‘Agents of SHIELD’ as ‘Firefly 2.0′ – Why It Isn’t Working

Published 10 months ago by , Updated October 25th, 2013 at 9:49 am,

Firefly Agents of Shield Discussion Agents of SHIELD as Firefly 2.0   Why It Isnt Working

It remains one of the great tragedies of nerd culture to this day, and as Joss Whedon’s fame and fortune guiding Marvel’s movie universe continues, and his talent at both writing and directing are validated time and again, the cancelling of Firefly grows even more unfortunate. The director’s greatest regret – the chance to tell a sci-fi story of a ship’s crew becoming a family was lost – but luckily, Whedon’s story didn’t end there.

Despite promising to never attempt a story with so many central characters, Whedon found success with The Avengers, and parlayed that into a lengthy studio deal guaranteeing him – no surprise – a TV series focused on yet another ensemble cast, flying through the skies, and growing into a tight-knit unit along the way. Given his past success with that same formula, we have to ask: why isn’t Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. working?

First off, it goes without saying that there are plenty of people credited with every Whedon project, most notably showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. After joining forces with Whedon on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the pair held the reins for the also-doomed sci-fi drama Dollhouse, and now sit at the wheel of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – a show which has progressed from an uneven but fair pilot to… well, five episodes in we’re still not quite sure what’s got us tuning in anymore.

We’re not making the case that Firefly is the greatest scripted drama/comedy ever to appear on television, but with a run of just 14 episodes, the show created a more vocal fan base than any Whedon series to date (even louder than Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Given that, many assumed that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would give Whedon a second kick at the can, and the freedom to tell the kinds of stories his fans lamented being robbed of in the first place.

Here’s why it isn’t turning out to be that simple.

The Story

firefly cast science channel Agents of SHIELD as Firefly 2.0   Why It Isnt Working

From a pure structure/premise standpoint, Firefly represents a fairly foolproof approach to a serialized story: a group of differing characters are placed against a shadowy organization seeking to track and capture them, with a need to survive week-to-week (both from starvation and additional enemies) the central conflict. The looming enemy provides a season(s)-long threat, ‘monsters-of-the-week’ bring action where needed, and the range of characters each get episodes of their own in which to shine, and explore their backstory.

Take a look at most long-running shows, and you’re likely to find a variant of the above description. Which is largely why when details of AoS began to arrive – an ensemble cast of experts, agents and amateurs tracking down rogue superhumans – it seemed Whedon’s camp was going to be sticking to their tried-and-true formula. But almost half a dozen episodes in, that is not what viewers are getting.

agents shield tv show joss whedon Agents of SHIELD as Firefly 2.0   Why It Isnt Working

With Firefly, the main conflicts are fairly easy to describe: a corrupt or at least overbearing ‘Alliance’ hunts down the main cast, all of whom possess at least some morally-fueled reason to keep running. In a future where millions live hand-to-mouth, the crew of the Serenity had found their home aboard a single spaceship, and whether the conflict was generated by an Alliance agent or simple backwoods bandits, their home was on the line at every turn.

With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the other hand, there is no central villain. At least, not one that’s been slightly alluded to by anything more than random story threads. Why were these specific team members selected? That’s never explained.  What’s the team’s endgame? Presumably to seek out ‘unregistered gifted’ a.k.a. potential supervillains and turn them to the good side. Again, we’re connecting the dots given miniscule information.

Besides offering a shaky premise for the team’s existence (wouldn’t S.H.I.E.L.D. already have multiple teams doing this exact work?), the lack of a central villain, or personal investment from any of the cast in countering said villain, makes one overarching fact rear its head with every episode: the people on this team don’t want to be here. To make things worse, the only stakes ever raised are their safety – only in danger because they sought out trouble in the first place.

agents of shield episode 2 plane Agents of SHIELD as Firefly 2.0   Why It Isnt Working

Whedon, Tancharoen, Firefly and Marvel aside, that’s just a poor foundation for any show that hopes to have viewers invest in either the characters or their mission (if the viewers don’t want to be doing what they’re doing, why should an audience care?).

That’s enough of a premise to support a simple ‘monster-of-the-week’ light comedy that never aspires to anything more than slapstick or Scooby Doo-like mystery-solving, but that’s neither what fans of Whedon or Marvel were hoping for, nor what the writer’s team is known for delivering.

 

Next: Why The Characters Aren’t Working…

 

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TAGS: agents of shield, firefly

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  1. The constant complaint from SR is that there’s no central theme or villain. Why would they start off a show like that? SHIELD responds to threats all around the world. Some cases are easier than others so that’s why we’re getting episode by episode missions.You build up to a problem, not go right into it.

    • Yeah, but this isn’t SHIELD in general, it’s a specialized SHIELD team that’s formed for a specific reason. What they’re doing is going right into the solution without telling us the problem in the first place, or at least a problem that would bring this group together as opposed to just any random SHIELD team who might all be better qualified than this group.

      • They brought the team together to deal with all of these post-Avenger issues, and other supernatural problems. Is that not obvious?

        • I don’t mean supernatural. I mean more of strange, disastrous events that are happening in general.

        • Tay, wasn’t that the entire point of SHIELD from day one? As the article pointed out, what is the reason the SHIELD division that Marvel established in the movies, now turns to fresh out of highschool bloggers to form a team of people whose combined aged shouldn’t give them anywhere near a “level 7″ clearance? The show acts like SHIELD was just established, and this is its first team. We already know SHEILD is bigger than that, so what are these people doing here?

          • What SHIELD division in the movies? We didn’t know anything about them except the fact that it was led by Fury and his go to man is Coulson. The show has made it clear that SHIELD has had a team before seeing as they made that reference to the Thor’s hammer dropping in New Mexico or wherever it landed. As far as why those specific individuals were gathered together is something that can easily be explained through character backstories. You’re just being impatient about it. The only gripe I can agree with is the hacker chick, she still has no reason for being there.

            • Why should it take an entire season for a show to flesh out back stories and tell you what it’s purpose is? Its not working, at all. If it wasn’t tied to Avengers, it would have been cancelled already.

              • You already know the purpose of the show, are you kidding me? The only thing you don’t know is why those people were chosen, and that can be explained easily like I said.

                • Tay, take a look around…your praise for this failed show is not supported by the majority of viewers.

  2. Its too cartoonish. Check out the new Captain America trailer, that’s how they should be portraying shield not. Like some other people have said it just seems to cute. Shield is supposed to be dark and shadowy, honestly the show overall would be much better with a darker tone to it. Look at all the most successful shows recently, Walking dead, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, all of the are have a very dark tone. That’s what makes them so good, you can still be funny but not have it seem like a Saturday morning cartoon which is honestly what it feels like right now. And honestly other than Colson I have yet to give a crap about any of the characters they literally have no depth or anything interesting about them. It all has Disney s finger prints all over it, I have no doubt most of its problems stem from Disney s input.

    • That trailer definitely had me wondering why the show version is so vastly underfunded. Maybe Fury is just trying to send Coulson a message that he’s not getting…? ;)

  3. Not working? Last I looked Firefly only had 13 episodes, and ABC has already ordered a full season. Of course, the problem with Firefly is that it was FAUX. Same ting with Fringe, Faux chops its own head off when it comes to shows that are really interesting.

    But I still don’t agree that it’s snot working, for one thing, I love this EXTREMIS thing, I never realised that the three Iron man films were actually based on that, which is a re-write of the origins of IM. Sorry, I just loved those exploding people.

    Of course there is a lot of rom for Cameos, so far there have been only 2. But before we can have Tony Stark and Thor show up, we have to give this thing a little history of it’s own. So, we have this secret rebirth of Coulsen, he did NOT recover in Tahiti, and then we have 2 Regular shield operatives reigning in a chick who would publish the whole thing to Rising Tide if she had a chance. But I liked the characters from the start, I can see how Skye would bother the more Geeky marvel fanatics. Besides, she is no worse than Jubilee, who was in just about every Wolverine story from the late 80′s to mid 90′s.

    Besides, this is Coulsen’s deal, not Fury’s. So just sit back and let the plot develop, I saw things in the polit that are starting to show up now.

    • They don’t want to let the show develop. They want it to jump immediately into a problem that’ll last a whole season.

      • Isn’t that why Firefly was kicked?

        • firefly died due to TV politics… one set of executives greenlit the show… by the time that the season debuted, those folks were gone, made Whedon show the eps out of sequence, pre-empted them a few weeks and barely promoted it and gave it a time slot of death. The quality of the show, resonated despite that and the popularity of the series and the passion of its fanbase make the cancellation of the series one of the more idiotic decisions of the last 20 years.

  4. In my opinion there must not be anything really wrong with the show because while I can’t argue with most of its criticisms, about 90% of the suggestions I’ve heard to “fix” things are stupider than anything I’m seeing from the show.

    Also the number of obvious misconceptions I’ve seen people applying to this show has been staggering.

  5. Come on, Whedonites. The show sucks, admit it.

  6. The show isn’t interesting. I want it to be but it’s just not. It’s almost like these are the SHIELD rejects or the beta version. The soft version.

    • That is one concise comment. Well said.

  7. The show will get better, you just need to be patient. I could see an overarching storyline for the season involving introducing Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in time for Avengers 2, just so the audience can have some background on them. Until then… just be patient, like I said.

  8. Isn’t the real issue a lack of patience? The whole reason good shows get cancelled is because the demand is there that stuff happens now and is explained now, rather than let the characters build and situations develop. Examples include Firefly (as mentioned in the story), Space Above & Beyond and B5 Crusade.

    Babylon 5, one of my own person favourites, spent the entire first series basically introducing the characters and background. The main bad guys weren’t introduced until Season Two and even then it was only hints and brief glimpses. It was Three before all hell broke lose, as was always J. Michael Straczynski’s plan. It was only rushed in Season Four as he thought the show would be cancelled and didn’t want to leave the fans hanging, as it was always a Five year story arc.

    This has happened in other shows where being given a chance to grow and develop has created memorable characters and “cult” shows.

    • Agreed. People want all their questions answered right away, when that’s not the best way to go.

    • Plenty of shows manage to do what SHIELD is not doing, and they do it much faster. Why should we be expected to wait an entire season for a show to get it’s act together?

      • Why does it have to be faster?

        • Our issue isn’t with a lack of answers, it’s that the questions aren’t even deemed valid. Questions that, as the article explains, are pretty obvious to anyone watching this thing with an analytical eye beyond solely what they’re seeing on screen (in other words, the fans Marvel is seeking to keep entertained by linking their films together).

    • There is a difference between a slow burn and having nothing to offer. Such as, in opinion, Deep Space Nine season one. The overarching plot was seeded in the first two episodes but only remained touched upon here and there until season three. But guess what? That first season gave us well written conflicts, multi-layered characters, and dived head-first into expanding the Star Trek universe. Agents of Shield, welp…

      If the show becomes good later, I will watch it then. For now, the show needs to earn a second chance from me. Still have not watched an episode since three, and I have no regrets on having missed the past two episodes.

      • Thank you. I couldn’t have pointed out the difference better myself. If the show is interesting, I’m happy asking the questions. But if everything is simply plot-driven… it doesn’t need to be devoid of non-essential elements. But it is, at this point. At least it seems to be.

      • I would argue against DS9 being slow burn. For the first three Seasons nothing happened! If it wasn’t built on an existing Universe with a pre-built audience it would’ve died a long slow death (kinda like Enterprise managed to prove). DS9 only took off when they actually added an actual storyline. ie the Dominion and all their manipulations in the Alpha Quadrant!

        But then the fault with that, could lie with the fact that it wasn’t created by the Star Trek team, it was an exec who’d sent instructions down from on high, saying they wanted one set on a Space Station. Spookily after they’d rejected JMS’s B5 as they had their own Universe!

        But I’m not all out defending AoS. I hate Ward and Skye (way too clichéd characters) but I think there’s room for growth with the 2 egg heads, whom I also feel add a nice touch to the Multinational nature of SHIELD. I’m sorry I know May has oriental ancestry but she just seems like another American, but would love to know about “The Cavalry” and like the little touches like the episode with Akela Amador, which to me, ties in with the upcoming Winter Soldier movie. ie Cyborg technology.

  9. I’m in the minority I guess.I actually enjoy the show. Does it have room for improvement? sure and as Joss seems to be a man of the people I believe that given some time he’ll take the suggestions of his nerd followers and turn it into something great

    • But what time does he have. Whedon will have nothing to do this as he’s gonna be working on The Avengers sequel 24/7 for the next 2 years.

      If anything this show is only gonna get worse (if that’s actually possible)

  10. Not being like a show that only lasted 14 episodes is a bad thing.
    Interesting logic.

    • Not being beloved is a bad thing.

      • I don’t disagree with the nostalgia of your response, but Firefly became much more beloved after it was taken away from its fans.

  11. Good article….Yes, the show isn’t working. Too many one note characters. I think viewers will forgive almost anything if they love the characters and see depth in them. There were a couple of stinkers in Firefly that are beloved anyway because we learned more about our heroes.
    I confess, I didn’t watch the last AoS because I lost interest. The most interesting character is Melinda May, the SECOND MOST interesting is the hair of the lead actress. That’s just weird

  12. Excluding Firefly (because it died after 11 episodes on FOX) every other Joss Whedon show from Buffy forward has started slow and then picked up midway through the 1st season going on to crush it in their season finale’s and dramatically improve in their 2nd season’s. Mutant Enemy is a crew that thrives on sweeps weeks and season finales, at this point I think anyone complaining about Agents of SHIELD should just chill out until we get to the halfway point which should be about episode 11. I have a strong feeling that all of these complaints and concerns from Screen Rant and the SR Underground crew will be unfounded when all is said and done. The thing I really don’t want to happen is that if there is a specific plan in place for the show all of that gets rushed and the storytelling and character development gets screwed over to satisfy people who just couldn’t be patient enough to see a proper season long story unfold. I may not LOVE AoS but I definitely enjoy and look forward to it every week.

  13. My main problem is with the characters. I can not connect to them at all. Also, as I’ve commented before this group is not nearly diverse enough. SHIELD is an international organization, and I would expect a supposedly “elite” team to be more diverse. Obviously the main character would be American (it’s an American show after all), but then give me a Scotsman, a Russian, an Ethiopian, a Brazilian, make them interesting!

    • accidentally posted before added that I can barely stand the action. AOS needs to study Arrow and Person of Interest, heck even The Tomorrow People is better.

    • Yeah, between the movies and this, I could probably name about thirteen SHIELD characters who are American, one Russian, one Brit and two Scots. That’s not telling the story of an international team.

    • An international elite agency that drives around in vehicles with flashing lights and door logos. Very hush-hush. As for the diversity, we’ve two Asian female actresses as well as two UK actors in a team of six. Since this is a Whedon show, I’d expect some of the first season cast to die before season two. If one of those characters was to be, say, Agent Ward, I wouldn’t be too upset. I get that his character is meant to be “the everyman in a world of superheroes” and I can get behind that idea, but he’s yet to offer a real spark. I thought Austin Nichols character was more engaging in his guest role than the Ward character has been in five episodes.

      • To make this clear before I make my point, I have nothing against Asians or the British, but that is not diverse, that is playing it safe. Practically every TV show these days has an Asian and a British character, and most of the time the Asian is Asian-American! I want a true representation of a global community. The group of characters they have now? Bland as saltine crackers.

        • It would have also been the perfect opportunity to introduce a black leading man, perhaps in the position Agent Ward presently occupies. That said, the movie franchises have also “played it safe”. Making Russians Americans, as one example. ScarJo is a Club cracker to this show’s Saltines: a little fancier shape but just as forgettable. :)

  14. Because unlike Firefly, where the characters were fresh and entertaining and could how the show together on their own if they had to, SHIELD has no interesting character dynamic at all.

    • i agree with this. in firefly you had some brilliant characters. there is nobody in shield who is anywhere near as interesting as jayne, mal or the shepherd.

  15. Wow, I’m in shock, I can’t believe there are people on here actually defending this show. I know everyone has different tastes and opinions but seriously, come on quit it, stop kidding yourselves, yas all know how s**t it is.

    I’m a huge Marvel fan and have always enjoyed most projects Joss has been involved in but there’s no excuse for this nonsense, the show is actually so bad it’s insulting.

    Just imagine this show wasn’t set in the Marvel Universe with no Avengers references etc, Everything was exactly the same but just a brand new show about a random group of agents travelling the world working for some organisation. Well it would of been cancelled already and ya all know it.

  16. The premise of this article is bollocks.

    SHIELD’s just a bit s*** and it clearly has similarities to other shows that the creator has made before.

  17. It’s unfortunate the ‘Scorch’ episode aired in Australia during the wost bushfires in 10 years!

    Do you really want everything on TV to be like Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad? Give us a break. There are things called genres and you’ve gotta appreciate different flavours.

    To all the whiners: I love Agents of Shield. Yes it’s unrealistic and cartoony. I like it that way. It’s based on a COMIC BOOK. Comics are not subtle or gritty. And don’t talk about arty stuff like Maus or Watchmen I’m talking about propa comics where everything is painted in broad strokes.

    If this version of SHIELD is too cute for you remember this gang is not the whole org, it’s an experimental team. And do you actually read comics? They’re not about agents doing black ops espionage while having a mid life crisis and drinking entire bottles of scotch worrying if they just broke geneva convention. That stuff is for hard-ons. It’s all spandex and funny comebacks and kicking the guns out of someone’s hand with an ninja star.

    Yeah it stars a bunch of cute but dysfunctional kids who solve a paranormal mystery every week and are occasionally tortured by mind control. Hello It’s Joss Whedon. That’s what ALL his stuff is and if you don’t like Buffy then you suck. (Oh no he’s a fanboy! )

    Plot and layers of meaning? It’s there for those who look.

  18. I have loved everything Marvel has done so far, that being said, AoS is terrible. If this show was not connected to a giant multi-billion dollar shared movie universe, it would have got the chop already.

  19. I lost interest in AoS after the first two episodes. I normally force myself to at least watch 4 episodes of any new show I start and give it a chance. However, there is just a lack of chemistry between the characters that has always been present in Whedon’s shows. Even Dollhouse was better then this show. The real problem here is the acting choices and the lack of chemistry between said actors/characters. Also I may be acting like a whiny fan girl by saying this but it just honestly doesn’t feel like a Whedon project. It lacks the witty script and lovable misfit ensemble. Honestly it feels like a marketing plow. Cashing in on the current superhero explosion.

  20. obviously whedon is thinking firefly storys and using them for AoS,only ways to save the show are storys actually featuring marvel characters for complete episodes. other somewhat un-used marvel characters should be added into the mix, have the punisher(tom jane) gun-down criminals who have much needed answers or nick fury(samuel.l.jackson)captured or have them have a meeting with professor x(patrick stewart)as there all looking for people with abilities or superpowers.

  21. i haven’t seen the series but i thought it would be about different stories from different agents of shield. where you will have 1 (or 2, or 3) different characters per episode.

  22. I’m going to keep watching, and I enjoy AND hate the many nods to Firefly, because it just points to the glaring lack of having a real person on this show in the main cast. Not the actors’ faults, but they all just drive the plot. Some of the supporting characters are more real than the people on the team, which could be promising?

    I’m going to hope that the show finds its legs, because I want to like it. I know there was such huge hype for the show, but even with that…it is floundering, and that is too bad.

  23. bringing in a known superhero from the marvel universe who hasn’t been in the big screen yet, will make the 100X better. In Smallville we we’re watching clark/ other various JL members, in Arrow we’re getting to see known characters also. having coulson and maria hill in episodes is not gonna cut it anymore, i want to see MARVEL characters soon

  24. This is a very good article, It does seem as if Special Agent Stiff (May) does sleep in the cockpit.

    The Science Agents of Glee – Fric and Frac, need to die an awful death by mid-season. Perhaps like Lane Price’s demise on Mad Men, where under mind control they both attempt to kill themselves in Lola, then hang themselves on the same door frame.

    Agent Boring needs to be reduced to a recurring role, like Newman on Seinfeld

    Skye needs to become a supporting character that provides tech, like the Quartermaster in the Bond films Q, or Abby from NCIS. An the same way Bond films never bore us with any details of Q’s lame past AOS should not waste viewers time focusing on Skyes parents, ex boyfriends, or anything else about her past.

    Bring in Agent 19 Barbara Morse to replace Fric and Frac and reorganize the team as a Cyber incident response team that investigates international cyber crime rings based out of an old converted S.H.I.E.L.D genetics lab in the Savage Lands hidden beneath Antarctica. Lord Ka-Zar and Shanna, the She – Devil, Nekra, Stegron, and Mandrill could be cast as recurring characters that are the result of S.H.I.E.L.D genetic experiments.

    Now that is the making of an awesome show.

  25. The show is a waste of 42 minutes every week until they stop running from the Marvel universe and start embracing it. They need a super-hero on the team and they need to fight a super villain.

    • I think they’re embracing it a little more than you think. SHIELD isn’t a superhero group….
      …..Also, if they put a superhero on this show, they have to take it off the table for the features. There’s a different set of criteria for the two mediums….and price. SO, even if they did, it would be a low rent, or entirely made up hero. The latter being not embracing the Marvel universe.

      • S.H.I.E.L.D is not a super hero group but there are plenty of Super Agents in S.H.I.L.D: Steve Rodgers, Barbara Morse, Daisy Johnson, Jessica Drew, Tony Masters, Sam Wilson, Natasha Romanova,etc

        I don’t understand why you think co-starring in television show would preclude one from moving on to feature films. The Blues Brothers, Star Trek, Wayne’s World, and Serenity were all TV shows where the entire cast later moved on to star in films based on the series.

        Marvel can easily use AOS to do an origin story on biologist / spy Barbara Morse – just sign a 16 yr old female to play a 19 year old spy on the show which includes a 6 film movie deal once the actress turns 21.

        • there is just a different tier of acting for tv versus film. different tier of pay.

          Of the four films you mention, two are SNL films. BB is a one off from a series where they appeared for four minutes at a time, so their origin was still available. WW was a gag, the characters stupid. No Origin Story needed.. ST is truly a strong series, but anomalous, made long after the World;s Biggest Cult Fan Base was well established. And Firefly, while great, was a failure. Because the series was great, but a small cultish series, and the movie basically rested on your prior knowledge of the characters. Book, for instance, makes no sense in the movie unless you know the series.

          Marvel would have to actually plan for a super character on the show to be in the features. That would mean that the character got special consideration on the show. Terrible for an ensemble show with an already established lead…And they would have to do the Origin Story on the show. This is typically the best way to win fans in the movies. So watching the movie would require the movie fan to go and see the origin story on TV. That just couldn’t happen.

          And you can’t tell me that THIS cast has the chops to carry a feature. Even Clark Gregg is second banana material. Ming Na is good enough, I think…and the Farrah Fawcett hair of the lead is good enough…but not the lead herself.

          • I never said this cast has the “chops” to do a feature. I said cast a new lead character with a combo TV/movie deal.

        • Wait! I was just reading this again….You think MOCKINGBIRD, a third tier character, has the cache to carry a feature? I am EXTREMELY doubtful of that.

      • look if DC can make a show about Green Arrow and have Slade/deathstroke, Black Canary and name drop Ra’s Al Ghoul and other know DC characters constantly, I’m sure it wont be hard for Marvel to introduce some lower tier characters to “Marvels Agents of Shield”

        • Oh, I agree. Just, they’d have to use characters that they have no designs on for the movies. You’d never see Luke Cage on this show. Mockingbird’s okay for tv, I guess….but never features. Squirrel Girl? Jack Of ALl Trades?

  26. My only experience with Firefly is with the Serenity movie since I think I missed the show when it was actually on, but just from what I saw and the description given I put it with a lot of Whedon’s stuff. He writes stories with similar tropes taken from sci-fi and comic book fare that is recognizable by anyone who read the same material. I never find any of his work particularly challenging or ground-breaking, which might be what is turning some viewers off with this show.

    Not being up on recent comic events I never really saw how much mileage they were going to get out of a show revolving around a secondary character from a handful of films (who happened to last be seen getting skewered to death) and a group that was always background noise in the comics and to an extent in the Marvel films. I am hard pressed to name many S.H.I.E.L.D. agents from the comics past Fury, so going with new characters was a toss up to begin with. The problem I have had like others is that the characters are just not interesting and the actors have little chemistry or appeal in this show. Combine that with uninspired away mission style adventures and you have a comic book show that would not even make an interesting comic book.

    • you should watch firefly series. it really was brilliant TV. one of the best TV shows ever IMO. and in the show they had quite a lot of off the wall quirkiness about it.

  27. I’m still trying to figure out how a floppy life raft plugged a hole in the plane’s hull instead of being sucked out instantly.

    I love Whedon. I love Marvel Comics. So I’m sticking with the show hoping that the writing and acting get better over time. But right now SHIELD is kind of a ho-hum mess with incredibly uninteresting characters.

    As far as this article goes, it makes great comparisons and contrasts between SHIELD and Firefly that I completely agree with because I adored the crew of the Serenity. However, the entire point of the feature is flawed. Using a failed TV show like Firefly as a template for success doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    Past TV failures probably compelled Whedon to strip away much of the Scooby formula and inject more action into SHIELD. I think it was a conscious choice to try and appeal more to the masses. Unfortunately it backfired, making the show quite hollow. The lack of character depth and charisma is especially apparent if you are a fan of his past efforts. I’m actually thinking about chasing weekly SHIELD eps with Angel eps just to get me through the season…

  28. i just dont think sheild has a cast anywhere near as strong as firefly.

    its ok, but thats it. most of the characters are weak or bland. the only decent ones are the cheeky main lady and the bloke from the avengers. the nerds are annoying and the handsome main guy is just annoying.

  29. Two episodes back, in one scene it looked like Ming Na was literally looking at her feet to hit her marks as she walked through the scene. In the second episode, she literally leaned out the car door to say, “I’ll find a place to park,” and then gets back in the car.

    The problem with the ensemble cast is that every character seems to have a specific quota of lines/screen time, and must speak in every scene. They are working a formula so tightly that there’s no room for personality in any of the characters.

    I definitely agree that these characters exist solely to move the plot forward. I couldn’t put my finger on the problems until I read this article.

    Another point, my wife loves the Marvel movies but is extremely annoyed with the show. Why? Because she wants to see super heroes, and “Agent May I Park the Car” — as she calls Ming Na’s — character annoys her (and don’t get her started on Skye).

    Heck, my kids find it boring and they’re the reason we buy every Marvel movie. Me? Aside from the above gripes, I just want to know if this is just wasting my time or if there’s going to be some kind of continuing storyline aside from the “Rising Tide” doing… something. Somewhere. It’s also apparently bad? I don’t know.

    I just know I’m getting bored with the show, and there’s two or three characters that I wouldn’t mind not seeing anymore on the show.

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