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06 March 2009 @ 01:36 pm
Chuck Versus the Artificial UST  
I'm fond of the NBC series Chuck. Yeah, you have to buy into a completely unrealistic base premise, but that's hardly uncommon. Adam Baldwin is hysterical, the guy playing Chuck is enjoyable (though I'm one of those weirdoes who thinks the Morgan guy is actually cuter), and the Sarah actress is strong (especially given what they put the character through). The Buy More coworkers and Ellie and Awesome are all complex, intriguing characters. I love that Chuck and Ellie's broken family is mostly taken for granted, but the difficulties and their bond are both given their due. The set design (of the Buy More especially) and the detail of the computer screens are fantastic.

There are drawbacks. The fetishization and objectification of Sarah verges into squick territory too often for my taste. (I will commend that although Sarah gets pimped out far more often, at least both Chuck and Casey have been pimped out as well.) NBC has earned a slot in Shepherd Book's Special Hell (as far as I'm concerned) for airing episodes out of order. The A and B plots don't always mesh well. I really loved the three episodes going into the Christmas break, because Chuck started contributing meaningfully rather than simply flailing and screwing up all the time.

But the Chuck/Sarah nonsense is getting on my last nerve.

Chuck knows it's a cover relationship. He's thought it was more, he's decided it won't be, he's "broken up" with her, he's dated other women, he's "gotten back together" with her. He's attracted, but as far as I ever knew he was not currently under the impression they were a formal, real couple.

Yet the show wants us to think they're star-crossed lovers. So Chuck clicks with Jill -- well, she has to be evil because Sarah is his Twue Wuv! She makes it clear their relationship is a cover -- he has to be sad! She has to seduce someone -- he has to listen in and think every word she says is honest commentary on her relationship with Chuck, instead of ever catching on to the fact that she's a freaking spy! He "breaks up" with her again -- so they have to be forced to live together!

The plotting to get to that last one is what really gets me, I think. Chuck couldn't tell Sarah that the chip had the identity of the new FULCRUM Intersect? He had to say "it's me, I'm on there", so that the MI6 guy could put it together? Why is he suddenly stupid? Why the hell does the show have to have him promise to get a place with Morgan ten seconds before Sarah comes in with her plan? Honestly, I'd like either Ellie or Morgan to be included in the secret of his status, but the whole thing where every other episode they dump on Chuck and Morgan's friendship? Annoying! And the apparent setup in which the friendship bond has to compete with the official UST is truly irritating. And in the most recent ("Beefcake") episode, Casey's snarky commentary went from teasing to blatant plot manipulations ... why?

Chuck and Sarah have chemistry. Trust in that. Quit with the forced plotting -- it's amateur. The earliest episodes were entirely too formulaic with the "Chuck makes personal promises, a spy thing interferes, everyone thinks Chuck is a jerk but if they only knew oh drama" -- bleh. It got better. It can be better than that.

Please, show. I want to love you. Stop being annoying.
 
 
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
 
 
 
just a guy made of dots and linescrs on March 7th, 2009 04:51 am (UTC)
They aired episodes out of order?
michelel72: DoctorCatmichelel72 on March 7th, 2009 05:10 am (UTC)
According to TWoP, at any rate -- 13 Suburbs and 14 Best Friend were swapped. Minor, really, compared to something like Firefly, but it's the principle of the thing ....