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.
If he wasn’t so darn cute, and so floppy-haired, and tall, and nerdish, then I wouldn’t have watched Tangled this weekend.
And liked it.
(God, I know, that doesn’t sound like me at all, does it?)
Now, don’t get me wrong, this definitely isn’t replacing Spirited Away in my lexicon of Best! Animated! Films! Ever!, but it’s not horrible or anything.
In fact, it’s kind of … good.
Because what you’ve got is a lot of Zachary Levi talking, and Zachary Levi singing, and there’s some other people too, but who cares, because Zachary Levi.
OK, right, fine, Tangled is Disney’s take on the Rapunzel fairy tale, except instead of the witch discovering that some horny prince has been visiting her captive, this Rapunzel escapes, using her hair like a lasso and stuff, and also she has magical healing powers. Through her hair. And it’s not a prince, it’s Zachary Levi, which is close enough, and they go off on a madcap adventure and of course they fall in love and of course the evil witch falls to her horrible death as a hideous hag.
There’s some cute songs and some jokes and a running gag with frying pans and, really, I’m not sure I could have tolerated it except for one thing.
It’s just too short this season.
For comparison, check out these locks:
In conclusion, grow your hair out, Zachary Levi.
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.
So, it turns out that, today at least, these are the top 10 things that people used to find Hollywood Hates Me. By combining them into one post, I am assuring this will be my most popular post evah. Gods, I’m clever.
1. Amy Adams. I’ve only posted about her once when I was talking about that godawful Leap Year, but I used a really cool photo, so I assume people are coming here for copies of that.
2. Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. I didn’t realize her popularity was so enduring.
3. Tiffani Amber Thiessen. Really. I had no idea.
4. Donnie Darko. I’m actually surprised that I don’t have more hate-filled comments saying I was stupid for not liking Donnie Darko. I guess Donnie Darko fans are a mellow, forgiving bunch.
5. Zachary Levi. Now that’s more like it! When am I not talking about Chuck, right? When I’m talking about Burn Notice or Death Note, that’s when.
6. Lollipops. This has been a pretty consistent top 10 search since I did my Leap Year post. I find that kind of odd. What’s the fascination with lollipops, Internet?
7. Jake Gyllenhaal. I’m especially surprised by this one, since I keep spelling his name Gyllenhall.
8. Raccoon. I used a photo of a raccoon one time when listing things that would be better Spike Spiegels than Keanu Reeves could ever possibly hope, but I also used a photo of a mynah bird, so why no love for the mynah?
9. Hockey mask. Thanks to Halloween week, I have mentioned hockey masks on this blog.
10. Tinkerbell. I would prefer it if the search was “Tinkerbell is a stone-cold killer,” but whatever.
In honor of two of my favorite-est shows returning for new seasons/half-seasons, I present this battle between Fi and Sarah.
Both these ladies are ass-kicking beauties who have a variety of skills, from the art of seduction to driving fast cars to conning the hell out of an unwitting mark. Yup, Fiona and Sarah are badasses all the way.
But whose ass is badder?
And does that even make sense?
Errr, on to the battle! Of fictional ladies! Whoo!
Physicality. There’s no denying that both Fiona Glenanne and Sarah Walker are beautiful, beautiful women. Fiona has this kind of, I don’t know, elegance about her. She looks very Renaissance, like women would have looked back then if they had been much, much thinner.
Sarah, on the other hand, is possibly the most beautiful girl ever. Really, though, the only complaint you could have is that Fiona is really, really skinny and whoever picks out her wardrobe is doing a poor job of hiding that. Winner? Sarah. I mean, she’s just so pretty.
Ass-kicking quotient? Here is another nearly even match. While Sarah is better with the ol’ fisticuffs, Fiona won’t hesitate to blow you to hell with a neatly planted bomb. They’re both good with guns and have no qualms about kicking you in the face should the need arise. Winner? It’s a total tie.
Has a cute brunette boyfriend? Sure, sure, they’re both on-again, off-again, but you know when the cameras are done rolling forever on both these shows, the viewers want Chuck and Sarah and Michael Westen and Fiona together. Although I wouldn’t mind seeing Michael and Sarah on a date, that would be some kind of awesome, am I right? (I’m sooooo right. Especially if said date led to some sort of international hijinks and they had to kick ass together, and Chuck and Fiona were all like, this sucks, and then Fiona was like, hey, wanna blow stuff up? and Chuck was like, well, I’ve got nothing better to do. Sure. And then they did.) But really, both have super cute brunette boyfriends and the only difference is do you prefer your boy clean-cut and snarky or floppy-haired and sweet (yet snarky). And the answer is: it doesn’t matter. Clean-cut, floppy-haired, they’re the brunettes with the hot girlfriends. Winner? A tie again!
Fights for good? Sarah is with the CIA, a.k.a. the government. Depending on your perspective, that can be a good thing or a bad thing. However, all of the missions of hers we’ve witnessed involved saving innocent (or at least semi-innocent) people from a horrible fate. Fi also fights for the little guy at the side of her super smokin’ hot boyfriend Michael. Before that, however, she was in the IRA, which means she was completely and utterly evil. And she’s actually still kind of evil. Winner? Sarah.
Sweeter ride? I know Fi drives a Saab, unless it got blowed up good on some episode I missed. Sarah drives some sporty little number. The real competition here, then, is between their boyfriend’s cars. Chuck drives a Nerd Herder, which is a cute little, I don’t know, something German or maybe Swedish? Anyway, it’s totally cute and John Casey put all sorts of awesome extras into it, so it’s like some sort of super spy-car now.
On the other hand, Michael Westen drives a 1971 Charger. Winner? Fiona.
Better cover identity? Sarah’s cover identity is that she works at a yogurt shop and is Chuck’s on-again off-again girlfriend. Fiona doesn’t bother with a cover ID. Winner? In this case, I’m going to have to go with Fiona, because like anyone is going to buy that a chick that looks like Sarah wouldn’t be an aspiring model or something.
Gets to hang out with Bruce Campbell? You know, I like to think that if Bruce Campbell wasn’t so busy with Burn Notice right now, he would totally make time for a guest shot on Chuck. Unfortunately, he is totally busy with Burn Notice, so Fiona wins again.
That’s weird. You don’t even like Fiona. It’s true.
On the other hand, gets to hang out with Adam Baldwin? The best Baldwin brother of all! (He’s not one of the Baldwin brothers, so he (and we) wins.) Also, Sarah wins.
On to a tiebreaker? On to a tiebreaker.
The final, tie-breaking question? Errr, I actually hadn’t thought any further ahead than the cute boyfriend question.
How much prep goes into these things, anyway? Oh, tons. Just tons.
You ready to get on with it now? Yes?
The ultimate tie-breaking question: Better opening credits for your supra-awesome show, ladies? Oh, man, now that’s just a hard one. Burn Notice has the whole “I’m Michael Westen. I used to be a spy, until….” But Chuck has the whole “NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA can’t count nas and type while singing the Cake theme song there!” But isn’t Burn Notice’s intro basically a recap? Yeah, but “a friend who used to inform on you to the FBI.” “You know spies, a bunch of bitchy little girls.” But Chuck has the cute little animated guy! Why did I make this question the tie-breaker? Why indeed?!! Winner? Sarah, because Burn Notice’s intro isn’t a proper show opener at all. It’s a recap. (Still awesome, though.)
Overall winner? Wow, this was a tighter race than I thought it would be. Sarah. Barely. Try a little harder next time, why don’t you, spy-girl?
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!”