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October 28 2015

TV ratings for last night's Agents of SHIELD episode. The show got a 1.4/4 in the 18-49 demo.

World Series. Bah Humbug.
No worries. A fourth season is all but guaranteed.
1.3 to 1.5 in the overnights seems to be the range the show has settled into. I don't imagine it will ever crack a 1.5 or 1.6 again. Its audience is pretty much fixed. (And is much higher in the L+3 ratings that matter much more.)

Yes, a fourth season is guaranteed due to syndication economics.
It went up 1.2 in the L+7's for both week 1 and week 2. Its not going anywhere.
Can we at least pretend the show is doomed? I'm not used to a Whedonverse show with long-term stability. It's weird. And unnatural.
OH NO! It was just on a top 20 list for ratings in wealthy households. It's doooooooomed! Or, you know, the other thing. :)
Is this even a "Whedonverse show"? Yes, there might be some "joss" in it, but when compared to the other four, there's quite a difference. Those were all 'Best.Show.Ever' contenders, and as much as I personally like AoS on occassion, I'm not even sure it's actually a (really) good show. I tend to believe this is due to higher involvement, Joss Whedon had with the other shows.
That being said, I want season four - and more. It easily beats all those other comic book adaptions. Especially the DC/Marvel ones.
When the show started, Joss said he was reading and giving notes on every script. I'm not sure if that level of involvement has continued.
Dollhouse was a Best Show Ever contender? I'll take AOS over Dollhouse any day. And I liked Dollhouse well enough. AOS is a Joss show.
The Whedon-ratio on this show is technically higher than on most other Whedonverse shows. You know, family things considered and all.
Technically, I suppose it has to be considered a Joss show. Though I think it's fair to point out that the closest we've had to a Joss-written episode was the pilot, which was a co-write with Jed and Mo.

Personally, I don't think I'll ever mentally be able to put it in the same league as Buffy, Angel, Firefly or even Dollhouse.

I enjoy AOS as semi-mindless entertainment during the TV season and I try to keep up with it on a weekly basis. But it's not a show I'll ever have any desire to rewatch. I wouldn't even be able to name a single episode of the first two seasons that I remember being a clear standout. (This is in contrast to Dollhouse, which would be my least favourite of the other four shows, but still had episodes like "Man on the Street," which were miles beyond anything on AOS.)

For me, I just always remember Joss's (paraphrased) quote, "I'd rather make a show that a hundred people need to see, rather than a show a million people like to see." AOS is a show I like to see.

All this said, I'm happy for Jed and Mo that the show seems relatively stable and will go into Season 4 and I'm sure I'll stick around to see what the team gets up to.

[ edited by Knuckleball on 2015-10-28 22:53 ]
Yes it's definitely in another category to the other shows where Joss was actually head writer. And the bottom line is that the writing just isn't as good. It's still an entertaining show though, and it would be fun if Joss came in and did an episode at some point.
Episodes like last night prove to me the show has potential to be great. It hasn't hit the level of Buffy yet, but I don't think many of her best episodes were from just her first two seasons or so. The show has seemingly finally found a way to balance all the character arcs as well as plot.

As far as Joss being directly involved I view this as a similar situation to S6 when Marti took over the daily stuff. Joss's family connection actually gives him more involvement in all likelihood.

If this spin-off goes through will it be covered here? Joss isn't likey to take on a big role and it ll probably be in the hands of other Marvel people but the characters still started on SHIELD and it you want to get technical Joss didn't create Coulson or the original Daisy either.
I loved this episode. Easily in my top 3 eps of AoS.
I managed to send my husband and son to a sports bar to watch the World Series while I watched Agents of SHIELD, but I'm probably an outlier.
Sahjhan said:

"Those were all 'Best.Show.Ever' contenders, and as much as I personally like AoS on occassion, I'm not even sure it's actually a (really) good show."

I stick around for the high points. The fourth or fifth episode of Season 1 where I was fooled into thinking that Jemma might actually die because they only really need one scientist and because the emotional beats were right on. The about-face that the show and the organization took when Hydra's infiltration was revealed and how beautifully it connected to Captain America 2 (plus Evil Ward, a vast improvement over most-bland-character-on-the-show heroic Ward). The Season 2 finale (only downside was cheesy prosthetics on Cal/Daisy's dad/Mr. Hyde, IMO). This most recent ep with Jemma (dampened a little bit, IMO, by its similarity to The Martian, which I just saw last week, but oh well). There've probably been other highlight/standout eps, I just can't recall them at the moment.

Sometimes, even if an entire episode isn't excellent, the moments make it worthwhile. The reveal of how Coulson was brought back, with that nightmarish machine skittering around his head, re-threading his brain, and him begging the SHIELD scientists to just let him die. The beautiful and tragic moment in the mid-season finale last year when Skye went through her transformation, but Trip died...the musical score was incredible in that scene too.

"Best.Show.Ever"'s all subjective anyway. I wouldn't class this series as one yet, but the cast and characters have all grown on me, it makes me look forward to Tuesday night TV again, I love the novelty of having a TV show that weaves in and out of the films, and speaking of those ? AoS has provided a lot more of the emotional depth and longform storytelling that I love, compared to the films that only sometimes hit the mark on the former qualifier and aren't able to tackle the latter except sometimes through years-apart sequels. While 2014 was incredible for Marvel films (CA2 & Guardians) and having AoS Seasons 1 and 2 only enhanced the enjoyment, I was so let down by the Avengers sequel that the latter half of AoS Season 2, Ant-Man, and Season 3 so far have really made up for that film's limitations to the point where 2015 is still a pretty good Marvel year, IMO.

"It easily beats all those other comic book adaptions. Especially the DC/Marvel ones."

What other Marvel shows are there, aside from Daredevil ? Oh yeah and Agent Carter. Those the other Marvel shows you meant ? I'm not surprised to see some viewers preferring AoS and some preferring Carter, if they're ranking them. Those two seem to be a toss-up. I am surprised when folks rank Daredevil lower than AoS, though.
Exactly, Carter, Daredevil, (Arrow, Flash,) ... I might be forgetting something. The only thing I really liked about "Daredevil" was Woll's character. Wasn't impressed with the villain and rather disliked the un-explained nature of Matt's abilities. Deciding between DD and "Agent Carter" is a bit more difficult. Not really sure yet, which one I prefer. AC has the better visuals, though.

Apart from that, I agree that AoS had some good episodes (I loved the 'Simmons dies' one myself) and even more good moments. After all, there is a reason why I like it. Ignoring how good it might be on an objective basis (which will never be completely possible, I know) and simply going by how much I'm looking forward to it each week, AoS is without a doubt among my top five current shows. Quality isn't everything. A show can suck most of the time and still showcase your most favourite character. It can lack important things like character- and/or plot development, common sense, or good acting and still speak to you. There's obviously a grey area, but I still believe it possible to more or less differentiate between personal taste and quality.
At a panel discussion as part of a convention earlier this year, Elizabeth Henstridge seemed to suggest that Joss would visit the set every so often and still read all the scripts.
So while he obviously isn't the head writer/ the key creative voice shaping the direction of the series, I'd think he still has more involvement in the series than some assume.

(What I would be curious about, is if his retirement from Marvel extends to SHIELD as well as the films. Because it'd be nice to have him do some one-off's on SHIELD at some point, although I could see him choosing not to, to avoid stepping on Jed and Maurissa's toes.)
Joss Whedon doing an episode (or two) would be awesome. I don't see him stepping on anybody's toes (let alone Jed and Maurissa's), either. This isn't "Babylon 5", where one guy writes (almost) everything. If you hire 'contract writers', why note 'hire' the best? Joss has been in the business long enough to know how to behave in 'someone else's house' ("The Office", "Glee", ...), which isn't even really the case here. Those guys are professionals and they worked with each other before. I see no problem.
The way Fitz is hurting right now, yeah, this is a Joss show.
I had the same thought @mozzarellademon and I think the triangle while real is supposed to misdirect us from some awful future choice for the three. That's just speculation, though.
I sure as hell hope this isn't a "Joss show". In my opinion, if it were, it'd mean his best days are long behind him. AoS is in its third season and it still hasn't even scraped the surface of the kind of depth or ingenuity that was found in BtVS. By this point we'd already had Prophecy Girl, Innocence, Passion, Becoming etc. In AtS we'd already had Darla and Reprise. In Firefly we had Out of Gas or Objects in Space. In Dollhouse we had Man on the Street and Belonging. Nothing in AoS comes close.

The show will potter along just fine as a show people "like" to see but not a show (most people) "need" to see. A show that hasn't received much interest or critical acclaim but will continue primarily because it's banked by Marvel and because it's safe. It's not a show people will still be talking about 20 years after it premiers and none of its characters will ever feature on Top 20 Best TV Characters Of All Time lists anytime soon. It's never going to be a pop culture phenomenon or become part of the zeitgeist the way BtVS did.

I'm not trying to be a downer but I always just get really depressed when people call this a "Joss show." It's not remotely in the same league and I'd like to believe Joss still has enough creative spark left to create something worth becoming obsessed about again. No disrespect or malice towards anyone working on this series but if this what passes as a Whedon show nowadays than the bar has well and truly been lowered. It was almost comforting to believe Joss didn't have much involvement with the series. If he's really overseeing every script the way he did BtVS and considers this exceptional TV or TV people "need" to see them I'm afraid I think Joss is way past his peak.

Oh, and I think both Agent Carter and *especially* Daredevil blow AoS out of the water. Daredevil is in a completely different league when it comes to directing, writing, stunts, cinematography, acting... you name it. And the main thing Agent Carter has going for it is that it has a truly charismatic leading star in Hayley Atwell who is a fantastic actress.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2015-10-29 22:33 ]
AoS is a "Joss show" in a similar way to Season 2 of Rosanne being a "Joss show".
On Rosanne he wrote some lovely episodes that improved the quality of the show.
On AoS, he's not the showrunner. Mostly, he's not the director or the writer either.
But he did bring in some of the talented people doing those jobs and presumably
has regular discussions with them on the general direction of the show.

But there is only so much you can (or should) do, when you are not directly in charge.
Huge fan of Daredevil. Binged to excess when it dropped. Even my husband, who had to be dragged to Avengers, fell in close-to-love. Watch AoS but if I miss one I won't go out of my way to catch up.
Can someone link me to the definitive description of what Joss does and does not do on this show? Some of you seem to have a lot more concrete information than I have been able to find.
This q and a with Elizabeth Henstridge gives the clearest answer on his role I've seen recently:

Q: I just wanted to know if you…now that Joss is gone with the Avengers is if he gonna come back to the show?
EH: Yeah I don’t know. I mean he is very involved in the show and always has been. Um, but obviously he’s been on set a lot around the world. I don’t know…he pops in now and again and reads all the scripts and has a lot of input in it and we see him quite a lot so…that’s an interesting question maybe he can come back and direct a new episode…that would be kind of amazing. I’ll text and ask him.

(And in a recent podcast with Empire, Joss said due to working on Ultron his role is basically just to heard all Jed's ideas and nod in agreement at how great they, or something like that.)
I think sometimes people have categorically decided the show is not a Joss show, so there have been some unwarranted assumptions about his involvement. Of course he is not the showrunner, but he is still involved. To what degree, we only see little bits of information about here and there. Which is fine. It's not really our business to know every detail behind the scenes, after all. The anecdotes we do get suggest he's continuing his recovery as a control enthusiast quite nicely. :)
Yeah, I can't imagine there will be an official answer as to Joss's level of involvement, at least until after the show has entirely wrapped. Joss's name is marketable enough that no official rep of the show would state on the record if he's not terribly involved creatively.

I find myself closely aligned with vampmogs. If Joss is involved and proud of the show, I'm happy for him and his success... but it would negatively affect my opinion of him as a writer and I'd likely be a little less excited for whatever he has coming next.
I actually think we'll a little spoiled.
This was my fave episode so far. They knocked it out the park (pun intended re scheduling?).

And Joss has always spoke of his want to 'grandfather' TV shows and do summer tentpoles, and I think he nailed both.

[ edited by gossi on 2015-10-30 13:56 ]
I find the "Joss Show" argument interesting. As Joss' star continues to shine brighter, I expect to see him in a role similar to JJ Abrams when it comes to TV. Help create a show and get it off the ground, then leave it in the hands of very capable people. I love AOS by the way, I think it's good fun and this episode was fantastic.

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