For my readers who love fictional character battles (hi, Jamin!) and for my readers who love them some Zachary Levi (hi, all y’all!), here is a battle between two of the greatest fictional spies of all time: The Intersect and Agent 007.
For those of you who don’t know, Chuck Bartowski is the eponymous starring character of NBC’s Chuck, which I kind of wish would have ended after its fourth season because nothing has a good fifth season ever, and why does Morgan have the Intersect now? James Bond is … hell, you’ve heard of James Bond.
Moving right along: Let’s rock and roll, kids.
Physicality. Well, Chuck Bartowski has the blessing of being portrayed by the 6’4″ Zachary Levi, who … well, just look at him.
James Bond has been played by everyone under the sun, most notably Sean Connery and Tim Dalton. OK, maybe not so notably with Mssr. Dalton, but he’s awesome and I love him, so let’s go with it. Most recently, though, he’s been portrayed by Daniel Craig, who is some folks’ cup of tea, but face it, not my type.
Winner? Chuck Bartowski.
Has a license to kill? You know who has a license to kill? James Bond has a license to kill. He has a license to kill so hard that he’s even got a whole movie named after that fact.
Chuck Bartowski probably also has a license to kill, as he is a CIA agent, but he always just uses tranq darts instead, so … meh, we’ll give this one to Bond. Winner? Bond.
Scored a hotter lady? James Bond scores with hot ladies, like, constantly. He scores with the hot ladies like it’s going out of style. (Note to everyone: Scoring with hot ladies will never go out of style, God willing!) On the other hand, Chuck Bartowski has really only ever had good luck with one lady, which doesn’t seem too impressive, but holy crap have you seen Sarah Walker?
Winner? Chuck Bartowski.
Has cooler spy toys? One of the reason everybody wants to be a spy when they grow up is because of all the gadgets. There’s pens with poison ink and laser beams and cars that can shoot rockets. So who has the cooler spy toys: Bond or Bartowski? Winner? The guy with the bigger budget. Bond.
Was played by Clive Owen? I would just like to state, for the record (repeatedly) that Clive Owen would’ve made a really good James Bond. Winner? Nobody.
Gots better sidekicks? James Bond hasn’t gots no sidekicks. He’s a lone wolf. A renegade, if you will. He’s the Han Solo of spies, except for he hasn’t got a Chewie, so the “Solo” is actually literal. Chuck Bartowski, however, has a slew of sidekicks. An arsenal of them.
Winner? Chuck Bartowski.
Cooler theme song? Well, Chuck has Cake’s “Short Skirt, Long Jacket,” but James Bond has the James Bond theme, which was used to great effect in Pizzicato Five’s Twiggy Twiggy. Which I will now insert here for your listening/viewing pleasure.
Winner? James Bond.
Let’s go to a tiebreaker! Who must face a fiercer lady boss? James Bond has M, recently played by Dame Judi Dench, but you know who Chuck has got?
Chuck has got General Diane Beckman, who once wielded a rocket launcher just because she could.
Overall winner? Chuck Bartowski, by a nose.
Q. Did you see the way John Casey clobbered that guy with a napkin dispenser in the season finale of Chuck?
A. Just bam! — right in the brains.
Can anyone remember whether Dr. Watson’s first name was John or James? I mean, even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had trouble with it (Watson’s wife calls him “James” in “The Man with the Twisted Lip,” although some Holmesians believe that is a reference to his middle name, H. “Hamish,” Scottish for James.). Anyway, we’ll just call him Watson and be done with it.
Today, Watson will be facing off against another eternal sidekick: Chuck’s Morgan Grimes! Either of these fellows could have faced Batman’s Robin, but I hate Robin, so it would have been a very one-sided fight. Not that I’m against those, but whatever.
On to the battle of the friends of supra-geniuses/genii!
Physicality. Joshua Gomez is a cute guy, for sure, except for when he goes with just a chin-beard instead of a full-on beard, because commitment! is what we require in facial hair, gentlemen. Don’t half-ass it.
On the other hand, Watson was apparently quite the ladies’ man and very good-looking, and was recently portrayed by Jude Law in a movie, which means there’s just no contest here. I’m sorry, Joshua Gomez. You are totally cute, and less in a puppy-dog way and more in “that guy in the apartment down the street who needs some lovin’” sort of way. But Jude Law is, like, wow. Winner? Watson.
Better best friend? Watson is best friends with Sherlock Holmes. Morgan is best friends with Chuck. Sherlock Holmes is a pugilist of champion levels; Chuck’s got a computer in his brain that makes him know kung-fu. Holmes is a genius detective; Chuck’s pretty smart and he’s got a computer in his brain. Sherlock Holmes is really tall; also, Zachary Levi is really tall. Don’t make me choose between Sherlock Holmes and Chuck Bartowski. You wouldn’t like the results. Winner? A tie.
Fine, who is a better best friend to his best friend? Morgan recently helped Chuck try to win back Sarah Walker, the prettiest, most awesome spy ever. He always has Chuck’s back, and even more so now that he’s been let in on the secret that Chuck is a spy. Really, you couldn’t ask for a better best friend than that. Or could you? … No, not really. You’d be one selfish bastard to do that. Watson is there for Holmes, even in the dead of the night, and oftentimes does something just because the genius detective is like, “Hey, Watson, do this thing I just said,” and then Watson does it, and then he’s like, “By the way, what was the reason for having me do that thing you just said?” and Holmes is like, “Don’t ask me to explain it, non-genius.” Winner? A tie in loyalty.
Better self-defense system? You know, back when Morgan was dating Anna Wu (I love you, Anna Wu!), this big football player picked on him and Anna whupped him with a pair of camera tripods and her own petite self. This season, with budget cuts, Anna stayed in Hawaii and Morgan moved back to California. Morgan is so screwed. Winner? Watson “good with a pistol” “Crap, I forgot Watson’s his last name” Watson.
Better day job? Morgan works at the Buy More. He used to be in sales, but now he’s the assistant manager. However, Dr. Watson is a doctor. My mom always wanted me to marry a doctor. Winner? The guy my mom likes.
Better-looking best friend? Oh, there’s no contest here. I refuse to stand by and watch Guy Ritchie cast lookers like Robert Downey Jr. as a man who was described by his creator as “ugly.” Thus, all attractive incarnations of Sherlock Holmes don’t exist. But Zachary Levi exists. And he’s gorgeous. Winner? Morgan!
Has cool friends outside of his best bud? I’m not sure Watson has a life outside of Holmes, let alone other friends. He’s mentioned them in passing, but that could be dramatic license. Morgan, on the other hand, whiles away his days with folks like Anna Wu, Big Mike, Captain Awesome and Ellie, John Casey and Jeffster! (who don’t really contribute so much to cool, but are fun to watch nonetheless). Winner? Morgan.
Funnier? Between the two of them, Holmes is more likely to crack a joke than Watson. Then he has to explain it to the poor, humorless man. Morgan, on the other hand, is hilarious, especially when he’s getting pushed in the face by John Casey. (I love you, John Casey!) Winner? Morgan.
Hey, now it’s a tie! That it is, folks, that it is.
To break said tie, we shall have a final, tie-off(ing) question. And it is thus (this): Better Halloween costume? Wow, this seems really biased. Clearly, I wanted Morgan to win this battle, because he is one part of a two-man Dune Sandworm costume, and I’m not sure they had Halloween when Watson was alive. You know, fictionally alive. Winner? Morgan.
Overall winner? Thanks to a very biased tie-breaker, our winner is Chuck Bartowski’s cute little buddy whom I just want to hug: Morgan Grimes.
Dear John Casey,
Please marry me.
Look, I know on paper, we’re not a good match. You’re Republican, I’m the opposite thing. You’re a trained assassin, I apologized to that creepy black spider I squished on the stairs yesterday. And then I cried a little. (I’m so sorry, creepy black spider.) Also, of course, you’re fictional.
But that’s OK. That’s just on paper. And if there’s one thing I know about the Internet, it’s that it has nothing to do with paper. I mean, yeah, there’s piles of paper nearby right now, but I’m not using any of them.
Wait, what was I even talking about?
Oh, right: why you should marry me, John Casey.
Because I respect you, John Casey. I honor you, John Casey. That’s part of wedding vows, right? Honor and respect? We’re halfway there, John Casey!
And have I mentioned that I love the way you’re always willing to pull a gun on people or tranq dart them or just plain old punch them in the face? I also love the way you growl when people do stupid things, and would like to mention that that is something we have in common. I also growl when people do stupid things, although, since I have a voice like a 12-year-old, my growl is not as ferocious as yours. But you could do the growling for me. I could just make bitch faces. We could be that couple that looks pissed off together. Wouldn’t that be cute? Omigod, John Casey, it would be so cute.
And, John Casey, while some ladies aren’t fans of the classic lines of a 1985 Crown Victoria, let me assure you wholeheartedly, that I am. Hell, John Casey, I would even help you wash your car. (Er, providing you have replaced the one that Chuck Bartowski blowed up good.)
Mostly by taking photographs of you washing it, with the suds rising up your strong forearms to your elbows, and some water splashed strategically on your shirt. I have given this a lot of thought, John Casey, and I can swear I would photograph you in this situation like mad.
And it would be OK, because we would be married. Married people do things like that.
Or at the least, we could date?
Let me know.
A specific quality I look for in my famous people crushes is “Is this guy prettier than me?” That takes a lot of doing, of course, as anyone who knows me will testify that I am quite the looker. (No photographic evidence will be provided.)
This opening paragraph gives me an excuse to insert a photo of Takeshi Kaneshiro as the perfect example.
But there’s some guys out there who … well, just ain’t pretty. Some of them aren’t even all that tall, which is another trait I look for.
Which gives me an excuse to insert a photo of the 6’5″ Kyle Secor.
Right, right, moving on to shorter, less pretty guys, I present you with a list of 10 of them!
1. Simon Pegg. Yes, we’re all aware that recently, I’ve found Simon Pegg to be very, very hot. But if I’m honest with myself, which, we all have to admit, I rarely am, Simon Pegg is not actually all that hot. Except that he is. It’s like a paradox or oxymoron of some sort. I don’t know.
2. Adam Baldwin. Adam Baldwin is the opposite of pretty. He’s growly, he’s scary, he’s built like a brick …house! And every time he shoots at people or punches them in the face, I giggle like a schoolgirl. A schoolgirl with a gigantic crush on Adam Baldwin.
3. Jackie Earle Haley. Yeah, so, Jackie Earle Haley, huh? Jackie Earle Haley is shorter than me. He’s shorter than me! (By a quarter inch, but still!) And one of the best things about him playing Rorschach was that he was exactly the right shade of ugly. (I mean this as a compliment, Jackie Earle Haley! I love you!) Anyway, he’s mysteriously hot. It’s probably the whole Rorschach thing, I don’t know.
4. Eric Elbogen. (Of Say Hi.) Hey, it’s a musician! His lyrics make me laugh, and he seems to be about as geeky as I am. But he’s no (insert hot musician name here, because I can’t think of any), am I right?
5. Bruce Campbell. Bruce Campbell is hot because he’s Bruce Campbell. That is all.
6. Timothy Omundson. I watch USA’s Psych for two reasons: 1) to see how many pop culture references they can make in one minute; 2) because there’s something about Timothy Omundson that makes me feel all squishy.
7. (Nonpuffy) James Spader. James Spader, in his prime, was geeky, thin and pasty. And soooo sexy, right, ladies? I can’t even watch Boston Legal these days, and not just because it looks like a horrible show.
8. Kyle MacLachlan. One of my very first posts at this here blog was a faceoff between Agents Cooper and Mulder. Mulder came out ahead, but only just. I love you, Coop.
9. Speaking of the X-Files, Mitch Pileggi! Don’t ask me either, but he totally is, all right?
10. Britt Daniel. This Spoon frontman is a musician, much like Eric Elbogen, except he’s skinnier and blonder. I don’t know what that has to do with being a musician, but whatever. What makes him hot? He is the frontman of Spoon. That’s so hot.
No, this isn’t a post about my new boyfriend. It’s a post about my TV boyfriend and the show he stars on! (It’s called Chuck.)
Chuck returns to the airwaves on Sunday, and I’m celebrating. (Mostly by drinking profusely. (It’s how I celebrate — and mourn — everything.))
There are many things I love about Chuck. Here are 10 of them.
1. The soundtrack. Chuck is a great show for mixing some great indie- and alterna-rock songs with stuff that makes you go, “Huey Lewis and the News? Really, Chuck? Did you set your alarm to that because you knew you couldn’t possibly sleep through it? Really?” Remember that episode where they did a stakeout and Chuck was in the car and he’d made a mix tape and it had “Private Eyes” on it? That was so funny!
2. Jeffster! Speaking of the soundtrack, I love Jeff and Lester’s band Jeffster! and their excellent covers of Mr. Roboto and Africa. Normally, I hate the song Mr. Roboto, but when it’s being played at a wedding and spies are battling to the death in the reception area, I find myself having feelings of fondness for it.
3. Zachary Levi. OK, I admit it. I’m a girl geek. (What?! Really?!) And if all the boy geeks were tall guys with floppy hair and good personalities, I would still be screwed, because they date beautiful blonde CIA agents instead of me.
4. John Casey. The other Baldwin! Not one of the Baldwin brothers! John Casey is just great, with his ass-kicking and Reagan photo collection and the way he always shoves Morgan in the face. Also his mini quiches.
5. Chuck’s Y The Last Man poster. Chuck has a Y The Last Man poster! Chuck has a Y The Last Man poster!
6. The guest stars. They’ve gotten Caprica 6. The guy from Quantum Leap. Chevy Chase. The little guy who played the evil gymnast who has been in all sorts of horrible children’s movies.
7. Captain Awesome. How awesome is Captain Awesome? He’s so awesome. I love how things are either “awesome” or “so not awesome” to him. It’s nice to see things in blacks and whites like that. Plus, he’s totally comfortable with himself and knows how to tango. What a guy!
8. Anna. Sure, she’s settling for Morgan, but he’s sweet. Anna is a petite, ass-kicking, black eyeliner-wearing, supra-computer geek of a girl and I would want her to be my bff, if I wasn’t kind of intimidated by her.
9. Bryce Larkin. He might suck on White Collar, but that’s the show’s fault, not his. What a great spy! (You know, before his horrible and untimely death. Eh, well, he died before and came back, so maybe he’ll stop by for a visit in Season 3.)
10. Chuck and Sarah’s romance. I’m not always a ‘shipper. Some shows, I’m like, “ewwww, why are we supposed to want them to hook up?” This show, though, I’m like, “c’mon, supercomputer-brain geek guy and pretty blonde spy! Admit your love already! Admit it! Why won’t you admit it???!!!” Then I remember, “oh, right, because that’s television death. Keep up the sexual tension, y’all! Thanks!”