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Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013, 06:07 am
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Spoiler Thread

Go wild. For what it's worth, I thought it was excellent -- a natural progression from both Avengers and Iron Man 3. Clark Gregg is simply splendid. And did you notice the Special Thanks in the credits to Jim Steranko? That's from where we got Lola.

"... Gramsie...?"

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1640155.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013 01:21 pm (UTC)
lizziecrowe: My only beef...

....most advertised secret government agency EVER. they had the S.H.E.I.L.D logo on everything from vans to coffee mugs. Yowza. After that, HOLY FRACKER CRACKERS, space man!!!

Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013 01:45 pm (UTC)

I'm going to watch the show to support it, but I do have some concerns.
1) I'm not sure how well the characters are clicking with me so far. Nothing has really made me care about them. I don't even remember any names except for Colson. But I'll give it a few episodes. ST:TNG got off to a slow start too.
2) You really needed to see Avengers and Iron Man 3 to get what was going on. But then the target audience would have seen both movies so that's not much of an issue.
3) They should have extended Colson's return over more episodes. Like for the first few episodes we get the "Tahiti, it's a magical place" meme then later we hear "He can never know the truth". It would have had a greater impact than having both in the same episode, and the pilot no less.
4) I was really hoping the hooded hero would have joined the team.

Don't get me wrong, I still liked it and will watch it next week but I get the feeling it's going to get a lot of "Ehhh" from the fans. It will need time to find its footing and these days a TV series isn't given that much time. Remember "The Cape"?

Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013 02:14 pm (UTC)

I'm on the fence. I'm not sure Clark Gregg can hold together a full series, and I spent too much time wishing FitzSimmons' dialog was subtitled so I could understand it. But I liked Mike's motivations for wanting to be a superhero.

Thu, Sep. 26th, 2013 04:39 pm (UTC)

The only time I didn't understand FitzSimmons was when they purposely mumbled the TechSpeak. I just adore a good Scottish Brogue.

Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013 03:11 pm (UTC)

Loved the bit with the truth serum. Nice twist on the interrogation cliches.

Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013 05:21 pm (UTC)

I know practically nothing about the Marvel universe, and didn't see any of the movies. I still was able to follow the action and a lot of the back story -- there was enough exposition dump to orient newbies. Several nice Wheedon moments.

Though you can summarize the entire show as "Men In Black join Sanctuary". I've noticed that "recruiting the magic tech terrorist girl into the organization" is now an official trope. And I was a little confused -- isn't she a terrorist? Or, who is Rising Tide, then, and why are the MIB hunting them?

I'll watch it again, myself.

PS -- I noted the Back To The Future direct visual quote that ended the show. "Roads? Where we're going -- we don't need roads."

Edited at 2013-09-25 05:22 pm (UTC)

Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC)

I don't know if I'd call RT a terrorist organization, more like a pro-active Wikileaks or a socially conscious paparazzi. The whole idea is "we have to get the truth out" and not realize that in this universe, some things are better kept secret for the time being. They're the type of people who would tweet "Clark Kent is Superman" before stopping to think, "Maybe there's a reason Supes has a secret ID."

Thu, Sep. 26th, 2013 11:24 pm (UTC)

PS -- I noted the Back To The Future direct visual quote that ended the show. "Roads? Where we're going -- we don't need roads."

I even said it out loud, to the_sheryl's amusement.

Edited at 2013-09-26 11:25 pm (UTC)

Wed, Sep. 25th, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
gardnerhill: My thought? Overwhelmingly ... meh.

Okay, Coulson’s reveal was cute: “Welcome to Level Seven.” The handwavy part of “You were dead!” “I got better” is standard comic-book logic. (Good thing Coulson wasn’t a woman or black, or he’d have STAYED dead; white guys seem to have a never-ending resurrection ploy in these types of shows - and yes, I’m looking at YOU, Supernatural.)

It’s really not promising that the show’s focus character (Grant Ward) is the most bland, stiff, and boring dude in the room and that includes when he’s in the morgue.

Two of the three women are 20something and flaky, one of whom is essentially “I’m an evil genius! … Oh, bummer, I got caught in 2 seconds. Well, now I’m your ally, don’t question it ‘cause I’m a hot babe.” Melinda May is purported to be a major operative - which of course explains why she got flattened instantly, in the one fight we see her in. We never even see May flying the SUV plane - the job for which she was ostensibly hired.

Not one reference to the fact that in real life, a black man wearing a hoodie, holding a bloodied white woman, would have been gunned down by about 10 cops on the spot before witnesses could tell them he’d saved her life. Here I started the episode thinking “Great! A black superhero joins them!” Nope. He has to be saved BY the All-White-But-One good guy team, and only after he’d assaulted a bunch of people and torn up the downtown train station. After the pilot he disappears and will never be seen again, nor will his lethargic son. Once again it seems that black people can be backgrounders or villains or victims, but never heroes. No wonder Coma Lad looked so wistfully at the Avengers action figures in the opening - he knew there was no place on the team for him.

Final image? A balding, middle-aged white guy zooms off in a red sportscar with a hot girl half his age. I could go out to the freeway to see that.

Edited at 2013-09-25 07:55 pm (UTC)

Thu, Sep. 26th, 2013 02:47 am (UTC)
hvideo: Re: My thought? Overwhelmingly ... meh.

"The handwavy part of “You were dead!” “I got better” is standard comic-book logic. (Good thing Coulson wasn’t a woman or black, or he’d have STAYED dead; white guys seem to have a never-ending resurrection ploy in these types of shows....)"

Females don't get brought back in never-ending resurrection ploys? In rebuttal, I submit the case of Jean Grey. According to this website:


and excluding any "What If" comics (since they didn't really happen), his count is that the standard 616 Jean Grey has died 20 times.

Thu, Sep. 26th, 2013 03:31 am (UTC)
gardnerhill: Re: My thought? Overwhelmingly ... meh.

You're right, there is The Unfridgeable Jean Grey in the comics. Also Buffy Summers. (I was actually referring to "shows" of this genre - s.f./fantasy/horror/comic adaptation - but will include comics.) So, two white woman, and zero black people of either gender, compared to a legion of white dudes who have come back. Someone better versed in comic lore than I can run the actual numbers...

Sun, Sep. 29th, 2013 02:40 am (UTC)
smparadox: Re: My thought? Overwhelmingly ... meh.

You obviously haven't seen the last "season" of Torchwood...

But the fact that only one counterexample came to mind is very sad.

Sun, Sep. 29th, 2013 02:55 am (UTC)
gardnerhill: Re: My thought? Overwhelmingly ... meh.

Yeah - the fact that people can *instantly* call out the 2 or 3 exceptions to the rule kinda proves the point.

And it doesn't help that in the AoS pilot J. August Richards, a black actor, acted rings around Brett Dalton - so of course Richards gets the guest-star dismissal and the show keeps Dull White Generic Protagonist Dude.

Thu, Sep. 26th, 2013 03:45 am (UTC)
fiawol: Re: My thought? Overwhelmingly ... meh.

Ditto to the above reply. This is COMICS we're talking about...EVERYONE comes back from the dead (unless your name happens to be Ben Parker). Heck, sometimes a character dies a white male, and comes back as a black female (Captain Marvel, AKA Photon, anyone?). Anyone who has read comics for more than a decade knew that Coulson would be coming back eventually, it's HOW he comes back that people would speculate on. Was the AVENGERS movie Coulson a Life Model Decoy? Is the new Coulson a Life Model Decoy (which is the way SHIELD seems to be leaning)? Clone? Willie Lumpkin in disguise? Only time will tell. I'll be watching it as long as they keep making it, I'm a "dyed in the 100 pair of stretch socks" Marvel fan.

Thu, Sep. 26th, 2013 01:58 pm (UTC)
alverant: Re: My thought? Overwhelmingly ... meh.

Captain Marvel and Photon are two different people. They shared a name for a while but that was it. Also Photon has "died" a few times just to come back.

Thu, Sep. 26th, 2013 11:23 pm (UTC)

It’s really not promising that the show’s focus character (Grant Ward) is the most bland, stiff, and boring dude in the room

Hell on Wheels (a current fave of mine) has the same problem, and it's well into its 3rd season. So a bland and boring main character is not necessarily a fatal flaw. (Of course, in HoW's case, having Miles O'Brien Colm Meaney around to chew the scenery helps.)

Fri, Sep. 27th, 2013 03:30 am (UTC)

What's also not helped is that the black actor acts RINGS around Bland White Stiff - but he's still tossed aside cause God forbid there be more than one POC on the Star-Belly Sneetches Hero Squad, or that anyone besides Yet Another Generic White Guy be the focal point of the show.

Thu, Sep. 26th, 2013 03:01 am (UTC)
hvideo: SHIELD

Overall, I thought it was pretty good. It may have hurt slightly that I haven't seen The Avengers or Iron Man 3, but I've heard enough spoilers that I don't think that was a problem.

Going by comic-book standards of plots helps, since there were a number of things that would have bothered me if measured against standard TV dramas. So overall I found it likeable, which is something I'm not really able to say about the other 2 new shows I've sampled so far this year. (Sleepy Hollow seems likely to go to the "We'll Never Explain It" behavior of Lost, and the vibe I get from Blacklist reminds me of season 4 or so of Alias - where alliances shifted so damn often as to make a huge sad joke of the whole thing.)

Thu, Sep. 26th, 2013 02:16 pm (UTC)
filkertom: Re: SHIELD

The show does assume you caught at least a couple of the movies. However, here's a page that'll catch you up.