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Old October 9 2013, 09:42 PM   #736
Professor Zoom
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

Turtletrekker wrote: View Post
We're only three episodes in. Each episode has shown a marked improvement. What do people want? How many shows are instant classics right out the gate? TNG? Buffy? DS9? B5? None of the above. This shown has just been great fun. I think it's way too early too pass judgement on it as it's really just getting started and finding its identity.
I'm going to push back on this. Why do I have to wait for a show to improve? Why can't it be good from the beginning? A lot of shows are. Arrow had a great pilot. Warehouse 13 had a great pilot. West Wing had an AMAZING pilot. This whole idea that pilots aren't very good...just don't buy it. Sure, shows improve on their pilots, but, why can't a show, you know, start off good?

I can't speak to Buffy, but the other three, all had something I was engaged with, right from the beginning, and improved from there. Farscape, nuBattlestar. All great pilots that improved from there. (Perhaps later stumbled... sure...) Sleepy Hollow for a new show. The Headless Horseman had a machine gun...! Awesome sauce.

But, I honestly can't think of a show that I didn't like at the start that suddenly I did.

This show just doesn't engage me. It feels like weak sauce and lazy writing. Riding on the coattails of a very successful movie universe (which they keep reminding us of.)
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Old October 9 2013, 10:07 PM   #737
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

Pretty much it.. there's honestly little excuse at all to write a weak pilot.

It should be the opposite instead.. you have basically one shot to get the undecided/not entrenched in the genre viewer and if you screw up the pilot or make it bland the majority might not tune in again.

Off the top of my head there's Firefly, Breaking Bad, Lost, NuBSG, Castle, Game of Thrones, Californication, Heroes and others which have instantly grabbed me and made me wait hard a week for the next episode. This list is obviously prone to preference and taste and some of the shows took a good dive after a while but that's not the point.

As ist stands Shield can be so much more, should be more and i really hope they pick it up and have a real plan where this is all going.
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Old October 9 2013, 10:11 PM   #738
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

FPAlpha wrote: View Post
Pretty much it.. there's honestly little excuse at all to write a weak pilot.
A valid "excuse" would be that they didn't have a good motivated idea in the first place. It's just another dictate "We need a TV show! Do something!"
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Old October 9 2013, 10:16 PM   #739
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

The problem with Pilots is that you have to introduce and explain everything to morons who get easily frustrated and thrash in the face of difficult concepts called Network Executives.

After they become bored and move on, you can get down to the issue of making entertaining TV.
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Old October 9 2013, 10:16 PM   #740
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

Well.. they had enough time to work in the pilot, it's not like somebody got the idea this summer and then they scrambled to get a script and book the actors.

They started over a year ago and maybe even way before that so i think they should come up with something better but it is like it is.

Despite all my criticism i will still tune in every week to watch because i'm the core demographic and it's fuckin' Coulson!
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Old October 9 2013, 10:18 PM   #741
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

The show hasn't delighted me yet, but the discussions between Hall and Coulson, and between Skye and Quinn, about whether SHIELD were really the good guys and about the dangers of their desire for benevolent control did feel like Whedon to me. Those themes were part of Firefly too -- the Alliance wasn't the evil empire fans often assume, they genuinely meant well, but their regulation in the name of order entailed a compromise of individual liberty, as it always does, and that led people to disagree on where to draw the line. It's just that this time we're seeing that question examined from the side of the "Alliance," as it were -- except for Skye, who comes from the "Mal" side of the ideological debate.

So while the show does feel a bit generic so far, I can see hints of things that make it a Whedon show, beyond just quippy dialogue. That makes me hopeful that it will go deeper and be more complicated as time goes on. The thing is, sometimes shows have to start out disguising themselves as generic and formulaic in order to win over network executives (who don't like to stray too far from their comfort zones since there's a lot of money at stake), and then later start doing the deeper, edgier, more innovative stuff they meant to do all along. Look at how Dollhouse started out as more of a "client of the week" show, almost an anthology-type series of the sort that was popular in the '60s, but then became a much richer, serialized show about the world-shattering consequences of a profound technological advance.
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Old October 9 2013, 10:33 PM   #742
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

Christopher wrote: View Post
Look at how Dollhouse started out as more of a "client of the week" show, almost an anthology-type series of the sort that was popular in the '60s, but then became a much richer, serialized show
Pretty much describes Angel too.
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Old October 9 2013, 10:40 PM   #743
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

The problem isn't so much that it is formulaic and familiar but that the writing doesn't even attempt to rise above the formula. This episode especially seemed like you could swap out just about any generic characters and do the exact same plot. Our heroes should be driving the narrative, no matter how formulaic it is.
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Old October 9 2013, 11:04 PM   #744
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
The problem with Pilots is that you have to introduce and explain everything to morons who get easily frustrated and thrash in the face of difficult concepts called Network Executives.

After they become bored and move on, you can get down to the issue of making entertaining TV.
Bull. Pilots are nothing new. Other pilots seem to be able to do both introduce the characters and tell a story. Come on, a police procedural has to do it every week, should they get a pass?

Edited to add: and a network needs all the morons they can get, a network show can't survive with cable numbers.
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Old October 9 2013, 11:12 PM   #745
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

This is a Whedon show. I expect a real game changer mid-season where it will really take of.
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Old October 9 2013, 11:17 PM   #746
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

I do think they have to walk a fine line between being overtly comic book and not. They can't have a supervillain or superhero each week because it'll overshadow the movies. However, I get the impression this week that things are going to build to something bigger. That'll help with that issue.
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Old October 9 2013, 11:23 PM   #747
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

Shazam! wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Look at how Dollhouse started out as more of a "client of the week" show, almost an anthology-type series of the sort that was popular in the '60s, but then became a much richer, serialized show
Pretty much describes Angel too.
Maybe, but I've been rewatching Angel lately and even those early episodes feel much richer and deeper than anything we've seen on SHIELD so far.

I hate to say it, but SHIELD almost has the simplistic feel of an ENT or some cheesy syndicated action show from the 90s (although the dialogue is clearly far sharper and wittier than in those shows, which is the main reason I'll probably continue to tune in for awhile).
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Old October 9 2013, 11:34 PM   #748
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
I'm going to push back on this. Why do I have to wait for a show to improve? Why can't it be good from the beginning?
With this I agree. I always hate it when someone tells me I need to sit through half a season of a show I couldn't stand the pilot of. or if i saw a single ep or two and didn't like it I get told "Well you didn't see the good episodes." They should all be at least watchable shouldn't they?

So i'm not gonna tell you you should keep watching. All I can say is I thought the pilot was great, and I'm still watching because i have different priorities than most people in this thread. One big one is this notion of whether the show is "Whedonesque." Some are complaining that it doesn't feel like a Whedon show.

I find that a plus, because there are lots of things about "pure Whedon" shows that I honestly can't stand. Yep, liked the pilot, but if Joss's influence steadily decreases as the show progresses, I'm not counting it as a downside.

And there's no reason a series that's part of the shared universe shouldn't keep reminding us of that. That's the point of sharing. It's a perfect reflection of the Marvel Comic Universe.
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Old October 9 2013, 11:35 PM   #749
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
I do think they have to walk a fine line between being overtly comic book and not. They can't have a supervillain or superhero each week because it'll overshadow the movies. However, I get the impression this week that things are going to build to something bigger. That'll help with that issue.
Uhm.. this is a show about an agency that exists in a superhero world out of a comic book.

However they won't overshadow the movies because they don't have the budget to do A or even B list superheroes justice (try to do Iron man justice on a TV budget, not nearly as exciting) but they don't want to.

They have outright said that the focus of the show is elsewhere and they even said so in the pilot episode. The big stuff will happen in the movies but the street level action will be in Shield.

Some big stuff may happen during sweeps and season finales and might even include some cameos by the big boys (Samuel L. Jackson but he apparently loves the role very much and did it for fun) and they might be used as cross promotion for upcoming movie releases (would be a nice way to tie it together with the movies and i wouldn't mind that).

It is quite evident that they are laying the foundations for things to come with small and sometimes not so subtle hints but the problem is that the rest is so generic. However i really hope that there will be a crucial episode not so far down the line that blows this whole thing wide open and makes it a must see TV event.
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Old October 10 2013, 12:03 AM   #750
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Re: Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

FPAlpha wrote: View Post
Uhm.. this is a show about an agency that exists in a superhero world out of a comic book.
It's a show about an agency that exists in a movie franchise that's currently popular. The fact that that franchise is based on comic books only matters to a small fraction of its audience, because the sad fact is, not very many people actually read comic books anymore. Maybe a few percent of the Marvel movies' fans have ever read comics on a regular basis.

And it's self-evident that the movies try to tone down the more comic-booky stuff to appease the general audience. Characters hardly ever use their superhero or supervillain nicknames. The costumes are toned down or justified almost apologetically. The gods and magic are rationalized as aliens and advanced technology. So no, this is not an unadulterated comic-book universe the way an animated adaptation would be. The live-action audience, even today, would find that campy.


They have outright said that the focus of the show is elsewhere and they even said so in the pilot episode. The big stuff will happen in the movies but the street level action will be in Shield.
I had a thought, though: What about using the show to pick up threads the movies seem to have dropped? Maybe they could bring back Tim Blake Nelson as Samuel Stearns/The Leader. The movie wasn't successful enough to warrant the sequel they were setting up with Stearns, so why not do it on TV?
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