Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Still Can't Believe We Have a Network Show About S.H.I.E.L.D.

Best line in the show was delivered in this moment.

Man, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot was... kind of boring. Not even the constant Marvel Movie universe sly references (gamma radiation! Super soldier serum! Extremis!) and an amazing Cobie Smulders appearance could really keep me totally interested. This has to be the most mainstream middle-of-the-road show to ever have Joss Whedon's name connected to it, and I'm including Roseanne and the early 90s version of Parenthood to that equation.

I'm guessing the middle-of-the-road-ness might just be to ease in folks like my parents, who will tune into anything resembling a cop show and also just really like Ming-Na Wen (when did she stop being just Ming-Na?). And as the show goes on, it'll get more genre-friendly. Hopefully. That end was so super-cheesy that my side hurt.

And I have to admit to having total and complete nostalgia giddiness of seeing the Grr-Argh monster once more. I miss that little paper Mutant Enemy.

So, quick breakdown of the Good:

  • Seeing old friends like Ron Glass and J. August Richards. Although, I'm a little freaked out by how Richards appears to be going grey. Remember when Gunn was, like, just slightly too old to still be considered a juvenile delinquent? I do. But he got a great role for the episode and I always feel like he should be much more famous than he really is. So, hopefully this episode will help him get more notice.
  • Clark Gregg. Clark Gregg. Clark Gregg. I would not watch this show if Coulson was not in it. I do fear that he's actually a robot, but I'll take what I can get. It is a teeny bit weird to have Coulson as the central character, however, as he's a little... aloof. And it does feel like there might be a Doyle-esque situation in the making, if Clark doesn't want to hang around forever.
  • Actors that can handle Whedon-style dialogue. It takes a special brand of actor to be able to wrap your tongue around the twisty-jokey dialogue of not just Joss Whedon but of Jed and Marissa as well. The cast handled it beautifully, much better than any other Whedon cast managed in a first episode. 
  • Bear McCreary's scoring, which is suitably super-hero-y and lush. 
  • Two main characters played by Asian-American actresses? And the characters aren't even related?! Again, it's a shame that something like that gets me this excited but... that's nice to see. 
The Not-So-Good:

  • Whedon has this weird ability to cast really bland looking guys. Eventually, you do start to be able to remember which one is which, but right now I've got "Tech Guy" and "Poor Man's Sam Witwer".
  • What the hell was that ending? Slow-mo? Bullet to the head that's not actually deadly? No follow-up with the character as to how they're going to help him pull his shitty life together? I don't understand how they thought that was a decent ending.
  • Man, I wonder how much damage the set takes for all those heavy dropping anvils about the pasts of characters.

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