Agents of SHIELD. Season 1 Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Trekker4747, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    That's an unwise assumption. The whole reason you make multimedia franchises in the first place is because each new medium brings you a different audience. Sure, a large percentage of this show's viewers will be people who've seen the movies, but if you're moving something to a new medium, you want to make it accessible to people who haven't seen its previous incarnations as well. Heck, even within a single medium, one of the basic rules of series writing is to assume that every installment will be somebody's first, and thus to make it comprehensible on its own. You don't want to overdo the exposition to make it boring to those who are familiar with it, sure, but there is a comfortable middle ground, a way to balance both audiences' needs.


    As I said, it's not that it was mentioned, it's how. I felt those mentions worked better. Simmons listed the serum, gamma radiation, and one other thing and said they were "every known source of superpowers," so that explains what they are. Coulson just said "Extremis. It's new." That's not enough by itself. I'm not opposed to mentioning Extremis, I just think it could've been handled better.


    I find the three female leads to be very easy to tell apart. Ming-Na Wen is a famous face in her own right, and she's older than the others as well as being the only clearly Asian cast member (Chloe Bennet is half-Chinese but doesn't really look it). And Elizabeth Henstridge's hair is a lighter, more honey-brown shade that the others' and a lot straighter than Bennet's, plus she has an English accent.
     
  2. Kirby

    Kirby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Alt: 5280
    Due to some issues at home I didn't get around to watching this until late last night and I kept dozing off (due in no part to the show, just a very long day). I thought it was ok, but I'll give it another viewing with fresh eyes this weekend. The real cringe-worthy part for me was the flying car at the end. Please don't ever do that again...
     
  3. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Location:
    UK
    I thought the fuselage looked a bit too big for a Herc, but it's been years since I've seen one up close (or even at a distance come to think of it) so I didn't trust my memory and just took a guess. Actually, it was the different cockpit that really made me wonder, but I just put it down to being a modification. ;)
     
  4. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    It was the Spruce Goose. :p

    Now for the ratings...

    Viewers: 11.9 million
    Demo: 4.6

    Source

    I wonder what the drop-off will be.
     
  5. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2001
    Location:
    Sac, Ca
    To be honest all the Avengers references and talk of "walking amongst Gods" just kinda made me wish I was watching those colorful and dynamic characters instead. Whether in the next Avengers movie, Thor or Captain America.

    Coulson aside, I always found SHIELD in those earlier movies to be pretty dull and forgettable in comparison, and unfortunately this first episode hasn't done much to convince me otherwise.

    I certainly like the idea of a "Lower Decks" approach to the Marvel universe, but a lot of what made that TNG episode special was getting to see our main characters through the eyes of the lower-ranking officers. It wasn't just a lot of talk and vague references about these people they never saw (or only saw in news clips).
     
  6. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Location:
    I-L
    well...in this case I think it's to continue to capitalize off the enormous success of the Avengers movie during the multiple years there will be no new Avengers movie. I think I'm fairly comfortable saying that everybody in the target demo for this show either already knew what it was or googled it within 3 seconds and then knew what it was.

    Exposition blocks full of things most viewers already know are very, very boring. It's also something that happens in Trek books too often IMHO and just isn't the way real people talk: "Remember that time we...". Why would Coulson give more of an explanation on what Extremis was to either SHIELD personnel who presumably already knew or to Skye, who I assume wasn't cleared to know that (yet)?
     
  7. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Location:
    Singapore
    I think people here just have very high expectation for the show and are a little disappointed that their expectations wasn't met.
     
  8. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    I knew what to expect and got it. The thing is, the entire production lacks panache. Everything's generic... The production values, the characters, the action... Everything. Take away the fact that it's part of the Marvel universe and all you've got is a generic hero show.
     
  9. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI Da Brew City
    I have to admit, I enjoyed it quite a bit - was at least on par with the One Shots we've had on the DVDs and had the added benefit of being more than a 'one and done' story.

    Personally I loved the flying 'Vette - anyone who thinks its cheesy or 'lame' has NEVER read a classic SHIELD/Nick Fury comic where the 'Standard Issue' SHIELD flying car was as iconic a part of the SHIELD 'look' as the Helicarrier, the Needle Gun and Nick Fury's eyepatch. That made the show for me. It took it from being yet another CIA or Alias type show and brought it firmly into the Marvel Universe.

    I think by even the middle half of the first season the show will gel a lot more and the cast will be comfortable around each other. While I do wish they would have named the characters after some of the more recognizable SHIELD agents from the comics - I'm fine with them being completely new for the simple reason that SHIELD has always been depicted as being very large and having a lot of people working for them and this is just one team out of many.

    The callbacks to Avengers and Iron Man 3 were handled alright, dunno what people were upset about. If they didn't do any call backs to the previous movies it wouldn't have felt like a part of the MCU. This is television, not the comics where you can simply put an asterisk in the speech balloon or thought bubble and note what they were talking about at the bottom of the panel in an editor's note. Plus it helps keep the show grounded in time - clearly it happens after Avengers and after Iron Man 3 - which helps reduce people going 'where does this fit in with the movies?' particularly since Phase 1 wasn't exactly linear. (ie: Iron Man 1 - Iron Man 2/Thor - Incredible Hulk - Captain America - Avengers - Iron Man 3 - instead of the production order of Iron Man 1 - Incredible Hulk - Iron Man 2 - Thor - Captain America - Avengers - Iron Man 3)

    Chloe Bennet's character - I liked her a bit but not sure what 'role' really she'll be filling besides clearly being set up as romantic interest for Ward. But we'll see where they take her .

    Coulson was fun and makes me remember why I really do enjoy Clark Gregg and it's clear he's having a lot of fun with the character as well. It's nice to see an actor just totally embrace a role and make it their own. Not many really can do that with the right amount of conviction, plus really - out of the whole cast, he's got the most Marvel screen time - all the movies, plus 2 seasons of Ultimate Spider-Man. As for how he came back to life - it's nice they gave him a cover story - yet there's something beneath it that seems a bit... I wouldn't say 'sinister' but it's shady. I'm still going with LMD or some kind of cloned body or something or other. Which honestly is par for the course with an agency like SHIELD in any media.

    I'm looking forward to future episodes and I think if they can use the show as a spring board for future movie characters or for ways of getting 'smaller' characters in the MCU then this show will be the Marvel TV show we've been waiting for forever! There are a ton of characters they can bring into it that may either a) be too 'low' for the movies, b) too much history to cram into a movie c) more tied to shield than any other particular hero. Like Mockingbird who, granted was married to Hawkeye for a while in the comics, was a SHIELD agent, or The Constrictor, or even Captain/Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, Amadeus Cho (more of a Hulk character but still...), lots of characters they can exploit and gain exposure for - plus with a tv budget even if they spend a bit on effects it's still cheaper than a full on movie for a B or C list character.
     
  10. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    Solid start but didn't really knock it out of the park but to be honest that goes for most Whedon shows (except for the original Firefly pilot which for me really did start brilliantly). However Whedon shows tend to build up over time so i'm giving this some more leeway than i would usually with similar shows.

    It was the usual setup show.. show us all the characters and assemble the team, establish some mystery if the show is going to have an arc story and lay the foundation of what's to come. We've all seen the approach basically and since Shield is the most hyped show this fall there was bound to be some disappointment but i have faith in Whedon to expand the show and deepen it. Given that it's Whedon who's a well known TV expert and given that he comes off one of the most successful movies in history (and the most successful superhero movie) i believe his show is safe from cancellation for the time being.

    Now what i really disliked was the model level characters and their youth (for the most part). Everybody was hot and attractive, especially the women, and the characters were so generic. Quirky science guys who seem strange but are brilliant in their respective fields, a big hunk for the muscle and the character actor who leads them all. That's a bit simple for a Whedon show and not something i really am looking for.

    Now i understand the TV medium and nowadays the studios want to see attractive people in their mainstream show because they believe it draws viewers but did it have to be so obvious?

    The other aspect i always cringe is the age of these superbrilliant people.. all in their early 20s yet apparently at the top of their field. I know that there are people like that in the world but would it have killed them to take a late 20/30something person to make it more believable that they have experience to be assigned to such an important task by the premier spy organization of the world?
    Heck.. why not take a 50something dude who was basically there when they invented the internet and has all kinds of loopholes built in that only he knows about?

    What i liked though was the few Whedon moments which you could clearly tell were from him.. especially when that girl started off "With great responsibility.." and everybody immediately finished the Spiderman motto in their head only to turn it totally around.. Whedon loves playing with expectations.
    Another cool scene and very well written was how Coulson managed to get the hacker girl to trust them by injecting his own agent with the truth serum, that was brilliant and funny :lol:

    I hope they expand on that style of humor because that's true Whedon.

    So.. not the rocket start i had hoped for (but hard to do given the hype) but it's Whedon so i'll be definitely sticking around to see where it goes.
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    It's funny. Judging from the comments I've been reading on the net this morning, the flying car seems to be a real bone of contention, with some people hating it and some people loving it.

    I wonder if the line of demarcation falls between people who grew up on the original SHIELD comics (where the flying car was a staple) and younger folks who are primarily coming to this from the recent movies and are more inclined to see it as a "cheesy" homage to BACK TO FUTURE?

    (For the record, SHIELD has had flying cars since 1963, predating BACK TO THE FUTURE by over twenty years!)

    I admit that I grinned when Lola's wheels again flipped sideways, but I remember Nick Fury's cars doing that to escape to the agents of Hydra way back in very first SHIELD story decades ago. It was a cool, nostalgic Easter egg.

    But where was the obligatory Stan Lee cameo?
     
  12. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    Funny you should mention that. I saw two of the one-shots for the first time last night and thought to myself... This is what the show should have been like.
     
  13. Kirby

    Kirby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Alt: 5280
    I hated the car, but I was never a Marvel comic book kid (I'm now 45, and rarely read comics) so I can respect that it it's part of the lore. However, doing it in a comic vs. a tv show are two different things. The FX need to look decent, otherwise it's cheesy.
     
  14. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI Da Brew City
    Well about the comment about 'why not some older characters' - that could come - and Melinda May was clearly the veteran of the group next to Coulson - as for the young geniuses that's a Whedon trademark ever since Willow first booted up her PowerBook 3400 and could 'hack' into shit.

    I get the feeling that Coulson was given the directive to start up a new response team and these were both the cream and the misfits of the crop. A couple of geniuses that look like they're barely old enough to remember Dial Up internet, a meat head agent, the retired from active field work ass kicker, and this hacker/conspiracy nut. Of course, we have no real firm clues as to what's to come beyond the first few episodes - so who knows who will join the team by the end of the season. Sure they picked a bunch of 'pretty' people and it seemed the guest characters were Whedon alums - J. August Richards and the doctor who was Book from Firefly.

    I do wonder what 'Centipede' really is - a front for AIM? Hydra? Secret Empire? Power Broker? Superia?

    I think I figured out why some people were a bit 'meh' - they had a chance to introduce Luke Cage in the show and they just made him a generic powered up 'Extremis' enhancile guy that wasn't really a canon character. They gave us our first super hero and he's basically a quasi-bad guy.

    Although if the rumors are true - we COULD be getting Graviton - who may be a 'Who's that?' level character - but in the comics - was made up to be quite the high end bad guy that it took quite a bit to actually 'beat' and even then wasn't really 'defeated'. So yeah I'd like to see some more obscure characters show up - or at least archetypes that match them - if for some reason there are royalty/creator rights issues at play that would make it too costly to use as a main character.
     
  15. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Location:
    I-L
    The more I think about it the more I like it. Another clear point to show this is not 'our' world - this is the MCU.
     
  16. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Location:
    I said out, dammit!
    I had fun. :shrug:
     
  17. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Ontario, Canada

    Yeah, I'm a little puzzled by that too. I'm definitely not knowledgeable when it comes to comic book properties, so I'm more of a casual watcher, but what I saw was quite solid and much better than a lot of other things out there. I felt it had the feel and pacing of the movies.

    Perhaps what impressed me most about it is the approach they took with the villain. He wasn't outright a villain. Here was a guy who was frustrated about his lack of being able to find a job, and the stuff inside him which was supposed to help him was making him aggressive. He was human; he was fallible. I took to that much more than most supervillains. And I thought that with a little convincing, that he'd get treated and eventually join the team until he got shot. For that reason alone, it impressed me enough to keep watching. It was actually quite refreshing to see.
     
  18. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    Washington State, USA
    I really enjoyed the first episode. The characters were good (especially coulson), the story was entertaining and interesting, and I think it was just an overall good show. I'm excited for the next episode, and the rest of the season.

    I thought the flying car was awesome. Its also still in comics to this day, everyone from Captain America to SHIELD uses them. I don't see why people would think its cheesy, it felt right to me, and it definately fit Coluson's way of doing things.
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    I liked it. As long as it remains at this level, I intend to watch every episode.
     
  20. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Location:
    ManOnTheWave
    I was a little afraid that it would be Mutant X or Generation X bad, so I was pleasantly surprised.