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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Chuck (The TV show, not the Norris) (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Chuck (The TV show, not the Norris)
Raymond Arnold
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So I've been on the fence for a while on whether this show is actually good or not. The first few episodes I thought were hilarious, then the following ones became extremely formulaic and the comedy was kinda meh for a while.

This season things have been picking up and an actual interesting story is developing. I have a suspicion that Orion isn't really dead, and that he's Chuck's father. Assuming I'm right that's a slightly clichéd direction for the show to go but actually makes sense - Chuck presumably gets his ability to read subliminal messages so well from his father, and if his father developed the Intersect to work with his own brain his son's brain would also work.

My roommate and I have been annoyed for a while that Chuck has never bothered taking a martial arts class despite getting attacked on a weekly basis. I'm hoping they followup on the implication in yesterday's episode that he's actually gonna get some formal training.

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Teshi
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quote:
I have a suspicion that Orion isn't really dead, and that he's Chuck's father.
Orly [Wink] . I assume that's what we're supposed to think. Oddly, I find that makes the show slightly less interesting, especially if it turns out to be true.
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Raymond Arnold
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I don't think the show is sophisticated enough to avoid the obvious tropes. The missing father is definitely gonna turn out to be important, whether it's Orion or not. And yes, it's probably gonna be kinda lame. But Chuck doesn't bill itself as a particularly deep saga so I'm gonna forgive them in advance for it.
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J-Put
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It's supposed to be stupid...that's the whole point. It's like the sci-fi original movies, just fun to watch, not deep and thought provoking.
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Shigosei
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I figured Orion might not be dead, but the idea that he's Chuck's father didn't occur to me.

Personally, I really enjoy the show. Yes, it's somewhat formulaic, but it often manages to come up with a twist that surprises me. I liked the episode with the hostage situation, for instance. And I love all the geeky in-jokes.

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Lyrhawn
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From what I've read, Orion is supposedly Chevy Chase, but I'm not sure about that. For sure, Chuck's father is Scott Bakula.

But I don't think that Orion is Chuck's father. Way too much of a coincidence. The Intersect got where it did because of Bryce Larkin.

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Raymond Arnold
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Far less of a coincidence than his old girlfriend being a Fulcrum agent. Bryce and the hypothetical father theory feel coincidental but actually make sense given the backstory. Jill's being Fulcrum was just random.

Anycase, I know the show doesn't exactly cry out for overthinking. Mostly I just wanted to make a thread with this title.

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Shigosei
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I suppose it's possible that Orion was working with Bryce against Fulcrum. Then again, if that were true, he would have probably contacted Chuck earlier.

Given how many Stanford students are apparently spies of one kind or another, I actually don't think that Jill is that big a coincidence [Wink]

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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Great Theme song and in general, good use of music. Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer and watching Jeff and Lester audition for Awesome's wedding make it worth-while.
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Humean316
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I don't really have anything substantial to add, except that I do love Chuck.

Oh yeah, get your friends to watch the show because it appears that it may be in danger of being canceled because of low ratings.

Tricia Helfer guest stars next week, which sounds like incentive enough!

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Carrie
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quote:
Originally posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong:
... watching Jeff and Lester audition for Awesome's wedding make it worth-while.

That put "Africa" in my head for several weeks. And it was freaking hilarious to boot. [Big Grin]
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Glenn Arnold
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I haven't watched enough to know about Chuck's missing father. I like the show enough, but I don't want to think too hard about it. Willing suspension of disbelief is a lot easier when it's just mindless entertainment.

As to:

quote:
My roommate and I have been annoyed for a while that Chuck has never bothered taking a martial arts class despite getting attacked on a weekly basis.
This makes sense to me. Chuck has said many times that he isn't a spy, and doesn't want to be made into one. Avoiding spy training of any sort helps keep him from being more than an "asset."
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Raymond Arnold
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Didn't know you had started watching it.

quote:
This makes sense to me. Chuck has said many times that he isn't a spy, and doesn't want to be made into one. Avoiding spy training of any sort helps keep him from being more than an "asset."
I agree it makes sense for Chuck to have avoided it, to preserve the illusion that he's still a normal person, but I think eventually it's gonna become apparent that it's necessary. That seemed to be one of the points of last episode.

That being said, I'm totally fine with the show being mindless entertainment. Honestly I wouldn't care that much if it were canceled, although it seems to me to be the kind of show that should "work." It's about as entertaining as the average sitcom (which from what I understand tend to get better ratings due to their accessibility) and it doesn't require you to have watched the whole thing from beginning to end.

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mr_porteiro_head
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Does anybody care anymore what happens between Chuck and Hot Blond Agent? Hopefully they've stopped making every third episode about that.
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Goody Scrivener
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As much as I'd like to see Chuck and Sarah get together, I've resigned myself to the fact that it won't happen... except maybe at the series finale. Same thing with getting the Intersect out of his head. I'm not sure if Chuck has quite accepted it, though. It seems like he thinks that if he can become free of the Intersect, he'll have a chance with her. Although maybe this last episode, when he and Orion tapped into the video feed in Casey's apartment, will wake him up a bit there.

I don't trust Orion. I'm willing to believe that he is who they're telling us he is, the creator of the Intersect and not a Fulcrum agent. But I don't trust that he's going to help Chuck in any way. I think he's using Chuck - and especially Chuck's seeming trust in everyone around him - to build Intersect 2.0... or is it 3.0 now? I seem to recall an attempt at a rebuild early in the show.

I love Chuck's graph on the back of the Tron poster and the Intersect schematics taped inside his comic books.

As for Dad? I suspect there's going to be more there than meets the eye. They've been dangling him on the periphery for too long. Is he involved with the Intersect? Is he FBI? CIA? NSA? Fulcrum???

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School4ever
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I like how the guest stars play roles for which they are known.

The Mummy guy playing an undead guy.
Chevy Chase makes total sense as Orien (Fletch).
The dad from the Urkel show playing a cop.

Obviously I would not win any pop culture trivia challenges, but you get my point.

The guy from Arrested Development (this was the first one I noticed because the first episode I saw was his first episode. I thought the guy couldn't act until I noticed the trend.)

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School4ever
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Goody,

The dad is either a military leader guy (Enterprise).

Or a person trying to fix the mistakes of others (Quantum Leap)

What else has Scott Bakula been in?

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Goody Scrivener
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Heh, good point School.... so long as we stick to guests. It doesn't work for Adam Baldwin as NSA.
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Magson
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Anyone remember Jake 2.0? Similar premise, although using nanobots instead of images, plus they "superpowered" the guy.

Even so.... he was the typical angst-ridden, shy, nerdy guy and they *immediately* shoved him into spy/field agent training. and that was one of the things I loved about the show -- he *didn't* have the mindset for it, and kept screwing up, and tbh, it was only the fact that his nano-tech made him more or less into Superman that kept him alive. But he grew over time and started to learn, etc etc etc. His character developed and grew and was beginning to become something more.

Chuck hasn't struck me as having any kind of character development at all. He shows occasional flashes of competence, but those are more or less random. Frankly, I'm in complete agreement that Chuck should at the very least have been required to take a gun course and to do concealed-carry due to his technically being a covert CIA agent, plus Walker and Casey should be doing at least 3x a week martial arts/self-defense classes with him. Sure, Sarah's his bodyguard, but she *can't* always be on him like glue -- he *has* to be able to defend himself, and should have been in-training to do so from *Minute 1.*

Granted, it's "just a show" and all that, but suspension of disbelief only goes so far, ya know? Especially with as hard-assed as Casey and the General have been all along. I truly can't imagine that Casey wouldn't have strong-armed Chuck into a karate dojo or something at the General's insistence.

And in regard to this week's eppie: Am I the only one who LOVED Casey's wounded look when the General told him to get out of the '80's after seeing his picture of Reagan? I about died laughing at that.

Edit to add: Big Hollywood has a post on the show today.

[ March 26, 2009, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: Magson ]

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School4ever
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The Arrested Development guy is always listed as a guest star, Adam Baldwin never is.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Isn't it weird that somebody as geeky as Chuck wouldn't notice that the new agent looks an awful lot like #6 from BSG?
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Goody Scrivener
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I was *SO* waiting for Six's red dress to be part of his flash.
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AvidReader
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I thought Scott Bakula was wonderful in this last episode. I didn't realize he'd sell crazy so well.
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Goody Scrivener
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Finally got to watch Monday's episode. I'll agree that Bakula sells crazy well... but dezaaaaaang. I did NOT want him to be Orion. Now I am fully expecting them to reveal that Devon is also an agent of some sort (which I know was an abandoned plot point from S1).
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AvidReader
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I'm still a little fuzzy on why we don't just have Chuck, Ellie, and Devon take spy classes so Chuck's better protected when he's home. I guess when you deal with secrets on a regular basis you fall into the habit that everything should be a secret.

But I agree that Devon would probably be as awesome a spy as he is everything else.

ETA: Except it just hit me that they're doctors. I'm not sure they'll have it in them to keep guns handy in the house and kill people if need be. And if they won't help protect Chuck, why worry them with the knowledge that he's near-always in danger? Maybe it makes a certain kind of sense.

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JennaDean
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quote:
I'm still a little fuzzy on why we don't just have Chuck, Ellie, and Devon take spy classes so Chuck's better protected when he's home.
Because the show wouldn't be as funny if Chuck were just another spy. Part of the gags come from him not knowing what to do or being lousy at doing it.

Unfortunately with this show, a lot of it has to be accepted on the premise that the show needs it to be just accepted like that, that they do things for the sake of the show, not because it makes sense. Like the ridiculous decisions the CIA makes. They don't want to take the intersect out of his head because then he wouldn't need Sarah around all the time and there goes your show. They don't train Chuck because it wouldn't be as funny. They make decisions not because it would be the best plan but because it would make Chuck jealous, or get him caught in an awkward situation, or put him and Sarah in a situation where they realize they're in love with each other but can't be together.

I love this show but I had to decide a long time ago that it takes place in an alternate universe with an alternate CIA where intelligent people would actually make those decisions. It's not the kind of show I can get lost in - I can never forget that it's a show, because they make so many choices just for the sake of the premise of the show.

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Raymond Arnold
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Yesterday was, I think, my favorite Chuck episode since the pilot. I'm not sure if they're setting it up for a series finale or if they just plan to have him stick the intersect back in his head in order to save the day next episode, but either way I think season 2 was better overall than I expected and I liked seeing all the plot threads find resolution here.
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Dobbie
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What's an intersect?
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Raymond Arnold
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Um, do you watch the show?
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
Yesterday was, I think, my favorite Chuck episode since the pilot. I'm not sure if they're setting it up for a series finale or if they just plan to have him stick the intersect back in his head in order to save the day next episode, but either way I think season 2 was better overall than I expected and I liked seeing all the plot threads find resolution here.

They aren't setting up for a series finale. Josh Shwartz said that if the show ends up being canceled, this will be one of the most disappointing finales in the history of TV, and people will set their living rooms on fire.

I read it in an interview somewhere.

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Carrie
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I do not want to set my living room on fire.

Just sayin'. [Smile]

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Raymond Arnold
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That's quite a statement there. Terminator had a pretty friggin' awesome finale that still makes me scream when I think about it a week later, so this firecracker of a finale better be pretty good.
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Lyrhawn
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NBC announces their Fall lineup on May 5th. So, at the very latest we'll know by then.
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Dobbie
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
Um, do you watch the show?

No.
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Raymond Arnold
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Well... seems to me this is a sort of weird thread for you to be following. The Intersect is a computer containing all information in the CIA and NSA databases designed to be downloaded into a human brain via subliminal messaging.
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AvidReader
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You know, until Chevy Chase emerged from the rubble in the end, I could have been happy with that as the end of the series. I hope they don't over-reach themselves.
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Raymond Arnold
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Yeah, that's how I felt. I'm gonna treat this as my own personal canon if it turns out to be a Shark-Jumping moment
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Goody Scrivener
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I'm so upset about that last episode. Mad at Dad, beyond mad at Morgan and yet also proud of Morgan, fairly well cheesed off at Casey, annoyed with Chevy Chase, but ooh yay Devon.
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Carrie
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I don't know if anyone just watched the finale, but it was pretty awesome (to use the appropriate word...). [Smile]
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Raymond Arnold
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I thought it was generally good, but I don't think they made the right choice for the new Intersect's abilities. I like that Chuck got an upgrade, but I think that upgrade should have increased his mental capabilities, not given him super physical ones. I think it'll ruin the dynamic of the show for Chuck to be the smart one AND the physically capable one.

A better intersect would have been something like River Tam's brain (if you don't know who River Tam is, shame on you. Go watch Firefly. Right now. Shoo). She does have good martial skills, but those came from extreme physical conditioning. Her primary abilities are mental - calculating the angle to fire the gun and such. Having the intersect be a "superbrain" could also give him the appearance of psychic powers by analyzing facial expressions and what-not. I think that would have let use keep the essence of "Chuck" while still letting him feel a lot more badass.

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Lyrhawn
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I think there will be a whole lot more to the new dynamic than just making him SuperChuck. It's too easy for him to have Sarah and Casey's martial skill and his own technical skill. I think there will be limits and flaws.

And to echo Carrie - AWESOME!!!

That episode had more pure awesome injected into it than any season finale I've seen in awhile.

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Raymond Arnold
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...did you see either the Heroes or Terminator season finales? I've actually been very impressed with season finales as a whole this year.
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Lyrhawn
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I missed Heroes, but I'll try to catch it on Hulu in a few days.
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Raymond Arnold
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As for rules - that's what I'd go for, except that they already demonstrated ninja skills being used immediately when they were needed, without much biological consequence. (If they DID have him actually break his back and muscles from letting the system control him like that, I'd be impressed)

Also, I'm tickled by the fact that Chuck could very well be the "prequel" to Dollhouse.

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AvidReader
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I think this could be an interesting twist on Chuck. He's been smart, now he can defend himself, but the idea that this will serve as a replacement for spy school is laughable. He still thinks like an Average Joe, and that's something only training or experience will fix.

I could laugh at a season or two of Chuck crouching and covering his ears while the guns are being fired and then turn around and go all Matrix on the guy sneaking up on them. Then freak out some more becuase he killed the guy.

I would like to see them delve into that. How much does it wear on you mentally to not be prepared for your physical capabilities? That's got to be stressful.

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Magson
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While I'm glad that he's now able to defend himself physically, I felt it was a cop out. He simply doens't have the body/strength/conditioning/flexibility/muscle memory to be able to throw those moves. Of course... neither does Sarah, but we can at least pretend she's been trained for her entire career.

I stand by my prior post in which I said I feel like he should have been in martial arts and gun training in order to be able to defend himself from the very 1st minute that it was known that he was the Intersect. Having Intersect 2.0 just give it to him..... I'm glad he can do it, but I wish he'd done it "right" if that makes sense.

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Raymond Arnold
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Thought:

So far we've seen that some people have a better ability to deal with and assimilate the subliminal messaging necessary for the Intersect to work. It's also suggested this is genetic - Chuck is Orion's son and all. So it's likely that Elly would also be a good candidate to process Intersect technology. I don't expect that to happen in the immediate future but I think could make for a fun and interesting plot in Season 4 or something, if they ever get that far.

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Goody Scrivener
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I'm happy that Chuck is once again the Intersect. I find it interesting, although somehow unsurprising, that Steve tested it out on himself. It might help explain why he went into hiding. I'm intrigued at the changes made to the system that allow Chuck to be proficient in kung fu at a vital moment.

I love that Ellie got her dream wedding after all. Yay for shutting down the Senior Awesomes. Too bad it took completely destroying the facility and all that hard work to set up in order to make it happen.

I'm not sure if I believe Bryce is really dead this time. And with all the emphasis on Mothers Day early in the show, I'm still expecting her to make an appearance. Hey, maybe fledgling-Intersect Dad flashed on something related to Mom and THATs why he left...?

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Humean316
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
I think this could be an interesting twist on Chuck. He's been smart, now he can defend himself, but the idea that this will serve as a replacement for spy school is laughable. He still thinks like an Average Joe, and that's something only training or experience will fix.

Yeah, I agree. How about this though, I think General Beckman set this all up. I think she asked Chuck to be an analyst because she wanted Chuck to work for the CIA. In fact, I think she is the one who included the kung fu training, remember she was tired of having to protect Chuck, and by doing it this way, not only does Chuck think that he chose his own destiny but he can also protect himself with this new intersect. Not only that but now she doesn't have to store the intersect in a room, she can always simply come to Chuck, which makes the intersect much more useful and pragmatic. Remember, the CIA and NSA *always* lie, which makes them letting Chuck go so easily much more believable.

It was a great finale, I had my Subway sandwich and sent in the card and letter, and now I hope for renewal.

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Magson
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Isn't it weird that somebody as geeky as Chuck wouldn't notice that the new agent looks an awful lot like #6 from BSG?

TBH, I'm kinda surprised he doesn't recognize Awesome's dad as Tron either, especially since all his "hidden stuff" about the Intersect is on the back of a frakking Tron poster and Dad signaled him to be at the FULCRUM base by saying there'd be a Tron showing at midnight. . . .
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