When I wrote my review of Chuck vs. the Couch Lock for Airlock Alpha, I commented that fans of Chucks Buy More colleagues Jeff and Lester would enjoy the larger-than-usual part the boys played in the story.
At that time, I had no idea that just a day later, Id get to participate in a conference call with Scott Krinsky (Jeff) and Vic Sahay (Lester).
NBC has given Scott and Vic and the rest of Chucks cast and crew the go ahead for the back-11. What this means is that well see a full season of Chuck this year.
While the ratings for Chuck are not as high as NBC would like (3.2 rating/5 share average, according to Fast National ratings from The Nielsen Co., down from a 3.6/5 in the timeslot last year), the network seems to be standing behind this show because it is a highly popular one among science-fiction fans. The fan base for it is very active.
Vic answered a question about their feelings on getting the back-11 with a philosophical turn. He said he tries not to think about whether or not Chuck will get to continue and to focus on the work hes doing now. He doesnt always manage to keep the worry about the possibility that hell be back going to auditions at bay, but thats his goal. Acting is an insecure profession and you have to learn how to deal with that aspect of it and do the work you have in the present.
My question for Vic and Scott concerned their shooting schedule for the show. Their appearances in the show vary to a great degree. There can be episodes in which they dont have parts and some, such as Chuck vs. the Couch Lock and the upcoming Chuck vs. the Aisle of Terror in which they have prominent roles to play.
Generally, they film for two days out of the seven-day schedule for an episode, but those days can be long and hectic. They may film as many as five or six scenes in a day.
It sounds like a sweet life, working only two days out of a week, but the truth is that when they are not filming, they are still on call. Scenes could need to be reshot or there could be a need for automated dialog replacement, or looping. Vic commented that you often feel you are at work even if you are not there because of the on call status.
One of the questions that several of the participants in the interview asked was if Jeff and Lester would have more instances where they crossed over into the spy world.
Since there are restrictions on how much they can divulge about plots, they didnt reveal anything secret. They both told us that they frequently dont know whats ahead for the characters till they get the script a week before filming. Vic rather likes it that way though he does have some thoughts about how Lester would evolve if they ever let him know about the spy world.
Lester is a young man who is full of rage and Vic thinks its highly likely that if Lester were to enter the spy world, hed be on the opposite side from Chuck. I have to say that I can easily imagine that. Id like to think that in the end, hed turn out to be a double agent for our side.
There were several references made to Twitter. Scott is a frequent flyer on Twitter and can be found as @Scott_Krinsky, but Vic doesnt feel the tweet love. When asked about Twitter, he responded with, Leave me alone!
While lying awake when I should have been asleep, thinking about writing this column, it occurred to me that the Halloween episode title has a play on words in it. Chuck vs. the Aisle of Terror could be Chuck vs. the I Love Terror. How I wish I had thought of that before I asked my question of Vic and Scott.
Robert Englund of Nightmare on Elm Street fame is the villain of the week. Appropriately, he plays an evil professor who develops a toxin that gives people nightmares. The characters Jeff and Lester will have their part to play in the episode, but their scenes are all in the Buy More and not in the spy world, so Vic and Scott didnt actually get to work with Robert Englund. They only met him briefly.
They said that many times, thats how it works out for them where the guest stars are concerned. Guests usually are a part of the spy world rather than the Buy More world.
When asked what they hoped for in future episodes, they both said theyd like to see more use of Jeffster, their rock band. That seemed to be of more interest to them than having Lester and Jeff find out about Chucks spy life.
You know, I think thats what Id like to see too. Jeffster in the house!