The Television Critics Association has become a regular fixture at the "Chuck" set on the Warner Brothers lot. We know the different employee morale signs hanging around the Buy More, price breaks on high definition TVs which real DVDs are hiding on the movie racks.
We don't know any new secrets regarding what to expect from the rest of the third season of "Chuck," but that's just because Josh Schwartz, Chris Fedak and company are a secretive lot.
Here are a few highlights from what was discussed by Schwartz, Fedak, Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin, guest star Brandon Routh and the rest of the "Chuck" team during the TCA's visit on Monday (Jan. 18) afternoon.
[Click through... No spoilers for the future, really, but if you're behind on "Chuck" there are spoilers for the past. But those aren't really spoilers, now are they?]
"Chuck" Highlights from the TCA Q&A Held at the Buy More Set on the Warner Bros Lot:
Josh Schwartz, on whether Intersect 2.0 has made Chuck lose his underdog status: "I think if anything it re-enforces his underdog status because the discrepancy between who he is when he's a regular guy and then who he is when he's flashing has never been greater. And because those powers aren't always ready for him. And because, you know, he still has his heart, Chuck. I mean, it's still a guy who's battling the same issues of insecurity and love and trying to find his place in the world. And now, that sense of dislocation is only enhanced by the fact that every once in a while he can take on these incredible gifts. And of course, you know, his very sort of -- his emotional makeup, the stuff that makes him Chuck is actually the stuff that can cause the Intersect to fret, to not work. So, it also kind of underlines, those core issues."
Ryan McPartlin on how things have changed since Captain Awesome learned Chuck's secret: "Well, everyone was like, 'Oh, my God, it so cool that you know about the spy world and might be getting involved.' And it's just so amazing. But I though, 'Yes, until I get shot in the face.' So there were risks that were involved and thankfully it didn't go down that road, but, yeah, it was great. I was coming in and taking my shirt off, doing some crunches, making some money and then leaving. So to go and actually -- to go and actually have stunt work and have some good times, it was great. I mean, I had to go a chiropractor after I tackled Adam Baldwin a couple times, but, you know."
Brandon Routh, teasing the nature of his Shaw character, introduced in Monday's episode: "[Y]ou know, Chuck has his manhood challenged a little bit Shaw, I guess, and his relationship with Sarah. But at the same time while I'm challenging -- while that's happening I'm also helping him to be better a spy and to learn more and to trust himself more and kind of have the rest of the team trust him as part of it too -- to have them have their vision of him opened up a little bit more so they can see what he's really truly capable of, rather than putting him on the spot."
Schwartz on the possible return of Jeffster: "We have to build to it. Jeffster is something we can't unleash too early. Otherwise, afterwards is disappointing. So, we gotta earn it. But it's coming. Dare we say perhaps even Jeffster... Can I say this? Jeffster Unplugged."
Fedak, on improved ratings for "Chuck" early this season: "That's awesome to know that your fans didn't just fight for you and bring you back, but they showed up. They didn't just go, 'Yay! You know what? I've got something on Sunday, I can't.' And then also and they talk -- and clearly talked to other people and you guys talked to other people. They hear your voices and they go, 'You know what? These guys have been shoving 'Chuck' down my throat for two years. Okay, fine, I'll check out,' you know, and there have been plenty of people that I've met who say 'I never watched your show. Never watched it. Didn't check it out. And then it would be I think because of the 2000th promo during football that I finally went, 'Okay, I'll give it a shot. And I really like it.' And now they watch it.
Yvonne Strahovski on concerns that last season's finale might give her character less to do this season: "My concern was that that he was going to take all my Kung Fu away from me. But it's been good. It's been more fun because now we get to do Kung Fu together."
Schwartz giving the usual non-answer on what's coming in the Chuck-Sarah dynamic: "Yeah, it's a huge part of the show. I mean -- you know, that romantic tension of the show and we know that there's a huge part of the audience of the show extremely invested. That their primary investment is the love story. And we're also sensitive to how long can you sustain a story like that and all the peril that comes with it, but, you know, I think along the way we've been able to come up with very organic obstacles keeping them apart. But at the same time I will say that we aware that it is not an infinite thing to sustain. So I will leave it at that. Do with that as you will."
As you know, "Chuck" airs on Monday nights at 8 p.m. on NBC.