Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Kiran on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:21 am

I liked it but didn't love it, though I do seem to be liking Ward more then most. I agree he was the audience surrogate and ...well, I found him attractive. The only character who is sticking out as actively annoying me though is Skye. I think they need to tone her down because right now she seems to be the worst of that sassy nerd crush trope.

I always love Coulson and MING-NA. I LOVE MING-NA. That woman does not age. And I didn't even dislike Fitz-Simmons. I'll give it some time to grip me. I do love Joss Whedon's work but from what I gather there is a lot of cooks in this kitchen and the people doing the day to day running are the people behind Dollhouse, a show that I thought had some great elements but never fully gelled, whereas while I grew to love Arrow, I do think Berlanti's track record is better then Dollhouse (Everwood was my shit, and I thought Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone both had great first seasons but could never get back on track following the writers strike and other issues). But again, it was I thought, pretty good for a pilot.

My only real concern? The thing about the pilot I found most compelling was J. August Richards. And he isn't sticking around. He was the only one of the characters (minus Coulson who is an existing character) that I actually was emotionally invested in.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Carrie Ann on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:42 am

Agreed. J August Richards seemed to be in a different pilot from the rest of the characters. One where everyone isn't so glib and smug all the time. For the only character with super powers, he seemed the most real of any of them.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  blixie on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:54 am

Agreed. J August Richards seemed to be in a different pilot from the rest of the characters. One where everyone isn't so glib and smug all the time.
That was my issue as well, the only characters/actors who made an impression were Maria Hill, Coulson, Ron Glass and J August, and half of those were established in other works. Everyone else was a zzzzzz or actively annoying. I'm always willing to give a show a few episodes, but this was so entirely BEIGE and weirdly generic for a Whedon enterprise. In a weird way it reminded me of Anna Faris' show the other night, only at least there despite being overstuffed with too many characters and tangential show premises, Anna herself held the center in a way no one character did on this show.

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  ActonBell on Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:23 pm

this was so entirely BEIGE and weirdly generic for a Whedon enterprise
I think the problem is that it's not solely a Whedon enterprise, you've got Marvel/ABC/Disney giving their input.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  sagitare on Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:57 pm

Cutebutpsycho wrote:I liked it. It's really comic-booky, I love Melinda May (WHAT UP MY GIRL MING NA! *cough* excuse me fangirl explosion)
I don't know that I've ever seen Ming Na in anything but I was just checking out her bio and she's freaking 49??? DAMN GURL, ROCK ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  big chicken on Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:59 pm

I dare you to watch her in The Joy Luck Club and not cry at some point in the movie.

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  laddical on Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:00 pm

There are very few actors that I have a hard time distinguishing from a character, but I have to work really hard not to call Ming-Na "Mulan". Partly because the only thing I've really seen her in was "ER", but also because Mulan kicked ass and if you close your eyes and remember that Disney owns Marvel, it almost sounds like Coulson recruited Mulan to his team.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  rivki8699 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:06 pm

I DVRd the premier and then watched it last night. I liked it. Some parts were awkward and not good, some parts were amazing. I'm definitely going to stick around and see how the show developes.

I really loved J. August Richards, and would love if he came back. I really like Coulson, although there were a few scenes that felt awkward to me - I find his "angry" acting to be not believable. But the sweet and dorky stuff really worked. I really like Melinda May and Fitz/Simmons. I'm split on Skye - sometimes I really liked her, and sometimes she didn't work for me. I want more Ron Glass (do we even get a character name for him?).

The thing I like the least was tall, boring agent-dude. The thing I liked the best was him being stuck with the truth serum. That was classic Whedon. But seriously, that guy is super-duper bland. And his intro was so irritating. He's such a rebel, carrying out missions he's been told to abort. He's so smooth, getting a full handprint from someone's champagne flute (because people totally hold flutes with their whole hands) by pretending to be a waiter (no one's ever thought of that before). I really wanted the lady in the robe to sneak in a take the thing he was there to retreive while he got beat up by the other dudes. And now he doesn't want to join a team, even though he doesn't know what they do, because he's just not a team player. How original.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  xyzzy on Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:23 pm

I enjoyed a lot of the humor in the show--especially that bit about them really wanting to use the word "shield" as an acronym. And the cosplayers outside of Stark Tower. Typical Whedonesque type stuff, but still funny.

What I did not enjoy, and in fact actively despised, was Joss' newest manic pixie dream girl, Skye. It's always hard for me to suspend disbelief when it comes to a subject I know quite a lot about (computer security), and the fact that so many shows supremely fuck it up while simultaneously putting the MPDG behind the keyboard makes me actively angry. (N.C.I.S., Arrow, S.H.I.E.L.D., the list goes on.) Chick computer hacker is just a lazy shorthand stereotype for hot geek rebel, and it bores me to tears.

I also found myself rolling my eyes at the flying classic car, but ok. I can deal. There is a Thor in this universe, after all.

I liked the Britgeeks for some reason.

I'll watch a few more episodes. For some reason, even genre shows I end up loving always take a few episodes to convince me; I can't recall seeing the first episode of any genre show and going "THAT'S my jam!"
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  laddical on Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:07 am

Well, apparently, I'm not going to be able to watch this show with other people. The boss put it on at the game/comic shop I work at and I had to get up and find other stuff to do because it was the cattiest most nitpickingest bunch I've seen. Self-styled Rifftrax of the "This is so lame and the only joy to be had from it is making fun of it" variety. So... yeah, glad I don't work the shop on Wednesday or Thursday usually, so I'll miss most of the meanness. Certainly not going to claim it's the best show on TV, but you'd think Whedon had kicked all of their puppies the way they hated the show - and him personally.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Eris Rising on Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:22 am

xyzzy wrote:
I also found myself rolling my eyes at the flying classic car, but ok. I can deal. There is a Thor in this universe, after all.
In the comics, flying sports cars have been a staple of S.H.I.E.L.D. more or less since the organization was first introduced. Even in the movie universe, you can see a prototype being exhibited by Howard Stark at the Stark Expo in Captain America.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Raksha on Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:31 am

laddical wrote:Well, apparently, I'm not going to be able to watch this show with other people. The boss put it on at the game/comic shop I work at and I had to get up and find other stuff to do because it was the cattiest most nitpickingest bunch I've seen. Self-styled Rifftrax of the "This is so lame and the only joy to be had from it is making fun of it" variety. So... yeah, glad I don't work the shop on Wednesday or Thursday usually, so I'll miss most of the meanness. Certainly not going to claim it's the best show on TV, but you'd think Whedon had kicked all of their puppies the way they hated the show - and him personally.
My sister does shit like that and it drives me crazy.  She does it because she wants everyone to know how cool she is and how she's so above all the common crap the unwashed masses flock to.  I finally managed to work up the courage to call her out on this shit (she's also a HUGE drama queen and loves to yell, so I hate confronting her about anything), and when I made it clear I did no, in fact, care how cool she thought she was and just wanted to watch my damn movie, she actually started reining it in a bit. Didn't stop entirely, though, because bad habits die hard. I still won't watch anything I really love with her because of this.

But maybe pointing out to those guys how ridiculous they're coming across will help?
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Shalamar on Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:02 am

I've stopped wanting my friends to bring their teenage sons to our movie nights because their younger son (who's almost 18) looooves to do the constant "This is SO STUPID" while we're all trying to watch the freakin' movie. Yes. We get it. You're technically almost an adult and therefore know everything and everything is lame. Now shut the f*** up. P.S. I remember you when you were less than a week old; you don't impress me, boy.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Matinee on Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:24 pm

Kiran wrote:My only real concern? The thing about the pilot I found most compelling was J. August Richards. And he isn't sticking around. He was the only one of the characters (minus Coulson who is an existing character) that I actually was emotionally invested in.
What? Boooo! I thought he might be joining the group. That makes me more annoyed that he wasn't just cast as the lead (part-way through I turned to hubby and said "ok, one black person in the cast and they are the semi-antagonist?").

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Shadowlass on Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:06 pm

Well, I didn't particularly care for the pilot--sometimes I even found the direction weak. It wasn't as witty as I like a Joss show to be, but I'm hoping that will change; pilots have never been his strong suit. I'll be sticking around for a long time, because I've loved three of Joss's series and liked the other, so he's earned a lot of good will.

But man, Chloe Bennett is distracting. It's like she's the result of a cloning accident involving Eliza Dushku, Summer Glau, and Dichen Lachman.

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Putli Bai on Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:05 pm

Matinee wrote:
Kiran wrote:My only real concern? The thing about the pilot I found most compelling was J. August Richards. And he isn't sticking around. He was the only one of the characters (minus Coulson who is an existing character) that I actually was emotionally invested in.
What? Boooo! I thought he might be joining the group. That makes me more annoyed that he wasn't just cast as the lead (part-way through I turned to hubby and said "ok, one black person in the cast and they are the semi-antagonist?").
Oh, wow. J. August Richards would have been PERFECT as Ward.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  sagitare on Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:00 pm

I was underwhelmed by the pilot. It wasn't as sharp and on point as I was expecting - in fact, there were parts I found actively boring and scanned through, to be honest. Ward was eye-roll worthy because the character is such a trope, as others in the thread noted. He only had a few lines/moments here and there that had some pop (like his "Gramsie?" during the interrogation) but otherwise my attention just skipped right over him. If he had some kind of charisma on screen that would have helped a lot but the actor just seems so bland (plus he looks like a poor man's Karl Urban). I thought he was kind of like tofu: gets its flavouring and appeal from what's around it. Given the right dialogue and situations, Ward may come across better but as a main character he's really not making much of an impact (I definitely agree with Putli Bai that J. August Richards would have been a far better Ward).

Fitz and Simmons are also more tropes (because you always need the geeky tech people in shows like this) and although I appreciated the effort to create this dual type of character, I found them more annoying than interesting, mostly because I couldn't understand three-quarters of what they were saying (especially Simmons). I'm normally good with accents (and lord knows I love a Scottish accent on my tv) but I just couldn't pick out the dialogue, so their scenes tended to be frustrating.

I actually kind of liked Skye, despite the cliche of her character, but then I realized she's essentially Darcy Lews (even down to the look and I got a bit annoyed (not because of her being Darcy Lewis but because I like Lewis/Dennings, and she is no Kat Dennings). I was confused, though, about her storyline because after the bit with the truth serum she just seemed so on board with Coulson and his team that I thought she had actually been a part of the team all along, and they had set up this big sting just so Coulson could have the chance to interrogate Ward and see if he was on the up and up. Like, she was all, "Screw you, suit! I'll never go over to the dark side!!" but then she's giving the low down on Ward to Coulson afterward and she just seems so comfortable with him, and their conversation is so easy and professional-like, it just came across like they already worked together and had set this up.

Having said all that, I really liked Gregg, and I love how much he loves and embraces the Coulson character. He had a lot of great lines, but my favourite was after his entrance from the shadowy doorway: "Sorry, that corner was really dark, I couldn't help myself. I think there's a bulb out." I just hooted at that (see also: the 'poop/porcupine' exchange with Hill). I also thought J. August Richard's character was surprisingly compelling - the actor put a lot of genuine emotion into it and came across as a real human being, not a character type. I'm disappointed he's not around as a semi-regular, even. I think the show needed a lot of that kind of realness.

I'll certainly check out more episodes but that's more on the strength of Gregg/Coulson than any great appeal of the cast as a whole which, sad to say, I think is much weaker than I would have expected. There is potential there and I hope it comes together because Gregg deserves it, but I think there's a lot to overcome in terms of the cast/characters.


Last edited by sagitare on Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  bbridges on Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:28 am

I think you can see in the pilot how much they would have liked for a few CBS Monday sitcoms to have gone off the air so those actresses could have been on this show. In a world with no more HIMYM or 2 Broke Girls, I feel like we get regular Maria Hill and Darcy Lewis.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  laddical on Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:47 am

Darcy Lewis in SHIELD? I guess I can sort of see it. She didn't strike me as particularly tech savvy - if I remember correctly, she wasn't even in Jane's department, she was just the only applicant.

Not as awesome an idea as Thor 3: Darcy and Heimdall's Bitchin' Roadtrip, but I wouldn't complain.

As for J. August not sticking around, unless he's signed on to another show as a regular, I wouldn't count him out. We may not come back to him immediately, but I feel like his story is a plot thread waiting to be tugged later this season, at which point he might not count as a regular but might move into recurring.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:59 pm

I thought it was pretty good.  Re-watching it over the weekend didn't change my opinion, for better or worse.

I did love that, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are action figures of the "real" superheroes.  You know Tony Stark has them.  Just so he can make jokes about playing with himself.

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  Corvus on Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:40 pm

laddical wrote: "This is so lame and the only joy to be had from it is making fun of it"
Non-pertinent to this show, I (guilty of being a picker of nits) was minded of this prior comment above today when I saw a report of the number of people who decided the best way express their appreciation of the brilliant ending of 'Breaking Bad' was to send neener-neener tweets to Damian Lindhoff about how much the ending of 'Lost' sucked in comparison. That's true dedication to malice.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  RiverThames on Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:09 am

laddical wrote:The boss put it on at the game/comic shop I work at and I had to get up and find other stuff to do because it was the cattiest most nitpickingest bunch I've seen.
In a game/comic shop? Well now I've heard everything.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  laddical on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:39 am

Ha. This group is usually more even handed, though. Our debates are usually pretty wide ranging in opinions and respectful. This was the first time I felt like they were insulting me in the way they approached their dislike of the show.

Anyway, the boss and I were talking and he explained that his problem was he wanted Item 47 redux for the other 46 items. Which... a TV series about two days, since that's the elapsed time from the Battle of New York to Item 47? I guess if 24 and How I Met Your Mother can (attempt) to do it.... But even if it were that, I think what he wants is every moment of the show to be the same level of concentrated, short form awesome that the Marvel One-Shots have been and... that just sounds exhausting to me. I do think it would have been pretty cool if Coulson had recruited the guy and gal from 47 instead of Ward and Skye, but... eh.

He and I also crunched the numbers. The total reported budget for all of Phase One was $1billion. The gross take was north of $5billion. We decided what that means is that Marvel (and by extension Disney and ABC) has money to burn that it doesn't matter how well or poorly Agents of SHIELD does in the ratings - it's staying on the air, if only to serve as a lightning rod around which to build the marketing machine leading to Age of Ultron.
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  RiverThames on Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:57 am

Possibly. Of course, as Joss himself put it, the downside of it is, "If we're on for two seasons, it's 44 opportunities to make Avengers II seem less special."
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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Post  punzy on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:42 pm

Nothing could make this less special. It is the specialest [/shallow]

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Re: Marvel Cinematic Universe

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