And Not In A Very Nice Way, Either
I’ve gone on record writing superlatives about the TV show Chuck. It’s become my favorite. If you decide to follow that link, you’ll find all of season 1 and most of season 2 available on-line. Watch the pilot and any other episode, and you’ll see. Watch the last 6 episodes of season 2 and you may come away thinking you’ve seen some of the best TV ever made. Really.
But that’s not what I’m here to tell you about today.
I’ve been a contributor (not in a small way, but by no means the largest) to the NBC boards for the show (under Community and Message Boards, you’ll find many posts written by me as Bucko27, but there are many tens of thousands of posts there. Happy hunting!). The boards have been active, and were extraordinarily active by the end of the show’s second season. They were active again in July during and after the San Diego Comic-Con, where the cast and creators made an appearance. Appearance? They brought the house down.
What happened next was – complicated.
Show creator Josh Schwartz let go a tiny tidbit of information about the direction of next season that made some fans reach for their pitch forks. He intimated that there was going to be some sort of love interest to complicate the romance brewing between the (main) characters. Well, some fans assumed “main” and others didn’t and some got very upset. The boards were full of rants and raves and predictions that this was the end of Chuck as we know it. It gets more raucus. Show writer Ali Adler creates a video and posts it on YouTube to calm down the broken hearted fans, and that seems to work.
It gets more complicated. Something called a “script side” was released, which contained show spoilers that seemed to confirm some of the biggest fears the fans had. The side itself seems to have been deliberately released by either the shows creators or by the shows owners (Warner Bros.). The boards were once again ablaze and I was one of several posting about the direction the show seemed to be taking (but in a very general and congenial way). That was enough to get me “moderated”. That is, my posts are held in limbo until a moderator reviews them to make sure they’re not in violation of the rules. Who did this? It was one moderator in particular.
Okay? Not really. There’s several reasons why placing me in moderation limbo was not justified, but I’m not going to argue that here. It turns out that many others were effectively banned from the boards too. The list includes, not only some personal friends (who are great writers and fans, btw), but also names like DarthRazorBack and Wendy Farrington. The names may not mean anything to you, but Darth is no minor player, and has done more to promote the show than anybody outside of the cast, with the possible exception of Wendy. Wendy is more responsible than anyone for the Subway campaign that was credited with saving the show from cancellation in April, and those photos are of the cast thanking her. IOW, I’m in fine company. Oh – Here’s DarthRazorBack’s take on the matter. He contends that the same moderator who put me in purgatory, who banned him too, also got YouTube to remove Ali Adler’s video.
And what’s happened to the boards of late is – not awesome. To be honest, some have carried on a conversation quite nicely in my absence (ahem!). But where once there had been many hundreds of posts a day, at one point this week the number of posts had dropped to a handful. Single digits.
I’m not blaming NBC for this tempest in a medium size teapot. It certainly doesn’t stop me from being a fan of the show. But I will contend that one moderator has really botched this one. Badly. I doubt that it’s a good strategy for anyone to insult the show’s biggest fans in NBC’s name.