That techie salesman who downloaded a spy program into his brain is back! If you've never seen Chuck before and are wondering whether it's time to check out what all the cool kids are watching—or if you've been there from the beginning—here are 10 things you need to know about season four.
Co-creator and producer Chris Fedak and Chuck costar Joshua Gomez (Morgan Grimes) spoke with the media in a conference call on Sept. 14. They shared 10 reasons why anyone can jump into Chuck when it premieres on the 20th.
It'll kick ass and make you laugh, even if it's your first time.
Any time you see an electronics salesman fighting spies, it's funny and it's awesome. You don't need to know the backstory to get into that.
"We still design the show so you can sit down on Monday night and know where you are," Fedak said. "You're going to know the stakes and the story. We remind you and get you back into where we left off last season, and then we're off to the races. We're off to the comedy world of Buy More and the big excitement that we bring in the spy land. So I think new viewers, if they decide to just start watching on Monday night, I think they're going to get a fun big story anybody can jump right into. However, I would recommend going back and buying our DVDs, but it's not necessary."
You'll want to see Sarah Connor, James Bond #4 and Ivan Drago on TV
This year's guest stars are so awesome you won't want to miss them. You've heard Linda Hamilton is playing Chuck's mom. There's other classic action stars, and just plain cool actors, coming too.
"Not only do we get to tell a big exciting new story this season, but we get to use the show as a great way to meet and bring people in to the world of Chuck," Fedak said. "There's nothing cooler than bringing into the show Linda Hamilton and Timothy Dalton. They fit so perfectly into our world. That's part of the fun of bringing in someone like Dolph Lundgren or Olivia Munn in our season opener, or Harry Dean Stanton. It's a fun way back into the world. There's nothing more exciting than Timothy Dalton digging in and savoring the character. It just speaks to the fun of casting this season. T-Dalt, if you will, is going to be amazing."
Missed those earlier guest stars? They're back, too!
If you're just getting to Chuck, you've already missed the appearances of Scott Bakula, Brandon Routh, Kristin Kreuk and Chevy Chase. But some of the other guest stars are coming back so you won't miss out on them.
"The other thing about season four is we've been able to bring back guest stars from the previous seasons," Fedak said. "In our third episode, bringing back Stone Cold [Steve Austin] and Nicole Richie, and then our fourth, the generalissimo, Armand Assante, returns. It's just great to see those characters."
See a hottie spy fight a supermodel
Even if you haven't watched Chuck, you must have noticed Yvonne Strahovski in the ads and billboards. She's the leggy blonde who's always in some fight pose. This season she goes up against a supermodel for what sounds like the hottest fight scene ever.
"Our second episode, for those requiring some Sarah Walker action, we have a fantastic fight," Fedak said. "A wonderful fight that takes place in Milan during fashion work between Karolina Kurkova and Yvonne Strahovski. It's one of our best fights yet."
For a TV show, this is some movie-quality action
If you think a TV show can't match the exotic locations of a movie, Chuck could prove you wrong. Their new adventure takes them around the world. Even if they're faking it, at least it looks international.
"We do have a monster sequence set in Moscow," Fedak said. "They go all over the place. We will get glimpses of some of those adventures. In our first episode, 'Chuck vs. the Anniversary,' we have some really great action stuff. We wanted to go into a classic spy world of Russian bad guys. We have Chuck and Morgan Grimes getting into some trouble inside a Russian bad-guy base. Sarah and Casey are still with the CIA. We open season four, they're traveling the world working on missions, still like the best CIA/NSA spy team in the world."
In a world of Bournes, here's a fun adventure
Heck, even James Bond is getting all serious with Quantum of Solace. Remember when spying was fun? Chuck and Morgan bring the fun back to espionage.
"You'll see, early on in Episode 1, Chuck and Morgan on a mission together," Fedak said. "Their own kind of road mission, which is great, because it's not only a spy mission, but it's these two good friends doing something together. It's not only just great action, but you have Zach and Josh just being funny together."
Everyone can relate to the Bartowski family
Even though he's a superspy with skills and intel downloaded into his brain, Chuck is just like you and me. He's got a family. His father was missing for a while. Now his mother (Linda Hamilton) is back in the picture. Underneath all the action and comedy will be a story anyone can relate to.
"Like all mother issues, there's always a lot of story and a lot of mythology to get into and figure out," Fedak said. "Also like in most mother issues, it's also very common material for us to have fun with. The mythology of the season is search for mom and her search for Chuck, and what that means and what her story means to Chuck and the mythology of the show. In the past, we've had organizations like Fulcrum and the Ring, which were like your SMERSH/SPECTRE bad-guy organization. This year, the search for mom is a very interesting, emotional mythology for the show."
After a tough Monday, you need something light like Chuck
Mondays are tough. You've got to go back to work, you've been ripped from your weekend and you've still got the rest of the week ahead of you. At least Chuck can help fight the Monday-night blues.
"At the end of the day, you come home and there's plenty of good television, but most of it, I feel like, is a bit of a downer," Gomez said. "Chuck is not. It's the opposite. At the end of a Chuck episode you feel good. It's fun. You laugh. You go for a fun car chase and you hang out with people you like. I think that's also the big deal too. We've got a group of characters that are just fun to hang out with that you just want to see again week after week."
There's a baby coming
Chuck's sister, Ellie (Sarah Lancaster), married Captain Awesome (Ryan McPartlin), so they're going to have an awesome baby. Now, who doesn't like a baby? "We do have a timeline for that, but I don't want to spoil," Fedak said.
"We are planning on doing a baby episode this season, but I don't want to give it away. It would not be in the early episodes of this season, but I've had a lot of meetings about baby bumps and how they look on TV. It's definitely going to happen, but not in the beginning of the season."
Browncoats, keep Jayne alive
Adam Baldwin plays agent John Casey on Chuck, and the sci-fi-savvy writers don't let it go unnoticed. See if you can spot the Firefly references in the show.
"We're of course huge fans of Adam and Firefly and Full Metal Jacket," Fedak said. "Usually we try to start peppering that in early in the script. Sometimes when the guys are on set, when you have Gomez and Adam, essentially you have the writers' version of the story, and then the actors will find chances and opportunities for other things to embellish and add in. We also do a bit of improv from time to time. Our guys are great at that, so sometimes there's something that slips in very late in the process. Sometimes we even slip something in during ADR. Throughout the process we're always looking for inside jokes."