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Prepared to Be Heartwarmed (And On the Edge of Your Seat): An Early Look at "Chuck Versus Santa Claus"

Best. Christmas. Episode. Ever.

It's clear that Chuck co-creator Josh Schwartz enjoys a good Christmas episode. After all, The O.C.'s "The Best Chrismukkah Ever" is still to this date one of my all-time favorite holiday television episodes (along with A Charlie Brown Christmas, of course) and tonight's installment of Chuck ("Chuck Versus Santa Claus") doesn't disappoint on any level, as an episode of the best darn action-comedy hybrid series or as a Christmas tie-in.

Thanks to the generosity of Josh Schwartz and Warner Bros. Television, Christmas came early to the Televisionary household as I was able to take an advance look at tonight's episode of Chuck, written by Scott Rosenbaum (who also wrote "Chuck Versus the Break-Up" and co-wrote Season One's "Chuck Versus the Imported Hard Salami"), in which Chuck and the Buy More gang--along with Ellie, Devon, and Sarah--get taken hostage at the Buy More on the day before Christmas by an amateur criminal. However, this being Chuck, not everything is as it seems.

While this could have been a saccharine feel-good episode in which the entire Bartowski clan (plus Morgan) settled in for a lovely Christmas feast by the (fake gas) fire, "Chuck Versus Santa Claus" is instead an action-packed thrill ride with some genuine emotional beats along the way. And, while the phrase has been tossed around before, Chuck and Sarah's relationship will truly never be the same once the end credits have rolled.

So what can you expect from "Chuck Versus Santa Claus"? Let's take a look after the jump.

While much of the episode's action is focused on the hostage standoff at the Buy More, a significant part of the strength of this installment is due in no small part to the chemistry between Yvonne Strahovski's Sarah and Zachary Levi's Chuck. Picking up after last week's episode--in which Chuck learned about Jenny Burton's childhood and met her con man father--"Chuck Versus Santa Claus" finds Sarah pining for a real family, especially as Christmas in the Burton household always consisting of a Salvation Army donation scam. (Ah, life as a pint-size con artiste.) So while eggnog frozen yogurt is making Sarah all misty-eyed and melancholy, Chuck hopes that she'll spend Christmas with his family... and gives Sarah one hell of a symbolic early Christmas gift. (Just what that is, you'll have to watch to find out.)

I have to say that Season Two of Chuck has done a phenomenal job at keeping Chuck and Sarah's relationship compelling and interesting, not to mention rife with complications keeping them apart. "Chuck Versus Santa Claus" takes their dynamic to a new level and introduces a new obstacle to their star-crossed romance that will be difficult to overcome. It's definitely a game changer for Chuck and pushes Sarah and Chuck into new territory heretofore unexplored in the series to date. Additionally, it gives Levi and Strahovski a real dramatic beat to showcase their acting strengths. (In a series overflowing with comedic moments, it's a genuine moment of shock and character transformation.)

Meanwhile, look for someone to lose an appendage as the result of a gunshot, Buy More assistant manager Emmett Milbarge (Tony Hale) to show his true colors during the standoff (and prove just how committed he is to low, low prices), one of Big Mike's relatives to turn up in a most unexpected place, Devon to tell Ellie that he wants some excitement in his life, and a bizarre love triangle to emerge among the staff of the Buy More.

Just who will lock lips during the hostage crisis? That would be telling, but there's fallout aplenty from last week's episode in which Morgan decided to spend his money on the General Lee rather than on an apartment with Anna. Hmmm...

Oh, did I mention that there's also a chase and a shootout in a Christmas tree lot? A Charlie Brown Christmas, this certainly isn't.

So, will Chuck be able to save the day and keep Ellie and Devon safe without revealing he's the Intersect? Will Casey and Sarah be able to save Chuck without blowing his cover? And will anyone ever be able to top the awesomest Christmas episode ever? Find out tonight.

"Chuck Versus Santa Claus" airs tonight at 8 pm ET/PT on NBC.

Comments

CL said…
Thanks, Jace. Now I really can't wait for the next episode. I don't suppose anyone has a time-traveling Delorean?
Anonymous said…
Thanks Jace! Sounds awesome. Imagine a TV show that makes a lot of people look forward to Mondays!

But no new episodes until February! :(
Anonymous said…
Thank you for this.
I have only one question. How long it will take until the viewers get bored with more and more obstacles thrown in every 3-4 episodes.
It could become predictable
Anonymous said…
Can you tell us if this episode will end on a positive note, or with a downer?
Jace Lacob said…
Anonymous,

Unfortunately, that's the dilemma of making an ongoing serialized drama in which the leads are romantically attracted to one another. Put them together too soon and viewers get bored with the relationship (Moonlighting, anyone?); keep them apart for too long and viewers get antsy. It's a fine line to walk. But remember that Chuck has yet to air an entire season yet (Season One was only 13 episodes due to the writers strike) and it's the sexual charge between Chuck and Sarah that keeps the series fresh and interesting for viewers. Putting them together this early would be disastrous.

And don't we all want this series to last for quite some time?
Anonymous said…
I agree with you Jace.
The only problem is in my opinion, that then writers went too strong with the romance in this show. More thing happened between the two main character romance wise in this 1.5 season than in 5 season of any other non-soap opera show.
They got us to invest heavily in the romance, so every new obstacle get some of us more and more irritated.
I love Chuck because of the comedy and the action, which is so far the best in any shows airing atm, but their way of dealing with the romance leave me bittersweet after every arc.
Chuck and Sarah get close just to be break apart over and over again. Why don't just let them advance very very slowly in their relationship and concentrate on the big issues like Fulcrum, the Intersect instead?

Also i do not think if they get together the show will die. They'll still have to hide the relationship from the CIA/NSA, they'll be more vulnerable to the spy world. I believe the show would benefit greatly from Chuck and Sarah as a couple, it would open a lot's of chance for interesting story line.
How fun it would be to watch a couple pretend to be a fake couple (in the eyes of CIA/NSA) while they're acting as a real couple in the eyes of their friend? There would be some really thin line to walk on
Anonymous said…
Jace, is that your way of telling us that this episode will not end on a positive note? Your review is worded so carefully and ominously that it really leaves everything up in the air.
Anonymous said…
I am not minding the obstacles as long as growth in the Chuck/Sarah relationship continues to happen. Look at the difference now in their relationship compared to the 'puppy love' state the two were in at the beginning of the season.

Tracking their progress it seems reasonable that the next step ie openly declaring their feelings to one another by the season finale wedding episode is not unreasonable.

Season 3 could see them struggling with how to make their relationship work juggling it against their spy and cover lives.

Hopefully the show will build up enough mythos to carry the show beyond the relationship so the focus can shift to resolving the Intersect and Fulcrum story lines.

Frankly, I'm surprised at the speed things have progress in what is really only a season and a half so far.
Jace Lacob said…
First off, everyone, it's much easier to keep track of this thread if you press Name/URL below and enter a name. ANY name.

Anonymous wrote: "Jace, is that your way of telling us that this episode will not end on a positive note? Your review is worded so carefully and ominously that it really leaves everything up in the air."

Hmmm, is the ending positive or negative? I suppose that all depends on your point of view. It could be said that the ending is a bit of a pyrrhic victory for our characters. After all, not everyone walks away in exactly the same way as they did at the start of the episode.

But, yes, there is some careful wording going on here as I don't like to traffic in spoilers and prefer to discuss pre-air episodes in generalities rather than specifics.

Another Anonymous wrote: "How fun it would be to watch a couple pretend to be a fake couple (in the eyes of CIA/NSA) while they're acting as a real couple in the eyes of their friend? There would be some really thin line to walk on"

If you think that watching Chuck and Sarah dance around their relationship is getting old, the storyline you project would get really old, really fast. It might work for an episode or so, but if the series has any hopes of longevity, the writers would have to split them up again soon thereafter.

Chuck might be an action/comedy hybrid, but it still has to follow the rules and conventions of dramatic narrative serial storytelling as much as any drama.
Jace Lacob said…
Old Darth: Thanks for reminding us of the fact that as of Monday's episode, Chuck will have only aired 24 episodes TOTAL. That's only slightly more than most dramas air in entire seasons. The speed with which the writers are developing Chuck and Sarah's relationship is a positive thing, rather than continuing to have them tread water as in Season One.
Anonymous said…
No problem Jace.

And to paraphrase remember it is often the journey, rather than the destination, which is the most interesting part of a story.
Anonymous said…
Jace:If you think that watching Chuck and Sarah dance around their relationship is getting old, the storyline you project would get really old, really fast. It might work for an episode or so, but if the series has any hopes of longevity, the writers would have to split them up again soon thereafter.

There is my problem. Why is everyone think that if Chuck and Sarah will become a couple the show will die? It's not a soap opera, it supposed to be an action/comedy series with some romance. A show should stand on more than only the romance line.
Unfortunately the ratings not that great to be afraid to lose big with something unusual, something new, something noone ever saw in a tv series before: the main characters are actually happy .
I understand its a relatively new show, but with problems at NBC we cannot really hope for 6-8 seasons.
They should try to do something new and see if it's affect the rating positively or negatively inmstead of going with the safe , old, tv drama style.
Anonymous said…
Another thing. You said that they'll have to keep them apart to keep the show alive.My questions is, how many more?
Someone said on the NBC board that every obstacle up to date is a real one. Bryce, Jill, etc is all a really good, believable obstacle. I agree with this.
There could be a few more you can accept with no second thought, but with the speed the writes going ( throwing an obstacle in every 3-4 episode ) how long their gunpowder will last? How long until they'll have to use obstacles just for the sake of keeping them apart?
You can go until the end of this season, maybe the beginning of the next one, but more than 3-4 obstacle will feel unreal.
So what's after this? The show will die?
They should slow down. Let us worry about Fulcrum for a little bit, stop with the romance for a while.
Anonymous said…
Jace, the title of your review says prepare to be Heart warmed. In general, would you say that this is a happy episode?
Anonymous said…
Personally, I don't mind if they keep the "tension" but it's how they do it that could bother me. But then again, as much as I want Chuck and Sarah to have "babies" if they could focus a bit more on the mythos, maybe get a true villain!? I'm pretty sure they can keep the nature of the show and bring an evil recurring face. Not just the name Fulcrum.
Anonymous said…
Jace,at the end of the episode will we be angry at sarah?
Anonymous said…
I wrote that because the promos say something about chuck not trusting sarah again.
Anonymous said…
I was wondering about that myself.
Hopefully it won't be to much of a downer,it'll be 6 weeks before we get new episodes.
Anonymous said…
Whatever happens it hopefully won't make us think it jumped some sort of animal that lives in the ocean. lol!
Anonymous said…
I think what's great about the show is that it focuses on building a relationship rather than hooking up. Sorry to sound a bit prudish, but what everyone really wants is C and S to consumate the deal and thus have a relationship. In reality, they have a relationship. He is clearly her best friend, and sorry to tell Morgan this, but she is becoming his best friend. That friendship also includes romance. Their long-term relationship will be anything but stable given her occupation, his head knowledge and a $12 per hour job. So, by forcing them to work out their friendship and turn it into love over time makes a lot of sense. It just doesn't work to well considering how most shows approach romance. That's part of what makes this a unique show. They've resolve past loves, her dad has okay'ed Chuck and Chuck received her dad's blessing. Now it's time to work through some "this is who she/he really is" material.
Anonymous said…
In the 1st promo it says sarah changes everything and then in the 2nd one it says something about chuck not trusting her again.So i guess sarah does something to cause the new obstacle in their being together.Speculate on what that is if you want.
Anonymous said…
Totally off-the-wall guess:

She savagely guns down (perhaps unarmed) Fulcrum agents in front of Chuck. To "save him" by protecting his cover. She goes primal, and it freaks him out.
Anonymous said…
Do you mean she kills him in cold blood?
Anonymous said…
Just a guess, of course, but yes, she guns down the Fulcrum agents in cold blood. She won't risk them communicating Chuck's secrets back to home base.
Jace Lacob said…
Z,

It could be a clue... but it's also a line uttered by Chuck Bartowski early on in the episode as well.

Cryptic? You bet.
Anonymous said…
--Chucko cast " Mind control " on Jace.--
--Chucko roll a dice!--
--Chucko roll 1--
--Spell failed!--

Guess i have to wait until monday to see if it's a happy episode or a gutwrenching, or both
Anonymous said…
jace,is it something sarah does that creates the obstacle and will we be shocked by it.
Anonymous said…
I think the writers have missed the point with why many of us watch the show.

We enjoyed the feel good factor it brought at the end of each episode. It is the mix of comedy action and romance that is unique.

I have watched with great dissapointment as it is slowly being turned into a soap opera.

One of the requirements of the rules and conventions of dramatic narrative serial storytelling is to tell a story. There are a great many shows that have done this successfully by moving the story on, Deperate houswives for a start... Once one particular aspect of the relationship becomes the story then it becomes a soap. In Friends the relationship was the only story, in Chuck it is not. They need to get on and tell the story..

BTW your last report said that the Jill arc was the best TV you had seen this year.. I think that many on the forums did not think so.. totally ooc for Chuck totally unbelievable..pure soap.
Anonymous said…
Sorry for the double post but just to make my point - look how concerned people are here that this is another unhappy episode...
Jace Lacob said…
Anonymous (and, AGAIN, I've asked everyone to PLEASE click Name/URL and leave an actual name):

Not to quibble, but what I actually said was ""Chuck Versus the Ex" was perhaps one of the single most enjoyable hours of television this year." And I stand by that remark. It *was* one of the most enjoyable hours of television this year. Not necessarily "the best TV [I] had seen this year," as you claimed I had said, but one of the most enjoyable.

:Chuck" works because it deftly blends various genres like action, comedy, and romance into one satisfying cohesive end result that is definitely enjoyable. (Otherwise, we wouldn't be watching.) I don't want to be spoon-fed romantic treacle where Chuck and Sarah get together and stay together for the next nth seasons. It's not compelling television nor is it a compelling narrative by any stretch of the imagination because the eternal question that follows is: What next? How do the writers keep the relationship interesting, compelling, and unique enough that people want to continue tuning in week after week?

These are questions that have plagued every single writers room on every single television program that features romantic leads. It's not as simple as sticking Chuck and Sarah together, no matter how much the viewers might want them to consummate their romance, because it's that very underlying tension that makes the push-and-pull between Chuck and Sarah so irresistible in the first place... and keeps people tuning in.
Anonymous said…
While i understand what you're saying Jace, but also this is why peoples get bored with shows fast.
There is so much you can take after the show made you invest your emotions heavily in the characters.
When a show become predictable ( because you see the same thing happening over and over again ie.: the main characters get close just to break apart all the time ) it's become tiring.
Also , if you watch it for the romance, and you see that every nice moment followed by a new obstacle, followed by someone gets hurt emotionally, you can find yourself hoping that there will be no more nice moments, because you don't want to see your favorite hero and heroine to suffer again.
So you lose interest, because you don't want to get hurt again watching your heroes getting hurt.
As i said, i believe the writers made a mistake to push the romance line heavily in this season, peoples invested too much in it, and want fast resolve.
As "Anonymus" said, Chuck was a show which left you feel good after watching every episode in the past, now it leave you in nervous anticipation ,asking yourself what will happen with Chuck and Sarah romance wise.
If you check any message boards, peoples talking 90% about the romance after every episode, and just don't make any attention for the jokes/acting/secondary storylines anymore.
So i say let them consumate their relationship in some level, let's concentrate on the spy aspect of the show, and see how the ratings will go.
If there will be a dip, they still can break them apart as they did in the Friends
Anonymous said…
People calm down,Jace is right the tension is the most important part of the show.It keeps us coming back for more and anyway if at end it all chuck and sarah aren't together by the end the show,we'll just get rid our anger by rioting on the streets and burning stuff down! WHO'S WITH ME!! LOL!!!
Anonymous said…
But are you saying that they can't have a compelling show with Chuck and Sarah as a happy couple? If they had starting the show in a relationship that wouldn't be true. Having them have a "you and me against the world" feel would be very compelling storytelling.
Anonymous said…
Sorry for the double post, i just forgot something.
Jace said:"It's not compelling television nor is it a compelling narrative by any stretch of the imagination because the eternal question that follows is: What next? How do the writers keep the relationship interesting, compelling, and unique enough that people want to continue tuning in week after week?"

I am sorry but we should give more credit to the writers. What 's next? I don't know, maybe turning back to an action comedy with a healthy romance as Chuck started?
Stop on the way to become a pure soap?
You saying that if the writers cannot keep us interested with the romance they'll have nothing else to say, nothing else to keep the show interesting?
Your definition for the drama is a definition for a soap in my world, if a show invest that much in a relationship that with it's closure lose it's charm, it's a soap.
Please, do not take this as a offense against you. Peoples think differently, this is why life is interesting
Anonymous said…
"Z,

It could be a clue... but it's also a line uttered by Chuck Bartowski early on in the episode as well.

Cryptic? You bet."

I must say your reviews definitely do a good job of building anticipation. You say so much, but give away so little at the same time, it is quite frustrating. However, I must compliment you, I have never been more excited for an episode of Chuck.
Anonymous said…
Once again, thanks for the advance review, Jace. I've been looking forward to this episode for ages, specifically the game-changer. Glad to hear it plays out effectively.
Anonymous said…
Echoing what Mel posted. Thanks for the reviews you post here not just for this show but for all of them.

It is really appreciated that you share your thoughts with us.

Thanks!
Anonymous said…
Let me see.. Chuck loves Sarah, Chuck loves Sarah deeply, Chuck and Sarah are just good friends? At the talk in ep2.03 Chuck broke off with Sarah because Bryce had made it clear that she would get hurt if she had feelings, or because he genuinely wanted a real relationship. So somehow he puts his feelings on hold and goes from the most emotionally mature person on the planet to behave like a 16 year old when Jill returns, and now 2 episodes later he's giving Sarah a big present for a real reason.

there used to be a parody of soap operas called "Soap" where, after a confusing introduction the narator said "Confused? you will be?

I don't think that they have to bring Chuck and Sarah together they just have to tell a consistant story that we can believe and relate to and stop trying to manipulate us so badly.
They keep it confusing so they can change the story, bring in love triangles etc but in doing so we loose the plot,,,

This was the best show on tv I hope it recovers
Anonymous said…
Can't wait for Monday night!!! Thanks for keeping me so interested in the show.
Anonymous said…
You say, It's definitely a game changer for Chuck and pushes Sarah and Chuck into new territory heretofore unexplored in the series to date.

Is that more or less true then when you said that Chuck and Sarah would get naked together?
Anonymous said…
@ Allatsea.

I concur. Chuck rubbed the wrong way for me throughout the three episodes of Jill. Then, I got annoyed with him even more in "VS. Sensei". Thank god for "VS. DeLorean" because with that, the show recovered my interest for it.
Anonymous said…
why are peoples confused about CHuck and Sarah? He's a guy in his 20s. she is smoking hot and why wouldnt he be ibnterested in her but jump at getting laid by his ex when she shows up???? Makes sense unless your a fat woman in their 40s who watches this to escape htheir sad lifes.
Anonymous said…
Great review, Jace. However I am puzzled by the animosity of the above commenters. Why is everyone being so critical of a show that seems to be working better than ever? And why are people begging for spoilers when the show is on tomorrow? To paraphrase someone above, isn't the journey to a destination as important as the end result? Why don't we see how thing play out before writing the show off for good?
Anonymous said…
I understand that you also loved "Chuck vs. the Ex", an episode almost universally despised by fans. So your credibility is at zero. Critically speaking a show can be very good, but a failure to fans because they are emotionally invested. Apparently, Jace, you are coming from a strictly critical point of view. What's unfortunate is that you apparently never picked up on some of the clunkiness that started off "Ex" (for Chuck to be listening to a 'Jill music mix' in the opening of the episode made absolutely no sense given how we saw him last). You are entitled to you thoughts, but know that a large fan base does not trust you at all.
Anonymous said…
@anon: Please don't speak for me. Ever. I loved "Chuck vs. The Ex" and I am part of the "large fanbase" for the show that you mention. It's a tendency to pick at every little thing that give fans a bad name. To go on weeks later about Chuck listening to a mix CD is ridiculous. Just as Jace is entitled to his opinion (and BTW I usually agree with him), so are you but know that everyone reading this thinks you are a tool.
Anonymous said…
I have been a fan of Televisionary for a long time and although I may not always agree 100% with Jace's likes and dislikes, I completely respect his opinion. He has proven to be an intelligent, thoughtful critic and has turned me on to many excellent shows that I never would have watched otherwise. To say that his credibility "is at zero" just because he liked the Jill storyline in "Chuck" is not only rude but ridiculous. And, yes, Jace is coming at it from a "strictly critical point of view" because he's a critic! If you just want a bunch of fan wank then stick to the fan sites and don't read critical reviews.
Anonymous said…
I saw an earlier post say Chuck, as a show, had a really amazing "feelgood" factor and if I could add I think a really amazing fanbase.

The last few posts pay testement to the loss of that.
Anonymous said…
major tom: I understand what you're saying. I do. After all, almost 7 million people watched the Ex. Some of them had to had liked it, right? And, I suspose, that if you had never seen an episode of Chuck before, The Ex might have been entertaining. But to the Chuck fan, we saw the title character and his prime characteristic (pining for Sarah) totally disappear within a week. Only to reappear 3 weeks later. A lot of us were wondering who this new guy was. Certainly it wasn't the Chuck that we knew. And (speaking for only myself) it was sloppy writing to have that sudden of a fundamential change. Now you can disagree. Obviously you do. But it seems a serious lapse to not point out the obvious flaw, even from a purely critical pov. Not to say that I can't respect other opinions. That's just mine.
Anonymous said…
@Bill: It was established in the opening scene of the first ep that Chuck had not gotten over Jill. Even with Sarah's appearance in his life Chuck still hadn't dealt with his unresolved issues with Jill and what he viewed as her betrayal by sleeping with Bryce. Chuck's "prime characteristic" isn't "pining for Sarah" at all. It's an element of the story but it is certainly not his character's defining quality.

Jill broke Chuck's heart. Chuck never moved on with his life. He meets Sarah and falls for her, has to pretend to be her boyfriend as part of his cover. Jill comes back. Chuck has to deal with his unresolved emotions. Jill betrays him again. Chuck is still in love with Sarah. She has made it clear that they cannot be together though she has feelings for him. What's so "flawed" about that chain of events?????

My friends and I all love Chuck. We ALL loved Vs. the Ex and we've all seen EVERY ep of the show that's aired. To say that I or any one found it entertaining because we had never seen the show before is naive, rude and simpleminded.
David Muir said…
This advance review was fantastic. I can't wait to tune in tonight and then chomp at the bit until February to see what happens next.

I agree that Moonlighting died when the romantic tension ended... and it was a show about more than just the romance too. It amuses me that when fans get what they ask for, they tune out (because they have been satisfied).

Thanks for the best TV website out there, Jace!
Mazza said…
I think this ep sounds fantastic. Chuck and Sarah can't just be together this early in the show and even if the writers do figure out a way to make them a real couple there will have to be obstacles in order to keep things interesting. Happy couple=boring T.V. I don't understand why people are being so critical of the show. NBC will see this negativity as a reason why they shouldn't keep the show on the air. I love Chuck and I want it to be on for a long time.
Anonymous said…
Major Tom: You miss my point. Perhaps because you so busy coming up with demeaning insults. It is true that Chuck had unresolved feelings for Jill. But it is also true that almost every episode since then was built around the theme that he was pining for Sarah. If we can’t agree on that, then I don’t see that we have much to discuss. The very last thing that we saw prior to the Ex was Chuck wishing on a star for Sarah. The week before that was Chuck basically telling Sarah that he loved her by saying “you’re the kind of girl I would like to share a cheeseburger with.” Then, bang, Jill shows up and Sarah disappears from his mind. Then bang again, here he is pining for Sarah again. The writers had an opportunity to have Chuck deal with Jill effectively. They could have shown Chuck conflicted. But, imo, they took the easy way out. Again, imo, that was lazy. I would expect a critical reviewer to point that out. Sorry if that sounds simpleminded to you.
Anonymous said…
@Bill: It does sound simpleminded and you were the one offering insulting remarks, not me. Chuck pining for Sarah is not a theme, it's part of the plot.

Sarah has made it clear to Chuck that they CANNOT be together. Chuck has feelings for her but his ex-girlfriend who seems to have a regular life shows up and offers him a real relationship and sex. He's a 20something guy. Do you really think he would live life like a monk and not date Jill even though he has feelings for Sarah? That's ridiculous. Plus, Bryce had recently come back into their lives and rubbed Chuck the wrong way again.

How do you think the writers should have handled the Jill storyline since you seem to have so many opinions on what the writers have done wrong? It's clear that the Jill storyline was intended to be part of season 1 but that got cut short by the strike so they had to adjust some things. I wasn't bothered AT ALL by how they handled it which was true to life. Stop getting hung up on things like CD mixes and just enjoy the show!
Kim Moffat said…
I'm so glad people are finally coming around to Chuck. Last season, anytime I tried to bring up the show, I couldn't find anyone that actually watched it. The truth is, the strike was really hard on all of us and I'm not sure things are any better since it ended (most producers still have absolutely no respect for the writers that put them up in their million dollar homes), but, like a lot of other shows, Chuck was saved by the strike. Except this show knows how lucky it is. They've done a great job of retaining its audience, as well as gathering a new one. It's a great show, funny with a lot of action. The writing's great, and the chemistry between Chuck and Sara is ridic. Plus, let's face it, Chuck, Big Bang Theory - nerds are kind of sexy right now.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the preview. It sure sounds like this episode performs up to the Terrific Chuck standard for this season.

If I remember correctly there was plenty of discussion several weeks ago when we first saw Chuck Vs The Ex. At that time several posters here felt that VS The Ex, The Fat Lady, and The Gravitron series would have fit into the season better if it was earlier in the season.

I'd say a prefect fit would have been after VS the Break-Up and before VS The Cougars.

Support CHUCK watch it Live!

The foreseeable schedule has new CHUCK episodes off the air for several weeks. Don't forget about the online viewing. Last time I checked they had ALL of season 2 and the last couple episodes of season 1 available.
Anonymous said…
Speaking for myself, I found it troubling how fast Chuck got over any feelings for Sarah when Jill showed up and then how quickly he reverted back to having feelings for Sarah again after Jill left the scene. Since it was mentioned that Jill may return, are we then going to see Chuck fall for Jill again due to some unresolved "feelings"? And just how strong can the feelings that he has for Sarah be if he can just shut them down as soon as an old girlfriend shows up? I find it troubling and I think that many others feel the same.
Anonymous said…
Sorry, last comment was mine.
Anonymous said…
@major tom: I have to agree with Bill, though I will say I don't expect Chuck to live like a monk and wait, for what looks like forever, for Sarah. My main problem with Chuck (the character, of course) during the Jill episodes is that Chuck basically showed no internal conflict. How are we supposed to believe that the pining over the past year for Sarah is not just on a superficial level? Of course, we as viewers can see and know their attractions to each other is deeper than the obvious because-Sarah-is-super-hot. Plus, Chuck seemed to have no self-respect for jumping right back with his ex, the girl who dumped him for his accuser, and cause him 5-ish years of depression and low self-esteem. Yes, love can be blind; but that's just plain dumb for a developing character, IMO.

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The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have