Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 's August Debut


Readers of this blog know I can't resist a good pun.  I have to say it was good to see J. August Richards, "Gunn", of Angel fame to lead off this show.   I know I had seen him on "Arrow" but it wasn't the same since he played the nasty character of Mr. Blank.  To see him here as a nominal good guy pulled at the old heart strings for the days of Buffy and Angel.

I know I'm digressing from the real point of the show but you can't have a Whedon reference without a Whedon discussion.  It's hard to believe he still has his detractors.  There may be a few more after this show is reviewed.

So, Agents of SHIELD made it's "August" debut and I found it light, funny, self aware (always important with me) and somewhat dramatic.  Does the "Somewhat dramatic" count against this show?  Skimming the internet today I know "Agents" had its critics.  Not tough enough, too light, and so forth.

I think we have to remember this show airs at the eight o'clock hour.  If you want a Game of Thrones level of violence you'd better stick to premium cable at a later hour.  (For them that would be nine o'clock.)  





I have to admit I was surprised by the light touch of this show.  We are dealing with the superhero world.  Things blow up, crash and disintegrate all the time.  Not that I don't appreciate the humor of the show.  There were plenty of laughs such as the "poop with knives sticking out of it" line and Agent Ward being stuck with truth serum and going on about beautiful women. Plus, there is no better straight man than Clark Gregg.  His entrance with the light bulb was dryly funny.  He's the straight man's straight man. So can we talk about the elephant in the room mystery about his resurrection?



Apparently, Agent Coulson knows little about his own "rehab."  As alluded to by Cobie Smulder's "Maria Hill" his fate is a secret that even he should not be aware of.  Is he some sort automaton or replicate that was infused with Coulson's intelligence?  Some think he will be the Marvel superhero "Vision" someday.  More machine than man.



Another thing I could appreciate about this show were the nods to the larger mythology of the Marvel universe.  After all, there would be no Agents of SHIELD without the movies.   The only hazard here is the expectation from the fans to see some of these heroes.  It doesn't seem like that is going to happen to any great degree.  We'll have to be happy with brief glimpses and clever nods to things like the Sony property of Spiderman when Richard's "Mike Peterson" climbed the wall (get it "Perterson as in Peter - Son, an off shoot of "Peter" Parker.) and Agent Ward throwing the plate like Captain America's shield during his fist fight in Paris.

So, all in all it wasn't a bad start.  Ron Glass has a job again and that's always good.  Perhaps the light touch and the eight o'clock hour has a lot to do with attracting the younger fans. That might seem cynical but you have to share your property with all ages if you want to attract business across all demographics.  Something baseball has failed to learn but the smoking industry knows all too well.  See the World Series starting after nine at night and the "Joe Camel" campaign.

Like my previously reviewed "Sleepy Hollow" both shows are in the probation stage.  Too early to give up on but no too early to nitpick.  Let's hope both shows mange to keep their early vision and hit one out of the park.

(Ugh, that was bad even for me.)

2 comments:

  1. Hi Dave,
    Im pretty much a novice when it comes to the world of Marvel ... but as a 'newbie' .... I did like the pilot ep.

    Like you, I was surprised at the lightness of the show .... but knowing the time slot its in ... that makes perfect sense ( I downloaded the show as its not showing in Australia yet ... but from memory ... it will initially have a 7.30 timeslot).

    It seems that the shows creators have tried to target a broad audience and its great that kids get to watch this show. After all, that's when you become interested in 'superheroes'. I cannot tell you how many Spiderman cartoon eps I watched as a kid / teen.

    I don't have any 'nit picks' yet. As a newbie I don't think I know enough to nit pick. I thought the writing was good and the script was nice and tight. The cast are really good .... and LOLA is awesome. I so want her parked in my garage!

    Having watched both Sleepy Hollow and Agents of SHIELD .... I would say at the moment I prefer this show over SH. I will keep watching both ..... but when Almost Human hits our screens I may lose interest in everything else. November cannot come soon enough. I only wish I was in Vancity watching AH filming.

    Lyn

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    1. I'm eagerly anticipating "Almost Human" also Lyn. I'm going to try to blog on all three. I want to blog on the "Broadchurch" finale it's just finding the time to sit down and do it. Have you seen Broadchurch with David Tenant?

      Lola is pretty awesome but I think I like her as a regular "Vette" than the hover-car thing she can turn into. That being said if they offered me one I'd take it, rocket powered wheels and all.

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