Considering I’ve managed to get into Chuck around six or seven months after everybody else, I’m in the luxurious position of only having to wait a week or two between finishing season one and the upcoming start of season two.
However, much though I enjoyed the show, there’s an element of tough love to it. I had a whale of a time watching it, but accepted that it was a very flawed beast, with some real problems ticking away there. The key one for me is the potential to string out the whole will-they, won’t-they thing between Chuck and Sarah to breaking point, as if the producers had stocked up on Moonlighting DVDs to really see how far they could push it. One season in, and it’s already beginning to grate a little bit.
The early word on season two is that the implied romance storyline is going to be pivotal to the show again, and that, predictably, there’s little sign of it getting resolves. Star Zachary Levi, in a piece that appeared on Sci Fi Wire, instantly made my heart sink when he compared the relationship between his character and Yvonne Strahovski’s Sarah as akin to Ross and Rachel in Friends. He also confirmed that the pair wouldn’t be getting together in the episodes he’s filmed to date. He also noted that things are being kept open so that Chuck can, once again, explore other romantic interests, specifically with his ex, Jill.
Now I accept that it’s a good narrative card to have, with two characters clearly drawn to each other but being kept apart by an assortment of factors. But it’s an easy card to overplay, and one where you can increasingly rely on contrivances to get by. Chuck isn’t there yet, but it doesn’t really having the luxury of spinning this particularly story arc out for years, given how familiar modern day audiences are with it.
That said, there’s still enough in the Chuck pot to make the show work, and the writers are clearly good enough to potentially get away with the ongoing romance. But in a show that’s turned formula a little on its head, here’s hoping it doesn’t hold on to the Sarah-Chuck will-they, won’t-they thing for too long, and instead finds a fresher approach. Because right now, my prediction for Chuck’s final episode is that after umpteen episodes of being apart, the two get together, but not before lots of speculation that they won’t.
It’s good to have you back, Chuck…!