10 May, 2013
06 May, 2013
Two caveats: This list is in no particular order, just whatever comes into my head at any given time. Also, these are essentially 91 different things that just make me smile when I think about them.
1. Yvonne Strahovski. OK, this one is in a particular order. What's not to love? She's incredibly gorgeous. Her character is bad-ass but with a sweet and softer side. Few women can pull off being beautiful, hot, sexy and adorable all at the same time: Sarah Walker does. She's a great actress and can pull off any action sequence, any emotional moment and even comedic scenes with aplomb.
2. "Pineapple." I really don't think I have to expound upon my reasoning here. You already know that this might be the greatest word ever -- even though it is "the word that cannot be spoken".
3. The Music. I used to be a loser who preferred hip-hop music. This show changed that, as I am now obsessed (but still a loser) with Indie rock. I've made playlists of over 20+ tracks for each season with songs that I love and have been introduced to dozens and dozens of bands that I now like that I never would have learned about. Thanks, 'Chuck'.
4. 'Chuck' Combines Comedy, Drama, Action & Romance. Seriously, what other shows can claim to feature all four of those genres? It's perhaps the biggest reason why this show is so special to all of us.
5. The Nerd Herd Car. I don't even have a drivers' license and I want a Nerd Herder -- even if it is sitting on plastic. Since I don't drive, I'll take one of THESE or one of THESE.
6. The 'Chuck' Drinking Game. So you like 'Chuck' and you like to consume alcohol, you say? Well I have the perfect thing for you!
7. The Intersect. I think most of us got annoyed in later seasons when seemingly everyone but Casey and Beckman got the Intersect, but that doesn't change how cool it is and how original an idea it was. It was a fun and exciting concept that only got better when Chuck learned Kung-Fu. I could have done without 'The Governor', but what are you gonna do?
8. Casey's Love of Ronald Reagan. Whether he's saluting a framed picture of Reagan (or putting his hand print on it) before he leaves his apartment, getting excited about renting Reagan's former office or Beckman telling him to wake up because the 80s are over, it simply never gets old or less funny.
9. When the Buy More Storyline Matches the Spy Storyline. Some people hated the Buy More shenanigans, or at the very least got tired of it. I'm not one of those people, I loved it. But even for the haters out there, you have to admit how great it was when both the spy stuff and the Buy More stuff coincided or could relate to one another. Those often made for the best episodes.
EXAMPLES: (1) I love in "Chuck vs. Santa Claus" when Chuck sees Sarah kill the Fulcrum agent and Morgan sees Anna get kissed by Lester, and then Morgan asks Chuck if he's ever seen someone he loves do something so horrific. (2) In "Chuck vs. the Role Models" when Morgan tries to get Big Mike's lanyard off while Chuck tries to get the collar off of the tiger.
10. Buy-Moria. Looking for a new wallpaper on your computer? You could do worse than THIS ONE. I need to get myself a Buy Moria flag.
Speaking of which, here are my Top 10 things I would have stolen from the 'Chuck' set... (10) The Bell at the Nerd Herd desk (9) Sarah's Charm Bracelet (8) Chuck's spy watch (7) The Wheel of Misfortune (6) Reagan picture frame (5) The Jeffster! Sleep Sheep (4) The Buy Moria Flag (3) The Fountain in the courtyard (2) Norman: Big Mike's Marlin (1) Chuck's Tron Poster. Other things I want: The Morgan-nuptial, the Buy More phone, the comic book with the intersect plans, Orion's wrist watch.
11. The Many Great Nicknames. Anytime I hear any of the following nicknames, it's hard not to laugh: "Cobra", "Six-Pack", "Hot Mama", "Scraggly Troll", "Little Elf", "Captain Awesome", "Chuck's Wooly Friend", "Chuck's Stable of Ho's".
12. The 'Buy Morons'. We all love Chuck and Sarah. And Casey. And Morgan. But the show isn't quite the same without Big Mike, Jeff, Lester and Anna. It just isn't. Fernando, Skip, Emmett and Tang deserve some recognition as well. They were always good for some extra laughs and goofiness.
13. Fountain Conversations. In a show with a limited budget, having good dialogue is especially important. And was there any better dialogue than when scenes took place at the fountain? I think not. So many special and emotional scenes took place there.
Let me show you my favorites: (3) Chuck dances with Sarah while Orion talks with Bryce (2) Chuck breaks up with Sarah, per Bryce's request. (1) Chuck tells Sarah he's going to get the Intersect out of his head and be with the woman he loves.
14. Casey Grunting. No explanation necessary. But in case you want one, here it goes.
15. Chuck's Flashes. Whether it's a regular flash, a fake flash, an imitated flash, a skills flash, a Fulcrum flash, an accused flash on Duck Hunt, or my favorite flash ever, it's always pretty cool.
16. Jeffster! If you don't like this wonderful band that is adored by women AND men, then move along. If you do, then here is a compilation of their fine work.
17. Casey's Hatred of Hugging. Because men can't hug if they don't have their man parts.
18. Awesome Being the Worst Liar Ever. He's awesome when he flosses or saves lives, but the man can't be cool or awesome when he tries to hold in a secret. And it's hilarious. Perhaps even better than having to decapitate the bear is Awesome's line in Chuck vs. the Push Mix when he freaks out over losing the CD Chuck gave him: "No push mix, no baby!"
19. The Wind Machine. We all like when Sarah walks into the Buy More and the wind machine blows around her hair, but I love that the Wind Machine doesn't discriminate.
20. Jeff's Creepy Van. Remember, Chuck is going to tell his grand-kids about Jeff and Lester's stalking abilities. And that van is where they do their best work ...and where they hide out when the authorities suspect them of blowing up the Buy More. Special nod to Jeff's creepy bathroom stall office.
21. Orion's Gadgets.Whether it's the thing he wears on his wrist, his impressive computer hacks or his Roark 7 computer, you know it's all really cool. Except for the Governor. That was just stupid.
22. Family Gatherings. Earlier I got nostalgic over the fountain scenes. Now it's time to do the same about the family gatherings: be it thanksgiving day meals that Morgan isn't invited to, house-warming parties that Morgan says 'no' to Carina or a game of charades with the most dangerous man in world -- they are all special times. THIS ONE, though, is perhaps my favorite.
23. Giant Blonde Shemale of Thailand. Fans of Sarah Walker (OK, that's everyone who has ever watched the show) love Yvonne's performance in Chuck vs. Phase Three. Every time I hear that phrase I laugh and I think about how great she was in this episode and how great Yvonne Strahovski is in general. And how ridiculous and funny that nickname was.
24. Rivalry Between Chuck & Shaw. Shaw should have died when Chuck shot him multiple times in the chest. Seriously, mother fucker was dead. Oh well. His miraculous survival did at least provide us with more and more moments between the two bitter rivals.
(P.S. I loved the Shaw character and think the people who didn't are idiots. He added great drama, including the revelation that Sarah killed Shaw's wife, the excellent Chuck vs. the Other Guy episode, the murder of Chuck's father, and two fight scenes in the Buy More. Complain all you want, but you're wrong.)
25. Chuck Wearing Chuck Taylor's. I personally don't like those shoes, but it makes Chuck Bartowski just a little bit cooler that he wears them.
26. The Opening Theme. You've heard/seen it a billion times, but you know you're gonna click on this link anyway.
27. Chuck Saving the Day.What's your favorite? Here are mine: (3) Chuck drops a package in the chute, shipping the diamond to Beckman and Graham in Episode 1.4 (2) Chuck uses a porn virus to disarm the bomb in Episodes 1.1 and 5.13 (1) Chuck fools the bad guy into thinking there's back-up by using Morgan's Call of Duty plan in Episode 2.1.
Special shout-outs to: using a juice box to disarm a bomb, setting off fireworks in a car, making sure the bad guy samples the antidote, getting the coordinates to Casey's Crown Victoria and blowing it up instead of themselves, Chuck's pep talk to Casey fighting the sensei, Chuck being the DJ and spotlighting the bad guys with his speech, Chuck beating Missile Command.
28. Casey Trying To Sell Merchandise at the Buy More. While I love when Casey acts like a lunatic at the Buy More (conking Jeff and Lester's heads), or when he kicks some ass (throwing a toaster at a bad guy's head), I really enjoy when he tries to actually be a good employee. I lose it every time I see the scene where is genuinely excited about selling a beast-master to a single white female.
29. Everyone's Bewilderment Over Sarah Being With Chuck. Anna shoots down the idea that Chuck got Sarah because "she's a pro", because he can't afford her on a Buy More salary. But Jeff has the answer as to why Chuck is killing it with the ladies: it's either mind control or sorcery.
30. Awesome Without a Shirt. THIS is for you, ladies. You're welcome.
31. Morgan's Janitor's Room Office.Whether he's hiding from Shaw in a bullet proof vest, firing Chuck from being his best friend, or decorating the office to seduce Hanna into liking him, I always laugh when I see Morgan in there.
32. Vicki Vale. There are a million funny scenes in 'Chuck', but perhaps the funniest (or at the very least, the most charmingly funny scene) happens in the very first episode. Stop the presses!
33. Carina & Morgan. Because we've all dreamed about sleeping with someone WAY out of our league and he's the only one to do it. And all he had to do was tell her no. I gotta try this!
34. iPhone Pictures for Phone Call. 'Chuck' used the iPhone to perfection, highlighted by the hilarious pictures that would show up on his phone when someone called him. The picture of Awesome kissing his biceps and Casey giving a scowl face makes me crack up every single time.
35. Chuck+Sarah Song. Listen to this for 2 minutes and 34 seconds and try not to get emotional. I dare you.
36. Tim Jones' Musical Score. Although that particular song is extra special to all of us, all of his other songs were amazing too. Everyone raves about how much they loved the music on this show (with good reason), but I think sometimes Tim Jones' composed music gets unfairly overlooked.
Dear Tim Jones: You're the man. Thanks for making our favorite TV show even better. You should thank him, too, on Twitter @timjonesmusic
37. Angry Sarah Walker. When Sarah Walker got mad, she got even hotter. See: Giant Blonde Shemale of Thailand. Hell, even when she got mad at Chuck for trying to seduce her and changed from THIS OUTFIT! to THIS OUTFIT, she's insanely hot.
38. Fight Scenes. It didn't matter if the fight scenes were pre-intersect 2.0 or post, they were almost always awesome and original. Who could forget Sarah fighting in the shower with Nicole Richie or in the car with Smooth Lau? Or dual fighting scenes like Sarah back-to-back with Bryce or Chuck handcuffed with Sarah in the coffee shop? Chuck, Sarah and Casey all had great moments in hand-to-hand combat. Even Devon, Ellie, Big Mike and Morgan got into the action occasionally, too.
39. Orion's Cabin. That was a pretty kick-ass cabin Stephen J. Bartowski had. Loaded with gadgets and equipped to both lure Volkoff to it and take down his entire network. Until Vivian took over, that is.
40. Subway Ads. I don't know exactly how much the Subway fan campaign ran by Wendy Farrington helped get a Season 3, but I think we owe a lot of gratitude to both Subway and Wendy for their contributions to the show.
A lot of people complain when they see blatant product placement in TV shows, but 'Chuck' did a brilliant job integrating Subway into the show. I don't know how you could do anything but smile every time Big Mike took a bite into a foot-long.
41. Bucket of Cheeseballs. Whenever I see a bucket of cheeseballs, I always think of Chuck in the Season 2 opener.
42. Sarah With Knives. If I wasn't incapable of making and editing video, I would totally make a bad-ass montage of Sarah Walker and all her impressive work with knives and other fun instruments. Thankfully, one such video already exists. Thanks, Internet!
43. Morgan Acting as a Therapist. When Morgan pretends he's a therapist and clicks his pen, I always laugh. Even if he fails to properly mediate the battle between Ellie and Awesome over the TV vs. the washer and dryer. My favorite was when he tried to see why Ellie could possibly be cheating on Awesome, only to learn that "I would have him if he'd let me."
44. Chuck & Morgan Strip-kicking. Haha. This is just so 'Chuck', I love it. "Casey can never know about this."
45. The Amazing Guest Stars. I could list dozens and dozens of great guests on the show. Instead, I'll just name my favorite 10 characters (not a ranking of the actors themselves) ... (10) Alexei Volkoff played by Timothy Dalton (9) Alex McHugh played by Mekenna Melvin (8) Nicholas Quinn played by Angus Macfayden (7) Jack Burton by Gary Cole (6) Cole Barker by Jonathan Cake (5) Carina played by Mini Anden (4) Daniel Shaw by Brandon Routh (3) Bryce Larkin played by Matt Bomer (2) Orion/Stephen J. Bartowski by Scott Bakula (1) Roan Montgomery by John Larroquette.
Honorable Mentions: Linda Hamilton (Mary Bartowski), Chevy Chase (Ted Roark), Kristin Kreuk (Hannah), Jordana Brewster (Jill Roberts), Lauren Cohan (Vivian Volkoff), Carrie-Ann Moss (Gertrude Verbanski), Rachel Bilson (Lou), Richard Burgi (Clyde Decker), Ray Wise (Riley)
46. Buy More Take-Overs. I think we can all agree that enemies infiltrated the Buy More far too often, but they gave us moments like this, so I'm fine with it. The funny thing is, the only person to take out the Buy More was Morgan when he blew it up haha.
47. Casey Getting Excited with Weaponry. Nobody loves guns more than John Casey. He loves using them, he loves cleaning them, he loves talking about them. The man gets downright giddy. It's fun to watch.
48. Casey's One-Liners."Did somebody order drive-thru?" "Way to go, Ace!" "Don't puke on the C4." "Don't worry, we'll just order you another handler from the CIA catalog." "Pull a stunt like that again and I'll kill you before she does." "Now that's what I call moving some merchandise." "Chuck, you're the poster boy for friendly fire."
Those are just some of the wonderful one-liners Casey always has ready for any given situation. Between those, his love of guns and grunting and his distaste for hugs, it's no wonder we all love John Casey.
49. Chuck+Sarah Bickering on Missions. I loved in Chuck vs. the Role Models when Sarah and Chuck were on a mission together and Sarah noted how unprofessional that the Turner's were being when they were bickering during the mission. Chuck and Sarah did that all the time! And it was always entertaining when they did.
50. Chuck's Aversion to Real Guns. "Mom, we need to have a talk about the benefits of tranq guns." And who could forget Chuck not wanting to use a gun in the finale to scare Sarah away and still ending up shooting down Casey's helicopter?
51. Guest Stars Referencing Their Own Scenes/Dialogue. It was always cool when 'Chuck' gave shout-outs to some of their guest stars' previous work. Like when Linda Hamilton did push-ups in the jail cell (referencing "The Terminator") or when Dolph Lundgren said "I must break you", a la Ivan Drago in "Rocky".
52. Sarah Manipulating Morgan. If this list was in a specific order, this one would be near the top. One of my favorite things ever was anytime Sarah would extract info from Morgan by intimidating him. Here is the best example of one such instance.
Morgan was not the only one she would manipulate to get what she wanted...T.I.T.S.
53. Fake Nerd Herd Calls. I think just about every time there was a call into the Nerd Herd for an on-site install, it was a fake call. You think Chuck would have learned that after Casey's fake call in Episode 1.2, but apparently he didn't -- because the late, great Michael Clarke Duncan pulled the same trick in the Season 2 opener.
54. Sarah's Reactions When She Thinks Chuck Dies. When Sarah thinks Chuck is a goner, we either get an awesome and surprising make-out session, or we get Yvonne showing off her acting skills: such as when she thinks Chuck blew up in Chuck vs. the Best Friend, or when she thinks she hears him killed over the walkie talkie in Chuck vs. the Anniversary, or when she sees Chuck dropped from a high-story building in Chuck vs. the First Date.
55. Casey's Mission Disguises. Poor John is forced to dress up in all sorts of ridiculous outfits for the sake of the mission. He is either the cable guy, a bartender, a DJ, or Chuck's personal manservant in Chuck vs. the Balcony. He's a team player, that one.
56. "The Morgan". The next time I'm in a life-threatening situation (happens to me all the time), I'm going to deploy the most lethal move in the world. Who needs the Intersect 2.0 when you can just use this deadly maneuver? When you add my kills using "The Morgan" with Chuck's, it's up to at least five.
57. Carina Calling Morgan by the Wrong Name. Don't feel bad, Martin ... er, I mean, Morgan. Girls I like don't know my name, either. They certainly don't sleep with me, either -- so at least you got that going for you.
"First things first -- my name is not Martin, it's Morgan. Morgan Guillermo Grimes, memorize it!"
58. Big Mike Eating.I love watching that man eat, I don't care if that makes me sound creepy. Nobody gets more excited to eat a Subway sub (not even Jared!) or a danish like Big Mike. I think I only saw him refuse to eat one time when he threw away Emmett's baked goods in the trash and told everyone to get back to work.
59. Buy More Line-ups. One of my favorite parts of the Buy More was when Big Mike or Emmett lined up the employees and gave them a lecture. Like when Big Mike warned Jeff about spiking the eggnog. I'm drawing a blank on further examples but it happened many times and was always humorous.
60. Buy More Shenanigans. Speaking of humor in the Buy More, the ridiculousness that often took place inside that store was such a good edition to the show.
Some of the more memorable storylines: the mystery crisper, the sales competition, the CPR training, the assistant manager interviews run by Chuck and Morgan, Big Mike's online dating, the mighty jocks and the employee of the month contest.
61. Jeff & Lester's Pranks. What happens when you try to burn your boss' hand on a door handle? Or when you super glue him to his chair? Or when you stuff him into ONE OF THESE after he's knocked unconscious from a tainted cup of coffee? THIS happens. "Don't ask, plausible deniability"
One good thing did come from their pranks: in Episode 2.21, Chuck vs. the Colonel, they blew the fuse box at the Buy More, causing the power to temporarily shut down and allowing Chuck and Sarah to escape from Castle.
62. Pop-Culture References. Practically every minute of every episode there is a reference to something cool -- whether it's through dialogue, or through movie posters or character names. One of the many reasons nerds love this show so much.
63. Morgan's Cluelessness with Guns. And you thought Chuck was bad with guns! When Morgan actually fires a gun with bullets in it, it explodes out of his hand. And when he thinks there are bullets in the chamber, Casey always has to tell him he's not allowed to have them. But my favorite was when Chuck gives him a tranq gun in Chuck vs. the Tooth, and Casey ends up shooting him with it at the opera. Hilarious.
64. "Oh Shit" Moments. These are the best moments, the moments you'll always remember. The scene you did not see coming, that causes you to say, "OH, SHIT!"
Like when we find out that Chuck's dad is Orion. Or when we learn that it was Sarah who killed Shaw's wife. Or when we discover that Jill is Fulcrum. Or when Chuck's dad is murdered by Shaw. Or when Bryce was really alive. Or when it wasn't just a poster of Tron hanging in Chuck's bedroom. Or when we find out that Big Mike's conquest was Morgan's mom.
65. Common Phrases. There were a few expressions this show used often and they were special because of it. Maybe you use them now in your daily life. Such as: "Stay in the car!" ... "Aces, Charles." ... "Sweep the leg!" ... "Don't freak out." ... "No secrets, no lies."
66. Castle. Watching Season 1 almost seems weird because there was no Castle. You can't conduct covert government operations in a Home Theater Room! The addition of Castle was awesome and necessary, allowing the show to do tons of things with it. Like conducting a lie detector test, locking prisoners, using science equipment, satellite tracking, having meetings with Beckman, etc. Or my favorite: watching Sarah Walker kick the shit out of a punching bag or out of Chuck using a bow.
67. Carmichael Industries. All those years chasing Fulcrum, The Ring and working for General Beckman was starting to get a little bit old. So the creation of Carmichael Industries, using the money from Volkoff Industries, was a welcomed addition. It was nice to see Chuck and Co. in charge for once and on their own, plus we still got our fix of Beckman from time to time.
68. Casey Abusing People in the Buy More. Casey made clear his disdain for his cover identity at the Buy More. So how did he cope with it? By conking Lester and Jeff's head together. Or knocking Morgan down when he kept asking where he could find The Ramones CD. Or one of all-time favorites, when he shoved Jeff and Lester against the storage cage, with an apple still lodged in Lester's mouth.
69. Beckman's Annoyance of Morgan. She hated him and with good reason. He called her sir. And he treated her with a lack of respect when the Intersect turned him into a giant douche. While he was a huge nuisance to her, it sure was fun for us.
70. Sarah Fights Better vs. Men than Woman. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like whenever Sarah fought a man (with the exception of Michael Clarke Duncan in 2.1), she almost always completely dominated. But when she fought a woman (like Smooth Lau in the car, or La Ciudad in Episode 1.3 and others), she always had a more difficult time. Didn't make a whole lot of sense, but I enjoyed that quirk nonetheless.
71. Ellie + Awesome on Missions. I mentioned earlier how much I loved their nicknames on missions (Hot Mama and 6-Pack), but they were fun when they tried to dip their toes into the spy world. Like when Chuck had to stand in for Awesome, or when Ellie and Devon tried to save Chuck from enduring torture from "The Toy". Or my favorite when they pretended to be on a spy mission with each other and actually ended up in a spy mission. "Project Eagle!"
72. People Giving Sarah Crap About Her Feelings for Chuck.Throughout the first two seasons, Sarah faced a constant barrage of people giving her a hard time about Chuck. She hated it, we loved it. Casey was the biggest offender, but even Carina and Roan Montgomery (since we're talking about Roan, this scene is a classic) chimed in about it. "The lady doth protest too much!"
73. Casey Trying to Make Chuck and Sarah Jealous. Casey loved causing problems. When Chuck went on a date with Lou, he threw a comment Sarah's way like: "you can't stand Bartowski dipping his chocolate in someone else's peanut butter." Or when he went out with Jill, he said something like: "you don't like that Chuck is browsing someone else's network."
And Casey gave Chuck a hard time, too, especially when Sarah was briefly involved with Cole Barker -- poking fun at how Cole's plan of taking enduring torture and taking a bullet was working better than Chuck's plan of fainting and injuring his foot in a window.
74. Cool Villains. OK, so Fulcrum and The Ring pretty much sucked. But Daniel Shaw, Alexei Volkoff, Nicholas Quinn, Clyde Decker, Ted Roark and Jill Roberts were pretty good longer-term villains. Plus they had some good one-episodes villains, too.
75. Complicated Relationships with Family. Chuck's father was Orion and deserted him to keep him safe. His mom was a spy, went rogue from the CIA (kinda) and also deserted him. Sarah's dad was a deadbeat con-man that was never really there for her and her mother was a Saint but couldn't be a part of her life because of Molly. And then we have Casey's former fiance Kathleen and the daughter he never knew about in Alex. And poor Jeff's mom is in jail (Prisoner #27318) for god knows what crime, while Lester's parents try to arrange a marriage with a hot chick.
76. Big Mike Dating Morgan's Mom. "Do you got time for a quickie?"
77. Chuck's Charm. As Sarah said to Roan, defending Chuck: "He's passionate, sweet and caring. He has a lot to offer!" You're damn right he does!
78. Chuck + Ellie Life Conversations. Because Ellie essentially had to raise Chuck, they have a special brother-sister relationship that many siblings don't have. Yes, Ellie was annoying from time to time when she nagged the hell out of him, but they had a great bond and a lot of really emotional life conversations. We all wish we had someone that was always there for us like that.
79. The Many Great Potential Finale's. We were fortunate to get a second season. It was a minor miracle we got a third season. And a downright major miracle we got Seasons 4 and 5. Because of all the uncertainty in the writers' room on whether the show would continue or not, they were forced to double season finales as potential series finales. Plus, they had to do that twice each in Seasons 3 and 4 (in episode 13). And you know what? They pretty much nailed it each time.
Chuck vs. the Ring (Season 2) was epic. Chuck vs. the Other Guy (3.13) was a classic and Chuck vs. the Ring Part II was good enough. Season 4 featured two great finales with Chuck vs. the Push Mix (4.13) and Chuck vs. the Cliffhanger with a beautiful wedding. Whether or not you love the ACTUAL 'Chuck' Series finale is a whole 'nother question, but either way, they did a great job in tough circumstances several times.
80. Norman: Big Mike's Marlin. THIS PICTURE IS AWESOME
81. Chuck and Morgan's Bromance. Everyone loves a good bromance. They had one of the best. I mean, if you can withstand Morgan as the Intersect and still be friends, you know it's special.
82. Conference Calls with General Beckman. Anytime we get to see Beckman on the monitor is a treat. Perhaps my favorite was THIS ONE. Hell, I even love the sound the monitor makes when she signs off from a call.
83. Fernando. I liked him more before he started making out with Supermodels during the Super Bowl. But anytime this stud walked into a shot, I would always yell out: "Fernando!" And I would take a drink, per the 'Chuck Drinking Game' rules. I'm really happy that after appearing in over 30 episodes, he finally got a speaking role in the finale. Good for him.
84. Wienerlicious Outfit. Yeah, I like THE OUTFIT, too. RIP, Wienerlicious. The Orange Orange outfit just wasn't the same.
85. Chuck's Bracelet to Sarah. One of the all-time great scenes between Chuck and Sarah. She may have fell in love with Chuck in between fixing her phone and defusing bombs with computer viruses, but I feel like THIS MOMENT truly cemented it. It also lead to another scene which is one of my all time favorites in that very same episode (Chuck vs. Santa Claus).
The bracelet also re-appeared in an emotional way late in Season 5 when Shaw stole it from her.
86. Chuck's Two Wedding Proposals."I didn't fall in love with James Bond, I fell in love with you." That first proposal gets me every time. Chuck's two wedding proposals were both so well-written (although no words were spoken the second time) and executed. This show almost always nailed the Chuck and Sarah moments.
87. The Tron Poster. I think I would kill someone to get THIS.
88. Sarah Getting Ready for Missions. Was there anything better than when they showed Sarah Walker getting ready for a mission? I THINK NOT. Example 1: Sarah and Carina ... Example 2: Sarah in the pilot (somehow can't find that video) ... Example 3: Sarah in Chuck vs. the First Date
89. The Wheel of Misfortune. Sorry Morgan, you're fired. Just be glad you don't have to be on diaper station duty.
90. Porn Viruses. Irene Demova! Coolest bomb-disposal plan of all-time. Was really special when they brought it back in the finale. Just like Sarah Walker, we fell in love with Chuck Bartowski and the show when he defused that bomb in the pilot.
91. The Fans. This show brought strangers together and created friendships. It brought us closer to the friends, family and strangers we shared it with. It led to great Web sites like this one and so many special memories. If that all sounds lame, I don't care. Cause it's fuckin' true.
(P.S. Let me know yours by commenting or by tweeting me @EliRosenswaike)
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I completely understand that reaction. It is the same one I had while watching the first two movies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. At least until I made an essential bargain with myself, with help from the great J.R.R. Tolkien.
You see, Tolkien wrote the Middle-Earth stories in character, meaning that he wrote the material as if it were from historical documents. This was made evident when he went back to The Hobbit to change and add to the story of the One Ring, which had originally lacked the significance it would later possess in Lord of the Rings. He justified the changes by saying that it was based on more accurate historical information.
When I learned of this the light bulb went off in my head.
In the spirit of Tolkien’s original vision, why couldn’t I as the reader and viewer absorb the adaptation in this way? Perhaps Peter Jackson found historical documents that contradicted the information in the books. Tolkien was working off the hobbit version of history, while Jackson chose the human perspective. That would explain why Tolkien covered more of the hobbit’s plight (Scouring of the Shire), whereas Jackson had a more cynical view on some of the human story lines (like Faramir’s). That doesn’t mean the movies had more accurate information, just different. I could still prefer the Tolkien version of events but without completely discounting Jackson’s material.
I then thought I could do this with any adaptation of any book. If great master Tolkien could do it, then everyone should be allowed. Therefor, “Thrones” show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss aren’t raping George R.R. Martin’s masterpiece (mind you, Martin himself has also made adaptation changes in his own episode scripts). They are interpreting it based on different historical documents snatched through a time portal between Westeros and Earth. Perhaps these documents were written by Lannister historians instead of ones from House Stark.
Worst case scenario, once you digest the different perspectives on the (faux) history you love, you can always dive right back into the written word and believe it to be the correct version. Until then, enjoy the adaptation. It’s actually quite a wonderful experience --if you let it.
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28 April, 2013
22 April, 2013
You’ve been sitting around for years hearing everyone and their R2-unit talking (or beeping) about GAME OF THRONES. You hear whispers about its epic story-lines and major character arcs and how it is THE WIRE of fantasy shows. You think yourself a geek or a nerd but you don’t necessarily find yourself into the whole swords and magic fantasy stuff. Yet so many of your friends, and people you follow online, are into this thing and many of those people have shared your love for other cool shows, so why not check it out?
Why not watch GAME OF THRONES?
So you finally do. You take the plunge and enter into the complex world of Westeros where politics, sex, power, and murder are part of everyday life. Where the bad guy may push a child out the window one minute and save a woman from rape the next. Where women struggle for acceptance and recognition while finding unique ways to gain and maintain power.
Where all men must die.
But instead of starting at the beginning you start with episode 24.
Why? Because that’s what you did when you got into THE BIG BANG THEORY, since they are, you know, so similar.
And that’s why I want to kill you. Because you didn't earn the emotions in that episode, dammit! You cheated. You up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start'd it (and you suck even more for not getting that reference). You Cliff's noted it! You Don Draper'd these moments forever! You've ruined the whole journey!
You should thank the old gods and the new* that murder is still illegal, and that I have morals.
Because otherwise this would be my confession.
Sincerely, your hero and friend until the end.
*I KNOW YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS SINCE YOU DIDN'T WATCH THE FIRST 23 EPISODES!
If you liked this article, you might enjoy "Surviving the Adaptation (of your favorite book)".
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16 April, 2013
Anyone who has read this blog over the years knows that I am a huge fan of the show CHUCK (owned by WB but had its series run on NBC in the US).
Over time I have built up something of a CHUCK fandom following. It’s not particularly large but it, for some reason, is interested in what I have to say about it. Over the past year or so, since CHUCK ended its 91 episode run, people have asked for my opinions regarding various topics centered on the past, present, and future of the show. One of those questions is “What would you like to see in a CHUCK movie?”
I feel answering that is fan-fiction territory. I didn’t create the show and I’m not looking to forward my vision of how the story should go. I can critique missteps or praise what I consider good choices, but detailing the movie I want feels wrong.
However, I feel comfortable in detailing what I don’t want in a CHUCK movie:
- A movie that seeks to outright answer the CHUCK series finale moment. Though I thought it wasn’t executed well, I know what the writers were trying to do. They didn’t want it left up in the air for the viewers to decide. They were trying to be cute about telling the obvious. It was stupid. It didn’t work as intended. It didn’t fit the show they had created over five years. But I don’t need a scene in the movie where one character looks at another character and declares “I remember!”
- Episode 92. No thanks. The show got its ending. I loved the series but I will never say it ended too early. If anything, I think it ended a season too late. Minus a few episodes, season 5 was a hot mess of lower-budget and lesser-ideas. Season 4 was the perfect outpoint. So if you are going to continue it, don’t just tell another story pulled from the potential 92nd episode. Tell an epic story utilizing the characters people know and love. Make it big(ish) or don’t make it.
- A movie made for $2 million. That’s not this show. They could barely make an episode for that. Also, see point 2.
- A movie written by the fans. Yes, this is an actual suggestion by some people around the Internet. Because fan-fiction is such a respected art form that we need to hand the reigns over to some delusional wannabes who are convinced they are more capable writers than the creators of the show-they-claim-to-love. Plus, the biggest fan of the show is its creator, Chris Fedak.
- That has anyone else as the Intersect story-line. Don’t we have enough people with the Intersect already?
- Where people return from the dead for any reason. That would wipe out the danger and loss the series actually created by bumping off a few characters that were meaningful to Chuck.
- Any storyline that is an attempt to create retroactive continuity for some new story development that happened in a character’s past. This stuff rarely works (if ever). It is better to focus on new stories that involve characters moving forward. The “hey, maybe Sarah had a sister who wasn’t her sister but is now her adopted sister who she had a motherly protective instinct about a decade ago but is now a family member we never heard of or saw before because it was a super important secret and that explains why Sarah’s mom blahblahblah and will never see again because this show was just pulling a one-off out of its ass” stuff is ridiculous to anyone using their brain.
- One that focuses only on Chuck and Sarah. It would probably be cheaper but... see point 2 again.
- A prequel.
- Something written without an Ali "I Love Love" Adler writing credit. Once she left the show, things kind of went downhill.
So what do you NOT want in a CHUCK movie? Comment below.
Please, no fan-fiction.
Also, check out my article "Why NOT Kickstarter" for related material.
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08 April, 2013
With the success of the VERONICA MARS Kickstarter effort, fans everywhere are wondering why this isn’t being done more by more studios.
The answer may be this: because it is the wrong way to crowd fund studio projects.
Let me detail a few realities for anyone out there looking for a CHUCK (or fill in blank here) movie.
- Kickstarter and Amazon (which handles transactions) each take 5% off the top. That’s 10% of total donations gone in handling fees. So, if you need $10 million to make your movie and you raise $10 million, you only have 9 of those millions. Problem.
- Pledge rewards cost money. In the case of VERONICA MARS, that included renting out movie theaters and sending packages to thousands of donators. In the case of our fictional $10 million project (which I suspect the CHUCK movie would cost), that could be a considerable loss. Now you’re down to anywhere from $8 to $5 million of the original funds raised.
- Kickstarter eliminates a vast number of payment options due to Amazon’s tyrannical fear of PayPal. Your crowd funding project is missing out on millions of potential donators who could make your effort an enormous success.
- Projects are only funded if the goal is reached in the allotted time. If you miss the deadline by $1, then it isn’t funded and you start all over. That happens. It's insanity! There should be an option to make donations perpetual until the project is funded.
- Studios are less likely to do a public crowd fund for any project that will cost many millions to produce for fear that it will fail (and/or negative media coverage). The VERONIC MARS creators brought to Warner Brothers what they believed was a reasonable budget (WB agreed to cover marketing costs). Other projects could cost much more to deliver as a worthwhile movie (SERENITY II anyone?) and those efforts would need a more specific type of crowd funding model designed specifically for studio productions.
- Currently projects of this type are being looked at long after production ends. That means added overhead to kick things off again, including building sets and the like.
Studios, either individually or as a collective, could develop their own crowd funding model that is designed from the ground up to fit their unique needs. They have to eliminate the middle-men so that the handling fee losses at Kickstarter/Amazon are absorbed at the source. They also need to be able to accept a greater number of payment options from more areas around the world.
Once implemented, this type of studio run crowd funding model could be used for any number of projects.
Consider a world where a studio doesn’t pick up a TV pilot but posts it online and asks if anyone would be interested in seeing it go to series. Or at the point where a show is about to be cancelled due to low ratings, the studio offers fans a chance to crowd fund a movie or a final episode that wraps things up in a satisfying way before production is shut down.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION TAKE 2
A crowd funding site specific to TV and movie productions could be created by some enterprising individual familiar with the industry and with the drive, experience, and resources to pull off something like it. Someone like NerdMachine/NerdHQ creator Zachary Levi. The launch of such a site could also be used to kick-start a CHUCK movie crowd funding effort.
SIDE WORD TO FUTURE CROWD FUNDED VENTURES
Please, for the love of everything holy, unholy, and otherwise imagined, stop creating ridiculous and expensive rewards that end up being so cost-prohibitive that the funded project either never gets underway or is delayed indefinitely. Or if the crowd fund initiator believes they are necessary for the venture to succeed, then at least make the required donation amount realistic. If you have to send out DVDs, t-shirts, vouchers, or rent out theaters around the country, then it is going to take money and a lot of time and personnel. Account for these things in your planning. Hire a project manager!
SocialTimes has a couple of articles about the trouble with Kickstarter projects either not being funded, or not delivering on time.
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05 April, 2013
Nacho and HGF talk about various topics including the VERONICA MARS movie; a potential CHUCK movie; Kickstarter and its problems; the new Star Wars movies and when Disney will stop pretending the old cast is not already locked in; more Star Wars talk; Canada and New Zealand Vs. ARGO.
All topics and musical tracks noted below.
Press play below to listen.
You can also RIGHT CLICK HERE and download the episode as an MP3.
Avan Lava - It's Never Over
CHUCK movie and Zachary Levi stirring things up with Kickstarter (due to the success of Veronica Mars). Including the problems facing any Kickstarter production.
East Cameron Folkcore – Salinger is Dead
Harrison Ford says he expects to be in the new Star Wars. So when will Disney/LFL just stop pretending they haven’t already signed everyone?
Jillette Johnson - Torpedo
ARGOfuckyourselves. Canadians and New Zealanders pissed off about inaccuracies.
END OF PODCAST
Metallica - Harvester of Sorrow
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01 April, 2013
The Walking Dead ends its Season 3 run with a whimper and an uneven episode. Plus we say goodbye to a few characters both loved and hated.
It seemed ominous when I realized a few weeks ago that the finale of this show would coincide with the much anticipated return of Game of Thrones on HBO. As good as The Walking Dead can be at times it seemed impossible for it to surmount the return of one last year's biggest TV hits, and notably this episode felt like it wasn't even trying. As is often the case with this show there were moments of great genius and then unfathomable mistakes.
-Milton: While I'm truly sad to say goodbye to Dallas Roberts and his character; the final moments of his story were emotional and ironically tragic and virtually everything this show's character arcs should be when they work well.
-Attempting to give Andrea a noble ending: Possibly this season's most hated character; the show tried to continue its effort from last week to provide some redemption for Andrea in the end. Her final moments with Rick, Michonne and Daryl felt truly emotional and provided some nice remiders of just how long she was part of this group before recently. It doesn't make up for the 9,000 other bad decisions or pure idiocy she displayed this season, but it was nice to send her off on the best note possible in this case.
- Carl: There aren't enough adjectives to describe the level this character reached last night. Watching Carl pull the trigger on that guy's son and defending his actions to his father were phenomenal. Carl's arc has always been that of a child growing up too soon in a vicious world, and these moments felt like the perfect cap to his continuing evolution in the second half of the season.
Now for the Bad:
-The sequences with Andrea trying to escape: During this scene I pondered whether this zombie apocalypse would end, the second ice age would come, and the White Walkers would show up before Andrea managed to get the pliers off the floor.
-The showdown with the Governor: The season's big bang should have been the much delayed confrontation between the Governor's Woodbury crew and Rick's prison gang, but sadly it amounted to nothing more than some flashbangs and Maggie and Glenn being the only people in the group who can hit the broad side of a barn. The luring in and trapping of the Woodbury crew in a specific part of the prison seemed pretty telegraphed to me, and tactically it seemed like the best (only?) option. In addition to this the Governor's force expended what seemed like an unusually large amount of ammo shooting walkers in front of the prison rather than its defenders, all of these things together made the whole bit seem uneblieveable and poorly thought out.
-Rick, just everything Rick: I understand that last week he tried to make a statement about the group being more of a democratic collective than a Ricktatorship, but nonetheless these people are following him like a leader. And they're doing so despite the fact that his emtoions tend to swing wildly between useful logic and bordering on the edge of breakdown territory. His seemingly absurd, and unsound, decision to bring all the Woodbury folk back to the prison seems beyond explanation, and when your 10-year old son is making more sense than you are you've got serious problems.
This one gets a 70 out of 100.
The confrontation was a disappointment and the improbability of some of the decisions the character's made seemed to outweigh the few profound moments in this episode. It didn't leave me very excited for next season, but hopefully that will change once I've had a chance to miss this show for a few months.
- "In this life now, you kill or you die. Or you die and you kill." -The Governor
- Hershel leaving the bible quote out was a nice thematic touch, but honestly Hersh I don't think eternal damnation will scare off a one-eyed psychopath and a bunch of people with automatic weapons.
- When the bus pulled up I was sincerely hoping it was empty and the prison gang was just going to go back on the road like the Scooby Gang in the Mystery Mobile.
- I liked Carol and Beth emphatically killing those walkers at the gate. Those two so often get left out of the fun killing sequences that it felt like a nice end of season treat for them, and like the actresses took it as such.
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