>TV Round-Up: Chuck Season 3.1

>Thanks to NBC’s struggles with the failed Jay Leno experiment, one of my favorite shows, “Chuck” went from the renewal bubble to having an extended third season this year. (Thankfully, the show was picked up for a fourth season without any drama this year, though I suspect it may be the last for Team Bartowski).

The season went from 13 to 19 episodes and instead of padding out the arc, the producers decided to still finish the first arc in 13 and then have a new arc for the final six. Well, sort of. In a lot of ways, it feels like the first 13 were a long prologue for the final six, most of which were a home run and finally got Chuck and Sarah together. Thankfully, the show hasn’t quite yet decided to come up with invented reasons for the couple to separate and I have faith that won’t happen next year. Instead, we barely got a lot of time for Chuck and Sarah to settle in to couple-dom before things started going haywire.

Chuck found out the new Intersect had some nasty side effects and while this was interesting, it felt a bit rushed in some moments. I liked it, but I wish we’d had an episode or two more to develop it or to have Christopher Lloyd as Chuck’s government imposed therapist be around for more than one episode. It was all to get us to the end point of the season and the spectacular finale (possibly the best of the season finales I’ve seen) but it still felt a bit rushed. I realize the producers wanted to tell the complete story and when the news came for an extended season, their hands were tied in terms of where they were storywise. It was still intriguing, fun and it felt like “Chuck” at its best. And the season finale brought together a lot of great threads to a satisfying conclusion…don’t get me wrong. I guess I’m greedy and I wanted more “Chuck.” A full season order would have made it easier and given how badly NBC fumbled just about every other prime time experiment this year and we had two weeks of repeats anyway, why not just give us two to three more episodes for a full season run?

Anyway….

Ranting over. I liked season three and am looking forward to season four. I am curious to see if and how long Chuck stays retired (I give it one episode) and then to see who will play Chuck’s mom. They hit a home run with Chuck’s dad and if they can get a triple out of the actress to play Chuck’s mom, this could be good.

I just hope it doesn’t descend into the later stages of “Alias” silliness where everyone in the family is in the spy game…..

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