Chucktastic is a not a word we would use to describe last night’s episode of CHUCK. Yet, as we sit here reviewing our notes on everything from the ridiculousness of Shaw as a romantic obstacle, the predictability of the ‘shooter,’ not to mention the massive overuse of the tired TV trope that had the show opening with the episode’s big moment only to flashback to “three days earlier,” two thoughts continue to creep up on us. Firstly, is it really fair to criticize creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak for last night’s mess? And two, is there anyway we can shift the blame to our go-to Hollywood whipping-boy: NBC? Our answers, which may surprise you, after the jump.
Obviously, placing the blame squarely on NBC is the easy, and let’s face it, far more entertaining way to go. Seriously. Between their lack of ownership stake in the property, the fact that they could only manage to muster up a last minute thirteen episode commitment under pressure from both fans and critics alike with a “to be aired when it fits into our schedule” attitude, the Peacock Network didn’t exactly do itself any favours. And what’s worse, with no ownership stake in the show, left Schwartz and Fedak with the distinct impression that these thirteen episodes would more than likely be their last. Thus, resulting in a season that had an air of finality to it as Chuck grows up to become a real-life spy and presumably (once that Shaw guy is out of the way) live happily ever after with Sarah. The End.
Of course, when you’re on a network that’s run like a chicken — or in the case of NBC — peacock with its head cut off, funny things tend to happen over the course of the season. Jay Leno flops at 10PM, Conan O’Brien gets fired, and all of a sudden, the show that shouldn’t even be on the air yet, now finds itself bumped to nineteen episodes with a very real possibility of a fourth season pickup,
Now don’t get us wrong, NBC isn’t entirely to blame for what we’re going to go ahead and call the unevenness of the season. After-all, story-wise, the buck stops with Schwartz and Fedak who still owe us some sort of explanation as to how Sarah deems it acceptable to date spies like Shaw and Bryce, yet can’t wrap her head around dating double-o-Chuck. That said, we can’t help but sympathize with the two creators who were thrust into a very unpredictable situation and wonder what things might have been like had they known from the get-go just exactly how many episodes they were going to get.
We have a feeling Chuck wouldn’t have devolved into a poor man’s ALIAS on a cable budget. We’re just sayin’
Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus/NBC