9.10.2010

Why We Watch Sarah Walker

So, it's mxpw's birthday. Look around. You had to have noticed.

Now, I write the Why We Write series here on Castle Inanity. And maybe that philosophical approach has given you the impression that I'm trying to be above issues of vanity. Well, I gotta say, mxpw's b-day has given me the perfect opportunity to dispel that myth. In honor of our very own Double Agent, this entire blog post is dedicated entirely to exploring why Sarah Walker is so awesome, and why so many of us tune in every Monday to watch her.

Spoiler: It's because she's f'ing hot.


Okay, to be fair, it's about more than that. If Sarah Walker was just hot, she'd be a side note, or a guest star. If Sarah Walker was just hot, she'd be a Greta in Season 4, or a PLI in the way of the inevitable main character romance. Truthfully, if Sarah Walker were just hot, there'd have been a groundswell of support in the first season for Chuck and Lou to make it work.

So, yeah, there's more than looks there.

But, uh, let's not leave that area just yet, okay?

Because god damn those looks.

Now, let's get this out of the way. Sarah Walker-- Yvonne Strahovski-- is not perfect. Her two front teeth are strangely oversized, her lips never really pout the way you see models' lips in magazines. Take a look at her in a sports bra and workout pants (as if you really need an excuse) and you'll see that-- yes, okay, toned without being body-builder muscular, tough without being rough-- but she doesn't have that traditional hourglass figure that we've kind of been programmed to see as normative beauty.

And despite (or maybe because of) all that, she's still frickin' fine as all get out.

So, yeah, I guess my point is that one of the biggest reasons we watch Sarah Walker? F***ing look at her.



But again, as previously stated, that's only part of the picture. If it were the whole thing, well, we wouldn't care quite so much. So, let's go and look at the other things that make Sarah Walker pretty freaking great.

Allow me a moment of digression: Part of what I do for money is write about music. The other part of what I do for money is act as a real life Chuck Bartowski. Yep, I'm a member of the Nerd Herd, aka Best Buy's Geek Squad. Maybe it's from that perspective that my second reason that Sarah Walker is awesome is that she loves Chuck Bartowski.



Let's think about that for a moment. Just as characters are wont to do on the show, you as an audience have to notice that they're an incongruous pair. And I'm not talking about looks so much as personalities-- a beautiful, badass CIA ninja falls in love with an awkward, pop culture-spewing video game nerd. Now like I said, maybe that has something to do with the fact that I can literally put myself in Chuck's shoes, but I think more accurately it speaks to the underdog in all of us-- especially those of us in the audience who presumably relate with our titular hero.

The line of logic goes, however accurate or flawed or the result of a kind of ridiculous TV show it may be, that Sarah Walkers fall for Chuck Bartowskis in this world, and part of the reason we love watching this particular Sarah Walker is that we get to see it happen.

Now, some of the joy of seeing that is how wonderfully and nuanced Yvonne Strahovski plays Sarah Walker, adding a boatload of depth and sympathy to a character that never seemed destined to have much. Without Yvonne giving us such a rich visual story (and not just like that, you sickos) behind Sarah Walker, well, she wouldn't be so worth watching, would she? It's moments like her face when she sees Chuck at the fountain in Chuck vs the Break Up that keep us coming back for more.


Oh, and did I mention that she can $%@# some s*** up?

Knives, roundhouses, guns, S.W.A.T. uniforms, hiding underneath moving vehicles, Porches, catfights, wet High School reunion catfights (!), poison hairpins, lunch tray Casey beatdowns, mid-air knife deflections, goldfish protection duty... Is there anything Sarah Walker can't do?



I think Stephen J. Bartowski incredulously said it best: "Does she have an Intersect in her head?"

Whether it be pita delivery girls, La Ciudads, high school cheerleaders, or anyone in between, we watch Sarah Walker because she kicks some gorram ass.

So that, mxpw, is my birthday present to you.

Wait.

Something's missing.

How about one more pic of Sarah?


There we go. Perfect.

5 comments:

  1. Ayefah11.9.10

    I can only disagree with one aspect of this post - the idea that Yvonne Strahovski's looks are somehow anything other than conventionally attractive. The teeth, I'll give you, but the rest of it? Not so much. :P

    Seriously, though, speaking as a straight lady, she's so pretty that sometimes it's actually distracting. And she's a good enough actress to have overcome my automatic distrust of Yet Another TV Blonde. (And then some.) So yay for Yvonne!

    And happy birthday again, mxpw. I hope your day was awesome.

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  2. Sparky11.9.10

    I don't watch Sarah Walker or Chuck Bartowski.I watch the awkwardness of Chuck and Sarah. It's fun!

    And Yvonne Strahowski is a good looking gal. i will give you that. About her talent for acting, i don't know because i didn't watch her in anything else.

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  3. Wow, Chris, this was a really awesome write up about my favorite character. You hit nearly every reason why she is my favorite, except for one: Her adorableness. But that's okay. You got everything else pretty much right. Thank you so much for this, I truly appreciated it. I mean, I don't really know what else to say, as my feelings about Sarah Walker (and even more so about Yvonne) are pretty well known. Still, I have to echo Ayefah here when I say that sometimes she's so pretty I forget I'm actually supposed to be paying attention to what's going on in the episode.

    And really, all credit has to go to Yvonne. I know that if it was any other actress playing Sarah, I would not like Sarah nearly as much. Yvonne is what makes the character work. Her subtle acting (it's no coincidence that the writers depend so much on Yvonne's acting ability to develop Sarah's characterization since they so frequently under-write her) and charm are what makes Sarah so interesting.

    Anyway, I am trying to restrain myself as most people know I could talk about Sarah Walker/Yvonne Strahovski for hours. This was a dangerous post for me, but I love it all the same.

    Oh, and great job on the pictures, Frea!

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  4. Sparky11.9.10

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PL7UyFoHvE

    Precisely,this.

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  5. i think the teeth are what make her adorable... so she is no longer just another hottie on tv but also lovable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and a very good actor.

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