16 April, 2013

The CHUCK Movie I Don’t Want


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:

  1. 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!”
  2. 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.
  3. A movie made for $2 million. That’s not this show. They could barely make an episode for that. Also, see point 2.
  4. 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.
  5. That has anyone else as the Intersect story-line. Don’t we have enough people with the Intersect already?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. One that focuses only on Chuck and Sarah. It would probably be cheaper but... see point 2 again.
  9. A prequel.
  10. 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.

95 comments:

  1. I will temporarily lift the no-Anonymous posting restriction... but once the spam bots get wind of it, I will have to reinstate it.

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  2. If you cut out two scenes from "Cliffhanger," you have a perfect series finale. Cut the final scene between Decker and Chuck about the larger conspiracy looming, and fade to black after they decide to go into business for themselves. Morgan would have never gotten the intersect, Chuck and Sarah would have been happily married, and we would have left off with the gang going off on their own adventures without government involvement. PERFECT.

    And I don't think that final scene on the beach is what bothers me the most. What bothers me more is that we leave Chuck and he still has the intersect. There's no resolution there. Part of me originally thought it was the intention to leave it in there in case of a movie. Now I just think the writers didn't think it was important enough to discuss it any further.

    I loved the finale when I first saw it, but then again, I was at the 30 Rock viewing party that night, and I think the enjoyment of watching the finale with fellow fans clouded my judgement. I still don't think it's terrible, but it's by far my least favorite of the show's many potential finales.

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    1. My greatest problem with the final is that it relegates Sarah to being nothing more than Chuck's prize to win back. Only Casey even says goodbye to her. The rest of the characters act as if she wasn't important to their lives at all. They're all just worried about Chuck. It comes off as false. And then we get to the ending which is all about just getting to that moment on the beach, whether it works or not. And while the idea of that ending seems perfect, what leads up to it is what deflates it for me.

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    2. THANK YOU! Sarah was my fav and to have all the other people in her life that came to care about her (even if they were Chucks family)not even worried about her at all and were kind of "Oh well, thats too bad" to me I was all huh? really? If it was even Morgan, the angst would have been overwhelming

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  3. i wouldn't want to see a Chuck movie at all. It's hard to make a TV show into a movie that will actually entertain the viewers and the die-hard fans (like my sister and I). If Chuck has a big enough following, it could be possible but you would have to make it like the Star Trek franchise where the movies were not directly related to the ongoing show.

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  4. A lot of this depends on what type of script Chris Fedak can muster.

    I assume it will be him that will be penning the script since he co-created the show and he is a screen writer.

    Assuming we ever get the movie in the first place.

    The one thing i disliked about Chuck was Chris Fedak's over using of the intersect as a plot device.

    I felt season 4 and 5 didn't need to use the instersect as the main plot in those seasons and instead should have focused on something else without them.

    Yet Chris Fedak started to run out of ideas after season 3 and couldn't come up with any season long arcs that didn't revolve around the intersect.

    I fear a Chuck movie script from Chris Fedak would involve a big bad coming after Chuck and company because of the intersect for the upteenth time.

    By the end of the show everyone and their mother had the intersect at one time or another.

    I did enjoy season 5 a little bit more than Magnus did as i thought all the episodes were solid except for a couple.

    I liked what they did with Jeff and Lester and giving Casey a love interest.

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    1. There were three great episodes in season 5 but as a whole it was evident that the writers had run out of good ideas. They used up most of their best ideas in the first three seasons.

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  5. Sounds like Zach Levi has an idea in mind. But that does not preclude original show writers from actually writing the script. As for "Charah" shippers, they'll be just as happy to see our two heroes together without trying to wrap up the question of whether/when Sarah remembered. Just give them a nice moment together that shows the obvious and leave the season 5 ending alone.

    I thought season 5 was a bit better than season 4.

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  6. I don't want a Chuck movie now, it simply wouldn't make sense, IMO.
    I have loved the show, including season 5, with its ups and downs, but now I would like to see Zach and Yvonne (especially Yvonne, of course...) and the others to move one with their careers, that i will support as much as I can (WTH, I even watched Dexter again because of Yvonne!)
    Then, maybe in five years or more, I might like to see them and all the gang in a Chuck movie à la Undercover Blues or maybe True Lies, a spy comedy or something like that: but only then, in case, and still I can live without it...

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  7. I would definitely like to see a Chuck movie and I hope that Zach will succeed in convincing Warner Bros into that.
    2M$ is not going to be enough, but if a show like Veronica Mars that ended 6 years ago, raised that money in 24 hours, I think four or even five times more money will be raised for a Chuck movie throw Kickstarter champagne.
    Now about the show. For me, it should have ended with the "Charah" wedding but it didn't. Season 5 was in general a good work because we found out many secrets from some of the characters past. Secrets that were important for the whole story. This season was only good and not excellent (like the previous 4), because of the last three episodes. The lead female role - Sarah didn't deserve to lose her memory, be brainwashed and even turn against the man and the team that made her different person, better person. Very bad move from the creators. Also, if you planning on giving us a clear picture of the future of most of the characters, why don't you do that with the most important ones, in this case, Chuck and Sarah. That's why I think, there should be a movie. Chuck was evolving as a person and was changing mostly because of his love for Sarah. Sarah also became completely different person because of Chuck. The movie, will normally have to give us a greater story, but also include this romantic moment that was a huge part of the show. They deserve a better end, an actual end.

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    1. I didn't think any of the "secrets" were necessary or even well executed. most of them centered around a terrible retcon story for Sarah that makes no sense if you spend even a few minutes thinking about it.

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  8. The problem with a movie is that first the fans raise the money and then the movie will be written.

    We have no idea what Chris Fedak has in mind for a Chuck movie and if his ideas for it are good or bad.

    We have no way of knowing that beforehand.

    If all Chris Fedak ideas for a storyline is bad guys versus Chuck because of the intersect then no thanks.

    We could very well be duped into that if Zach Levi is successful with convincing Warner bros. of Kickstarter.

    I would like to hear from Chris Fedak regarding his plans for the movie before i do any donating.

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    1. Bigger budget means more money. More money means higher motivation and inspiration. Also, Zach in an interview said that he had couple of great ideas too. And let's not forget about Josh Schwartz. They would be a perfect team and I don't think that something bad will come from these three.
      However, I'm pessimist about the potential green light that Warner Bros should give for this movie throw Kickstarter very short after accepting Kirsten idea for VM movie. This concerns me the most, not the idea because I believe in great things for the movie coming from this team.

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    2. "I would like to hear from Chris Fedak regarding his plans for the movie before i do any donating."

      As I recall, a few details of what the VM movie would be about were released BEFORE the kickstarter.

      I have to wonder when fans say they want to know what the movie is before they donate, how much they really want to know. Do they want to know the whole plot or just the premise? Do they want a promise that Chuck and Sarah will say "I love you" at least five times? Do they want a promise that they'll see a baby?

      I wouldn't really want to know much more than was revealed about the VM movie.

      Maybe Anonymous could be more explicit on how much he or she needs to know and what premise would get them to pony up some money. Or is it a list of "wouldn't want this's".

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  9. Absolutely in agreement with every one of your wishes

    As much as some fans are pushing it to happen right away, I don't see a movie project at any budget level happening within the next few years.

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  10. MediaSavant,

    What i want to know is whether or not Chris Fedak and any other writers would be planning on making a Chuck movie that revolves around the bad guys going after the intersect again.

    I feel we had too much of that during the series and i don't want anymore of that for a big screen movie.

    If that's what the movie is going to be then i wouldn't want to see it or donate money.

    If Chris Fedak and anyone else involved in writing the script assures me that they will come up with something different and more creative then i'll be more than happy to donate.

    I don't need to know exact plot details of the movie.

    I do not give a damn about Chuck and Sarah saying i love you.


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    1. So, all you want is something like, "We are planning a movie and its not about the bad guys going after the intersect." and they get your money.

      Got it.

      (The "I love you" thing wasn't directed at you in particular, but a group of fans who are fixated on such things.)

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  11. My problem with the finale isn't what happened before the beach scene or what happened during the beach scene. The problem I have is what happened once the screen faded to black. Let's be realistic, only in a Disney movie will a magical kiss accomplish your goals. Chuck was supposed to be a semi-realistic show in the sense that everything involved from the Intersect to the bad guys could realistically happen. Now a spy team with Morgan isn't as realistic, but that was more for comic relief, but I'm getting off topic. My problem is that a kiss probably didn't work, so what happens next? Everyone wants to think Sarah and Chuck fell in love at the beach again, but did they really if the kiss didn't work? What did they do directly after the kiss? That's what I want to know and that's the main reason I want a Chuck movie for that one scene after the beach. I just feel cheated as a fan since Sarah doesn't remember the first time the met, their wedding, or any other milestone that the fans invested five years into.

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  12. My big question is simply, is Chris Fedak interested in making a movie in the first place? I know he and Josh Schwartz said they were "intrigued" by the idea around the time the show ended, but that came off very vague and was hard to take seriously. I mean, maybe I'm just overreading things, but it seems like every show that ends these days ends with the creators saying they are "intrigued" about the idea of a movie, but that can mean different things for different people, like maybe he likes the idea of a movie in concept, but doesn't believe it can be pulled off well in practice, plus, as said before, a lot of shows have ended recently with many things left unanswered and the creators talking about a potential movie (Fringe being the most recent example) but very rarely does that ever come to pass. Time will tell I guess, all I know is that the cast( particually Zac) wants to make a movie, but I can't tell at all if Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak have really taken the idea seriously or if they're really that interested in the first place. We'll see.

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    1. I imagine the show creators would LOVE to make a movie if only because they own 10% of it and would make a big load of bank rolls if it succeeded.

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    2. Why do people always think it's significant that the cast says they want to make it?

      Short of the few actors who leave TV and become such big stars that they never have to think about it again (Bruce Willis/Moonlighting), I've never heard any actor say they don't want more work. And none of them are dumb enough to tell their fans they don't want more of what the fans love.

      The cast of Farscape still wants more Farscape. The cast of Stargate wants more Stargate. And so on. Paychecks are a wonderful thing.

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    3. "Why do people always think it's significant that the cast says they want to make it?"

      Hah! Such a great point. Actors rarely don't want to work. The only time this can become problematic is when an actor gets really famous after their show ends.

      I also think this kind of thinking comes from the fact that in the olden days of the 80s and 90s, some actors were unwilling to do reunion shows.

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    4. Yeah, I mean, as much as I love the cast and believe they will have successful careers past the show's ending, I have a hard time seeing any of them going on to becoe huge A-list actors in Hollywood. Even Yvonne, whom I love to death and believe to be ridiculously gorgeous and incredibly talented, even her I don't see becoming some big A-list actress at the same level as Julianne Moore or Julia Roberts. Yes, she did awesome on Broadway, and I did like the Hannah Mckay character on Dexter (even though all those jerks on the Dexter sites hated her because they have this creepy, delusional "Debster" fan fantasies that they wish to be fullfilled so they automatically hate any love interest in the show) I still have a hard time seeing her being at the same level of Hollywood success as the Julia Roberts's of the world. I mean, the last couple movies she's been in have bombed (Killer Elite, The Guilt Trip) and plus while Chuck was a great show , it was still a show that mainly catered to big nerds like us, wasn't like The Sopranos where critics and huge movie buffs put it at the same level as some of the greatest movies out there. Don't get me wrong, I think of everyone in the show, she'll definately have the greatest success, but I think she'll probrably in the long run mainly do supporting roles in big Hollywood movies and roles in television shows, that's just kinda how I see it given the type of roles she's palyed and being that that's how her career has gone on so far. I'd love to be proven wrong and say that she'll be the next big star in Hollywood, but honestly I just don't think that that's something she's looking to pursue, it seems like she's more comfortable doing stuff at a smaller scale that has enough of an established audience, but not necessarilly become the next huge actress in Hollywood, but that's not a bad thing mind you. As for the rest of the cast, I bet they'll keep trucking and keep doing stuff, though I do worry for how well Josh Gomez will do since he hasn't done anything major since the show ended. And Adam, well, I just keep hoping and praying for Serenity 2 to come to pass one day! I love Casey and all, and I'll say my love and passion for Firefly and Chuck are about equal, but I'll be the first to say it.
      Jayne Cobb > John Casey.

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  13. Interesting points. Good points too.

    I don't really need a definitive answer on what happened on the beach at he end. I also don't want the movie to start there, picking up where it left off. It goes with your, not ep 92 point, it would feel like a, "Previously on Chuck", type of a thing. The story should be something new.

    I've said this before, as far as the budget goes, it doesn't really matter to me. That's just because I've never really been to hung up on the aesthetics of things. But if its made for a higher budget, i wouldn't complain. :)

    As much as i love being part of this fandom, no to the fan written movie. I know some are really hating on Fedak, cursing his name whenever given the chance, and they don't want him involved. But i think it would be better if he was involved. Since the show was his creation. More so than Schwartz in many cases.

    No more Intersect story lines! Enough with beating that horse down. And please no resurrections. Don't bring back Bryce or Papa B. Though, if they did flashbacks with them, that would be pretty cool. Just don't retcon anything if that happens.

    And i would love to see Ali Adler back. Loved her work. :)





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    1. There is no way Fedak won't be involved. So if people fear a movie with him as head writer again, bail out now.

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    2. Pretty much.

      But honestly, the people saying that are more than likely gonna watch the movie anyway. So stop it.

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  14. Maybe one of the reasons Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz don't seem excited about a movie is because it's not been greenlit.

    That's why they have this maybe someday or never say never attitude about it.

    They don't want to just be overly enthusiastic for something that either isn't going to happen too soon or maybe not at all.

    Josh Schwartz is also a very busy man producing and developing many shows that are on television.

    He has many other interests.


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    1. Well, if I was in Fedak's shoes, I'd be wanting to prove to the industry that I could do something besides Chuck. That would be career imperative.

      As for Schwartz, he's a very busy man, as you said.

      Neither one is going to jump on this and this may not be the time, anyway.

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  15. I don't know for me I know I have said this before alot but I still think they should have brought back the Manoosh Character. I think he could have been a great villain if written right and with his own version of the intersect I think it could have been awesome to see. Maybe they could make a movie around that since Manoosh felt betrayed by the Chuck gang back in season 3.

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  16. I don't know i believe Warner Brothers would have creative involvement in any Chuck movie.

    Since they would have creative input they would probably insist on making more of a stand alone movie that doesn't have anything in it where you'd have to have seen the series.

    They would want all Chuck fans to see it of course but they want people that haven't seen the series to be able to watch it and understand everything.

    They would probably be right about that.

    Besides it was #7 on Magnus' list of things he doesn't want even though Manoosh was a great one shot character in my opinion.

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    1. Of course. Totally forgot about this. Great point. I'm sure that if WB accept this project, will put their brains in work, just to be sure that this movie will succeed and get the attention of much more viewers, than the show. It is actually logical, because it will mean higher profit for them.

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    2. I don't think Anonymous understood what #7 meant.

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  17. Thank you for this Magnus! You always seem to be able to put exactly what I think in to words. And as for point 1, yes i always felt that would be very cheap and it would feel stupid..

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  18. I don't think anyone has to worry about #4 and #6.

    The only person that died that i could see them bringing back would be Scott Backula.

    I just don't see them doing that.

    I don't see any scenario where Warner Bros. allows fans of the show that aren't in the entertainment industry and with no screewriting experience to write the movie.

    If any fans of the show truly think they got a shot at writing the movie they are nuts.

    #8 i can see happening.

    Since Zach Levi was the star and Yvonne was tied to him as his love interest/wife i can see how the movie would focus entirely on them and not give any of the other characters much to do.



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    1. You seem to have forgotten about Bryce.

      And he was supposed to come back from the dead until Bomer got his own show.

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  19. That's interesting i thought that Bryce just wouldn't have been fatally shot in Season 2 if Matt Bomer hadn't got White Collar.

    I didn't know they were still going to kill him in season 2 and then have him come back in season 3.



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    1. The plan was always to "kill" him in the season 2 finale and then bring him back for what ended up being the Shaw arc.

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    2. Magnus,

      Just curious, they wanted to bring Bryce back in place of Shaw (Bryce being the good guy turned bad) or as CIA help for Team Bartowski?

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    3. I don't remember the complete specifics of it but it was close to the same story as the Shaw character. He came back to train Chuck in how to become a better agent but all the while he was setting him up. The stuff about the Intersect going crazy happened during those first 13 episodes of season 3 and Bryce used it to turn everyone against Chuck, something about him being an enemy spy.

      As time goes on, I forget many of the details of it but much of what they had planned early in season 3 ended up as the longer arc in season 3 minus a few changes (like Sarah pursued a confused Chuck who didn't know who to trust). I guess when they had to bring in Shaw, some of the details changed to fit the new character. So they made it about Sarah killing his wife etc.

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    4. I should clarify that this was an outline created BEFORE the season ended (unlike later outlines that I know happened after they were finished with seasons 3 and 4). Around the end of season 2, if I am remembering correctly, they presented the outline for season 3 in like March or April, to NBC. So it is possible that they made those changes after Bomer told them he couldn't be around for a third season. I don't know the specifics of that.

      But I do know that of their post-season outlines, the one for season 3 changed the most due to them creating the Shaw character. The outline for season 4 was mostly the same (except Chuck proposed earlier in the season originally), and very little changed from the outline for season 5, to my great disappointment.

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    5. Wow, that would have been so much better.

      How do you get from a such a good outline to the mess of S3?

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    6. I don't think season 3 was a mess, but the problem was that Shaw and Sarah only showed actual chemistry once (or should I say the actors). Making them lovers was the only mistake in season 3. It was totally unnecessary. And I can tell you that people working on the show realized it very early on, but by then the scripts were written and several episodes in the can. There was no time to change anything.

      I doubt anyone will ever admit it publicly, but no one was very happy with what was happening in that regard. I can tell you that during that season I was talking to a lot of people working on the show and if I didn't care about protecting their identities, I would blow your mind with some things they had to say about Shaw and Sarah. ;)

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    7. The LI's really did overshadow the story being told.

      It made the characters unlikeable and turned them inti teenagers.

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    8. I'm not a shipper so it didn't bother me too much. It just annoyed me whenever they were trying to sell me on Shaw and Sarah as an item. Granted, it did pay off a tad in that one season 5 episode.

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    9. I know some liked Shaw as a villain. And I suppose I can see why.

      But I was tired of the character midway through the misery arc. He just sucked any enjoyment out of the show and I kept thinking that Team B were just made stupid so that he could exist.

      The Shaw charcater was ruined (for me) in his first iteration, neither of his returns worked for me. I feel the 1st return robbed Chuck of the climatic moment on the bridge, The 2nd one ruined the conspiracy (which was never going to work - yes I know).

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    10. All very interesting. Though I do wonder if by simply reediting the deleted scene of Sarah not trusting Shaw back in could have helped. Besides the lack of chemistry in order to sell the Sarah/Shaw relationship they had to turn Sarah into an idiot and a lousy spy. That scene in Beard where they jam down our throats the idea of them as a "beautiful couple" really annoyed me. Show it, don't tell it. But the problem was there was nothing there to show. Plus nothing bothers me more than making Sarah look stupid to sell a failing story.

      Ultimately the Sarah/Shaw arc really diminished her character a great deal. At least your comments made me feel better that the folks working on the show were not as clueless as I might have thought about what was working and what wasn't. I don't think even the biggest S3 proponents can sell the idea that Sarah/Shaw LI story worked in any fashion. I'm glad to know the "crew" saw that as well. I do think some things could have been done, especially in editing, but alas there was probably no money to fix what so many knew wasn't working.

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    11. You know what I could do without in a Chuck Movie? And granted, I know I'm gonna get some flack for this, but waaaaaaaay less Alex. I'll acknowledge the issues with the whole Shaw/Sarah relationship thing and hte Kristin Kreuk character as unnceresary, but I did think it atleast brought in some good drama in regards to Chuck's relationship with Sarah when he was beoming a rela spy and she was conflicted because she thought he was changing, and I liked that they made things tough between them because when he did finally get with Sarah, it made the payoff of "Ow Awesome! Those two are finally together!" feel that much morep powerfull. The Alex character, however, just felt unncessasry to me. I mean, they never really exapanded much on the whole "Alex is Casey's daughter" thing very much and instead just used her as a love interest to Morgan without a whole lot of depth. I mean, they just didn't write her very well, the whole reason she kept being a major thing in the series was because they needed a love interest for morgan after Corrina left the series again, and I just was never able to enjoy the character because she just didn't have very much personallity and just came off as very boring to me. And don't take that as me hating on Mekenna Melvin, I think she's very sweet and she did the best with the character for how they wrote her, it's just theat the character herself wasn't very well written, she was just annoying, and as much as I love Morgan, I even feel that Morgan got to be a little much at times when he went all gaga over her, that's just my opinion though, I realize it's not something people have talked a whole lot about, but I've never been a fan of the Alex character, if they had made the whole Casey/Alex relationship more meaninful, then I'd be okay, but they didn't. With that being said, with a movie, it's almost guaranteed she'd be back since she and Morgan are now living together, but I'd hope they'd tone her involvement down a bit, or atleast give her alittle more depth.

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  20. I don't know if that would have been a good idea.

    bringing back characters from the dead is just stupid and not at all believeable.

    I've seen many television shows do that and it always come across badly and not well received.

    As for the potential movie just have the main cast and bring in new characters for the other roles.

    I don't know if Fedak would want Matt Bomer for the film because once he got White Collar the show was done with him.

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  21. I get what you're saying about the not "fixing" the beach scene. But for some / many the fact that that scene is "missing something" essentially renders the entirety of the series unrewatchable because "what's the point".

    Do you think Sarah needs to have her memories back (or gets them back during) for the movie to work?

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    1. Just ignore season 5 entirely and stop watching with five minutes to go in season 4 and it is all fixed. :)

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  22. Don't those fans that say that realize that they implied that Sarah was starting to get her memories back.

    I can't imagine they would make a movie with Sarah still having amnesia.

    I would bet that the movie would pick up sometime after the series ended with Sarah having regained her memories.

    If that's the case and i suspect it will be then i wouldn't give a damn about the series finale.

    Chris Fedak and the writers shouldn't have ended the series without a clear resolution to that but series finales usually suck.


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    1. Recovering memories that Sarah had no attachment to wasn't enough, especially when they kept showing her leaviing.

      I got the point halfway through vs Sarah. They could have started resolving things then but they kept pounding away at Sarah walking away.

      The beach scene was inadequate to resolve the previous 2 hours of television.

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  23. You describe the ending as "cute" or an attempt to "be cute" both in the finale podcast and up above.

    Although I get the context of your statement, what do you mean by "cute"?

    CM

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    1. Their way around the criticism of going out on a cheesy note, the Disney princess kiss, was to not pull the trigger all the way, thereby sneaking out of a super cheesy moment.

      Cute.

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    2. A miscalculation on their part?

      CM

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    3. Yes. But their biggest miscalculations were in how they handled the final season, what they thought was important to cover, and how they made Sarah little more than Chuck's prize to win.

      But hey, some people pretend it was awesome so...

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    4. My greatest issue with the finale as well. I've been saying the excact same thing on several occasions but the majority seems to dismiss that or they just don't care as long as the boy gets the girl.

      And now I'm pissed again...

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    5. The same could be said, if not moreso, for S3 and to a lesser degree in S4.

      One, just one, storyline of both characters working together to attain their goal would have been nice.

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    6. Except in season 3 Sarah hadn't become a real member of the Bartowski family. She wasn't a friend of these people yet the way she would be once they knew who and what she was. She was just Chuck's hot on again off again girlfriend.

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    7. I think my problem (one of them anyways) is that I try to find a Sarah story in S3 and the finale, and there is none. Not an obvious one anyways. A WAY too subtle one - well kinda maybe perhaps.

      The Sarah character is simply there to serve the Chuck character. The story was always only about Chuck

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    8. The story was definitely NOT only about Chuck. There were many character building moments for the other characters, including Sarah. The show focused on Chuck because it was a show named Chuck, but only about Chuck? That is blanket hyperbole.

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    9. Yeah - you 're right - hyperbole wise. It wasn't intended but rereading the post, it is there. Apologies.

      I agree, the characters did have their moments of growth during the show's run. I was referring to S3 and the finale specifically.

      With regards to S3, are the Chuck and Sarah really more ready to be in a relationship after the misery arc? Or are story execution issue not allowing me to see it?

      As far as the finale, I again see the beach scene as the writers trying to show how much Chuck has matured when perhaps some resolution of Sarah's problems were in order. But then I was not a fan of the ending, or "non-ending" if you will.

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    10. I didn't think the show needed the Shaw and Sarah romantic relationship arc at all. However, I thought there were a few pretty good moments that came out of it. So, at the end of all things, I don't mind it anywhere as much as I minded the Sarah-has-a-fake-sister and the series finale stuff. That makes the Shaw and Sarah arc seem brilliant.

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    11. I agree they didn't need the Sarah/Shaw relationship at all to sell a darker more dramatic Chuck changing and becoming a real spy storyline. But if you remove that it makes Hannah even more pointless than she already was. You remove the final of the only 3 reasons she was there. Hannah was there for eye candy, stunt casting and to justify Sarah/Shaw. With no Sarah/Shaw there is no need for Hannah and that money could have been spent elsewhere, like more screen time for Ellie, another Sarah specific episode and more Casey. Hell take away Kristin and half of Shaw's episodes and maybe there would have been enough money for a better story using more of the regular cast.

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    12. If Kreuk made more than $20,000 for those three episodes, I'll eat my hat. That's $20,000 out of a 3-episode budget of... $5 million? You know what also costs $20,000? Like 10 seconds of the show.

      Actors, unless big names, are rarely the financial burden on shows people think they are.

      Routh also made very little per episode.

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    13. Maybe so, but I'd have traded that $20k that went to KK for more Sarah Lancaster in a freakin heartbeat. Hell I'd have taken more Jeffster if it meant less Shaw.

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    14. While $20K may have paid Sarah Lancaster's salary for a week (or Adam Baldwin's pocket cash), I'm not sure that solves a two or three episode arc issue they'd have.

      They were obviously trying to do something after Bomer left them with a problem. They had no idea it wouldn't work until it was already too late.

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    15. See I disagree with that. Bomer didn't leave them with a problem, the problem was they didn't have first position on an option for Bomer. With some of the chaos of the renewal, he got a great offer and took it. That wasn't his problem, it was theirs because an actor they had written their outline for the season around wasn't under a firm contract with an appropriate option to base their outline on and it burned them. It was the right call for Bomer and Schwedak paid the price by having to come up with a new plan that didn't work based on many reasons from writing to execution to casting to budget.

      I do have a question for you if I may ask. With what you said about the folks involved in the show realizing how badly Sarah/Shaw was failing, in your opinion was the mass exodus of writers after S3 entirely based on job opportunities or did "creative differences" and all that means play at least a small part in some of that defection?

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    16. It is an expression.... not evidence of Bomer screwing them.

      As for the mass exodus, I can confidently say none of that had anything to do with creative differences. This happens to almost all productions. Good writers end up becoming show runners, especially when the studio you are working for needs one they know. That is all that happened... except with Ali Adler.

      In Ali's case, she wanted to stay on CHUCK. I can't get into specifics due to not remembering who shared this with me (which makes a big difference to me), but the reason she left came down to NBC dragging its feet and not giving the producers an answer in time about the renewal of the show.

      They told NBC they could lose Ali because she had other offers. NBC didn't seem to care. So she took the other job and not long after NBC renewed the show. If NBC had renewed the show earlier for a 4th season, I think Ali would have been there until the end.

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    17. Thanks for the honest answer. Also I do appreciate the info that most if not all were aware of the problems on screen in S3. That what was actually being shown simply wasn't working. It makes me feel better knowing that they were aware of the disaster of Sarah/Shaw. I'd question their professionalism if they couldn't see it. I hope some day you can share more of it with us. I find much of the "inside baseball" aspect to this show fascinating.

      I just wish they were a little more honest about it. Kind of like what The Good Wife showrunners did this season. They wrote a storyline and quickly realized it wasn't working and the fans were rejecting it loudly and "adjusted it, sped it up and shortened it." I just wish Schwedak would acknowledge it. But I suppose the fact whenever asked about Shaw they only talk about post villain Shaw and never about the failed hero/LI Shaw. The "we've moved past it" comment was very telling. They ran from that part of the story very quickly and I suppose that is about as much of an admission that elements of it failed as we will ever get.

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    18. I feel like Josh admitted it when he said something like "I think Shaw made a great villain." He has never said "I think Shaw made a great romantic interest for Sarah" following the end of that story arc.

      You have to also consider that these are people who may have to work with the actor again down the line. They don't want to hurt his feelings by seemingly blaming him for chemistry issues. After all, everyone I have ever spoken to who worked with him, or even just knows him, loves Routh. He's apparently a very sweet guy.

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    19. UPDATE: I had completely forgotten about this until this morning:

      Around the writing of episode 5 or 6 of season 3, there was a writers meeting called about the direction the show was taking. Some were very worried about it not living up to standards.

      HOWEVER, and this is important, I don't remember exactly what came out of it. I have a vague memory of talking to one of my sources about it and them saying the result of that was the Shaw and Sarah arc we ended up with starting with Chuck Vs. the Fake Name.

      I can't be sure that is what I was told (specifically about the result being Fake Name) but I am sure about the meeting and the feeling that what they decided to do was likely worse than what was originally written.

      So, sometimes these things happen during the writing process but it doesn't mean it results in better material.

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    20. Interesting. I agree that not saying anything speaks volumes. Fedak's comments in the 5 season interviews about how they had trouble writing to him but found his voice with the villain also spoke volumes. I just wish it wasn't so clouded and more straight up.

      But on the issue of Routh, that isn't the first time I've heard that he is a nice guy, however and I've used this analogy before, this isn't kids soccer where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up and being a good kid. There are a lot of great people in the world, including you and I, but that doesn't excuse a weak/bad lifeless performance. The only thing that truly matters is what's on screen in the end and IMO he made a poorly crafted role worse because of the lack of chemistry and the dull, listlessness of his performance. He didn't have any chemistry with Kate Bosworth either.

      But I understand your point about throwing him under the bus when you have to work with him again. However the way I would handle that is to fall on my sword and say we didn't serve him well with a well defined character. Maybe that's what Fedak was trying to say. But in such a competitive business you don't excuse a poor performance simply because the actor is a great guy.

      On your update, I wonder if that is when the name of the episode was changed from the Nose to Fake Name because Schwedak wanted Sarah to hurt Chuck with the name reveal? If it was then you are definitely right it made the episode and arc much worse because of it.

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    21. You know Sarah and Shaw weren't together very long.

      If Sarah and Shaw were a long term couple it wouldn't have bothered me.

      But they were together for maybe 3 or 4 episodes.

      I liked how Shaw would push Chuck to be a spy and send him places completely on his own.

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    22. oops.

      I meant to say if Sarah and Shaw were a long term couple it would have bothered me.

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  24. Hahah I see at least one other comment like this too, but reading this just makes me angry again about how it ended. There are some shows (including Chuck) that I feel like went in too weird of a direction in the last season (or last few seasons for some other shows) to be able to "fix". Which makes the thought of a movie kinda ... eh. Errgh. Agree with all your points.

    "Hey, maybe Sarah had a sister who wasn’t her sister but is now her adopted sister who she had a motherly protective instinct ... etc."

    HAHA I totally forgot about this and it makes me so pissed just thinking about it.

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  25. Pretty much agree with all your points. The major thing I would not want in a Chuck movie is having one of the cast replaced, as in a different actor playing any of the characters we know and love from the show. Other than that, make it and I'll go watch it, or start a kickstater and I'll support it!

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  26. They have to get at least Zach, Yvonne, Josh, Adam, Sarah, and Ryan back in their original roles for a movie. Vik, Scott, Bonita, and MCL would all be great to have back as well, but you could replace the General with a new General if you had to, and I would hope to see the Buy More gang back together, but we all really just want to see how the Sarah/Chuck relationship plays out. Heck, you can say that the Buy More is more important than any one of those individuals because as a group Vik/Scott/MCL all were great.

    And on a side note, I liked the idea of starting the movie farther into the future after the beach scene with Sarah gaining her memories back. This way, we can choose to believe that the disney princess kiss worked, or we can think of our own stories of how she got the memories back on our own. The only problem with that is, what would the plot be if the main storyline isn't Sarah getting her memories back? That would really make the movie feel like another episode because we'd either be reintroducing a bad guy like Shaw or Jill or else we'd throw in a new bad guy like Quinn, who the audience doesn't have a long enough history to hate. So part of me likes the idea of starting the movie farther into the future so we still get to decide what happened on the beach, but the other part says it may not make for a great movie.

    Ranting Complete.

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    1. Starting five years in the future with Sarah's memory back would not feel any more like an episode of the show than starting a few months later with her trying to get her memory back.

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    2. What I meant was that starting in the future is a good idea, except what is the point in the movie if she already has her memories back? Don't you think Sarah regaining her memories should be the primary storyline throughout the movie with a mission against a bad guy being the secondary story.

      I think it's safe to say that all Chuck fans three things in a Chuck movie.
      1. Sarah regains her memories (and we actually get to see that as I think it's important to the fans. at least it's important to me.)
      2. The old gang gets back together and kicks some butt against a bad guy (Obviously we all hate Shaw the most, but bringing him back again would be overkill. Maybe Jill and if not her than maybe a new character, but it'd be hard to hate this new character the same way as we hate Shaw and Jill.)
      3. Happily ever after. Let's go out in Disney style without the Disney kiss. A happily married couple with the red door, white picket fence house and maybe some kids is the perfect ending we all want to see. They don't have to end it this way, but at least leave the possibility of it in our minds.

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    3. "Don't you think Sarah regaining her memories should be the primary storyline throughout the movie with a mission against a bad guy being the secondary story."

      Uh.....no.

      Somebody should write that fan fiction, so I don't have to read it.

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    4. Well what was the point of Sarah losing her memories in the first place if we never get to see her recover those memories in a movie. The TV Show left the possibility of it open for us, but it wasn't a definite yes or a definite no. By creating a movie, we are essentially admitting that the kiss didn't work as planned, or else there is no reason to have a movie. If the kiss worked, then the series ended on a pretty good note (not perfect, but if the kiss worked, I can't complain.)

      We can't just skip over Sarah regaining her memories in a movie. That's the only main thing that left Chuck fans wanting more. If they don't show her regaining her memories, it would be just like episode 92. Let's go fight another bad guy and save the world! We've already seen that for the past five seasons. It's fine if they do that as a secondary story, but not as the main plot. Maybe if the bad guy somehow was linked to Sarah getting her memories back you could intertwine the two ideas. Say if the bad guy had a device that could restore the memories, and Chuck and the gang had to fight to recover it.

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    5. The point of Sarah losing her memories was so the writers could have Chuck fighting for Sarah again at the end, and so they could end the show on the beach scene with her regaining her memories and/or falling in love with Chuck all over again.

      It sounds so much better on paper.

      Of course we can skip over her regaining her memories in a movie. Even touching that story line again would come off as bad fan fiction. It would be laughably bad.

      "We must get the device that gives her those memories back!" Lame.

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    6. I would agree with that. But Fedak painted himself into a corner with his spin about the finale. He can't start a movie with them apart as he told us it was a happy ending and Chuck and Sarah were rebuilding their lives together. So to me they have to be together at the start. Most memories returned and maybe a few more come back because of the storyline being told. I don't think it should be the central focus of the movie at all but it at least needs a casual mention. Maybe just the pre-title sequence and off we go. Plus I want Ellie redeemed for abandoning her sister in law when she needed her most.

      But Sarah Bartowski needs to be fully back in form for 99% of the movie. My hopes for the movie are that it helps bring my desire to re-watch the series back. I mean what is the point if Sarah, the most important character on the show for me, remembers none of it.

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    7. If you are going to spend millions on a movie, you are going to make it with non-TV viewers in mind. That's why you can't waste time on her memory loss except maybe as a small side-note for TV viewers ("remember that time you lost your memory"). Otherwise, movie viewers will be lost.

      Any reference to it and you are not making a movie, you are making episode 92.

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    8. I don't see anyone here saying they will start the movie with Sarah and Chuck apart. Maybe people are saying that elsewhere.

      The way I see it is the way HGF sees it. Her memory loss is not going to be a major plot point.

      I also think that whenever the movie gets made--IF it gets made--they will incorporate that amount of time into the story. So, if the movie doesn't get released until 2017, five years will have passed in their lives. I cannot see them starting the storyline in 2012 if they are filming it in 2017.

      All the more reason the memory loss would just be a footnote in the plot.

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    9. Well that would certainly fit the Fedak pattern. Create a major plot point and then ignore it going forward. lol

      But I do agree much of it will be determined by when it gets done. If it's 5 years down the line, the story needs to reflect that. My issue with the finale wasn't that it wasn't well done just that it was incomplete. Too much dark set up with not enough payoff. Again a typical Fedak troupe. I do think it needs to be at least casually mentioned and acknowledged but I'm also fine if that plot point at least is ignored and Sarah Bartowski is completely back where she belongs. I wanted to see ep 5.14 last year but I don't need to see it 5 years from now.

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    10. If Chuck had gotten that back 9 for season 5 that was actually possible, but got de-railed by poor ratings, it would be an entirely different situation. The 14th episode would have aired shortly after the 13th. But, otherwise, Fedak always did time-jumps between seasons to reflect the hiatus in filming.

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    11. And, as I was told midway through the writing of the final season, they were told by NBC to leave the ending as open ended as possible in case they got a back 9 (even as they were saying the total opposite in public).

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    12. Hmmm very interesting points. That back 9 would have been nice to get as long as it didn't have too many weak filler eps like Muuuuuder. It's also interesting that shows with ratings weaker than Chuck are being considered for pickup on NBC this season. Funny how things can change. In some respects I think they might like having numbers like it got back again. Parks and Recs their most solid comedy for next season is getting the same rating with half the households on thursday as Chuck did at the end of season 4 on monday. Some of their 10pm weekday shows were getting Friday Chuck numbers.

      I kind of figured they still had a possibility for a back 9 but Morgansect certainly didn't get me excited for season 5. Ultimately it had a purpose but I still didn't like it. I agreed with that zero you gave it and still do.

      But as far as getting 5.14 for me I think Other Guy is the weakest of all the possible finales. It's rushed, the payoff unearned and it feels like exactly what it was, lets put them together because its 3.13 and no one will notice how they didn't earn it. Add in a very weak performance from Routh, possibly his worst, and you get what we got. Enjoyment mainly because the misery was over and not because the payoff was well set up. But what makes all that work in the end was 3.14. If we had gotten a 5.14 none of the drama that came from the finale would have been there. You don't end a series with a memory loss storyline without having an adequate payoff. Or Goodbye should have been 5.12 with no ridiculous C vs Bo with the return of douchebag Morgan chasing around a 50 year old Bo Derek.

      You were also right that you don't write an ambiguous ending if you are going to go around and tell everyone what happens in the PR spin that follows. Either make it ambiguous or give us 5.14.

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    13. Judgment of ratings success are always relative to what other shows are getting on the network. Chuck was actually better promoted in Season 5 than it had been in season 4 because it premiered later and didn't have to compete with a lot of new shows for promo time.

      What put the nail in the coffin wasn't just the fact that it did a 1.05 A18-49 Live + SD that premiere night, but that the show that premiered after it did--Grimm--did a 2.15.

      Chuck also dropped a lot in week 2. It's Live + SD went down to a 0.85. But, there was a drop in Live + 7 also--1.59 to 1.18. People didn't just drop it from their "same day" viewing, but off their DVR's entirely.

      The ratings stayed below a 1 for most of the season. Even now, that wouldn't get you renewed on NBC.

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  27. If they can't come up with a better storyline for the potential film than lets get Sarah's memory back then they shouldn't bother.

    There is lots of things they could do in a two hour film.

    Most films i've seen have no trouble introducing characters to the audience in two hours that they were unfamilar with.

    If they can not pull that off then they shouldn't bother.

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    Replies
    1. Bad guys will make or break your movie. Can we seriously hate a newly introduced bad guy as much as Shaw, Jill, or even Quinn. Quinn was a rushed character, that seemed thrown in to the mix and out of place. But even Quinn did the worst thing possible for us fans by taking Sarah's memories in the final episodes. What can a newly introduced bad guy do that will be at least on par with these three bad guys short of killing a major character? I can't think of anything. Obviously I'm not a scriptwriter, though that'd be a sweet job.

      There needs to be a motive for both the Intersect team to fight a bad guy as well as for us to hate him. And saying that a new bad guy will nuke the world like Lazslo Mahovski or that the new bad guy will kill Sarah's sister that's not really her sister like Kieran Ryker planned to do just doesn't fit for a movie. You need something bigger than that, and I don't know what there is left to do. Maybe someone else will know of a good idea. I had a good idea in my fan fiction, but I'm not even going to bother bringing that up, as it's not worth anyone's time since it wouldn't be used in a script anyway.

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  28. BTW--
    In an interview with EW, Zac Levi pointed out a reason this wouldn't happen soon, "There are a few reasons why we can't rush the movie -- for example, internationally, the show hasn't run its course yet. Japan is only on season three or four right now, so if we were to make a movie and send it out to the world right now, some people would be like, "We haven't even seen the finale yet!" So I think we should wait until its run its course globally."

    Full interview: http://www.etonline.com/tv/133063_Zachary_Levi_Chuck_Movie_Talk_at_Remember_Sunday_Premiere_with_Alexis_Bledel/

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  29. Watch and learn. It starts at 43:48 . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS_HhtsCikk

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