Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Chuck versus the Apocalypse

If you've been on the internet today, particularly the TV-centric parts, you may have notice something. That fans were in uproar because of Chuck. Apparently this episode of Chuck was so offensive it has now led countless people to boycott the show entirely, or at least they say they will.

All I can say is that some people are quite deluded. Was Chuck last night a great episode? Not really, it was OK but nothing special. Did it make me want to drop the show like a hot potato? NO! I still find Chuck to be one of the most refreshing shows on television. I'm sticking with it till the end.

And yet the episode is getting responses like this:

- "that was the worst episode ever they killed the characters. A comment for one poster on NBC was "The show runners finally killed Chuck..."

- "If we can bring the number of on air viewers below 1 million, the advertisers will take note. You can count on that. You can also bet the advertisers will be on the phone to NBC and the producers of Chuck. Money talks after all."

- "Our sad decision to remove Chuck from our viewing schedule came from the abhorrently low-grade soap opera style this program has delved into. Specifically, forcing characters to behave in stark contrast to their established norms. And all for nothing more grand or "progressive" than cheap shock value."

These just seem completely over the top reactions. Luckily some sane people have been able to speak sense during all of this, particularly the person who doesn't seem to understand that any show with sub-1 million viewers is going to get cancelled fairly quickly, no matter the level of online support.

My main issue is that so many people are planning to jump off of Chuck just because they don't agree with the relationship issues. Whilst indeed the Chuck/Sarah chemistry has been an important part, it's just one of many parts that make up this great show. I think Alan Sepinwall put it best:

"If you're only watching the show for the chance of Chuck and Sarah getting together, you've spent more than two years missing an awful lot of other good stuff happening on this show."

There's a lot to love about Chuck and so many people seem to be shocked that Sarah has decided to hook up with Shaw that they've decided to completely abandon the show despite this being one small flaw, that is probably only a road block on the inevitable coupling of Chuck and Sarah. If you think that Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak are stupid enough to keep them apart forever then clearly there's something wrong or you've simply never seen a "will they, won't they" relationship"

I see no problem with them being a pairing. Chuck and Sarah have drifted apart because Chuck is becoming a spy and less of the man that Sarah had fallen in love with. He hurt her extremely badly, leaving her at the train station alone. So what has she done? She's gone back to her "type", people like Bryce, Cole and Shaw. Manly spies because she knows they won't her, at least not in the same way that Chuck did.

Chuck on the other hand had been pining over Sarah for years and now she hates him. He clearly still loves her but a gorgeous girl has fallen head over hells for him and Sarah is showing no signs of forgiving him. Both characters are in weird headspaces and yet they apparently aren't allowed to be in a relationship unless it's with each other?

I'm not going to say the leap to relationship was handled perfectly. I will admit that the Shaw/Sarah thing could have done with an extra episode just to put it across more but still when you only have Brandon Routh for a set number of episodes and a story to tell in that time, I don't mind if some corners are cut, just as long as the end result is great. Looking at Chuck's track record they're setting up for something epic but the fans on the blogs seem to be forgetting that.

For them this hook-up is the last straw. They don't care to see the inevitable failure of both relationships due to the fact that they're only contracted for a little while. They don't care about the Ring story. They don't care about the great supporting characters. They care about the now and the fact they aren't getting what they want NOW. All good things come to those who wait, but apparently a lot of Chuck fans seem incapable of waiting.

Interesting Reading

I'm just going to include a few links for some more background and comments from people on the matter

Alan Sepinwall's Review
Maureen Ryan's review
Linda Holmes brilliant outline of events for NPR
NBC Board postings (will need to skip to page 10 or so)

And some indivdual comments:
Alan Sepinwall's comment on Shipping in TV
SerendipityWAF (who helped save the show last year)

Overall I thought the episode was OK, about a 7 or 7.5 But honestly nothing that makes me feel like they've jumped the shark or have made a mistake they can never come back from. Whilst the fans did help Chuck back last year, they don't have a say in how the story goes, that's the writer's job. Let's just hope the fans who are up in arms don't enact upon any of their crazy schemes because that could kill what has up until now been a fantastic show. The show is still on the bubble and one weak episode shouldn't mark the end for it.

1 comment:

IaSg14 said...

Whoa...spammage ^^^
Anyway, on Thursday there's a film on BBC 4 that was about Iron Maiden's tour two years ago. It's called "Flight 666" and it's the start of the BBC's Heavy Metal Brittania season, so if I don't review the show you mentioned then I'll give that one a shot.
Also, good for Craig!

The Game.