a short review

April 22, 2015

Here’s what I posted on Facebook about it:

This season on Agents of SHIELD:

“We have to do X, we have no other choice.”
“That’s a really bad idea.”
“Yes, but right now X is our only option for advancing the plot.”

*pulls ripcord, bails on show*

I’m tired of letting loyalty to a brand force me into watching a crappy show.  There are moments of brilliance — Kyle Maclachlan’s Cal is so deliciously crazy.  The slow burn revelation of superpowered people is really interesting.  But the moment in last night’s episode when Bobbie and Mac are sparring and they stop and basically say, “Maybe we were wrong about Coulson,” I just about screamed and hit the TV, because this means they’re basically going to undo the last six weeks of plot and the show has just been spinning its wheels in the stupidest way possible.

If this is the same thing that happened last season — the show’s hands being tied because they can’t step on the toes of the big movie release — then Marvel really needs to work on their structure because this is dumb and is making for some bad TV.

Or they could just, you know, give us more “Agent Carter.”  *hint hint*

6 Responses to “a short review”

  1. Andrew Says:

    On one hand, I get what you’re saying. They’re clearly doing a lot of table-setting, and they can probably do that a lot more efficiently. That being said, with the success of this maneuver last season, I’m willing to see where they go with it. They must know that they really raised the stakes last year and will pay a price if they leave the audience feeling let down.

    Still I like the idea of stand alone episodes and such. What if ABC took Tuesday at 9 and made it “The Marvel Hour” only with a better title and then used it as a platform to explore the entire MCU. Admittedly, it would be a heavy lift to make it coherent, but it could be done. Maybe use the stinger at the end of each episode to reveal a clue as to how this episode featuring, say, Black Panther, is related to Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. team. (To use a completely random example.

    Think of it as a TV comic book store.

  2. Honestly, I was a little wary of this show before it even aired, though my concern was more that S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn’t compelling enough to support a series of their own.

  3. carriev Says:

    I’ve just noticed some terrible mixed metaphors in that review. My apologies. I blame annoyance.

  4. carriev Says:

    I think the problem is all this “team v. team” nonsense. We went through the Hydra betrayal last season, and this season we suddenly get SHIELD prime v. SHIELD the other guys, and it feels like the same story all over again.

    I would love to have a show about SHIELD where it’s a team of likeable/awesome characters all working together on monster/superhero-of-the-week stand-alone episodes. Ain’t nothing wrong with that. As it is, they’ve got about five conspiracies going and they’ve stopped making sense.

  5. LupLun Says:

    They tried stand-alones last season; didn’t work too well. ‘Course, that was partially because they learned about the plot of Winter Soldier halfway through and it threw the concept out the window, but also because the stand-alones weren’t very good.

    Truthfully, the show has three big problems:

    1) They adhere too closely to the Marvel canon. After the obelisk showed up, people immediately called Terragin mists and Inhumans, and the show followed predictably. This has happened several times, usually just a character’s name will give away vast amounts of plot to those in the know, who will in turn spread it all over the internet. They need to shake up expectations a little. Be unpredictable.

    2) Too many storylines going on at once. Over on TVTropes it’s called “Four Lines, All Waiting”- the plot slows to a crawl because they’ve got to do something with each of these storylines each episode. The third of Season 1 and the first half of Season 2 had it right- the kept the pace up and didn’t get bogged down in too many subplots. But then things lost focus.

    3) For the love of god, just KILL SKYE ALREADY! I have nothing against the actress, but the writers are clearly at a loss for anything to do with her. Snarky spear carrier? Worked for a while, but became useless once the audience knew the rules by which the show was running. Potential double agent? Discarded when the Rising Tide subplot was abandoned, then rendered redundant when Ward turned traitor. Genius hacker? Did nothing except minimize Fitz/Simmons’ role. SHIELD trainee/May’s apprentice? Boring. Awakening metahuman? Also boring, AND hogs screentime while more interesting characters (which is to say, ALL OF THEM) sit on the sideline. It’s reached the point where all she is is a living MacGuffin that the various factions are fighting over. The writers are kidding themselves if they let her survive past the third season premiere.

    I hold out hope that it’ll improve if they manage to drag themselves out of this quagmire, but that’s a big if considering the show hasn’t even been definitely renewed yet. I’d heard they’re planning a spinoff featuring Bobbie and Hunter, which sounds a little like a soft retool; start a new show, import what works from the old one, and jettison everything else.

    Anyway, I’ll keep watching and send word if it improves.

  6. Sean Fagan Says:

    I have been happier with the show of late. Don’t care for Skye, still, and making her have super-powers is clumsy.

    Kyle MacLachlan’s dinner scene last week was utterly heartbreaking. I’m glad they started writing his character for his talent.

    I had a different take on Bobbi and Marc’s conversation than you did; to me, I see people who found out they’d been lied to their entire lives, and then told — by very credible people with evidence on their hands — that they were _still_ being lied to. Or that the person they put their trust into had been lied to, or was going insane. Coulson relies on secrets just as much as Fury did, and SHIELD’s reliance on secrets is what allowed Hydra to flourish.

    They’ve had so many earth-shattering changes in their lives that this latest one just can’t surprise them… and now they’re starting to wonder if maybe Fury (and, therefore, Coulson) was, if not right, at least less wrong than they’d thought.

    It’d be great for this to be metaphorically tied into current events, but I doubt they will.

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