20 Things We Love About Chuck
In its five years on the air, Chuck, the little show that could, dodged more cancellation bullets than Agent Smith during the entire Matrix trilogy. Perhaps that was part of the appeal. In an apt parallel with Chuck Bartowski’s underdog status on the show, Chuck was the underdog in the annual battle for renewal, even with an army of Nerd Herders rallying behind the show online. Full of bone-breaking action, nifty gadgets and characters you actually gave a monkeys about, Chuck was spy-fi with heart.
And here are twenty things we loved about it
Chuck Versus The Muuurder
1 The Episode Titles
Many a show has dabbled with gimmicky naming conventions, but Chuck’s title device was far from gimmicky. Not only was the “Chuck Versus…” prefix a neat metaphor for Chuck’s bottom-rung role in the world of international espionage, but it gave the crafty writers a chance to play on audience expectations. Calling the final episode of season four, when cancellation was still a distinct possibility, “Chuck Versus The Cliffhanger”, however? That was just mean.
Here are our Top 5 favourites (no reflection on the quality of the actual episode):
• “Chuck Versus The Imported Hard Salami”
• “Chuck Versus The Beard”
• “Chuck Versus The Muuurder”
• “Chuck Versus The Aisle Of Terror”
• “Chuck Versus Sarah”
2 All Hail Jeffster!
Who doesn’t love Chuck’s wannabe-anarchic music-loving slackers? Sure, the writers clearly ran out of things for the pair to do after a few seasons, but their glorious rendition of “Mr Roboto”, an accompaniment to Ellie’s wedding in “Chuck Versus The Ring” is still one of the show’s finest moments. They even got their own web-series spin-off Chuck Presents – Buy Hard: The Jeff And Lester Story. More than mere comedy sidekicks, Jeff and Lester were a bromance to rival even Chuck and Morgan.
Geeky guest star intersection! Scott Bakula and Chevy Chase
3 The Guest Stars
It’s telling that this 20 Reasons We Love could quite easily have been a list of 20 Guest Stars We Love. Almost every episode of Chuck would enlist a geek-friendly pop-culture icon, from sci-fi legends to wrestlers, for anything from three-second cameos to multi-episode arcs. In later seasons they even created a role specifically so it could be filled by different guest stars (Greta – in one episode played by Summer Glau). No one has done guest stars better.
10 greatest geeky Chuck guest stars
• Timothy Dalton
• Bruce Boxlietner
• Linda Hamilton
• Scott Bakula
• Brandon Routh
• Gary Cole
• Rob Riggle
• Kristen Kreuk
• Chevy Chase
• Dominic Monaghan
4 The Sandworm
Much more than a showcase for the Best Halloween Costume Ever, “Chuck Versus The Sandworm” marked the moment where Chuck changed from a fun 40 minutes about zany spy-fi action, to a show where we genuinely cared about the characters. Chuck letting Morgan play the head for the first time was the defining moment of their bromance, while Sarah doing something for Chuck, and not just the job, was the turning point of their relationship. How apt that that something was dressing up as Slave Leia.
5 Casey’s Grunts
The perfect punchline to almost any scene, Casey’s grunt was a gag that never got old. They even used it as a pre-credit sting in the final season! It was the perfect emotional outlet for Casey, a man of few words at the best of times, and caught on in no small part thanks to the brilliance of Adam Baldwin. Honourable mention goes to the one true love of Casey’s life – a picture of Ronald Reagan, another recurring gag that never failed to make us chortle.
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