It’s no secret that Jewdar is alongtime adoring fan of Chuck. While former wunderkind Josh Schwartz has never come clean on whether or not Charles IrvingBartowski has a touch of theTorah-brush, as a consolation prize, he’s given us Lester Patel, whom we consider one of the greatest Jewish characters in the history of TV. Played byVik Sahay(above), Patel is exactly what we’ve always wanted–unquestionably Jewish and proud of it, whose Jewishness comes up again and again, but never in the form of melodrama or lowest-common-denominator stereotype (All too many Jewish characters on TV can be summed up in one sentence: "Oy, my mother is such a yenta, it makes me neurotic!").
Just this season, Lester refers to a girl presumably too hot to get as "treyf," claims, after being kicked in the face in fight club spoof that he hasn’t felt so alive since his bar mitzvah and it’s revealed that next to his bed he keeps a picture of himself at his bar mitzvah carrying a Torah. So in this last week’s episode, when he negotiates with assistant manager Morgan for help in getting a woman, we were excited. But Josh, you really let us down–what is Lester’s criteria is that she be a "woman of color," preferablyPadma Lakshmi. Now, this is not at all a dig at Ms. Lakshmi, but coming from a guy who once said that he couldn’t work fast food because he keeps kosher, it’s a bit of a disappointment.
Now, we presume based on the fact that he’s played by an actor of Indian descent, and has an Indian last name, that Lester is Indian as well, so we appreciate the need to nod to that side of things. But come on Josh, at the very least, couldn’t he have made a comment about getting her to convert? Just think of an episode in which Padma took a dip in the Ganges….