order for them to fit your story. The problem I have is that Season 2 went out on such a high note, people launched the Subway campaign, for god's sake, and what the show came back with was such a disaster, and departure from what they had established in the previous two seasons. Here's the first of many fundamental problems: With only the 1.0 in his head, Chuck was almost bunkered then almost assassinated by Casey because he was such a liability. But with the 2.0, they were just, "oh, yeah, you suck as a spy so... you can go home now I guess and there will be absolutely no consequences for you. Just go ahead and keep our multi-million dollar supercomputer with all our secrets." Obviously, Fedak and Schwartz are loathe to admit it, but they f'ed up and they know it.

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    3. I donn't think shippers stopped watching. They were too invested to do so. It was some the casual viewers who did. Daylight savings hurted too. Besides, DVD sales were very solid for season 3, so it worked out well at the end.

      S.

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    4. Season 3 ratings analysis is deceptive because the show got a big bump in the early part of the season due to the extra promotion it got. Those extra people were not likely people who were invested in the relationship.

      If you look at episodes which aired at the same time of year without the massive promotion, you get a different story:

      Chuck vs. Colonel (4/20/09): 2.42 A18-49
      Chuck vs. Honeymooners (4/26/10): 2.07 A18-49 (14% drop)
      Chuck vs. Wedding Planner (4/18/11): 1.32 A18-49 (36% drop)

      So, the drop between Colonel and Honeymooners was much less than what happened after Honeymooners.

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    7. Julian says ...

      Thanks to the promotion from football is how I found the show . First ep I ever saw was vs three words . The tension in that ep was riveting to me re: Chuck and Sarah . Even though I had no idea about their past relationship . The end of the ep made me teary . It was amazing how I felt just seeing that one episode . The relationship , the buy more crew . I couldn't believe I had never heard of the show before . Well I went and bought the first 2 seasons and got caught up for the following week and have watched it live ever since . Probably the most enjoyable 2 years of television I have ever had !

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    8. I should append the previous data by showing the "Live + 7" ratings which include all time-shifting:

      Live + 7
      Chuck vs. Colonel (4/20/09): 2.85 A18-49
      Chuck vs. Honeymooners (4/26/10): 2.54 A18-49 (10% drop)
      Chuck vs. Wedding Planner (4/18/11): 1.78 A18-49 (30% drop)

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  32. "I agree that Brandon Routh and Yvonne didn't have much chemistry as as couple but they weren't together very long."

    Exactly, the show didn't develop their relationship enough, but what I saw (and my niece and my sister) I liked. They looked very pretty together and I liked their flirting when THE SHOW allowed the actors to do it, which wasn't much. Also, I don't think Sarah and Shaw were supposed to be in love. The way I saw it, they were just attracted to each other (a physical relationship, rebound). They were collegues, sort of friends, and both were hot and alone, so the natural thing happened, and with Sarah's history it didn't surprised me.

    Besides, if Shaw had fallen deep for her, he could have never tried to kill her to avenge Eve. He just fell for her a little, but Eve was still the love of his life. Aww :D



    "The shippers that complain about season 3 are just impatient people that need to learn to relax.
    I've watched enough television to know that Sarah and Chuck were going to get together.
    I think the show made the right decision in keeping them apart to create tension and conflict.
    If you have them together from the beginning there'd be no tension or conflict."

    Totally agree with this. Chuck and Sarah were a lot more interesting and enigmatic when they weren't a couple. At least the show didn't know how to write them together all that well (See season 4, especially after the Balcony episode. Ratings/young males demo went down).


    S.

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  33. I think i know what you are referring to Edwin and i'd like to comment.

    If you are referring to Chuck premiering in season 3 to 7 million viewers for the first couple of episodes then dropping.

    Those viewers were a bunch of casual viewers that started watching because NBC promoted the show so much.

    Those casual viewers would have most likely dropped the show no matter what direction it went in.

    I was talking about the possibility that Chuck would have dropped to something like 4 million in season 3 if you get the leads together too quickly.

    I agree with your point about no conseqences in the season 3 premire for Chuck but he was back to working with Sarah and Casey by the end of the episode anyway.

    Like most shows the Chuck writers write their storylines to make the particular plot of the week work best.
    They've always done that.

    I don't think Fedak and Schwartz are loathe to admit or that they regret season 3.

    You are assuming what they might think.

    I loved season 3 and i know a lot of fans feel the same.

    Stop whining about it.

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    1. I had a whole other post written, but it got deleted somehow. I don't feel like writting it again. I'll just say this: you say stop whining about it? I can just as easily say stop defending it. Not everyone who has problems with S3 is an "impatient shipper". I'm not whining about anything, and I don't take every chance I get to comment on S3. I couldn't care less about Chuck and Sarah at this point. But, if the only reason you have for keeping two people apart is solely to create tension and conflict and doesn't serve a greater purpose, something is wrong. There are better ways to create tension and conflict in a story without sacrificing character development. That's what this comes down to.

      You loved season 3? That's great. Had this been a straight drama from the beginning, maybe I would have liked it too, but that's not what had come before. That's not the show I had watched for two seasons.

      As for assuming what they might think... I'm not assuming anything. I never said that they regret S3, as a matter of fact, I don't think that Fedak does in the least. I know Magnus has talked about the fact that some people have admitted to regretting "Mask" in particular, but I don't know who those people are. What I said is based on the interview alone. Fedak's surprised people reacted the way they did? Schwartz seemed to get why that was the case. And they did say that Routh worked better in the second half of his arc as the villain. I think it's logical to conclude that they know they messed up.

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    2. Sounds like you would fit right in on the S3 discussion on that other blog . The people there think they're the almighty when it comes to that topic .

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    3. Sorry, don't know what blog you're referring to. If that's supposed to be an insult, it's not much of one considering the article this conversation stems from is an interview with the creators of the show in regards to S3 itself, and I'm stating the problems I had with it not that you're wrong for loving something I didn't.

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  34. Not that you'd even consider doing it DR , but it would be kind of cool if you and Wendy or SisJ did a podcast for each season . Like what sepinwall is doing , but discussing the show itself and not the creative process .

    Also , I can't rember which episode it was , but you sisJ and Mike did the audio commentary over the episode . Any chance you would be able to do that with the Finale ?

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    1. I have no idea what I may do down the line with the podcast but I do plan on keeping Chuck You the Podcast around for the foreseeable future, so I may consider it.

      However, will we do another viewing podcast? Probably not. But I don't even know who is going to be on the finale podcast yet. So, depending on who is on and how much time they have, we will see.

      I don't tend to plan these things out. They just happen....

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  35. Chris Fedak i'm sure regrets certain episodes every show has bad one's.

    He said Shaw worked better as a villain and i aree with that.

    I still liked that he was a good guy that eventually turned into a bad guy.

    I think it was the writers that expressed a dislike for Mask.

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  36. "As for assuming what they might think... I'm not assuming anything. I never said that they regret S3, as a matter of fact, I don't think that Fedak does in the least."

    I have to agree with that. I think deep down Fedak is happy with season 3 the way it turned out. I can see it all over the season (loved it when Shaw called Sarah Sam in 'Subway'), and especially in the 'Santa Suit' episode. That history between Shaw, Sarah and Chuck is what created great tension. Shaw was a friend/lover/partner who turned on them all. That and Chuck's development as a spy were one of the reasons the Shaw arc was so riveting to me.

    I like/love all the episodes in season 3, it was a very focused season. It knew what it wanted to be and did it mostly very well. The only 2 episodes I get bored watching are Role Models and to a lesser extent Honeymooners. Just too fluffy for me, but other than that, very strong season.

    S.

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  37. Fedak may have regrets but they sure as hell aren't about the things SOME fans think he should regret.

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  38. Edwin, many of us love season 3 even with the awkward chemistry between Shaw and Sarah. In season 3, the mashing of the romance angst button happened in 3.01, 3.02, 3.07, 3.08, with 3.11, 3.12, and 3.13 being less angsty and more romantic.

    So, four episodes of torture for shippers and perhaps those annoyed by them hammering away at it yet again. ONE of those was poorly done (Mask).

    As for the show being straight drama, now you really sound like what a crazy shipper would say. Since most of those episodes were very funny AND dramatic. You know, like season 2.

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    1. Yeah, I agree with that, but by the time 3.13 came around, I really didn't care whether Sarah and Chuck got together anymore. The show got less angsty and there was other stuff for me to like. That first part of the season, in my opinion, was not developed well enough. I could easily see Shaw having been a tragic hero (I wanted to like the Shaw character because I liked Routh in Superman Returns), but that's not what they accomplished. They billed him as a certain role and they didn't deliver, again, in my opinion. I get that there are people who love that season, I just had problems with its execution.

      As for the last point, okay, maybe it wasn't a straight drama. I did like Nacho Sampler, but both Schwartz and Fedak admitted in the interview that was the darkest season they've done.

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    2. By the time 3.13 came around they were together, so you didn't need to care.

      Also, darkness is different from drama. There is always drama. Yes, season 3 was the darkest of the five. But the end of season 2 was pretty dark too.

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    3. Oh yeah, that's the whole Paris thing. Make that 3.11. I kinda wanted Hanna to pop back in, she and Chuck had some nice chemistry...

      And, yes, there has always been drama. But there is a difference between necessary and unnecessary drama, and I think season 3 had the latter. We probably disagree on that point.

      The end of season 2 was dramatic and full of action, but it wasn't dark.

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    4. "I wanted to like the Shaw character because I liked Routh in Superman Returns), but that's not what they accomplished. They billed him as a certain role and they didn't deliver, again, in my opinion."

      And that was the mistake some fans made; seriously, the powers that be ALWAYS do the same thing! They said Shaw was going to be a sort of mentor for Chuck, and he was for a little bit. Of course the showrunners tried to keep it a secret for as long as possible that Shaw's true nature and purpose would be to become Chuck and Sarah's nemesis. That's their job, it's a spy show! They did the same thing with Hannah; people weren't sure if she was going to be a spy or just a regular girl, there was a lot of speculation about them both, and that was the point!


      "As for the show being straight drama, now you really sound like what a crazy shipper would say. Since most of those episodes were very funny AND dramatic. You know, like season 2."

      Yup. All the season 3 episodes had plenty of comedy. And yes, the last part of season 2 had pretty dramatic episodes like Dream Job and Ring, in which Bryce and Roark were killed. Some people just have selective memory.

      BTW, I loved Other Guy, and even though I'm not a big Charah fan, I felt sort of happy that they finally got together. I felt they had earned it.

      S.

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    5. Yes, Edwin, we disagree very much on that point. :)

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    6. "I felt they had earned it."

      See, I felt they had earned that at the end of the second season, Colonel had set that very thing up and it was continued in Ring Part 1. When it happened in Other Guy, I just kind of thought, eh...what else are they going to do at this point?

      As for Shaw, when I say I wanted to like the character, I also mean his evolution. From mentor to Chuck, to enemy... a man, that essentially had been betrayed by the master he served and was out for revenge. The only reason he was Chuck's enemy was because of Sarah. He was still willing to let Chuck walk away. It's the transitions of his persona that didn't work for me. Also when did we ever see him as a superspy really in those first 13 episodes? 'Cause I guess coming back from the dead after being shot and falling off the bridge into a river has to count for something.

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    7. "See, I felt they had earned that at the end of the second season"

      They had. But what television shows do you know where they put their will-they-won't-they together in season 2? Hell, season 3 is even rare. Network executives recoil in horror any time an EP tells them they want to put the leads together.

      Delete
    8. That put their leads together and keep them together? I can't really think of any. That put them together only to break them up down the line? There's plenty that do that in the first season of a show. I consider it the level after will they/won't they and it does get annoying.

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    9. You got Chuck and Sarah together FOR GOOD faster than any show I can think of... cut them slack.

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    10. Oh, like I said before, I don't really care about those two anymore. Which I think is a good thing, considering the arc they chose to go out with...

      Delete
  39. Did it anybody like Pink Slip like I did.

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    1. I did , it was the second episode I ever saw of this show ( 3.02 was the first ) . If I had been watching the show at that time I might have thought differently . But my enjoyment of those 2 got me invested in the show to catch up on S1 and S2 .

      I wonder if you did a poll and asked people when they starting watching the show if the people that came into it the same time I did ( s3) that those people liked S3 better than those who had been watching from the start of the show , or afterS1 .

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    2. I like Pink Slip. It has one of my favorite Chuck scenes in the entire series (weird beard Chuck trying not to flash).

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    3. I like Pink Slip a lot, my school grade son likes it too! We loved Chuck playing the guitar and beard Chuck, lol.

      S.

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    4. Always liked Pink Slip. I also liked the boldness of killing Emmett that way.

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  40. Oh, keep in mind, I'm speaking as someone who watched the show from episode 1 on. That pilot grabbed me and didn't let go. So, for those of you that came into the show later, you probably have a different experience with the show than I do and it's probably why we have a difference of opinion.

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    1. Though, I came in with 2.01, so I had a lot of the same investment. But like when Jill came into the picture, I didn't have the same baggage as those who started with season 1. So, I LOVED the Jill arc. It was so well done. When I finally went to check out some CHUCK forums, following the Christmas break, I was surprised to find so many negative reactions to it. That's when I started calling people "crazy shippers" because it was insanity.

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    2. I actually didn't have a problem with the Jill arc. And I had no idea about Chuck forums until just last year. I was invested in the show since season 1 but I had no idea that this whole other thing was going on on-line. I usually talk about shows the old fashioned way, just with people I know. This is a whole new thing for me... and there are some people with *really* strong opinions around.

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    3. I strongly recommend to people that they avoid forums for the shows they love. Just enjoy what you love.

      It's why I don't have a forum. I'm cool with people discussing the articles and sometimes straying off subject, but give fans a forum to bitch and they will about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.

      Delete
    4. that's a good point . Like you say people gravitate to negativity . I've seen people get invested into a theory and then someone comes up with a speculation " that makes so much sense " that when it doesn't happen those people get very very angry , because in their mind that scenario would have made the show perfect in their eyes .

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    5. "I strongly recommend to people that they avoid forums for the shows they love. Just enjoy what you love."

      AMEN. Fans are fans.. and they like to bitch, obsess and nitpick about everything. Some take it way too seriously is scary. That's why I'm not reading most spoilers for the finale. I know I'll watch it no matter what. If I like cool. If not it won't change anything in my life. I have far more important things to worry about right now. Chuck is a cool show but it's just a nice escape for me.

      S.

      S.

      Delete
  41. "They had. But what television shows do you know where they put their will-they-won't-they together in season 2? Hell, season 3 is even rare. Network executives recoil in horror any time an EP tells them they want to put the leads together."

    SO true, and I don't blame those executives. I know many Chuck fans think that Chuck and Sarah working together and in love is their idea of good TV, but that can only last so long before casual viewers lose interest. A show like Chuck (and most shows with romance in it) only really work when there is sexual tension, so the longer they extend it the better. The problem with Chuck is that the show put the relationship in the forefront way too soon (season 1- salami epi). Too much romance too fast. But then the show was always on the bubble, so they had to rush things up.. and we have what we have: the Chuck and Sarah love me/love me not show. :P At least we had the whole story, more or less, phew!

    S.

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    1. I learned something watching CHUCK. I was wrong.

      Never put your romantic leads together.

      When I write my TV show, they will be apart until the final 4 seconds of season 22.

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    2. you mean like JAG did after 10 seasons ?

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    3. I didn't watch that show past season 1... but if they did it in 10 seasons, it was too soon.

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    4. The show was getting cancelled , so they got engaged in the last 5 minutes . They weren't even a couple at that point :)

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    5. You probably would have liked Stargate SG-1's approach then: 10 seasons and all we got was one kiss... that was propmtly undone by a time loop.

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    6. I didn't say I'd like it. But it does seem to be a necessity to keep non-shippers interested.

      Delete
  42. "As for Shaw, when I say I wanted to like the character, I also mean his evolution. From mentor to Chuck, to enemy... a man, that essentially had been betrayed by the master he served and was out for revenge. The only reason he was Chuck's enemy was because of Sarah."

    You are nitpicking, IMO. The story was a bit rushed, no doubt, but I think it worked well enough for the show. Essentially, Shaw was a partner/friend who turns on them and becomes a big enemy. And remember that Shaw killed Chuck's father. Shaw was this uber-professional who becomes a raging psycho because of the love of this woman that was killed in cold blood. Cool story.


    "He was still willing to let Chuck walk away. It's the transitions of his persona that didn't work for me."

    It works for me because when his wife died, his main objective always was to punish those responsible for her dead. He was a good guy but he was really obsessed about avenging Eve. He was always willing to die for the cause, every time. He didn't care so much for living.


    "Also when did we ever see him as a superspy really in those first 13 episodes? 'Cause I guess coming back from the dead after being shot and falling off the bridge into a river has to count for something."

    I thought his intro in the show (Operation Awesome) made him a badass. He was also very cool in First Class, and he played them all in Other Guy, fought Intersected Chuck and beat him up, and almost killed Sarah. That's pretty spyish to me. Of course this is the Chuck show so he had to win.

    S.

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    1. I agree... with pretty much everything S. said.

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    2. That's not what I saw on-screen. Shaw was not a partner/friend, he was their boss, one who was forced on the team.

      Yeah, he killed Chuck's dad but I wasn't talking about the second half of season 3, that has a different feel to it than the first half.

      Shaw was not an uber-professional, he was obsessed with revenge. He explicitly told Sarah and Chuck he did not allow fraternizing between his agents only to turn around and go after Sarah himself.

      "It works for me because when his wife died, his main objective always was to punish those responsible for her dead. He was a good guy but he was really obsessed about avenging Eve. He was always willing to die for the cause, every time. He didn't care so much for living."

      I completely agree with that.

      Operation Awesome: he shot himself... that's just stupid considering he didn't know whether he would actually survive. He didn't do anything in First Class except lie to Chuck, leave it to Casey to find out Chuck was in danger, and then have Sarah do the work of saving Chuck. Yeah... Chuck and Sarah in Other Guy, I got nothing. You are absolutely right on that. He was better than them. I still don't see him as super just a smarter spy... and we now know just how stupid Team Bartowski can be when they want to.

      Delete
    3. Edwin, you just REALLY want to dislike it.

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    4. I don't WANT to dislike it, I do dislike it. What I see on-screen is what forms my feelings of the episodes. This is what I saw on-screen and as it turned out it didn't work for me. It just comes down to perception. Take the Lost series finale, a lot of people hate it, and I know why, it's the same reason I should hate it too: they didn't give any freaking answers. But when I watched those last two and a half hours, the story they delievered was so well done I forgot all about wanting answers. I thought it was great, even though part of me still feels cheated. You just can't help what you do and don't end up liking, or at least, I can't.

      Delete
  43. "I don't WANT to dislike it, I do dislike it."

    Because you want to... you've invested a lot of time disliking it for some reason and no counter argument is going to sway you. You are an extremist when it comes to this particular part of the story. Just like those who dislike the LOST or BSG finales. They've now invested too much time in disliking it to be able to look at it objectively.

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    1. I think extremist would be loathing or hating that arc. But you're right: nothing is going to make me like it. I thought the story line was stupid then, I think it's stupid now. I have looked at it objectively. I can see it for what they wanted it to be, what is was, what it could have been, and what came before. It doens't work for me, but it does for a lot of other people. Just as an example, take Phase 3. It was a great episode, and that's the one people point to when talking about Sarah's love for Chuck. But, if you look at it objectively, you'll realize that she was prepared to do the exact same thing for Shaw in American Hero, although under different circumstances. And he had volunteered to die. Chuck's not that special.

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    2. You haven't looked at it objectively. No way.

      Anyway, give it a rest... you are like a crazy shipper with this crap. We got it. You don't like it. Go find a forum.

      Delete
    3. Done, it's not that big a deal. We have differing opinions. We don't have to agree. And, the site you have here? That was cool of you to set it up, along with GeekFurious. I do enjoy reading the articles and listening to your podcast. I don't comment a lot, today aside. Just so you know I'm not out to antagonize, we just see things differently.

      Delete
  44. Edwin, I don't mind counterpoints. I just find constant back and forth where no one budges to be forum BS that doesn't belong here.

    Our positions are stated and know to each other.

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    Replies
    1. Got it. With the show coming to an end tomorrow, this is probably the end of me commenting, but I do want to say I'm hoping you do one final podcast and we get to hear some things we didn't know before. Like the Bryce in season 3 thing.

      Delete
  45. @Edwin:"take Phase 3. It was a great episode, and that's the one people point to when talking about Sarah's love for Chuck. But, if you look at it objectively, you'll realize that she was prepared to do the exact same thing for Shaw in American Hero, although under different circumstances. And he had volunteered to die. Chuck's not that special."

    Maybe the sex was that good. :D

    S.

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  46. "Edwin, you just REALLY want to dislike it."

    Exactly. You can hate anything if you really want to. For instance, there are fans who LOVE season 4 and even called 'genius.' They find all kinds of excuses and reasons to justify the execution and plot points in that season. It's like they want to convince others that the writing was so compelling and deep. Do I agree with it? NO. But to each their own. We like what we like. I'm a huge Shaw and season 3 fan, but others despise it. I know why they don't like, I just don't feel the same way they do. What works for me doesn't work for every one else. It's life.

    S.

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    Replies
    1. Wait... maybe I'm misunderstanding your point here.

      Why is it that you don't like season 4, while others love it, and it comes down to "...to each their own... What works for me doesn't work for every one else. It's life." (which is basically what I said a few posts ago...)

      But I don't like season 3 and about that you think I just REALLY want to dislike it? Like I'm wrong for not liking it?

      Maybe that's not what you meant but it's how I understood it.

      Delete
    2. And, let me just say, the way you feel about season 4 is the way I feel about season 3. So is it just as simple as us having different tastes or are you saying you're right and I'm wrong?

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    3. Season 3 is superior. So, I say we're right. ;)

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    4. S3 was superior writing wise sans mask and the name reveal . S4 was more enjoyable ( shipper wise ) .

      Non shippers love s3
      shippers love s4

      Delete
  47. here is the link for part 4 http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/chuck-vs-the-retrospective-interview-part-4

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  48. Alan Sepinwall didn't really ask any questions that hadn't already been asked for part 4.

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  49. I was mildly surprised that the "Tide To Go" stick wasn't a paid product placement.

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    1. As I said through the years, there were a bunch of things I thought were product placement, only to be told they weren't. It always seemed like a weird choice to me to give out FREE advertising.

      Like, why they used iPhones instead of the competition, when Apple doesn't pay for product placement.

      Delete
  50. Yeah, if motorola\htc\samsung were willing to pay for placement (and, honestly, android seems like more the audience of this show), it seems like that wouldve been a no brainer.

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  51. "And, let me just say, the way you feel about season 4 is the way I feel about season 3. So is it just as simple as us having different tastes or are you saying you're right and I'm wrong?"

    The most correct answer would be having different tastes. Of course in your opinion you're right and we are.. wrong? It doesn't really matter. We are all different and we like different things. I don't enjoy season 4 because it's too fluffy, predictable, safe, and boring for me. But I really enjoy season 3 because for me the story was much more compelling, exciting, fun and better executed. It also took more risks, which I enjoyed. It was just riveting television!:D

    S.

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    1. Season 3 is a better written season. That makes it better.

      Simple.

      Now we can move on.

      Delete
    2. You are absolutely right :).

      Chuck, you are not a spy, we can't be together. Chuck lets runaway together.
      Sarah I want to be a spy Chuck you not runaway with me , your a spy now , keep your felleng to yourself. Hello, Shaw hello Hannah, Chuck is changing ,oh btw, my name is Sam, now lets pratice the Kamasutra up and down, letf and right. Chuck you need to kill some one , oh Chuck you did it now, I'm fully with Shaw. Oh Chuck you stil my Chuck, lets watch the Eiflfel Tower. Oh we can'T runaway together, there is Devon, Ellie, Casey, we are spys. Sarah I quit, you can love a regular guy ?
      Oh I fall in love with a regular Guy.

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    3. Never mind. :)
      I won't hurt Chuck today. Even if I'm not agreed every move, or story, that the Show made all of these years, even if I still worried about the series finale, and still saying they made a mistake in season 3. In the end of the day it still give me more positive feeling then anything before or after this show. It made me care for crazy about something a simple tv show, that became life style.
      So today I try to not Hurt the show :). and I will miss Chuck.

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  52. I feel like I'm in the darkest time line with all this discussion of S3 . BRB , I'm going to go put 1 wash away blue streak in my hair ...

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