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Saturday, 27 of February of 2021

Nick and Noel Talk about Chuck (Probably) Being Renewed

So rumors are circulating that Chuck will be picked up for a fifth season of 13 episodes (and, knowing NBC, it will then get a surprise back order to fill the hole left by Wonder Woman). Like with House, we discuss what we think they show could do in this (yet another) miracle season, why only G4 would want this show for syndication, and that it’s probably time to do away with the Buy More. For real this time.

Noel: WHY. Why, Nicholas? Why.

Nick: I can’t explain it.

Noel: I mean…What happens if NBC needs to fill 11 more weeks? AGAIN? You may kill youself.

Nick: Which they almost assuredly will. I mean, Wonder Woman is part of their development program.

Noel: I mean, I kind of expected an 13-episode pick-up, just because they HAVE NOTHING. But still. Question: Wonder Woman at 8, or does it use Chuck as lead-in?

Nick: Despite sagging ratings and having to compete with House and any number of CBS villains Monday at 8, they seem stalwart that Chuck needs to stay right there. I say it’s the lead-in.

Noel: Probably right.

Nick: I’m curious if they go in with the mentality that this is the last season. Schwartz and Fedak have to be exhausted. Perennially on the bubble has to take it out of a guy.

Noel: I’ll be curious what the deal is. I mean, 13-episode seems locked. But license reduction? Do we lose more actors? Big Mike and Jeffster? I mean, with EVERYONE in on the spy knowledge now, do we need the Buy More?

Nick: Buy More is an easy loss. Maybe don’t strike the set but limit the interiors. Take Jeff, Lester, and Big Mike down to guest star. Use any freed up savings to find a guy that can actually do a good green screen.

Noel: I don’t know. The bad special effects I’m kind of okay with it. Clunky charm, just like Chuck himself. But perhaps the money they save can lead to Timothy Dalton being the show’s Edward Herrmann? “Special Guest Appearance” for 7 episodes?

Nick: Nice. God willing.

My question is — where do they go with this season? I mean — the Chuck and Sarah thing is pretty much wrapped up. But who are they going to make the big bad? Are they going to keep Volkoff around? Vivian I mean.

Noel: I do not know. I mean, obviously the idea will be how hard it is to be married while being a spy, but…it won’t be that different from what they’re doing now.

Nick: Right. What mysteries are left? I suppose we’ll see with the finale on Monday. I wonder if Schwartz’d known they could limp into five seasons, if they would’ve burned through so many arcs so quickly.

Noel: I would like to see Vivian as the big bad, but she’s such a poorly developed villain that I’m not sure much could be done to make her really engaging. Her motivations are far too murky, which is frustrating since the idea was excellent. But that pretty much sums up the show.

And of course he would’ve burned through arcs. Having narrative patience and restraint, Schwartz does not understand that

Nick: I think Vivian’s revenge would be outstanding if they’d established a better relationship between her and her father. Taking her revenge on the Bartowskis would be great if we at all believed she had anything in her to take vengeance for.

Noel: Agreed. And Ray Wise’s devilish influence can only carry so much of that narrative weight (and he carried all of it).

Nick: He did the best he could.

Noel: So here’s my fanfic idea, total alternate reality idea. Ready?

Nick: Go.



Noel: Vivian, still reeling from defeat in the finale (it will happen). Organizes an injustice gang. Shaw and Ted Roark aren’t dead, and they join forces to destroy Team Bartowski.

Nick: Nice.

Noel: And Hugo Panzer can be the muscle.

Nick: Shaw with Volkoff’s and Roark’s resources would be dang-er-ous.

Noel: Exactly. I mean, yeah, it means that Chevy Chase would have less Community time, but I think I’d be the only one to miss Pierce.

Nick: True. I don’t think the writers would even miss adding him to their stories.

Noel: So, that’s my idea. Chuck pulls a Lost S6 or The Wire S5, does a meta-fanfic of itself, and just goes ball to the walls nuts for 13 episodes.

Nick: Love it.

Noel: I mean, Sarah’s already time skipping, so why not?

Nick: I mean, there’s no other way to describe that, right? It’s a piercing headache and bleeding from the nose. That’s what skipping through time IS. I might like yours better than my fanfic. Because your’s is probably closer to the tone of the show. Mine destroys the life of Chuck Bartowski only to rebuild it by the end.

Noel: Too much indie music that way

Nick: Mostly because I want to see Chuck fail. Oh, man. The indie music. You couldn’t believe.The episode where Chuck wants the Intersect out and goes through a Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind sequence when he realizes removing the Intersect and not being a spy means forgetting eveyrone –I think that’s why neo-folk was invented.

Noel: That was a really nice episode, actually. I was ready for the show to go, Nick. So I could watch something else on Hulu when I was bored.  And so that you would have time to review Chicago Code! …Oh. Wait.

Nick: I was torn. I was ready for the show to go away but I also felt sad at the loss of potential for that show. No more Morgan/Casey?

Noel: Yeah, I can only assume that Morgan saves Casey’s life in the finale, and that makes it okay for him to be a spy to whatshername

Nick: Alex or Beckman?

Noel: Alex.  Also: Not inviting Beckman was really uncool.

Nick: Yeah! How do you not do that? How do you forget to invite your boss? It’s not like they don’t see her every freaking day.

Noel: I mean, that woman does so much, filming her segments on Skype. Would it kill them to let her physically be in two episodes? Nothing will top that bazooka. But still.

Nick: What a great episode. It was the 80s. Everything was blonde.

Noel: Yes! And in my fanfic universe, Roan Montgomery is there, but never leaves Castle. He just sits there, drinking and smoking, making quips. But then imparts an important life lesson at the end

Nick: It’s absolutely perfect. He teaches Morgan how to seduce a woman. And that’s how he gets Alex.

Noel: Are you reading this, Schwartz? Do this.

Nick: How quickly would Chuck be cancelled on Fox?

Noel: Oh, so quickly. I mean, Fox’s margin for error is so much smaller than NBC’s has been for, well, the past decade. But Chuck may not have gotten past season 2 on Fox.

Nick: And really, would that have been good or bad? Season 2 crystallized forever?

Noel: For me, it would’ve been good. I stopped watching Chuck after the Xmas episode of season 2, because House shifted days or started or something. And when I went back and caught up on Chuck, I regretted that decision.
And then I regretted the decision to stay with Chuck during some season 3. (I still really liked Shaw, no matter what people say.)

Nick: I totally liked Shaw, too.And I thought “vs The Other Guy” was a great season finale. And then there was the mini-season –So I’m approaching this renewal with the same trepidation that I’m approaching House. If they go into it thinking it’s the last season and just rip the show apart, don’t mind taking some risks, and really plan it out, I think this season could be really enjoyable, on par with Season 2.

If they play it safe and try to make 13 filler episodes for syndication, I’m gonna be maaaaaad. That’s just plain hateful.

Noel: Ah well. Then it do horribly on G4.

Nick: The only place it can go. Because who else will want it?

Noel: Not a soul. I can only assume that Warner Bros. would potentially be able to syndicate it internationally well enough to make back its money

Nick: It might be able to do well abroad.  But I can only see it on G4 or a new cable network desperate for content.

Noel: And with the small ratings, Warner can’t demand a high per episode fee.

Nick: Not at all.

Noel: So, to close out, and since the show does excel at this, and this is your show: What do you want the last shot of this season to be?

Nick: Probably Chuck and Sarah sitting by the fountain. But it’ll probably be Team Chuck in Castle post-big-finale-mission (which, they were told was going to be the last one) when Beckman comes on and gives them a new mission. Everyone passes a smile of one-more-time and they leap into action.

Noel: And then the C.A.T.S. Squad logo flashes up, announcing the spin-off.

Nick: What about you? What would you like to see?

Noel: Well, yours is very status quo-y. And, their season finales lean toward game changing.

I can’t foresee a game changer that they haven’t teased, but I think I’d want it to end with Vivian being locked up in maximum security, and as the doors lock, she flashes on advance security schematics, smiles. Cut to black. With a dark indie song playing.

Nick: Oh, I totally read that for the series finale next season for some reason. That’s perfect for this season finale. That’s the one thing they really need is an apt Intersect to fight Chuck. Vivan would be perfect for that. Plus it would keep her around.

Noel: Yes, they’ve done it before, but they’ve teased Intersect Ellie or Awesome or Morgan enough that it would just rehash less interesting things

Nick: They’ve said in interviews that the season finale does a good job of wrapping everything up while keeping something open for the next season. I expect everything else to be status quo with no real cliffhanger except the villain element.

Noel: Well, here’s hoping something good comes out of it.

Nick: Overall, happy or sad about a new season?

Noel: Sad.

Nick: Sad. With a twinge of hope. The kind that’s been beat into from years of abuse.

Noel: Chuck is your How I Met Your Mother.

Nick: So it goes.

Noel: Ah well. At least we have the Sarah does the flash-face

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