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Matt

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Okay I just watched it. It's hard to talk bout it without spoiling anything, but suffice to say I like it enough to keep watching it.

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I've watched it twice so far, and am highly impressed. It's the only reason why I've started watching any of the old broadcast tv networks, aside from the local news. Huge spoilers are indeed present in the first 10 minutes of the show, & I'm sure as heck not going to blab about them prematurely.

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As an aside note, quality products like this show are exactly why Marvel is doing so well film-wise as compared to DC. When a live-action movie with Rocket Raccoon* manages to get put into production before a good Wonder Woman live-action movie does, you can easily tell that things at DC are in dire straits. It's like Dan Didio has turned DC into a cross between the "He-Man Woman Hater's Club" from The Little Rascals and a mental institution. I'm left to wonder exactly when Didio & his buddies will get wheir collective walking papers from Warner Brothers.

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* I love the character of Rocket, but it's a Kafka-esque level of absurdity that he beat out such an icon as Wonder Woman to appear on the silver screen.

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Did you see the travesty of WW they tried to put out as a TV show? It got cancelled before it got out of Post-Production that's how bad it was! From what I can see with DC, they are trying to take a Hyper-realistic, deconstructionist style to their live action productions. I'm not really sure why though. Perhaps they think it will broaden the market of appeal?

All it does (IMHO) however is make it seem like the movies and shows are embarrassed of their comic book roots. Heck, the last Batman movie didn't even feel all that Batman-ish to me. Oh the other hand, Marvel has fully embraced the comic book origins and tropes that their characters come from, and even with their "updating for modern sensibilities" they still feel like super heroes. Well okay the X-movies are still all shit, but maybe they will start to get that end of the franchise together with the next film.

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I suspect part of it is that DC is looking for a unique identity too. They don't want to be second place in the Marvel Movie race. They want to be first place in their own race.

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And because Batman was the first DC character to really take off (Reeve's Superman notwithstanding), that colored the whole thing. Movie production execs always look to the past to predict the future. So now there seems to be a perception among the Makers of Dreams that dark and gritty is how folks want ALL the DC movies (look what happened to not-so-dark (but terrible) Green Lantern!) to be.

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Keep in mind that the X-Men moves were not made my Marvel, nor Spider-man or the first Hulk movie. In fact, the first hulk move was so bad that Marvel got the rights back just to save the property and release a proper Hulk movie.

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Marvel is crushing DC in movies. DC has really been awesome in animation though since the 90's. Way better than Marvel. And from what I hear, Arrow is good.

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As far as Agents of SHIELD. I really liked it. I am glad there was a bit of humor (intentional and unintentional) mixed in too. Good pilot. And like any show, it takes several episodes just to start to get really good. And some shows (Like DS9) did not even get good for a few seasons. Heh.

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I watched it on a stream last night, and my reaction was 'meh'. It has all of the old TV tropes and nothing new and exciting. It has some of the same quippy stuff that I've come to expect from Joss Whedon, but it really didn't feel like anything new. To be honest, that's what I expect of anything Whedon is part of: something different. The use of common stereotypes was annoying to me. Three pluses it had in my book: Gregg as Coulson was good and it was a pleasure to see some Firefly and Buffy/Angel alums again, particularly J. August Richards, whom I always liked in Angel.

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Another thing I like but I'm listing in a spoiler:

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I like that they didn't go with the "Fury lied to everyone about Coulson" and hinted

strongly (like brick to the back of the head strongly) that this is Coulson 2.0, not a refurbed original. Oh, screw hinted, they all but said, "He's a clone/a robot/ returned from the dead as a revenant who can't rest until he kills Loki for taking his life, so you know he'll now be around for a long time". I admit that since Coulson 2.0 himself doesn't know, my last guess is fairly unlikely. They just don't do any good TV shows with revenants in them anymore, so I'm hopeful. ;)

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I thoroughly enjoyed it, but then I do really love the normal people having to deal with weird shit trope, so I was inclined to from the beginning. I highly enjoyed the starting storyline as a way to explain how the big government conspiracy cover-up really is necessary and that the protagonists really are the good guys, despite the current culture that more easily slots them as black-clad, faceless bad guys bent on authoritarian control of a sheeple population.

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I do agree that the characters are highly stereotyped, but that's a complaint I withhold judgement on until I feel the show has gotten it's legs under it enough to do away with stereotypes through character development. They are stereotypes for a reason and the American viewer's attention span is woefully short; story archetypes are useful 'just starting' short-hand for the audience to jump directly into the story with. That said, I do expect a great deal of rounding out with the characters, especially given the names in the credits.

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And remember...Tahiti is magical place. ;)

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Did you see the travesty of WW they tried to put out as a TV show? It got cancelled before it got out of Post-Production that's how bad it was! From what I can see with DC, they are trying to take a Hyper-realistic, deconstructionist style to their live action productions. I'm not really sure why though. Perhaps they think it will broaden the market of appeal?

I remember it, as unfortunately I can only afford the cheapo variety of BrainBleach™. The effort really seemed half-hearted at best, IIRC. It looked like they were trying to filter Moulston's original concept through Cosmopolitan magazine or some such instead of the Greek epics. And the result was, as you said, complete & utter FAIL.

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Perhaps the animated Wonder Woman movie (2010? 2011?) should be re-examined. That was how Wonder Woman should be done. She is living & breathing Greek Myth, edited to reflect modern sensibilities. (Which is why the Amazons in the "New 52" relaunch as such a grotesque parody of and insult to Moulston's reinterpretation.) The clash between her existence/upbringing & the "real world/mainstream society" is what makes her so interesting.

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AFA Episode 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. : I liked this one for the "real history analog" tie-in, plus the stinger at the end. Not spoiling it here, natch. As far as character stereotypes in the first show? That's really to be expected. IIRC, Whedon does hold with the idea of character development, which I've seen signs of in the 2nd episode. I'm pretty hopeful for this series, but that's just IMHO & YMMV.

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All I'm going to add at this point is that in the era of Breaking Bad, Once Upon A Time, and other shows that are good right out of the gate, and from the company that has given us such good movies, I expected more from Agents of SHIELD. I don't feel that we should have to wait more than one episode to see the potential greatness of a show, not when shows are showing us that show creators know how to make good stuff. Honestly, I agree with a reviewer who said that AoS is just a wacky scifi show, and frankly, Fringe did it better.

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All I'm going to add at this point is that in the era of Breaking Bad, Once Upon A Time, and other shows that are good right out of the gate, and from the company that has given us such good movies, I expected more from Agents of SHIELD. I don't feel that we should have to wait more than one episode to see the potential greatness of a show, not when shows are showing us that show creators know how to make good stuff. Honestly, I agree with a reviewer who said that AoS is just a wacky scifi show, and frankly, Fringe did it better.

I find this amusing since the first season of Breaking Bad featured a mere fraction of the greatness that was to come AND was saddled with a Hank Schrader who, at that point, was written as little more than an obnoxious jock stereotype.

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I thought that the pilot for Breaking Bad was awesome. And then there were some really great scenes in first season. I did feel that the quality of the show went down by the second season before getting better every season afterward.

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I have only watched the first episode of AoS so far and while I wouldn't say it was bad it didn't do anything to excite me enough to want to watch the second episode quickly.

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I started watching Low Winter Sun, and while it had multiple people in it that I have liked in other projects I just couldn't get into it at all. Shield gets a little bit of a pass because of the name of the show and the hope that something great is in there. But if it had no connection to the comics I doubt I would watch the second episode.

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The TV world has changed a lot in recent years, at least for how I view content. Lost was probably the last TV show that I got hooked from the pilot episode and couldn't wait to watch each episode. And that is now 9 years ago.

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I've realized that having the option to watch multiple episodes of a show in a short period of time really helps overcome the issues that I may have. My wife asks if I want to watch a few shows every year and I now say basically the same thing every time, "Let's give it a few years to see if it will make it and then we'll catch up on Netflix."

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I don't have HBO or Showtime but have watched many of their shows over the years on Netflix, so I guess that conditioned me to not want to participate in the weekly show watching. I don't know anyone that I can have a "water cooler" show discussion weekly, so there is no motivation for me to want to watch something sooner than later.

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Getting back to Shield, I hope it gets better. And I hope that having guest stars is not the pinnacle of the show.

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I finally caught back up with Shield and for the first time watched a new episode on the day it premiered. If this show came out in the early 90s I'd probably think it was awesome. But it is just bad, and worst of all boring. Is there anyone that actually enjoys the show?

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I honestly haven't watched it since... episode 3? I can't remember exactly. My feelings since the pilot didn't change enough to keep me watching it. I feel like the studio expected the name to carry the show but when you have super hero series like Arrow which are interesting (even if its not high art) early on, you can't rely on that anymore. I'm really sad that AoS might get cancelled without becoming something great. I want it to be awesome.

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I still watch it and there are elements of it that I enjoy, but yeah it's struggling through Joss Whedon's typical slow plot/character build up. While I love that there are references to the greater Marvel movie universe, and even a Samuel L. Jackson cameo, it doesn't help when an episode is advertised as being tied to a movie.

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I will keep watching it because I know that Joss is an exceptional storyteller; Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse. All of them were great shows (or had the potential for greatness) and I believe that Agents can be great too. Sadly, in this day an age, most people are not willing to wait a season and a half for the threads to weave together. I also think that the studio that owns the franchise see the show more as a giant commercial for the movies.

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I hope the show continues, but I also hope that Joss gets on with it.

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I will keep watching it because I know that Joss is an exceptional storyteller; Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse. All of them were great shows (or had the potential for greatness) and I believe that Agents can be great too. Sadly, in this day an age, most people are not willing to wait a season and a half for the threads to weave together. I also think that the studio that owns the franchise see the show more as a giant commercial for the movies.

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I hope the show continues, but I also hope that Joss gets on with it.

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I disagree that viewers aren't willing to wait for threads to weave together. I think they very much are, but the journey taking them there has to be entertaining. AoS hasn't been entertaining enough for me to continue to invest my time waiting.

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I also hope the show continues and gets its act together. I'd love to look back in ten years and tell my nieces, "Here, watch this. Yeah, the first season isn't the best, but it gets so much better you'll want to work through it anyway." Like Mala, I love the Underdog in a Big Dog world concept, and I should be eating up AoS with a fork and knife. I see its potential, I still do, but until it realizes that potential, I can't invest my interest in it.

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I was hoping more for an improved 'Alphas'. Very disappointed with the wasted potential here. The people are attractive, the acting is acceptable, the source material is massive and varied, the guest star potential and movie tie ins are extremely bankable, ths should ba a 'can't miss' show. But it's weak at best. 'Arrow' rocks, though.

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Whedon's not writing or directing Agents is he? I thought he was more distantly related, like exec producer or something.

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It doesn't have much of the (admittedly often self-indulgent) wit I expect from his stuff.

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Max hit the nail on the head. I'm watching it just because it's only 45 minutes out of week, I'm hoping it'll get a bit more enjoyable. Some shows do just take a bit to pick up. But what Max just said absolutely hit the nail on the head - it's lacking the characteristic wit that I've come to expect out of something Whedon does, and that most of the Avengers-related movies have indulged in. Hell, I went to see Thor 2 a second time just for all the snarky Loki scenes.

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I haven't seen it, but what I've heard tells me I'm not missing much and that it doesn't really have its own identity yet. It's being sold as a TV show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which right there is a problem because the movies are always going to be the horse in that particular cart-horse scenario. AoS should be staking out its own territory and instead I'm hearing about episodes that are about the fate of two of the fighter pilots in Thor 2, which were so tacked on to the plot that I forgot they were in that movie, and I saw Thor 2 for the first time twelve hours ago.

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The big thing is that it may be a complimentary side-dish to the movies, but it's competing with the strongest slate of programming in television history and it's not measuring up. The Marvel blockbusters compete with other blockbusters and all the blockbusters stagger their releases so that not too many compete to begin with, but television is different.

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The way I see it, the only thing it really has going for it is that it's set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and frankly, that's "crossover logic" from the comics right there, the "I have to watch it ALL" mentality being the same as the "I can't have any holes in my collection" that keeps people buying comics long after they've actually enjoyed them. (Along with "bring a popular dead character back," and "special guest star Popular Character." I have to admire how adroitly they've transplanted the bag of tricks to non-comics media.)

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I don't have a problem with that crossover concept, as long as it's done well. I think that's the main problem with AoS is that it isn't doing a fantastic job at it. If it were witty and clever and the characters had a lot of chemistry, it would be different. Should it be able to stand on it's own? Definitely, and so far THAT'S not the part that's lacking. Yeah they've had a couple references to things that have happened in the movies, but nothing that makes you go "Wha?" if you haven't seen them. I think it's mainly the writing that's lacking.

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Honestly, my wife and I both love the show. We have every episode DVR'd. We took about a 1/2 season break from watching it (but we did that with everything, so nothing to do with the show itself), and watched everything all in one day just a few days before the finale (without realizing it). We couldn't wait for the finale to come.

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Oh, and we have the whole second season of Arrow waiting in the depths of our DVR. We watched the first season and it was ok, but we haven't had any strong desire to get back into the second season. We're just hoping to eventually get around to it before the next season starts... So in our house at least, AoS beats Arrow hands down.

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Wohoo. Things actually happened and they finally realized they could bring Marvel characters into the show. Bill Paxton is always a plus.

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So. In the aftermath of Winter Soldier and the April 8th episode Turn, Turn, Turn, how do people feel about this series now?

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I still have to get around to re-watching AoS. I watched the first few episodes and just didn't really get into it. But after hearing some of the stuff happening in the show while Winter Soldier happened has got me thinking about giving it another go.

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I've said from the beginning that if people just gave Whedon a chance to work his magic, the magic would happen. Gloriousness!

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^I've said similar. While I can't say the early episodes were good (a bit better than Arrow which I finally had to drop as of Birds of Prey), I had faith that they would ultimately become something great with Whedon in the wheelhouse. The events of the Winter Soldier added some much needed tension to the proceedings I must say, though the timeline is a bit foggy in terms of the number of days that WS plays out over while AoS seems like it all happens in one night

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I have strongly mixed feelings with regard to the integration. As somebody who usually goes to see these movies I enjoy there being a strong interplay between the show and films, but had I not see Winter Soldier I would have been pissed about one of the big reveals being spoiled on the show.

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For my part, the biggest burning questions remaining are as follows: 1- what exactly makes Skye worthy of being classified as an Item whatever-number-it-was, and 2- when is the SHIELD civil war going to allow all those supervillains from the previous episodes (plus any others plotted in as having been captured pre-series) to stage a jailbreak?

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Question #2 is inevitable, it's a matter of when, not if.

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Question #1 is the kicker & a large part of why I'll be watching this series for the time being. It'd be cool (and pleasantly ironic) for it to eventually lead to Skye having an origin as a superheroine - no clue as to which one she'd be, though - but I'd be satisfied with a clear answer. And for that, I expect I'll be waiting a good while.

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Skye is a 087 I believe... And Next episode should hit at least 1 or 2 elements of question 2.

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Skye is a 087 I believe... And Next episode should hit at least 1 or 2 elements of question 2.

Yeah, just saw the preview over on IO9. Should be fairly entertaining.

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I've always said that my family and I enjoyed AoS. We still do. Though I have to agree with Jameson... having watched the big fight for SHIELD on AoS before we watched CA:2... it gave us a head start on the intrigue front.

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Especially the part where Nick Fury was 'killed'... though the both of us knew he wouldn't stay dead.

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