Of all the shows affected by the writers' strike, NBC's Chuck took one of the hardest hits. The show was just really hitting its stride when the strike cut it short, and its final two episodes aired in a sort of bizarre Chuck sandwich. My biggest question for the show heading into season two was whether people would even really remember it exists.
But Josh Schwartz, Zachary Levi, and company are setting out to make sure we remember the show Schwartz calls "my little baby." With a new framework for the series, and a bevy of guest stars — including Nicole Richie, who gets into a shower fight with Sarah — lined up for appearances, Chuck is looking to be back with a bang. Want to hear a little of what's coming up for the show? To hear what Schwartz, Levi, and Yvonne Strahovski spilled at the TCA press tour, just
- There will be no hesitation jumping right in to what's been happening with Chuck since we last saw him. "Our 'Previously On' is Chuck being dangled out of a window by Michael Clarke Duncan, telling the story of how he got there," Schwartz said.
- After we're all caught up, the show will move quickly into determining Chuck's fate. Once the new Intersect is up, Chuck won't be so necessary anymore, and Casey will be asked to "disappear" him — a mission complicated by the fact that Casey is actually starting to like our nerdy antihero. The whole season will explore the show's mythology a bit more, with deeper story arcs to go along with the missions and villains of the week.
- Another thing Chuck will have: romance, and not least because Chuck's college girlfriend Jill (played by Jordana Brewster) will be back in the picture. "We had planned to bring her back at the end of last season if it hadn't been for the strike," Schwartz said. "It's going to be a huge arc for us and really set the show off in a new direction." As for Sarah's feelings? "I love me a love triangle," Schwartz said. "This is somebody who has a legitimate threat — she is beautiful and cool and smart and dynamic. She gets some information about what Chuck may actually do for a living, which means he can have like a real relationship with her. So it's a real threat to the [Chuck/Sarah] romance."
- Chuck's also going nuts with the guest stars — not just Richie and Brewster but also John Larroquette, Tony Hale, Michael Strahan, Michael Clarke Duncan, Melinda Clarke, and Ben Savage, who plays Richie's husband in the fourth episode. Oddly enough, I may be most excited about Strahan's episode, if only because it will introduce us to the Mighty Jocks, the Sports Authority-esque sales team that shares strip mall space with the Buy More. But there's also the hilarious idea of Larroquette as Roan Montgomery, legendary seducer of women, who may have had a relationship with hardened government operative General Beckman.
- Sarah's getting a new cover job and a new cover uniform, Yvonne Strahovski told me — and while she was mum on the details (other than that she prefers the color scheme to her Weinerlicious getup), Levi said Sarah's newly employed at a Pinkberry-esque frozen yogurt joint.
- Schwartz said there will be "11 percent more Captain Awesome," and he'll take his shirt off within the first seven minutes of the first episode. (Is that a threat or a promise?)
Are you ready for a Chuck with more guest stars, more story arcs, and more romance? I'm pretty sure I am. Sound off below!