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December 12 2013

(SPOILER) Titles for Agents of SHIELD's episodes 11 and 12. The Futon Critic lists the first two episodes after the break in January. Check out the title for episode 11.

According to Devin Faraci, rumours persist that Marvel aren't happy with the show. Which - I don't blame them. It's still a long way short of being a good show. Feels like it's been made too safe. To satisfy corporate masters?
...on the other hand, many critics and people like it. I dont blame them. Its a great show.
IMO, AOS while having potential still have some way to go before being called a great ( or even good ) show, but taste varies :)
This is probably not a place for rumors, but I'm curious why they don't like it. Are they at odds with the writers, or with ABC? Does ABC have the final say on show matters? People talk about appeasing the corporate masters, but I don't think we have a good idea of who wants what out of the show.

I don't know where you'd get that information, but it would be interesting to know if Jed and Maurissa have the ability to tell the story exacty the way they want to, or have to make changes to appease Marvel, or ABC.

I find it funny that the original mission statement for AoS was to be episodic (because big networks like that format) and now people are complaining that it's not serialized. Listen up networks, the people have spoken, and their like their serialized TV! :)
If they were so unhappy it wouldn't make sense that they hired Drew Goddard for Daredevil. His appointment confirms to me that they still trust Joss as its likely he recommended Drew.
I wonder if they're not happy with the show, but understand there was too large of a committee and too many restrictions placed on the actual creative team, i.e. there are problems but it's not exactly the team's fault. I hope that's the case. As far as the next episode, they've had a wobbly buildup to this reveal, glad they're getting past it soon. Could launch a much better second half of the season, not that I've hated the first half by any means.

I don't think a credible case can be mounted against the creative team. For me AOS has felt like it has been asked to wear too many hats.

[ edited by Andy Dufresne on 2013-12-12 17:12 ]
Marvel IS happy with the show, at least the Marvel people that actually matter. The Marvel people that don't matter (in the context of this show) like Steranko who has done nothing but post aggressively negative blogs about the show mean nothing in terms of how long it's going to be around.

(Edited to use a slightly less .. err... inflammatory term.)

[ edited by Beth on 2013-12-12 17:41 ]
For reference, this is what Andy Dufresne is referring to:

Rumors have reached my ears that Marvel Studios isn't exactly enthralled with the series, which has too many network fingers dipping into it. Could this be why the show has been so low on identifiable Marvel characters? Why use Edison Poe, a new character, when there must be a hundred equivalent characters in the Marvel Universe whose inclusion would send fans scurrying to type up theories? We've reached a point where, except for the name 'SHIELD' and a reference to Captain America, this show could be Generic Feelgood Semi-Action Bullshit: The Series.

Source: Badass Digest

...which indicates that Marvel's issue is with ABC, rather than the creative team. And it's worth pointing out that it also jives a bit with Jeffrey Bell's recent comments about the show moving in a more "Marvel" direction.
This is way above my head. The concept of behind the scenes plotting and scheming, a la some Game of Thrones type of thing with Marvel, ABC, Joss, J-Mo, Jeff Bell, Jim Steranko, the echo-chamber of the negative web, is just weird.

Age of Ultron! I think Agents of SHIELD will still be on until that movie premieres, and it will maybe tease events in it. Maybe a scientist named Henry Pym will pop up in the tv-show and show us some cool new tech? And then Scott Lang steals something like that in the Ant-Man movie, and Ultron is unleashed in the Avengers movie.

I am just thinking aloud here. I really like the show. I guess a lot of people had expectations for it that were not met.
So, if Marvel is unhappy with ABC it would make more sense of the Netflix deal. If they get a decent budget and free reign I think they can make a good product.
quick tangent: We are now closer in time to the release of Avengers 2 than the release of Avengers.

carry on.
Andy, that's my suspicion too, and from the get-go have suspected too many cooks in the kitchen. They should definitely throw some more superhero stuff into the mix though, hope the powers that be allow them to. Don't think we'll be seeing Hank Pym in the show since he's getting his own movie, doubt they'd want to premiere him on Episode 8 of Season 2 or whatnot.
We are now closer in time to the release of Avengers 2 than the release of Avengers.

That's a fun stat.
I have been trying to come up with some idea of why the network would do what its being accused of and nothing I can come up with makes a lick of sense. Can anyone shed some light on why or are we just dealing with suits being suits* ?

*assuming the rumor is reasonably close to the truth.
Maybe Marvel Studios is saying "more Marvel characters in Agents of SHIELD", Disney is saying "No hold off, save them for the movies" and ABC is saying is "we didn't want Marvel characters (especially superheroes) in the first place, so keep them away from our network". And for all I know, Marvel Comics has a say too.
Honestly - until such time that the show runners, Jeffrey Bell, or Joss himself step up to give the "we HAD a great show until the suits ruined it" spin - I continue to assume that this is exactly the show they envisioned

There's an interview somewhere with Joss where he mentions he was excited to do an "espionage" show, and while it didn't register at the time, maybe that's the problem. Maybe Disney/Marvel assumed they'd be getting fantasy/sci-fi/comic book and instead we're delivered a watered down Man From Uncle

While I will again say how much I like the show in general - this last episode really drove home the point that there is little "Marvel" about the show. Given the VAST universe and characters to incorporate the team hasn't to date used any of it. The soldier/centipede dudes were just generic guys wearing camo. Po and Reanna (sp?) don't strike me as so crazy bad/powerful that Coulson and team shouldn't be able to handle them. This could have easily been an old lost episode of Alias or Fringe or whatever

To me - the notion that 10 episodes in I don't have a clue as to who they're fighting, or what the stakes are is a problem. Given that Marvel provided them a library of Big Bad's and assorted minions (which would allow for both episodic and serialized story telling) the fact they're not being used seems odd.

I really like Skye, Ward has grown on me, some of the back story stuff is potentially engaging, and the little quirks can be fun. But as someone who's been an outspoken fan .... it's time.

More humor. Higher Stakes. More Marvel. A Marvel/Whedon production should be about as much ear-to-ear grin inducing fun as TV can stand. Hope that's what the second half delivers.

Interesting point about the stakes (I'm sure others have mentioned at some point too, i don't get a chance to read as many discussions as I used to).

I was expecting the promised procedural. In that regard, the stakes are on a per episode basis. However, there are serialized elements, and you're absolutely right that the stakes on those are completely ambiguous. Much in the same way as early Fringe episodes for example.

It seems the show is trying to use the mystery to engage us for the long haul. How is Coulson alive? Who is Centipede? But there are no stakes associated with those. Coulson is alive. Something is off, but he's alive, and doing a pretty good job. Until this week Centipede was so hidden that there was no active threat, to our team or anyone else. There wasn't even an active investigation on them, our team only intersected them by chance more or less.

I definitely do not need every episode to be about the overall arcs, but it makes sense that there should be real concerns. Coulson's mystery should really have been a bigger concern. When he was rusty with a gun he should have almost been killed. It should be a real problem. Centipede should carry more weight than it does.

All this is easy for me to say, especially after seeing 10 finished episodes, and I may be off base anyway. It's a whole other thing to do this from the ground up. I'm still happy with what's been happening and believe the show to be improving. It's a difficult thing to make well, a TV show. I've had no issue with it blending into the Marvel movie universe, with the possible exception of them not calling Cap for help in The Bridge. But he may be on walkabout or something. And Hawkeye and BW may be on a mission. (Moreover I'm surprised they didn't just bring more agents!)

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