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'Chuck' in 3D falls flat

Intended to promote 3D films soon available in theaters, the version many saw on their televisions Monday night didn't do the 3D movement any favors.

NBC's Chuck aired in 3D Monday, and it left many viewers wanting to do exactly that with the paper 3D glasses: chuck them.

The overriding opinion of many people interviewed who tuned in to the 3D television event was disappointment.

"I thought it was a gimmick and did not add anything to the show," said Jamie Knapp of Columbus, Ohio. "The red/blue (glasses) did not look good and gave me a headache."

Maybe Chuck is better the old-fashioned way. NBC

The 3D promotion was intended to raise awareness of 3D movies, specifically ones coming to theaters soon, like Monsters vs. Aliens from Dreamworks. But the entire effort may have been wasted if it just left a bad taste in the mouths of potential ticket buyers.

Intel sponsored the distribution of the red and blue paper glasses because Intel's InTru3D processing technology helped Dreamworks Animation create the 3D versions of its films.

"We are excited that the 3D commercial and the episode of Chuck have helped raise awareness of the industry's move to 3D. As you know--the technology used for the Super Bowl does not give you the full (theater) experience, but is the best available today that will work with your standard TV."

That's what's unfortunate. What was shown to viewers Sunday during a 3D commercial and Monday night's Chuck episode is nothing like the 3D technology available today in theaters. Instead, the paper blue-and-red lensed glasses reminded many of them of cheesy 3D films of the past (one viewer, Ken Lee, told CNET News that Chuck in 3D was at least "better than Captain EO.")

And worse, it didn't make everyone want to rush off to the next 3D screening, which was ostensibly the point of the whole exercise.

Analyst Michael Gartenberg said the Chuck episode actually made high-def TV look worse. "The effect was weak and made the HD signal looked washed out," he said. "(There's a) long way to go before the home version is more than a gimmick."