Wow! Who knew Comic-Con could bring the rock? Well, that's exactly what
the Chuck panel served up to a roomful of very faithful, very dedicated
fans. Ballroom 20 was filled to capacity with eager fans ready to find
out what was in store for the new season of Chuck.
The panel started with a look back at season 2, then showed everybody
what happened in creator Josh Schwartz's office "One month later"
(though it was obviously just for laughs). The video showed Schwartz
telling a now bearded star Zachary Levi that the show will not be
picked up. Then the phone rings. It's NBC with the news that Chuck is
being picked up for a third season. Levi exits the office to shave and
work on his Kung-Fu in excitement to film a new season while Schwartz
and co-creator Chris Fedak are left behind disappointed.
"You said we would never get picked up," Fedak said. Schwartz fired back "I don't know, but at least we do have one thing that works" The camera pans to actors Vik Sahay (who plays Lester) and Scott Krinsky (Jeff), who are collectively known as rock 'n' roll cover band Jeffster.
As the video ended and the lights came up, Jeffster arrived to performs a cover of Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls." If anybody had just walked into Ballroom 20 at that point probably would have thought they walked into a rock concert. The crowd was on their feet and cheering. The rest of the cast joined Jeffster on stage to cheer them on. I have to say that was a GREAT way to get the crowd going. Jeffster really set the mood and with the ENTIRE cast on the panel the mood stayed very positive.
I have been coming to Comic-Con for three years, and my "Golden Panel" has always been Supernatural, but I have to say that Chuck came right out of nowhere and snatched that title. I can say that this was the single greatest panel I have ever attended. It was perfectly balanced with comedy, information about the near-cancellation, as well as news regarding the new season. Just about everybody on the cast had the chance to speak, and while Levi did majority of the talking he kept things fresh and funny.
The panel was hosted by New Jersey's Star Ledger critic Alan Sepinwall and featured creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak, as well as actors Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Adam Baldwin, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan McPartlin, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky, and Mark Christopher Lawrence.
The news that the season 2 DVD was set to release in early 2010 excited the fans. The DVD is set to be packed with all sorts of goodies, including the 3-D episode "Chuck vs. the Third Dimension," as well as special features like a look inside how they do the stunts, "Captain Awesome's Tips for Being Awesome" as well as John Casey's "So You Wanna Be A Spy."
While the team joked about the near-cancellation, they were all very sincere when thanking the fans for all of the support, and when asked if he thought the show was going to get a third season, Levi said "I was... cautiously optimistic." When asked the same question Schwartz answered "As the only Jew at the table... No." The fans obviously weren't going to take "No" for an answer.
So what is in store for season 3 of Chuck that was never supposed to happen? The creative team admits they still genuinely don't have a lot of ideas on where they are going to take the show. In fact, Fedak was literally taking suggestions from fans and writing them in his notebook. Schwartz and Fedak did spill that while the new Intersect has allowed Chuck to have special abilities (like Kung-Fu), there is still a glitch in the system, so the "Chuck-Fu" (as it has been coined) comes and goes, which is why Chuck will still need protection from his handlers.
This will definitely make for some classic Chuck/Sarah/Casey moments. The fans were also let in on a vaguely set storyline that affects the relationship between Chuck and Sarah. The creators will only say that it's "emotional and traumatic... but it's very, very good." We also find out that we will be seeing a lot more Captain Awesome, since he is in on Chuck's spy secret.
One fan brought up the possibility of a Musical episode. Schwartz told Fedak to "write that down" when the crowd went wild. Hey, it certainly worked for Buffy. Zachary Levi, however, looked terrified at the thought. Wherever season 3 goes, I am eager to follow. And it might be sooner than expected, because even though it's slated for mid-season, creators tell us that it may be sooner than previously confirmed.More Comic-Con 2009 Coverage:
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BSG: The Plan and Caprica Panel>>
Dexter Season 4 Preview>>
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New Moon Panel>>
New Moon Cast Photos>>
-Christi Kassity, Freelance Writer