Thursday, October 10, 2013

Checking back in with SHIELD

This blog post is coming at you because of the awesome IT guy at my office, Jonathan. He spent countless hours this week helping me resolve some issues with my work-at-home computer and by way of thanks, I told him he could pick the topic of my next blog post. His response? "Write about SHIELD." Done and done, Jonathan; this one's for you!

Let's get one thing straight right here at the beginning: I will not be typing Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. every time I talk about the show. It is will henceforth be just SHIELD. First, I think a name that long is just ridiculous for a tv show. And second, I am WAY too lazy to type out all those periods between those letters.

So, SHIELD! What do we think so far?

I talked briefly about the show based on the pilot and liked it, but had a few minor quibbles. Now that we're three episodes in...I still feel basically the same. It's fun, it's action-packed, it looks great (both the actors and the production values), and in the words of fellow TV Slut, Caroline, "Clark Gregg will not be denied."

There's no doubt that without an actor (and character) as interesting as Clark Gregg and Agent Coulson, SHIELD would fail. Coulson is literally the center of the show, which is saying something with such a large ensemble cast. But he's the glue that's holding everyone together--both plot and acting wise--and it's a good thing Clark Gregg is so awesome. He has a remarkable talent for playing the straight man, but making the straight man the funniest guy in the room. He is simultaneously a BAMF and child-like in his love for the sheer coolness of his job (and the toys). Some people might think bringing Agent Coulson back from the grave was a cheat and robbed The Avengers of its most emotional moment, but I couldn't be happier. More Clark Gregg is always a good thing.

Now for those quibbles. Before I start down this path I want to make clear that I really like SHIELD. Like I said, I think it's fun and I really enjoy watching it. Having said main problem with the show is two-fold. My first issue is with the supporting cast. Other than Ming-Na Wen, none of the other actors are anywhere near the league of Clark Gregg. For my money, they are all interchangeable with all the other blandly attractive white people working on all other procedural dramas right now.  It's not entirely their fault; none of them have thus far been given interesting back stories or character notes to bite into. Other than a propensity to spout cute and quippy dialogue, none has really made an impression. So I am hoping that as we move forward we'll start to explore more about the other characters.

Oh, and Skye's hair always being perfect is kind of pissing me off.

My other minor issue is that so far, there is a lack of serialization. I know networks are scared to go down this path, but the whole "monster of the week" things is already getting a little stale and we're only three episodes in. Fringe tried to keep their episodes more self-contained in the first season and it didn't really work out for them. I am hopeful that SHIELD will bump up the mythology and over-arching threats in the coming months.

And there you have it! In my humble yet obviously correct opinion, SHIELD remains the most promising new drama of the season and the one I am (still) most excited about. I am fairly confident that any issues the show has now will be resolved as time goes on, especially if Joss Whedon has the same kind of input he did for the pilot episode.

SHIELD airs Tuesday nights at 8:00 on ABC.

Yup, he's just that awesome.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Your opinion is in fact correct. I big old puffy heart Clark Gregg -- he's almost at Alan Rickman levels for me <3