Tag Archives: Agents of SHIELD

TV Precap: Why Agents of SHIELD is Like Breaking Bad…I Know, This Is a Big Reach

Sometimes you love something too much to see it’s true value. Happens all the time. It’s why parents pay for a kid to go to college despite his obvious upper-tier potential to land somewhere between construction crew supervisor and account executive for a software distributor.  It’s why lovers hang onto a broken relationship. It’s also why Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter have contracts the size of SHIELD helicarriers despite their waning skills. And it’s why I’m 100% sold on Agents of SHIELD even though I’ve just finished a show like Breaking Bad and can objectively recognize the artistic differences. I’ve loved Marvel Comics in every format (cartoon, videos, movies, video games, comic books, novels, etc) since I’ve had memories. I’m too invested.

So the news of a possible Samuel L. Jackson cameo in the post-credits of tonight’s episode are thrilling to me. It showed that the creators are cognizant of the best-case scenario for Agents, a complete merging between the long-narrative abilities of TV and the “Shoot to Thrill” flash of blockbuster cinema. And if there’s one thing that Breaking Bad might have in common with Agents, it’s that they’re both tied to Chekhov’s gun principles, which is really just a fancy metaphor to instruct creative accountability. In the case of Walter White, it was a very literal gun in the trunk of a car. In the case of Agents, it’s yet to be seen. But the fact that this show—that doesn’t let you forget its full name is Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—is overtly tied to Agent Coulson and possibly Nick Fury means that this show’s narrative has a creative accountability nearly as obsessive as the mind of BrBa’s showrunner Vince Gilligan.

Marvel/Disney invests too heavily in the movie franchises to care about Agents being anything other than a support system. This happens all the time in the comic book industry. Comics shape a gigantic threat that it’s major heroes like Iron Man and Thor band together to thwart, and all the authors of more minor characters like the Young Avengers and or Nova are forced to write some stories that show how the gigantic threat rippled. It creates cross-sales for the company. So when Disney purchased Marvel and launched Agents, it was really just bringing a proven tactic from a shrinking industry into an industry that’s more stable and already fit for this model of storytelling.

I didn’t mean for the precap to take this direction. It was originally going to be something like, “Samuel L Jackson is one bad mother—SHUT YO MOUTH!!! SPOILER ALERT!” Then maybe 200 words of nerdy jokes. But once I started typing, I realized this news should be exciting. Agents has direction, studio backing, creative accountability and successful promotional track record (even if tweaked for industry). The Nick Fury cameo proves all that, even if I admittedly love it too much to be rational.

Then again, we could just be getting mediocre TV with a promise of movie star cameos that might not be happening after all. Time will tell. It’s still just an origin story.

Should You Watch Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? We’ll Answer That For You

Because one of my fav’s Mark Lisanti was always so helpful in guiding my movie choices with the Q&A format below, I can do no less. You can also entitle this: “What I did with my lunch hour.” Enjoy.

“There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, so when we needed them, they could fight the battles that we never could…” That was Nick Fury laying down a brilliantly shameless piece of exposition to explain both The Avengers and its titular super-hero team. The flick consisted of megastars that laid quips and beatdowns with the same efficiency that a building-sized arc reactor provides clean energy. Generally applauded for its boner-inducing action, the movie has currently grossed somewhere between $1.46 billion and the annual salary of an Asgardian metallurgist. It’s been a hit.

Click forward a year and a half. We’re gearing up for fall TV, and unless you’ve been in suspended animation somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean, you’ve heard about the under-powered TV spinoff, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.(.) The season premiere airs tonight at 8/7c. Naturally, you, the curious consumer, is wondering whether or not this show is worth your time. We here at Writing Bareback are happy to address your concerns.

Are you a fan of Marvel’s movie franchises that culminated in The Avengers?

This could mean anything. Maybe you liked the way that Natalie Portman brought subtweeting to acting when she looked at Chris Hemsworth’s Thor as if to say, “You’re so much hotter than your brother.” Maybe you were honestly conflicted over whether you found Steve Rogers’ earnesty more endearing than the more-sizzle-than-steak panache of Tony Stark? Maybe you just realy dig flying, invisibles hellicarriers. There’s a lot going on, so there’s a lot to like. And, yeah, you’re a fan.

Well, you’re SEEING IT. Because Disney wouldn’t have put millions into research and marketing for fans to not migrate.

Do you find Clark Gregg charming?

Duh, and/or hello! You were so taken by Agent Coulson after Iron Man 2 that you probably didn’t notice that he showed up in every single movie without a first name until The Avengers. Well, you’re WATCHING THIS SHOW. It’s a special kind of charm that makes you want someone around even though you don’t know their first name. Hookers have it. Superheros have it. And Agent Coulson had it. Do the math. He’s the superhero movie hooker that took the money to be this show’s hero.

Are you easily engaged by shows built around acronym-named organizations keeping the peace?

Tough to say. The CSI shows have been succeesful in a generic way, but you don’t really like those anymore than you like original Cheerios. Was MASH an acronym? That show was supposed to be pretty good. Now, the MIB thing was always cool, but that was a movie. Truth is, you wouldn’t even know what SHIELD stands for unless the trailer address it. You’re in luck.

Maria Hill: What does S.H.I.E.L.D. stand for, Agent Ward?
Grant Ward: Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.
Maria Hill: And what does that mean to you?
Grant Ward: That someone really wanted our initials to spell out “shield.”

That postively, self-depricating bit of dialogue has quelled your fears, so YOU’RE TUNING IN.

Are you such a big fan of the hulk-like unstoppability of Avenger’s Writer/Director Joss whedon’s writing on projects ranging from toy story to Buffy the Vampire Slayer that you’ll tune in to anything he has a hand in and even consider branding yourself with an “In Joss We Trust” tattoo?

Proceed with caution since Joss is only writing the first episode. His ongoing role is an unknown, so maybe hold off on the tattoo. But he’s writing tonight’s episode, so guess what. YOU WILL BE SEEING TONIGHT’S EPISODE.

But what if you’re not a joss whedon fan?

Maybe SEE IT ANYWAY. After all, he might not be that involved going forward.

what if i’m very specifically an iron man fan do to the comedic timing and all-around “no one does deuschebag better than me” performances of robert downey jr?

You should SKIP IT. RDJ is now getting paid in Extremis patents and other back-end movie negotiations because there aren’t enough liquid assets in Hollywood to purchase his “no one does deuschebag better than me” performances.

But seriously, is Clark Gregg really going to be that charming?

As charming as a super-powered hooker. You’re SEEING IT.

Thank me later,