In Part I of this ongoing series, I was shocked by the seemingly magical appearance of Frightened Rabbit on Chuck. I had never heard of them before, and loved Twist so much that I bought their album and listened to it many times.
The first time it was on, Frightened Rabbit got the coveted spot of an emotional montage scene near the end of the show. The emotional montage scene near the end of the show is like striking gold for a musician who sells their song to a TV show. It’s like headlining a national arena tour. I know this simply based on the number of hits I got (and still get) from people searching for some combination of Chuck, Music and/or Frightened Rabbit.
Unfortunately for Chuck (note the italics), someone in charge of the music for the show fell in love with Frightened Rabbit as much as I did, and lo and behold, a year and a half later, here comes another Frightened Rabbit song in the season premiere of Season 3.
Why so much woe? Let me tell you.
1. The song – Backwards Walk – is from the same album – The Midnight Organ Fight – as Twist. In the intervening 15 months, Frightened Rabbit released an album (12 songs), a Christmas single (1 song), and the Swim Until You Can’t See Land single (2 songs). That’s 15 new songs to choose from, all of which are pretty much as good as anything they did on TMOF. I think that Swim Until You Can’t See Land or Fun Stuff could have been used in a different place in the episode (or perhaps elsewhere in the season) and worked almost as well and been another masterful use of current pop culture.
2. The scene, this time, appears in the middle of the episode. It’s a flashback, so there could be some of that emotional punch to it, but, honestly, I think they kind of messed up when editing the order of that season premiere episode. Call me old-fashioned, but I wish they’d stuck with the Chuck-Sarah tear-fest at the end, nestled snugly in a montage-type scene.
3. Speaking of emotional impact, after such a long hiatus, I can’t remember why I loved Chuck and Sarah so much, and hardly even why they should be together. Yes, I know that NBC was trying to draw me back in by putting all the Season 2 episodes on Hulu (for a limited time), but I barely have enough time to watch the episodes of shows I haven’t seen, let alone re-watching ones I have. The part where they were supposed to run away together and then didn’t seemed awkward and cramped. Twice now (in 2 episodes), Chuck has explained using his words why he couldn’t run away with Sarah. This is something we should have been shown (a.k.a., show, don’t tell). I think people could have handled a whole episode of Chuck trying to be a spy (and Morgan trying to be a Bennihana chef) before resetting the whole thing to get back to the comfort of the Buy More in Burbank. If we’d felt the weight of the world hanging on Chuck’s shoulders when he went to the train station to meet Sarah, then the song (and the scene) would have really had an impact. Instead, it feels like nothing more than a trope created to put the tension back in the relationship (which, of course, it is, but it could have at least been made to feel real).
So, I guess that brings us to the end of this post.
Yeah, I went there.