'Chuck' controversy: Chuck and Hannah versus Sarah and Shaw: Where do you stand?

There’s no new Chuck tonight, because of NBC’s Olympics coverage, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about the current Chuck controversy. Some of you are pretty steamed about the way the most recent episode, Feb. 8’s “Chuck Versus the Mask,” pushed Chuck into the arms of Hannah (guest star Kristin Kreuk), and Sarah into the arms of Daniel Shaw (guest star Brandon Routh).

I have to admit I watched last week’s episode not really considering the idea that the series was making some major romantic chess moves in having its key couple become attracted to other, new characters. I assumed this was just a case of the producers saying, “We’ve got a couple of attractive guest stars for a few weeks, let’s use ‘em to the max.” But then my TV-critic colleagues, James Poniewozik at Time and Alan Sepinwall of The Newark Star-Ledger, pointed to the irritated, even angry, fan reaction to this new love rectangle. Sepinwall even got Chuck creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak on the phone to explain and justify the direction the show was taking.

Schwartz and Fedak basically responded to fans by basically saying — in the kindest way, and with gratefulness toward the audience that bought a helluva a lot of Subway sandwiches to keep Chuck Bartowsky flashing through more adventures this season — “Trust us.”

That is, they recognize that pulling Chuck and Sarah apart would be something fans would probably have a strong reaction to, but they also have the season mapped out — they’re already plotting this season’s final big twist.

Me, I think Hannah and Shaw are around for as long as Kreuk and Routh serve out their guest-stints. (After all, didn’t the final scene imply that Shaw is a target for murder?) These two new characters are well-written amusements that serve to show us different aspects of the characters we really care about: Chuck and Sarah.

Second thought: To focus on Chuck and Sarah and their matters of the heart is to ignore one of the most interesting aspects of last week’s Chuck, which is the new, ongoing collusion between Morgan and Ellie to figure out just what the heck Chuck is up to these days. I like this new dynamic between Joshua Gomez and Sarah Lancaster; they’re playing it just right. (Personally, the more Ellie the better, I think.) Even though they think they’ve solved the mystery — that Chuck’s “secret” is his new “girlfriend” Hannah — Morgan and Ellie’s suspicions ought to continue.

But I’m straying from the subject: What do you think about Chuck and Sarah’s new love interests, in what the Olympics have inadvertently structured as a cliffhanger?


Comments (205 total) Add your comment
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  • DW

    I think this controversy is completely ridiculous, and is just another case of crazy internet fandom gone awry. I think it would do these “shippers” well to go out and find a real date, instead of investing all their time and energy into fake relationships.

    • Sarah

      Seriously, DW? The whole reason Chuck is still on the air is because of “crazy internet fandom” and some awesome campaigning at Subway. While I am pretty okay with how the show is turning out, I think the cult fanbase of Chuck should continue to come out and voice their (dis)pleasure with everything. NBC has proven that it makes poor business decisions, so people need to stand up.

      While I hope that Chuck and Sarah end up together, I’m okay with the whole “exploration” thing, otherwise the will they/won’t they would get stale.

      • Monty

        Yes, the show is on the air because of ‘crazy internet fandom’ but also realize the show got its fans by being exactly what it was. This isn’t (to our knowledge) an NBC marketing move and the network is handcuffing the creator’s ideas. This is a story fabricated by the writers of the show that WE as viewers enjoyed so much as to try to keep it on the air. Trust the show’s direction. Have they led us astray yet?

    • RK

      Yes, it is completely ridiculous. What do these whiny children want, Sarah and Chuck will-they-or-won’t-they moments every single episode? BORING.

      • Finn

        RK, I feel like people are asking to stop the will-they-or-won’t-they moments, and just get on with having the relationship

      • WD

        Gotta agree with you… The romantic tension is a key ingredient to this show, but to get in a huff over something like this, which is needed for character/story development knowing that most shows will do something like that is pushing the “fanatic” into fandom… boycots? c’mon…. (pretty stupid when this show needs every ratings point it can get… Just relax and enjoy a great show…

      • Kay

        I’m with you RK. I love the roller coaster and just makes me want more Chuck! I too trust Chris and Josh!

      • Eric

        Agreed. And if Chuck and Sarah get together, how long can that last? Taking the romantic tension out of the show kills an element.

      • Sam Carter

        EXACTLY!

        Besides, this new love interests will only push Chuck and Sarah together at the end. The showrunners know what they’re doing. They haven’t let me down yet. Plus, Shaw and Hannah are so pretty! Love them.

    • DN

      Do you know what movie toppled “Avatar” at the box office? Not an action/suspense movie but a little romance called, “Dear John.” So while you, or anyone else, might want to mock those who would be labeled ‘shippers’, consider the reality that you may be in the minority with your shrugging off the romance.

      • david

        It also topped avatar seven weeks after it opened… And already this weekend fell behind.
        Personally, It is way to early in a series I’d like to see stay on air for these two to get together permanently. And the only recent show I have seen that really has been successful at the “will they or won’t they” for any extended period of time is bones (maybe NCIS, but Tony had a GF in that for a whole season at one point). Probably doesn’t help that I think chuck deserves better than Sarah anyways, but whatever. I trust the show runners, both characters could use a little emotional maturation.

      • Matt

        Uh huh. And you know what beat Dear John THIS weekend? The Wolfman… and Avatar.

      • Erin

        Ya… and Valentine’s day came out on top…
        and for the record, the issue a lot of fans had with the episode was how everything happened, not what happened. The Sarah and Chuck relationship fell apart in only a few minutes and it was out of character and illogical.

      • Rita

        Oh my Gosh, I love the Celtics and the Suns! So basically, I pttery much HATE the Lakers. Yeah, I only watched this video because you were wearing a Rondo Celtic shirt, but I promise, I was at your channel to watch some exercise videos. xD

  • Pam

    I find Chuck to be more of an action/comedy than a romance so I would be more upset if Chuck had left with Sarah at the end of last season and that they had left the spy business.

    • Chuckfan

      well if chuck and sarah had left the “spy business” which btw im glad they didnt because if the show kept going it might have turned into some retarded burn notice parody

  • ggny

    Hannah is only around for 1 more episode isnt she? If so that sucks i like her and Chuck together

    • Johnification

      Me too. Hannah is a great, lovely character and deserves some time with Chuck, even if she’s destined to disappear soon.

      • Siraj

        Aw how sweet! I love how they always want to do what the older kids are doing.Stopping by to give you a big weoclme to the SITStahood. We are so glad you could join us and look forward to seeing you around!

    • SteveStrifeX

      You’re correct, Kristen Kreuk only has one episode left, the one that airs right after the Olympics (March 1st). Brandon Routh, however, is slated for more episodes (though I’m not sure how many more). I think there is also talk of extending how many extra episodes he’ll be in, but I can’t remember the source so I can’t cite it for certain.

      • tamnk

        I agree! I like them together and will be sorry to see it end. Doesn’t it seem inevitable that Chuck and Sarah will get back together?

      • Julie

        I loved the chemistry between Chuck/Hannah and Shaw/Sarah. I think we all KNOW that Chuck/Sarah is fantastic…but really, Chuck needs to grow up and Sarah needs to come to terms with herself. That’s really what this is about. Getting these characters to grow so they can come back to one another. I love it. Helps that both Shaw and Hannah are well written characters.

      • Syn

        hurm, what i can say, the director just want to twice the love story of chuck n sarah by bringing this shaw n hannah. I think the love story will end with both of them thought need to be together otherwise it is wrong as a spy. I beg it!

    • yukoner2

      I think the addition of Kreuk and Routh was brilliant. I just wish the show would keep them. If the producers want to drag out this Chuck/Sarah thing, they had to add new elements. I just wish both characters were staying permanently. I think the show is way better off with both of them.

      • cf

        I totally agree! I loved seeing Chuck able to have a real relationship. The Chuck and Sarah tension is getting boring.

    • Sarah El

      I like her too, but my main complain about Hannah’s short stint is that it feels like another Lou from season one, just some other chick Chuck has a crush on but doesn’t get much time with. I quite like Shaw as well, and I do hope that Chuck and Sarah find each other in the end again, but in the meantime, Hannah and Shaw are both welcome characters in my book. Just so long as they don’t overstay their welcome.

    • Sanna

      I am Christopher Lanctot’s mother and I just have to say that your pieutrcs are just beautiful!!Wedding pieutrcs are such a wonderful way to treasure the memories of that special day and these are amazing!

  • AndieYouGoonie

    I think it’s great, people are talking about Chuck more than ever (excluding Subway Sandwiches and renewal) and the more people talk perhaps the more will watch. I trust the writers and creators.

  • J.

    Listen, at the end of it all, Chuck and Sarah will end up together. This is just filler until they can be put back together. No worries.

    • DN

      Interesting, ‘filler’ is what dropped “LOST” in the ratings. Yes, the producers created stories that didn’t push the mythology, fans got angry, ratings dropped, and the show runners negotiated with ABC to create an end date so they could focus exclusively on the main story.

    • davad

      This isn’t a bit mystery show like lost. This is closer to Moonlighting, where once Dave and Maddy got together, the show plummeted. We’ll get Chuck and Sarah at the end, but not until the end. I think the writers have worked very hard to give each of them a distraction of equal hotness for the moment, while Chuck grows into his superspy persona.

      • VN

        Davad, you are not alone in citing Moonlighting as a reason to keep couples apart but there are also numerous examples of couples getting together and it not ruining the show. Off the very top of my head I can think of Ross and Rachel on Friends who got together, broke up, and then got back together again without it hurting the ratings. It can be done, it just has to be done well and I hope that the writers can figure out how to get Chuck and Sarah together and do it well.

      • Liddy

        I’m so tired of this example. Moonlighting failed for a lot of reasons, mostly behind-the-scenes stuff. It really ultimately had very little to do with resolving the sexual tension. The Office has done a great job with getting Jim and Pam together and still making it interesting. Personally I’m tired of TV shows dragging out the will-they, won’t-they, I inevitably end up turning to another show.

      • Star

        Well said, davad!

  • Aaron

    It’s too bad that KK is only around for one more episode. I think their relationship could/should last a few more episodes. It’s inevitable that Chuck and Sarah will get together – and that will zap a lot of the fun out of the series. Let’s delay that as long as we can…

  • John

    The new couples make more sense and look great.

    • tvadict

      I wholeheartedly agree.

      • J

        Me too, I’m so over the whole Chuck and Sarah dynamic. Chuck needs to put on his big boy suite and manage a real relationship instead of allowing Sarah to toy with him with her “We can’t because we work together” issues. Um, hello, Larken and Shaw are just book club buddies? She is full of crap and can’ts. “Chuck you can’t. He can’t. Chuck can’t. No! Chuck, you can’t!” Drives me nuts. If she got written out of the show in a fiery explosion of yogurt, I would be okay.

      • Gonzalo

        Well, I feel like you know what eating clean is many pleope do not and like a diet program to follow precisely, if you want more clean ideas and recipes, it’s a great idea but I would say you would enjoy it but not sure if it would be anything new I just had yet to discover a diet book that I agree with pretty much everything in it.

  • nt

    this isnt the first will-they/wont they-show im watching, and they always turn out best if they dont give the fans what they want right away. buffy and angel making out for 7 seasons ? nobody would have cared.

    so i trust the writers, im sure chuck and sarah will end up together, but we need some drama on the way.

  • Vikki Sixx

    I think it’s great. If Sarah and Chuck were to get together now, the appeal of their interaction would already be gone. Haven’t we, as television viewers, learned yet? You can’t let the destined to be lovers become an actual couple until the end. Look at how often that blows up in the writers faces. I’m fine with waiting until the end of the show for them to get together and if that involves other dalliances along the way…all the better!

    • Star

      What vikki said!

  • Dan

    More Ellie would definitely be a good thing.

  • pop

    what i didn’t like about the episode was how abruptly it ended. my first thought was: this was written when they thought they’d only have 13 episodes.

  • Glen

    I wasn’t upset persay, but more, ugh! But by watching Zack (Chuck)-Yvonne(Sarah) reactions at the end of the show you can see that although it looks like they are moving away they might just end up being closer because they really don’t have the heart to be with anyone else. The show is so well written that they have a lot of elements to show. But you have to appreciate the fact that people are invested in the characters and the show. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chuck and Sarah end up getting married in secret and then trying to work their spy gigs and keep it from everyone else. In all, it is just a great show.

  • Alan

    Some people seriously need to get a life.

  • HAH

    I don’t really get this big reaction. It’s not like there is now no absolute chance of Sarah and Chuck getting together.

    • tvgirl48

      Me neither. They’ll end up together in the end, but they need to keep it a little interesting. I’ve liked Routh and Kreuk so far on the show and I’m happy they’re trying to keep things moving instead of stagnant. I do think it’s hard to ignore a minority of crazy online diehard shippers because they tend to be so vocal.

  • Robby Berman

    This whole season has been disappointing, confusing, and tone-deaf. The plot machinations are bafflingly arbitrary.
    WHY can’t Chuck and Sarah be together again? I’ve lost track, apparently. And I thought it had something to do with their work. Why doesn’t the limitation apply to her being with Shaw as well?
    Also, without establishing — at least for the viewer, if not for the characters — what it is exactly that trips off the new Intersect abilities, there’s no sense of dramatic tension at all. It seems that the only thing that trips it off is the writers’ needs.
    Morgan seems adrift all season. And where was Awesome this week?
    Chuck’s always been written with a masterful control of the tone, but this year, it’s disconnected, implausible, rickety, and I’m losing interest fast, sorry to say.

    • Billiam

      Due to budget cuts, the show is unable to use all its regulars in every episode. That’s why a recurring character or two has been missing from most of these eps so far. But Fedak and Schwartz said they are trying to get the absences out of the way early so they can use everyone later.

      The Chuck/Sarah thing has been explained a few times, but: along with the longstanding reason of the fact that Chuck is Sarah’s mission and the relationship would be unprofessional (which is less of an issue with Shaw), Sarah is not great at letting people into her life. Thus, when she was willing to give up her entire life to run away with Chuck and he turned her down, it really hurt her, and is making it hard for her to open back up to him.

      • Xerxes

        So it would be unprofessional for Sarah to be in a relationship with Chuck because Chuck is her “mission”?
        How does it make it more professional for Sarah to be in a relationship with Shaw, who happens to be the team chief, thus her boss?

      • Delian

        Thank you again for all the wonderful cmntemos! -and a special thank you to those of you who keep coming back to comment on every post!!! I am speechless to think that so many people are taking the time to stop by my blog and see my work! xo

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