Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chuck vs. the Predictable Route *SPOILERS*

In the mass confusion that is the new television season, Chuck on NBC has always been my shining beacon of hope. When the writer's strike was finished and everyone got back to business, there were three shows that I was relieved made the cut and were returning: Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, and Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles.

Of course, because the universe likes to laugh at me, when these shows were scheduled, they were scheduled all on the same night, in the same time slot, on different networks. My DirectTV DVR is a life saver, but not even it can record more than two shows at once. The result, a lot of scrambling and attempting to watch television shows online. But one show I never thought to miss? My dear Chuck.

Why? Superb writing, layered, thoughtful beautiful characters, and more inside jokes for the inner nerd than you can shake a stick at. Throw in some extremely well choreographed fight scenes, guns and the occasional farce, and you have a fan in me for life. The show, based on the absurd (but awesome) idea that the CIA had it's main computer downloaded into a hapless nerd who must now be protected by a gorgeous CIA handler and a militant NSA agent, has always balanced the perfect pitch of drama and fun.

But, alas, even this show has given me a Sad. Which perhaps isn't too fair of Chuck. It is, after all, a sophomore show coming off a stunted first season, working out it's own kinks and wrapped up in the dilemna of what to do when your lead characters share that Moonlighting/Lois & Clark kinda romance that dictates you keep them apart for a long as possible for fear of making for boring tv.

The result has been an uneven season, with some slightly out of character moments that push the interactions off kilter, and make a rabid fan go 'hmm'.

I 'hmmed' when Chuck reencountered his lost girlfriend Jill, and in his infaturation with her, promptly forgot about his mutual love with beautiful handler Sarah. But I went with it. While I've never been the hugest fan of Jordanna Brewster, she was the best thing about spy-farce D.E.B.S., and had an easy chemistry with Chuck that proved likable and fun. She also represented a real threat to Sarah and Chuck's relationship, and an opportunity for growth for Chuck. Could Chuck learn to see past his own blinding emotions to realize he could move past the girl who broke his heart and appreciate the woman who loves him for who he truly is?

We'll never really get the chance to find out, because in it's latest offering 'Chuck vs The Fat Lady', it was revealed that Jill, Chuck's college girlfriend and reignited flame, was a Fulcrum Agent and a bad guy.

It's a disapointment. Who didn't see that coming? Well-executed, sure, but also a bit of a cheater's way out. Break a love triangle by making the third girl EVOL. Does everyone have to be a Fulcrum Agent? Just how many ARE there in Burbank that Chuck keeps tripping over them everywhere they go?

Maybe I'm not giving Chuck enough credit. Maybe there's a big geeky plan and this will just be another layer to a complicated reintroduction to Jill. An explanation of how she ended up in Fulcrum and in Bryce's bed following her college break up with Chuck has yet to be addressed, and perhaps this is all a lead up to that.

I hope so. If not, that was just too easy.

And yes, I realize that's a little obsessive, but a show like Chuck is a homage to the nerd, and if you throw in the nerd jokes, the nerds will come.

And nitpick the hell out of your show.


  1. I felt the exact same way towards the entire lead up in the end. I was all. no no no don't be predictable. no no no. But I do enjoy Jordanna/Jill so I'm hoping they'll just make her even more complex. She deserves to stick around (and I do find it funny that she's on here after she did (was going) to do the pilot for Mr. and Mrs. Smith for the ole TV).

  2. What I'm hoping for at the very least is for some real hesitation for Jill. She must have been recruited in college, just like Bryce, and just like Bryce, fooled into working for Fulcrum, but she stuck around. I could work with that. But none of this one note cardboard evil stuff. It's a disservice to the character.