Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  RiverThames on Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:31 pm

But when he emerges, will he have far sweeter hair?
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  laddical on Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:39 pm

That's what I kept wondering through the whole episode. I've only ever seen Graviton in the "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" cartoon on DisneyXD. But I remembered him having some seriously fabulous hair, and Franklin Hall, Nebbish SHIELD Scientist, was not at all the same guy.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  xyzzy on Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:40 pm

So my friend has dubbed Ward "Agent Cardboard", and I'm gonna stick with that because it amuses me. I spent an hour or so listening to my friend elaborate on a number of things that he liked about the show (much of it fan service, like Coulson's classic car being the same model appearing at the World's Fair), and I can see where he's coming from. He also clued me into his various pet theories
Spoiler:
about the possibility that Coulson might be the "Phil" kid from the Captain America movie, some stuff about Life Model Decoys, etc.
It was interesting. We also agreed that it was refreshing to have so much of the cast be of the female variety, and that Coulson and the Cavalry are our favorite characters.

This episode still had that workshopped flavor that disappointed me in the first two episodes. I did like that Skye's treacherous behavior during the meeting wasn't completely telegraphed as a ruse; they did an ok job with that. I find myself wondering if they stuff so much unnecessary dialogue into Agent Cardboard's mouth because they can't trust his acting or they can't trust the viewers to suss out what's going on. Much of it feels workmanlike; it's fine, but it's not good.

If Skye's usage of the punching bag at the end was supposed to convince me of her newfound determination to become an elite field agent, it was a failure. I don't expect Buffy or Faith levels of punching bag handling, but some enthusiasm might be in order. I get that she's tiny, but so are Smidge and Dushku. When they punch, I believe them, and not just because a 200lb. demon will fly across the room after it lands.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Raksha on Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:19 pm

I cracked up at Coulson going on that strike team while still wearing a suit. He fully commits to his style!
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  jennlynnster on Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:51 pm

'Agents of SHIELD' gets full-season order from ABC.

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Shalamar on Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:12 pm

Good to know! I would've been surprised if they hadn't, but still, I'm happy.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  shanndee on Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:13 pm

I'm glad that the network is giving it a chance to improve, because I do believe that it has the potential to be great. However, it does seem to have a lot of work to do to get there. I really, really want it to get there.

If only we could recast "Agent Cardboard" (brilliant name, btw!)...

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  RiverThames on Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:02 pm

Given how tentpolish it is for the whole network brand, it would have had to have truly bombed for the full season pickup not to have happened.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Wildog27 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:38 am

I finally realized who Agent Ward reminded me of: Bruce Campbell, without the personality. I like him well enough and I think he could grow into a decent character, but right now he's definitely the weak link personality wise with the rest of the group. I'm glad that it seems like Agent May is going to step up in a major way. That should bring some more interesting dynamics to the mix.

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  sagitare on Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:46 pm

Wildog27 wrote:I finally realized who Agent Ward reminded me of: Bruce Campbell, without the personality.
I've been thinking of him as a poor man's Karl Urban (looks-wise anyway.)
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  inversed on Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:32 pm

This has become a go-to show for my husband and I, but our bar for quality has been seriously lowered now that we have a one-month old and are too tired to do anything else. But I think we'd probably try to watch it even if we had lives. I agree Agent Ward is boring and Skye is kind of a trope but the production quality is high enough that it's like watching a movie. I think it'll find its groove soon enough.

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Putli Bai on Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:11 pm

I was very relieved to see that they ditched the whole "Agent May does not want to see combat" plot line sooner than later. I was already feeling bad that Coulson was dragging this poor woman with PTSD out into the field. And I don't like feeling bad about watching Ming Na Wen kick ass on a weekly basis.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Shadowlass on Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:20 pm

I really hope this show 1. Gels and 2. Lasts, because I have a deep and abiding need to see the Mutant Enemy monster on my TV. But the performances aren't up to par yet, and every single episode I wonder why the direction isn't better. It seems to undercut rather than enhance the dialogue, which drives me crazy.

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  xyzzy on Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:34 pm

So I've decided that I don't like Whedon's brother and his wife as writers. I didn't like them when they wrote for Dollhouse, and I like them less now. All of their female characters are caricatures. Skye can "check all the feeds" on her phone but doesn't know which way is north. Geek girl is an aesexualized nerd trope who apparently needs someone with a penis to cut a wire attached to an eyeball. Secretive asian girl knows fancy asian martial arts. Blah blah blah.

I should get internet nerd points for actually playing Minecraft while I was watching a show that made the most ham handed and inaccurate reference to the game they could have possibly made. If you're going to pick a pop culture reference as weird as Minecraft, at least, like, find out if what you wrote makes actual sense.

I don't care about Skye's redacted parents.

And did Agent Coulson put a bracelet on her that prevents her from doing the one thing that she actually knows how to do? What will she do now? Flail at punching bags while looking sad-eyed at Agent Cardboard?

Grrr. Argh.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Kiran on Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:42 pm

I think the worst thing I can say about this show is that I keep forgetting to watch it. Its not memorable to me. And for an (alleged) Whedon show about the marvel universe starring the character of Coulson, thats possibly the biggest problem you can have.

I do think the writing is the main problem. I see a lot of the same issues I had with Dollhouse in this show.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Carrie Ann on Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:06 pm

I think I'm deleting the season pass, and waiting to hear if it gets better. I find it so incredibly boring, and I really don't like any of the characters. Including Coulson, but that's just because he has nothing to play off of. The Originals has gotten much better, and I still like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so those get the season pass, and this gets the boot.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  sagitare on Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:32 pm

Kiran wrote:I think the worst thing I can say about this show is that I keep forgetting to watch it. Its not memorable to me.
Yes, exactly. If Gregg/Coulson wasn't in it, I'd have stopped watching it after the first episode, and I definitely agree with Xyzzy about the characters being caricatures (and that goes for the males as well as the females).

It's a shame because Gregg/Coulson deserves better. What I did like about the last episode I watched (the one with Skye's redacted parents) was how good Gregg was - he makes Coulson genuinely scary when he gets pissed off, all without getting crazy shouty or anything like that. I loved his line to Skye's ex that was something like, "You can take what's in this box, or we can put you in a slightly larger box." I mean, I thought that was really freaking creepy because you knew he wasn't going for the joke. I like that the worst thing (imo) for Skye about the whole thing was that Coulson was so disappointed with her. I think Gregg has been so good at presenting Coulson as someone who is so incredibly loyal to people until they give him a reason not to be, and then the line is drawn. He's the boss you really like and want to do good for, so losing that is really a big blow.

Anyway, the rest of the show definitely isn't doing any of that justice. Personally I'm looking forward to Being Human. I suspect that show will be a lot more like what I thought SHIELD was going to be, i.e. more original, more punch, and definitely more sophisticated in terms of the writing and performances.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Shalamar on Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:24 pm

I'm in this for the long haul, if for no other reason than that I remember people saying similar things about Firefly ("meh, not that great, hope it gets better") - and then it got cancelled.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  RiverThames on Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:06 pm

I'm still in, though my biggest problem is it doesn't really feel like what it's supposed to be: an opportunity to explore the depth and breadth of the Marvel Movieverse that they wouldn't be able to do in movies. Now, that doesn't mean a Maria Hill or Nick Fury cameo. And it certainly doesn't mean random spy missions whose worldbuilding value is minimal. And, yeah, Case/Skye/Fitz/Simmons aren't carrying their weight in the show like they're supposed to. None of them are bad, but they aren't at the center like the show wants them to be.

It feels like Buffy without having Buffy herself appear at all on the show. Sure, Giles is cool, but that doesn't carry the show.

But here's the thing: the Buffy of this show isn't supposed to be Case or Skye or anyone else. It's the world of the show itself. And that isn't coming through.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  biakbiak on Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:49 am

RiverThames wrote:It feels like Buffy without having Buffy herself appear at all on the show.  Sure, Giles is cool, but that doesn't carry the show.
See this is my problem, Buffy alone wasn't what drew me to that show. It was the relationships that were quickly drawn between Buffy, Willow, Giles, Xander, Joyce, and Cordelia that made me care from the first episode. Despite the fact that I love Clark and Ming-Na from previous roles/and their acting if they replaced any of the other people or even killed them or Clark and Ming-Na I wouldn't give a damn. I was shocked/upset when Jessie *spoiler alert* was killed the second episode of Buffy but that is because in a tiny bit of time they made me know he was friends with Xander and he was at least a character I already loved; the people on this show aren't connected at all.

I didn't even like Dollhouse but even in a show where people's minds were routinely wiped I believed the people in the know cared about the charges and the charges cared about each other (I stopped watching episode three so that might have not been true but it felt like that in the pilot.) I don't even buy that Coulson could pick most of the team out of a line up much less give a good god damn if one of them died and if they did he would just call SHEILD and get a replacement without blinking an eye. Or that they would really care if Coulson died again.

J. August Richards is not the worlds most amazing actor* but that they let us experience his life/world and he is the only character I cared about in all of these episodes. Including Coulson!

Firefly also made me think the people were actually connected from the pilot and that would probably be a better example. I never early cared that much about Mal because of the character but because Zoe, Walsh and Kaylee loved/trusted him so did I.

*he is a good actor but fact that his character is the only one I have liked isn't due just to his performance.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  RiverThames on Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:35 pm

Well, what I'm saying is a show needs some sort of emotional anchor to bind those other elements together. To stick to Whedony things for the sake of argument, for Buffy and Angel, it was the title characters . In Firefly, it was the ship itself, what it represented. In Dollhouse it was the high-concept hook. The other elements-- secondary characters and interconnections-- are crucial to it working, but without that center, there's nothing for it to hang on to.

Here the supposed anchor isn't doing its job. It has it, like I said, but there's still that Smallville/Heroes/No Ordinary Family sense of embarrassment, an almost pre-emptive apology for being a silly show in a superhero world.

I'd like to think that part of that is the studio fingerprints all over the thing-- it's been sanded down to soft blandness. Actors like Clark Gregg and Ming-Na, and especially genre vets like J. August Richards, can elevate that with their work, but the other four regulars just aren't bringing much to raise their game. (It doesn't help that Fitz & Simmons are saddled with a bit of a gimmick that minimizes their individuality.)
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Carrie Ann on Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:47 pm

biakbiak wrote:
RiverThames wrote:It feels like Buffy without having Buffy herself appear at all on the show.  Sure, Giles is cool, but that doesn't carry the show.
I didn't even like Dollhouse but even in a show where people's minds were routinely wiped I believed the people in the know cared about the charges and the charges cared about each other (I stopped watching episode three so that might have not been true but it felt like that in the pilot.) I don't even buy that Coulson could pick most of the team out of a line up much less give a good god damn if one of them died and if they did he would just call SHIELD and get a replacement without blinking an eye. Or that they would really care if Coulson died again.
Dollhouse is the reason I'm open to coming back to this show sometime, and why I actually would put odds on it getting better at some point. As I said earlier this year, in the original airing, I quit after the fifth episode of Dollhouse. But when I marathoned the show this spring, I was astounded at how much better it got. The first 5 episodes were C- or Ds. The sixth was a B. And after that, they were almost all A- or A, in my opinion. Once it got going, it never looked back.

I also agree that one of the problems with SHIELD is that so far, we only have a Giles. And as much as I loved Giles, I wouldn't have watched a show about Giles and the Potentials, for example. And right now, that's what this show feels like. It feels like the characters are just a collection of quirks. Or like they wrote a list of things about people, and just dealt them around. Skye has parent issues! Case is stoic! Fitz and Simmons are awkward and finish each other's sentences for some reason!

Only Coulson is as lovable as any other Whedon character. They need to do some serious work to shade the other characters so that they have personalities (and not just quirks) and care about each other. I also hope they're open to killing/losing some characters, because to be honest, I'm not sure they're going to be able to do anything with some of them. They need some serious retooling, and I'm sure they're aware of that.

RiverThames makes a good point that Dollhouse's hook was not a central character (Eliza Dushku being the weakest part of that show), but its central premise and world. It's true. By nature, it was hard to grab onto any one character. But it didn't matter, and eventually, the little crumbs you did get of the characters' true selves were enough. They were believable and they were compelling.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  bookworm on Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:15 pm

I felt the previous episode with Skye's backstory was slightly better, so maybe there is hope after all.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Corvus on Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:06 pm

Alright, so a faint, vaporous flicker of hope. Despite everything (the unlikable characters*, the charmless dialog, the labored premise(s), the sloppy storytelling**, the coat-tailing on the films), I heard a thing that allows me some hope: apparently the Thor tie-in episode, about which I do not care because the occasional fleeting visit from Sam Jackson a good show does not make, will be directed by Jonathan Frakes.

A sense of humor. At last. That could make a nice big difference.


*Yes, yes, Gregson and Ming-na are fun to watch. But I feel like I'm watching Roseanne or Malcolm in the Middle, with the two pro grownups on a car trip with the quirky less-experienced children.

**Okay, I bit my tongue. How do you land a monster plane like that on the island of Malta, assuming the airport can handle it, with a big party is in progress, and expect it to be a secret? An electrified laser fence? Who let the caterers in?
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  laddical on Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:07 am

I think that episode was spectacular, start to finish. The scene between Coulson and the firefighter and everyone waiting silently for the end outside and then Fitz/Simmons having some wonderful moments together as they worked on the anti-serum - and the music in that scene was some great stuff from Bear McCreary, the first time I've felt like the guy scoring this show was the same guy responsible for so much awesome music on BSG.

And I'm glad to see that Coulson is really Coulson. Or else SHIELD has committed very heavily to the illusion by giving him a big ass scar.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

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