February 9, 2010

My Two-Cents on Chuck vs. The Shippers

Apparently, last night's episode of Chuck ruffled the feathers of some of the show's die-hard "fans".  The most vocal of the unhappy viewers did not like the fact that Chuck and Hannah are macking on each other, while Sarah and Shaw are getting up close and personal.  Others are more insulted because they feel like the show's storytelling is getting sloppy.  The "controversy" has gotten so heated that the showrunners felt they had to explain themselves to these so-called "fans".

First off, if someone is only watching Chuck because they're so emotionally invested in the Chuck/Sarah relationship then they're not seeing the whole picture.  Chuck has never been just about the relationship; it's about a regular guy being put in extraordinary situations.  Sure, one of those situations involves falling for a spy, but it's not the only element that makes Chuck work.  To me, Chuck works because it's about likable characters that are defined by their actions and not by their significant others.  The shippers are all up in arms because their "Charah" or "Suck" (or whatever ridiculous handle they've created) are still not together, but they need to get a grip because it's not like Shaw and Hannah are series regulars.  We'll be back on the road to Will-They/Won't They-ville soon enough.

Now, when it comes to sloppy storytelling, I do understand some of the points that have upset others.  I think the biggest gripe is all of this new relationship stuff is happening way too fast, which I agree with.  The major downside of having a shorter season is so much story has to be crammed into so little time.  Some plotpoints have to be fastracked in order to make it into the narrative, and these characters/relationships must be important because they made it to air.  I would have liked a little more time and character development given to both Hannah and Shaw, but we just don't have that luxury.

Some are mad because Chuck and Sarah's actions were "out of character", and this argument holds little weight with me because I'm all about character growth.  The truth is, Chuck and Sarah are not the same people they were two and a half seasons ago.  If they never change, things would be boring awfully quick.  I like seeing characters develop, but unfortunately most people are resistant to change, especially when it comes to TV.

While I appreciate character development, it's even better if the story line develops too, and to be honest season 3 has done little to really push the plot forward.  So far, S3 is looking a lot like the first two seasons because Chuck wants Sarah, Sarah wants Chuck, but they can't be together, so Chuck then falls for a cute brunette (Lou, Jill, Hannah) while Sarah pines after a super spy (Bryce, Cole, Shaw).  Oh yeah, and they fight some evil, secret spy organization the entire time, but we really don't know anything about these baddies.  I still don't understand why they're going after the Ring when we still have no idea what Fulcrum is.  I'm sure the two groups are going to end up connected, but some hints would be nice.  Sure, the characters are changing, but they're stuck in a plot that's spinning its wheels.

Also, we need more Casey.  He's had a few episodes dedicated to him which have worked ("Undercover Lover") and some that haven't ("Sensei"), but over the last couple of episodes he's been relegated to grunts and wisecracks.  We all know there are some great Casey stories to tell, but we need to actually see them from time to time.  It's time to unleash the Casey!

Others are cranky because it's starting to look like Hannah is, or will become, a Ring agent.  If this happens, I may have to join some of the deserters because that story's been told already, and going back to it will be lazy and an insult.  While I'm not too emotionally invested in Chuck and Sarah's relationship, I am invested in Chuck's happiness, and if he ends up with another girl that is evil and just using him, I don't know if I can take that again.  I'm hoping that Hannah is just a regular person who likes Chuck for who he is rather than having ulterior motives, but I'm willing to stick around to find out, which is more than what some other "fans" are saying.  There are people out there that think we should boycott the show to teach the creators a lesson, but they fail to understand that a boycott would just get the show cancelled.  Tough love is not always the answer.

I'm all for fans voicing their displeasure, and I think being a true fan means you should speak up if your beloved show is making mistakes, but they should also have faith.  Leaving Chuck now would be like a Saints fan giving up on the team after its first or second loss.  They'll be kicking themselves in the end.


Kristal said...

100% agree with what you're saying. I don't understand these people who want to boycott the show. We fought so hard for this show to come back for another season, why doom it to cancellation with a boycott now? It just doesn't make any sense to me.

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