When TV shows have guest stars, it's sometimes too much. Over the top. Jump the shark territory.
Other times, the guest stars are almost like a geeky inside joke. Like the writers "get" that their audience loves these inside references, almost like an Easter egg inside the show just for us. No loss if you don't know the guest star, but frosting on the cupcake if you do. Mmmmm, cupcake.
When the guest star role is done well, I love it. Yes, I am a sucker. But it's the little things that make me happy.
Season 2 of Chuck has some great guest stars. Remember how I mentioned that the show reminds me a little of Alias? Well, Carl Lumbly shows up in "Chuck vs. the Sensei." He's the 2nd Alias vet I've seen so far (Kevin Weisman also makes an appearance). I love the Alias peeps showing up in another spy show -- I can only hope that Victor Garber shows at some point.
Gary Cole is in an episode (Chuck vs. the DeLorean), with the possibility of future ones. (You'll remember him from Office Space as Lumbergh, but the dude's been in a ton of stuff.)
Dominic Monaghan (Lost, LOTR, FlashForward) appears as a rocker in "Chuck vs. the 3rd Dimension." Apparently this was the 3D episode, which clearly doesn't come through on the Amazon Unbox. On my nice but regular TV. Without 3D glasses. Oh well, I would never have known if I wasn't looking up actors on the web.
Conan's sidekick, Andy Richter is an evil spy in "Chuck vs. the Suburbs." He can't ever seem to find a break on a show (or maybe he's the curse on them all), so I enjoyed seeing him, particularly as a bad guy. (I'll mention here that Jenny McCarthy was also in this ep, though I didn't really care. Oh, and Nicole Richie was in an earlier ep; again, don't care. They have no geek cred here as far as I can tell.)
And recurring guest for multiple episodes is the incredible Tony Hale. I grew to love him as Buster over on "Arrested Development" which ended way too soon. They keep promising a movie one day; I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one! In the meantime, I love Hale as the slightly maniacal assistant store manager. (PS - in looking Tony Hale up on iMDb, I see that he co-starred with Andy Richter in the very short-lived "Andy Barker, PI." It's like playing 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon or something!)
And I'm only just through half the 2nd season.