Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Yea or Nay: Marvel's Agents of SHIELD?

Karen: A couple of episodes have been broadcast now. What are your thoughts so far on this new show based in the Marvel universe?

 

27 comments:

andy said...

AWFUL. I hate these studios appealing to the lowest common denominator. In other words- not a fan. Arrow is dire too. Cute kids who are right up there with Cindy Crawford for sex appeal. Please. Spare me. It's a joke. The plot made me wretch too. And the car flying off at the end was something out if Thunderbirds. Awful, just awful. I'd type more but I'm on my smartphone making myself angry.

david_b said...

I'll sit this one out. Haven't seen it, have no interest of seeing it.

Have a great day, everyone.

Jim M said...

Weak writing, bad acting, generic characters, the only thing it has going for it is the gimmick of being a Marvel show and the little easter egg moments.. If this show was called "Omega Force" or "Final Solution" and had no Marvel ties it would not last 8 episodes.....that being said Star Trek Next Generation, X-Files and Smallville all got off to weak starts but then found there way

Humanbelly said...

Well, I guess I have to disagree w/ the extremity of your opinion, there, Andy. Looking at it objectively, as an adventure series clearly aimed (and rightly & wisely so, IMO) at a younger/family audience, it's not bad at all. But it's really not that good, either. It's just "enh". It reminds me an awful lot, in a way, of the later seasons of Six Million Dollar and The Bionic Woman. The writing/plotting is almost cripplingly formulaic, the script is rife w/ cliches, TOO MUCH car chase stuff (a completely, COMPLETELY pointless, time-filling convention in this day and age), and short-shrift paid to meaningful dialog. There are simply no surprises whatsoever in the course of the action during either of the first two episodes, and even younger viewers will latch onto that.
That being said, the cast is actually a bit better than I was initially giving them credit for. Their youth is, of course, still a credibility problem-- but that does seem to be an issue w/in the context of the show, too. And they're proving to be MUCH less cookie-cutter model-types than the promo photos would indicate. And Clark Gregg does still shine as Coulson-- the more we stick w/ him, the better off the series will be.

I think we have to remember that the studios aren't necessarily making the show for us "fans", per se. We are a teeny, tiny, nearly-negligible demographic, really (it's just hard for us to believe that, I suppose), and their goal would be to take the unique elements that we love and make them accessible to a broader potential viewership. Mind you, I don't think they've nailed it here, yet. At this point, much of both of these episodes could have been easily transplanted into an episode of I Spy, or Man From UNCLE, or Mission: Impossible, or the above-mentioned Six Million Dollar Man, or even The A-Team for pete's sake.

Definitely a "C" after this second episode, I think. But could easily be much better w/ some tweaks in the focus of the writing.

HB

Doug said...

We don't watch television series in our home -- too busy! We usually just have a game on the telly, as it's a low-commitment form of entertainment/background noise. So like David, I'm out on this one as well.

But I am interested in everyone's thoughts (good or bad), so keep 'em coming!

Doug

Humanbelly said...

Actually, Doug, our household is much like yours-- we don't watch network television (other than football). . . and in fact have never had any sort of cable subscription. And after watching SLEEPY HOLLOW on Monday, and SHIELD last night, I found that the broadcast experience is nearly unendurable due to the number and length of commercial breaks. I know that's been a complaint since the radio days (for kids' programs), but the tipping point, IMO, has been reached. Looking at the numbers, for every two minutes of content there is roughly one minute of commercial advertisement. It is impossible to sustain any kind of focus or dramatic through-line under those conditions. If you get 10 minutes of uninterrupted story, you then have a full five minutes of commercials. I'm remembering that this is what drove me away from HOUSE, from PUSHING DAISIES, from GHOST WHISPERER, and more recently from ONCE UPON A TIME.

Our public library is benefiting from my increased use of their TV series on DVD. . .

HB

david_b said...

As for television watchin', like Doug, just way too busy.

I am actually watching one of my old favs again, 'My Three Sons'.. Robbie and Katie just had their (3) babies. Ah, in real life, I'm probably so much like Fred MacMurray, it's unnerving.

(Doesn't hurt that he's from my home town of Beaver Dam, WI and my stepdad knew him growing up...)

They've taken off 'Green Hornet' and 'The Mothers-In-Law' off MeTV again.. ARRGG.

Still have Big Bang Theory and Major Crimes each week, and my wife's the big Packer nut in the house, so I have to sit through them on Sundays.

Doug said...

Ah, David, Mr. MacMurray may have been raised in Wisconsin, but he was born at the very same hospital that I was -- in Kankakee, IL. And of course I think we all know that the wonderful Alex Ross bases his version of Captain Marvel on the good looks of Fred MacMurray.

I find modern television impenetrable due to the serial nature of all programming. If you miss that first episode or two, or heaven forbid the first season, then forget it. My opinion.

All that being said, I do hope for SHIELD to be a cool and ongoing show.

Doug

William said...

So far not impressed. I expected more since Joss Wheden is involved. I think he even directed the first episode. Not sure about the second.

MattComix said...

I think I'd be more interested if it were a proper Nick Fury: Agent Of Shield series. As is it just kind of seems like CSI: Marvel U. Cue a song from The Who as Coulson puts his shades on.

Comicsfan said...

I've gotten so spoiled by streaming entire "seasons" of series at a time that I'm afraid I won't have an opinion until all of the episodes are available--i.e., well after interest in it has died down.

But, ye gods--is it really called Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? If the show really needs to clutch the coattails of its parent company in order to build its audience, that might be a red flag right there.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I kind of agree with Humanbelly; it's a good generic adventure show, but it doesn't feel like it takes place in the Marvel Universe. It's very "Whedonesque" (which I like), but it feels like a "Buffy" episode with a different cast.

I know they're using "movie" continuity not "comics" continuity, but you'd think they could make it feel a little more authentic. I don't know all the behind-the-scenes stuff, so maybe there's a "no superheroes" rule (or "no recognizable superheroes" or whatever), and there may be movie people standing over their shoulders as they write saying: "No, you can't use that, no you can't say that, no she wouldn't know that..." because they don't want to contradict something that MAY appear in some movie that MAY get made a decade from now.

Personally, I think that's stupid: if you're going to set something in the Marvel Universe, then go all out...use characters from the comics. I understand certain things would be off limits because of upcoming movies, but we all know there are things that are never going to be depicted in the movies. There are tons of classic comics stories that they could do: the betatron bomb, the death spores, Fixer and Mentallo taking over the entire organization by themselves; what about Viper stealing the Helicarrier and crashing it into the UN? Or Yellow Claw trying to blow up the Statue of Liberty (which was a Cap/Nick Fury story, but could easily be adapted). What about Zodiac? Does X-Factor work for the government in this continuity? There are lots of things they could do to set the show more firmly in the Marvel U. but so far I haven't seen any evidence that they will. I'll probably keep watching, but this is NOT the Marvel Universe that I'm familiar with.

Mike W.

Doug said...

There's gotta be an especially hot corner in Hell for people who come onto a blog and spam it with their poorly worded advertisements.

Just sayin'...

Doug

P.S. -- In other news, our reading list on the sidebar malfunctioned during editing and I cannot at present right that ship. So we're not changing plans or holding out on you -- just being stymied by technology beyond our control. Thanks for your patience.

Karen said...

We've been getting a lot of spam lately, for whatever reason ('stairlifts'??) and I appreciate my partner getting to most of those messages before me and deleting them. It's annoying but the only option we have is to lock comments so they must be approved by us before posting and we'd rather not do that.

As for the SHIELD show, I've seen the first two episodes and right now I am feeling very unimpressed. As others have said, it doesn't feel like it has much to do with the Marvel universe, and other than Coulson, I find the cast to be pretty unappealing.I'll give it a few more episodes but so far it's not doing anything for me, and my TV watching time is limited.

I will mention that hubby and I have given up on the Avengers cartoon. It was so terrible we just couldn't watch it any more. It is no where near as good as the old Earth's Mightiest Heroes -now that was a great show!

baronzemo said...

I will give the show 2 or 3 more ep. So far, not very happy.

Anonymous said...

I wanted this to be good ... but JEEZ is it awful! All it's going to take for the 'golden age' of comics book-based movies and TV series to come to an end is a couple of pricey bombs ... maybe this is the (*gasp!*) BEGINNING OF THE END!!!

Anonymous said...

Andy, the flying car with the distinctive wheels at 90 degrees at the end of the first episode isn't from the Thunderbirds, it is actually taken from the comics themselves - I remember seeing them in some issues when I read them as a kid (many, many years ago!). If I remember correctly, one of the early ones was a VW beetle model!

I caught the end of the first episode, haven't seen the second one. Yes, Marvel Studios is trying to cater to the general public, hoping they'll tune in after all the success of the movies. Jim M, I sincerely hope that this series emulates the success of the X-files or Smallville by growing after a weak start, but that depends on a lot of factors.


- Mike 'when are they going to make another X-files movie?' from Trinidad & Tobago.

EvilDoctor1 said...

Well I have to say I love the show. For me it's Joss Whedon at his best. I love the humour of the show, and the interplay between the characters. It has the same cheeky freshness that season 1 of Buffy had.

Quite frankly, I find some of the fanboy whining about the show tedious. So what if the show takes a different tack than what the comics do. The only successful live action prime time series Marvel has every had was The Incredible Hulk. (Discounting the horrible TV Movies) it went completely of the reservation. No super-villains, no Marvel Universe. It had more in common with The Fugitive from 10 years previous than the comic books, yet it was a great show. Enjoy Agents of SHIELD for what it is, and stop trying to pigeon hole it.

I also have to add that I find it amusing and ironic that some of the fanboy backlash against the show is centred around Lola despite the fact the it was in the ORIGINAL COMIC. Take note Joss, never try to please the fanboys they will just eat you alive...

Edo Bosnar said...

Maybe it's just way too early in the morning (my time) and I'm reading too much into your comments, EvilDoctor1, but I think you can lay out your views about the show without dismissively referring to anyone here who doesn't agree with you as a whining fanboy. And I'm sure Karen appreciates being called a 'boy.'

Humanbelly said...

And to piggyback on my pal Edo's comment, there, E.Doctor-- while a bit of the criticism here has been staunchly fan-based,the VAST majority has been centered on the non-fan basic elements like quality of writing, casting, production, etc. If it's all working for you, that's great, but there is indeed room for legitimate criticism. No one's going to take you to task for liking it yourself, though.

HB (under the big umbrella)

Teresa said...

It was ok...

I totally get the vibe they are steering clear of the movies. I don't care for that at all.

I feel the same disappointment I felt with "Smallville" being too embarrassed to put on the blue suit.

SHIELD came out of the gate in a formulaic fashion. It needs to do more to hold my attention.

I think it is still redeemable.

themiddlespaces said...

I am feeling ambivalent, but like any new show it will take time to gel - and the fact that it is such a big deal connected to lucrative properties means it will actually get a chance to gel and get better, unlike other shows.

So, I plan to watch it for the rest of the season and make my ultimate judgment then.

I don't need it to have direct ties to the comics and more than a tenuous tie to the movies. In fact, I felt that the reference to Iron Man 3 in terms of use of Extremis in the first episode would go over most people's head - it needed more contextualization.

Matt Celis said...

Wife and I watched the pilot but it was so dull our attention wandere. The plot seemed generic and hackneyed and I think they tried to introduce too many characters for 45 minutes of TV. Too many techy gadgets to be believable as our world. Never cared for Joss Whedon's trademark cutesy tech geek characters he seems contractually obligated to include in every show he does, but the English twosome had even less appeal than usual, but again that could be the result of too many characters. Not sure why Ming-Na Wen's character was even there. Contributed what? The hacker girl being given access to all this Top Secret information and joining the team was just silly. Most of the agents seemed way too young to be in the positions they hold, which is common to most TV shows. The happy ending for the supposedly sympathetic villain rang false as they conveniently forgot the many crimes he committed, as well as the violence he inflicted on others earlier in the show. I expected a lot better.

I haven't seen episode 2 yet, so I'm waiting to see if it improves as pilots really don't represent what a show will be like: bugs get worked out afterwards when the writers and cast realize their strengths. Look at Cougar Town. But if episode 2 is as poor as the pilot, I'm giving up on the show.

Matt Celis said...

You meant C.C. Beck, of course, not Alex Ross.

Doug said...

No, Matt, I meant Alex Ross. I said Alex Ross -- that's what I meant. I think most of us know that way back in 1940 C.C. Beck based the look of Captain Thunder on the young Fred MacMurray. But as compared to Alex Ross's near photo-realistic depiction of MacMurray as Captain Marvel, Beck's is a passing resemblance. If you've read Marvels, then you'd also note the uncanny resemblance of Ross's Mr. Fantastic to Russell Johnson of Gilligan's Island fame. The guy can paint real people but wearing longjohns, for sure.

Doug

Matt Celis said...

Well, Beck certainly captured MacMurray in the earliest appearances. I don't think the Ross version looks much like Fred. Haven't read Marvels as I don't like Ross's artwork.

Anonymous said...

Nay.


starfoxxx

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