As most of you know by now, I can't wait for Chuck to return to NBC in January. After a dramatic second season and a near-cancellation, I'm dying to see how the writers will re-invigorate the spy show in hopes to secure a more permanent home on the network. A few days ago Zachary Levi jumped on a conference call, along with creator Josh Schwartz and writer Chris Fedak. They spilled the beans about what we can expect from season three — what's good, what's different, and what faces we can expect to see. Here are highlights:
- Zachary Levi on whether or not Chuck's new abilities will change the heart of the show: For two and a half years I've kind of sat on the sidelines and watched Adam Baldwin and Yvonne Strahovski, Casey and Sarah respectively, kick bad guys' butts and was very jealous of that. Not that Chuck should have been able to do it at that point, you know, he was much better at running away or screaming like a little girl. But now that he has this new intersect and the abilities that come with that, he is able to kind of lend a hand in the kick butt-ery if you will.
But I think that, you know, Chris and Josh and our other writers have crafted that very well so it hasn't changed really the dynamic of the show or more specifically the dynamic of Chuck and who he is. You know, he’s still the somewhat bumbling hero and I think that’s what brings so much of the heart and general premise of the show and keeps that there. And so though Chuck now has these abilities they’re fleeting, they’re in and out, they’re glitchy. So it lends this new door that we walk through now just lends itself to both more action and more comedy which I think is good all the way around. And it doesn't change the heart of the show which I think, you know, some fans I know were maybe concerned like oh gosh now he’s chasing more and it’s not going to be the same show anymore.
To see tons more about what the guys had to say about Chuck's new love interest, the intersect, and the Buy More crew, just
- Josh Schwartz on what will become of the Buy More: Buy More will always be a dysfunctional hotbed of completely bizarre personalities. They’re going to face their own challenges this year, cut backs and potential management overthrows, a new assistant manager coming into the mix, someone you may know from the show. Jeff I think actually has gotten weirder this year if that’s even possible. I don't know if he’s hitting the ether too much this season or what. And, you know, there'll be a new comely young lady who’s going to come work at the Buy More this year played by Miss Kristin Kreuk. She play Hannah and she’s going to set multiple hearts aflutter not just Chuck's.
- Levi on certain adventures he'd like to see Chuck take on: Well considering I haven't done much in my real life there’s a whole lot, yeah. No, gosh, I don't know — the writers certainly keep me on my toes. And we've been doing a lot of fun stuff. I would say most of it is fighting-oriented, you know, various forms of martial arts and, you know, in different kind of aspects be it for a moment or for a whole full-fledged fight. But, yeah, musical instruments and, as you see in the previews I may or may not speak Thai. . . and, you know. . . aome dancing and some vehicle maneuvering or whatever the case may be. Skydiving would be awesome. I think honestly almost anything to throw at Chuck would be outside of his norm because he doesn't do any of that, he experiences of all his adrenaline through video games. To throw anything at him will certainly be out of his comfort zone and make for good entertainment I think."
- Josh Schwartz on trying to keep the ratings up and appealing to a wide audience: For us it’s just about trying to make the best show possible and, you know, what was so gratifying last year was that people really connected to the show emotionally and just got very passionate about it. I mean certainly we tried to help ourselves by having great actors, guest actors come onto the show and we wanted to do that 3-D episode when that was dangled in front of us. We don't miss an opportunity if there’s something presented to us that could help expose the show to the broadest possible audience because we do feel like the show is designed to be very broad and very commercially entertaining. It’s really supposed to be fun. And people can watch it at any age — from any age.
Obviously this year, giving Chuck powers we felt was really opening up the show and even taking it one step further making it even more exciting, more visual, bigger stories, really pushing the character into new territory. And I think NBC really felt inspired and excited by that and that’s reflected in the promo materials. I mean, this year was really just about taking everything we'd done in the previous two seasons higher. And I think hopefully that’s exciting for audiences as well.
- Josh Schwartz on how Chuck has evolved as a character: One of the challenges about being an actor in a television series can be having to play the same character every week and having to play the same beats. We've really tried to make an effort that Chuck evolves. You know, and that he’s a very different guy I think this season from where he was in Season 1. [We're] really trying to take advantage of Zach’s skills and abilities as an actor to really grow that character up so he’s not the same. I can imagine it would be very frustrating if he was still sitting in the car, scared of everything like he was in the beginning of Season 1. He has come a long way I think as a character and as a guy, man, dare I say man? Man. And hope he does (fine) for audiences too because they’re really taking a journey with this guy.
- Chris Fedak on the new intersect: Yeah, here we go. So with the new intersect you have to keep in mind that it was was designed for a like super cold emotionless spy like Bryce Larkin, someone who could, you know, essentially handle all these new abilities. Now the problem is is that’s it’s been downloaded into a guy like Chuck Bartowski who’s like filled with emotion. Anxiety, fear, he’s in love with his partner, all the things, don't help the intersect — don't help with these abilities. What we find this season is putting Chuck into these incredibly emotional incredibly dynamic action sequences. And sometimes the intersect works perfectly and sometimes when he gets flustered, when he gets upset it begins to, you know, it essentially fritzes out and he’s not able to flash.
So it’s like very much the maturation of the process going back to the spy side of the story is that Chuck’s ability — Chuck’s learning how to control his emotions is very much a part of like him being able to operate fully and completely as this kind of new intersect 2.0.