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(Action A Go-Go)   Browncoat approved review of Whedon's latest gig. Dong ma? Shiny   (actionagogo.com) divider line 32
    More: Cool, Joss Whedon  
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2746 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Sep 2013 at 10:37 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-26 10:17:18 AM
The opening episode was good.

The review is trying too damn hard, and this is coming from a fella who has a whole raft of Firefly Motivators that I keep for politics threads.

Let the show be its own thing. Yes, it's nice to see a lot of Whedon's regulars show up, and that gives me some hope for the dang thing. It has a lot of the elements that make a Whedon show a Whedon show, and if you're not a fan of the style, then it's not going to be for you. It was dang pretty, and fun, and if you LIKE Whedon's stuff, this is a great start.
 
2013-09-26 10:40:24 AM

hubiestubert: The opening episode was good.

The review is trying too damn hard, and this is coming from a fella who has a whole raft of Firefly Motivators that I keep for politics threads.

Let the show be its own thing. Yes, it's nice to see a lot of Whedon's regulars show up, and that gives me some hope for the dang thing. It has a lot of the elements that make a Whedon show a Whedon show, and if you're not a fan of the style, then it's not going to be for you. It was dang pretty, and fun, and if you LIKE Whedon's stuff, this is a great start.


I agree. It needs some time for the characters to gel, but it was definitely the best new thing so far this week. More Ming-Na, for example, but hopefully that's coming in future episodes.

I got all excited thinking that [spoiler redacted] was going to be a permanent character, but I guess not :(
 
2013-09-26 10:47:23 AM
I've watch the first 40 minutes (will finish it at lunch). As someone who loves both Firefly and Buffy, I felt that the dialog seemed forced and the characters smug, just like Whedon-haters say about everything he does.
 
2013-09-26 10:49:00 AM

hubiestubert:  It has a lot of the elements that make a Whedon show a Whedon show, and if you're not a fan of the style, then it's not going to be for you. It was dang pretty, and fun, and if you LIKE Whedon's stuff, this is a great start.


That's pretty much my only concern. I only kind of like Whedon and his shows have been hit or miss for me. I liked Avengers but I felt like it played down some of the silliness that Whedon puts in his shows that annoy me. I'm hoping the Marvel brand will restrain him some and we won't get to the "Everybody in SHIELD gets a music number" phase in this series.
 
2013-09-26 10:53:07 AM

Wellon Dowd: I've watch the first 40 minutes (will finish it at lunch). As someone who loves both Firefly and Buffy, I felt that the dialog seemed forced and the characters smug, just like Whedon-haters say about everything he does.


That may have been my problem. The dialog seemed a little to "forced snarky" Coulson doing it on occasion...as if innocently is one thing but for he and Sky to do it essentially every other line was making me hope for a "Whedon-Tragic Death".

But I have watched sci-fi shows before that started weak and I ended up loving them (Babylon 5 and DS9) so more than willing to give it a season or so.
 
2013-09-26 11:01:47 AM

Wellon Dowd: I've watch the first 40 minutes (will finish it at lunch). As someone who loves both Firefly and Buffy, I felt that the dialog seemed forced and the characters smug, just like Whedon-haters say about everything he does.


I liked the show. I wouldn't call the dialogue "forced," but it was classic, snarky, self-aware Whedon dialogue, which I tend to love, but I can understand why some people wouldn't.

Remember this from Firefly:

"That sounds like something out of science fiction."
"You live in a spaceship, dear."

Then you get this on Agents of SHIELD:

"This is a disaster."
"No, it's an origin story."

Whedon doesn't really break the fourth wall, but he walks right up to it, does a blowfish on the window, and lets the audience know that he knows we're watching.
 
2013-09-26 11:09:23 AM
Review is trying too hard, and so was the first episode of the show. I sort-of liked it, which is for someone who has watched all of Buffy, Angel and Firefly all the way through at least five times each, a more than 30 year history of Marvel Comics readership AND a fanatical devotion to Bear McCreary's work as a composer.

So "sort-of liked it" is actually a bit of a let down.

The first episode felt rushed and seemed to rely a lot on archetypes or perhaps the tropes associated with other Whedon work as a shorthand for properly introducing those characters. In particular, the action guy was so blandly drawn that I can't even remember his name. The second half of the episode felt really rushed; I wish there could have been another 10 minutes or so just to allow for some more character interaction and a more natural conclusion to the action.
 
2013-09-26 11:19:11 AM

Moodybastard: Wellon Dowd: I've watch the first 40 minutes (will finish it at lunch). As someone who loves both Firefly and Buffy, I felt that the dialog seemed forced and the characters smug, just like Whedon-haters say about everything he does.

That may have been my problem. The dialog seemed a little to "forced snarky" Coulson doing it on occasion...as if innocently is one thing but for he and Sky to do it essentially every other line was making me hope for a "Whedon-Tragic Death".


I did like the line about the "sweaty cosplay girls outside Stark Tower."
 
2013-09-26 11:25:32 AM
I'm not a fully indoctrinated Whedonite. I get the feeling that Skye is like Kaylee and Ward is like Jane. Is Whedon one to re-use character archetypes? Are there other ones?
 
2013-09-26 11:31:04 AM
Is this the lens-flare guy or the explosions guy or the overwritten exposition while walking fast down hallways guy?

I know it's not the heavy-handed moral critiques via CGI guy...dude, the boat sinks at the end, right?

I'm having trouble keeping my creative geniuses in order.
 
2013-09-26 11:37:38 AM
As a counter to the "Whedon is a master of the craft" assertion, I would like to point out "Dollhouse" and the last couple seasons of "Buffy".  Yes, he has some really good high points when he's on a roll, but the guy's stuff also falls flat on its face about half the time and he relies heavily on potlucking highly charismatic actors who have strong enough personalities to help shape their own characters and pull them away from the 2D quip machines they are in his writing.

Speaking of:

Cybernetic: I liked the show. I wouldn't call the dialogue "forced," but it was classic, snarky, self-aware Whedon dialogue, which I tend to love, but I can understand why some people wouldn't.


There were cases where it was pretty forced: the woman playing the legendary returning retired spy making quippy pop-culture references when she's supposed to be doing the gruff "I didn't even want to be here" bit was pretty blatantly out of character... even what little character was established so far.  Likewise, it makes little sense for the cranky new-guy Scully expy to be cracking jokes with the tech staff and everyone else like they've known each other for decades.

I would put this down on the staff writers trying to directly copy the Avengers a bit too hard, though, since that tie-in is sort of the primary selling point of the series.  It'll likely go away after the pilot.  Like I said, we'll pretty much have to wait to see whether the actors are strong enough to push through the corny Whedon dialogue and force real characterization on their own.

//I put down Firefly being great to basically Fillion and Baldwin, since neither is brilliant per se but they both have  astonishing comic timing and a well-developed ability to express things reliably without dialogue.  Most of the best moments in the series involved a character expressing some sort of strong emotion that heavily contrasted what they were actually saying, e.g. Jaynesville.
 
2013-09-26 11:40:24 AM

cgraves67: I'm not a fully indoctrinated Whedonite. I get the feeling that Skye is like Kaylee and Ward is like Jane. Is Whedon one to re-use character archetypes? Are there other ones?


Winsome Science Girl is definitely a Whedon character: Willow, Fred, Kaylee, Topher
Wise Elder Badass is definitely a Whedon trope: Giles, Shepherd Book, Boyd Langton
Smartass Schlub is definitely a Whedon trope: Xander, Doyle, Wash
Sociopath on the path of Good is a Whedon trope: Spike, Faith, Jayne

TVtropes can make almost anything fit in to its categories, and there's almost certainly an aspect of the Five Man Band that's rearing its head. I don't think Whedon is uniquely impaired by these things, but it's certainly true that his fans dissect his work a lot more than most other writers.
 
2013-09-26 12:48:16 PM
The truth about Coulson is going to be interesting, perhaps more so than the "A" plots.  The rest of the show, well, it felt a little more slanted to younger kids than most Joss stuff. The flying Corvette was too much, shown too soon, and also not rendered out all that well.

Overall I thought it was kind of weak and shakey, but I'm willing to give it more time  to find it's footing than Fox usually would.
 
2013-09-26 01:07:47 PM
It seemed very much like a pilot for a TV show, where the most important audience is a few out-of-touch suits in an office somewhere.

Within those restrictions, I thought it was well done. But I'm a long-time Whedon fan, so what do I know.
 
2013-09-26 01:47:56 PM

Kyosuke: But I'm a long-time Whedon fan, so what do I know.


The pain of untimely cancellation.
 
2013-09-26 01:54:41 PM
I really like Agent Coulson in the avengers and some of the youtube videos that came out prior.

But after watching SHIELD the other night... I just kept thinking that they jumped the shark with him way too soon.
 
2013-09-26 02:02:21 PM
That review made me dumber for having read it.

Loved Firefly, but I've never fully understood the extent of the obsession with it.  Seriously - if current trends continue, Dragon*Con's exhibit hall will consist of ~78% Firefly booths, ~18% Doctor Who, and ~4% Steampunk bondage gear by 2016.
 
2013-09-26 02:18:50 PM
Hated Skye. Liked everyone else. Skye was obviously Whedon's Mary Sue, and the actress is terrible. She may be enough for this Marvel fan to avoid the show if she doesn't shut the hell up and quit with the snarky, cutesy dialogue. She's such a cliche, it's just unbearable.

I wish Whedon could just NOT have that bantering in everything he does. All he's showing me is that he's a one-trick pony. I bailed on Burton for the same reason; He couldn't get out of his comfort zone and became a joke.

I started out liking Whedon (the Buffy movie, Alien 3, etc.) and then disliking him (Buffy TV, Firefly, Dollhouse), then loving him (Avengers) and now I'm back to thinking he just can't do anything on television without making it a clone of his Buffy formula, writing, dialogue, archetypes, etc.

I'll give this show a chance, but if it continues to be a platform for this faux-snarky, forced, only-missing-the-rimshot dialogue, I'll have to jump ship and hope Marvel Studios gets back to making good TV shows. So far, they've been awful on TV... Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble... Ugh. Earth's Mightiest Heroes wasn't Marvel Studios, sadly.

I think the problem is that Joe Quesada thinks Man of Action and Joss Whedon have a brand of humor that appeals to teens and kids (even though it's REALLY cheesy and forced), and Joe also thinks anyone under 30 is too stupid to appreciate sophisticated humor. What he likes is snarky one-liners and pie-in-the-face styled pop culture jokes.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. feels like the sinister collaboration of Joe Quesada and Joss Whedon on their worst days, with the sane influence of some other folks who FORCED them to "pull it back" a bit. So it was good, but only when Skye wasn't on screen (or doing narration) and Coulson wasn't a vehicle for snarky one-liners.
 
2013-09-26 02:58:20 PM
That was the second time I clicked an Action-A-Go-Go link. Remind me to never do that again.
 
2013-09-26 02:59:06 PM

ZeroCorpse: I started out liking Whedon (the Buffy movie, Alien 3, etc.) and then disliking him (Buffy TV, Firefly, Dollhouse),


You think the Buffy movie is better than the Buffy TV show?

Dude... seek help.
 
2013-09-26 03:01:51 PM

cgraves67: I'm not a fully indoctrinated Whedonite. I get the feeling that Skye is like Kaylee and Ward is like Jane. Is Whedon one to re-use character archetypes? Are there other ones?


Here's Whedon's tvtropes page.  How many boxes did he tick off in the episode?
 
2013-09-26 03:23:31 PM

Son of Thunder: cgraves67: I'm not a fully indoctrinated Whedonite. I get the feeling that Skye is like Kaylee and Ward is like Jane. Is Whedon one to re-use character archetypes? Are there other ones?

Here's Whedon's tvtropes page.  How many boxes did he tick off in the episode?


It's only the pilot, but some of them are already evident.

action girl
person named after an object
mysterious organizations who recruit people with special talents
badass normals
badass bookworms
snarkiness
people with British accents (2X)
badass crew
deadpan snarkers
Production Posse, of course
 
2013-09-26 03:35:46 PM

Son of Thunder: You think the Buffy movie is better than the Buffy TV show?

Dude... seek help.


ZeroCorpse hates Whedon. This is immediately evident from the last five years of conversations on the Geek tab.

The bar-none biggest disappointment about this new show is that Jeph Loeb was allowed anything to do with the production. I want to love it but Loeb could make me hate a 19 year old blind bisexual nymphomaniac with a lifetime supply of Ky Jelly.
 
2013-09-26 04:00:53 PM

Learned Hand Job: That review made me dumber for having read it.

Loved Firefly, but I've never fully understood the extent of the obsession with it.  Seriously - if current trends continue, Dragon*Con's exhibit hall will consist of ~78% Firefly booths, ~18% Doctor Who, and ~4% Steampunk bondage gear by 2016.


That might be the first thing I ever read that actually gives me a reason to go to a 'Con.
 
2013-09-26 04:50:10 PM

dwrash: I really like Agent Coulson in the avengers and some of the youtube videos that came out prior.

But after watching SHIELD the other night... I just kept thinking that they jumped the shark with him way too soon.


I don't know they added an air of mystery to him. Know I want to know how he survived being killed. Hopefully they aren't morphing him into an android with human consciousness like Vision. Due to the next avengers movie being the Age of Ultron.
 
2013-09-26 05:11:19 PM

blackomne: Hopefully they aren't morphing him into an android with human consciousness like Vision. Due to the next avengers movie being the Age of Ultron.


My theory is that Coulson is an LMD. The real guy is a spry 80 year old getting down with widows in some nursing home someplace, and his robot duplicates are used to faithfully carry out Fury's directives.
 
2013-09-26 05:37:32 PM
Any Pie Left: The truth about Coulson is going to be interesting, perhaps more so than the "A" plots.  The rest of the show, well, it felt a little more slanted to younger kids than most Joss stuff. The flying Corvette was too much, shown too soon, and also not rendered out all that well.

Overall I thought it was kind of weak and shakey, but I'm willing to give it more time  to find it's footing than Fox usually would.


Also known as the thing they are banking on people sticking around and watching it for.  The moment they reveal it I bet the ratings drop if the show continues to be as bad as it was in the pilot.

Kept hearing so much about "action, action.  So much money spent on action in the pilot, and even more in the second episode!"

Watch pilot: a small fistfight and a couple guys getting wire thrown

*yawn*

God damnit Arrow needs to come back so I can see a superhero show worth watching.  But I guess 3 weeks of mediocrity will have to do.

On another note, why is "super awesome hacker of amazing" always a chick these days?  And always super hot for no apparent reason?
 
2013-09-26 06:56:46 PM

likefunbutnot: Son of Thunder: You think the Buffy movie is better than the Buffy TV show?

Dude... seek help.

ZeroCorpse hates Whedon. This is immediately evident from the last five years of conversations on the Geek tab.

The bar-none biggest disappointment about this new show is that Jeph Loeb was allowed anything to do with the production. I want to love it but Loeb could make me hate a 19 year old blind bisexual nymphomaniac with a lifetime supply of Ky Jelly.


Jesus Zuul, not this shiat again. You don't know me, nor do you know what I like or don't like.  I LOVE  The Cabin in the Woods. It's actually one of my favorite movies of the past decade. I LOVE  The Avengers. I am also one of a handful of people who loved the original Buffy movie and Aliens 3.

I do not hate Whedon. What I dislike is when Whedon (or any other creator) caters to his "hardcore" audience and forgets that his talents range a lot further than his comfort zone.

But I dislike the Buffy TV show, Firefly, and Dollhouse because they're a lot of contrived, forced snarky lines being spewed by some of the worst actors on television (Do NOT tell me SMG is any good. She's terrible) and when he does TV shows like that, Whedon has a tendency to stick to his same old formula and write dialogue that sounds like HIM, not like the characters he's writing. He Mary Sues the hell out of his TV shows.

I also dislike hardcore fans who go overboard and declare everything the man does "the best show ever" when it clearly isn't. I really disliked Browncoats simply because they infiltrated non-Whedon stories and threads and suggested casting everyone from Firefly in everything else ever made... It gets old, fast.

But Joss Whedon has talent. He has great ideas. He tells some good jokes, too. He just suffers from George Lucas Syndrome... When he doesn't have someone around him to say "No" to him, things go sideways and he alienates everyone but the hardcore Buffy/Firefly fans. And the hardcore fans make outsiders feel VERY unwelcome. I've never met a more snotty group of fans. Even original hardcore Trekkies weren't as nasty to fans of other franchises.

Now... all that said, I  do hate Jeph Loeb more and more. His involvement with some of the worst of Marvel Studios' television projects is convincing me he's as much of a hack as I thought he was when he vomited up Red Hulk in the comics. I totally agree that he's a bad mark on this show, but he IS Marvel's Executive Vice President, Head of Television, so his paw prints end up on all Marvel Studios' TV shows. I personally can't wait until he's moved to another position. Between him and Joe Q., Marvel Studios' TV offerings have been insulting up until now.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is good. It just needs Skye to be toned down. I suspect this will happen when Jed takes over from Joss, and other writers get on board and take the show in new directions.

Anyway, I wager I was digging Whedon's work before most modern Whedonites were even out of diapers, so don't tell me who I hate or don't hate. You ain't my wife.
 
2013-09-26 07:16:07 PM

Son of Thunder: ZeroCorpse: I started out liking Whedon (the Buffy movie, Alien 3, etc.) and then disliking him (Buffy TV, Firefly, Dollhouse),

You think the Buffy movie is better than the Buffy TV show?

Dude... seek help.


Yes.

Paul Reubens saying "KILL HIM A LOT" was funnier than anything in the entire TV series. Every actor in the movie was twice as good as every actor in the TV show. The TV show was just a crass ripoff of Scooby Doo. The movie was a clever concept that worked in the space of a couple hours. Young Kristy Swanson's hotter than young SMG on any day of the week. Donald Sutherland is a better actor than that guy on the TV show. Paul Reubens rocks.

The humor was Whedon's style, but without quite so much of the self-absorbed snarky, witty banter. It's toned down from his TV dialogue. That change alone makes it more appealing to anyone who isn't still in the tween mindset.

I get that Buffy was the show for a certain generation of folks, and they love it to death and will defend it-- warts and all-- as if it's master theater. The problem has been that when anyone expresses dislike of the show, the crowd of fans gets downright ANGRY and does the Internet equivalent of throwing tomatoes, because there's no room in their world for someone who doesn't LOVE Whedon's TV dialogue. 

I like Joss Whedon. It's his hardcore, teeth-gnashing, can't-handle-criticism-of-their-hero fans that drive me bonkers. And I don't even hate  them... I just think the worst of them are generally intolerant and rude to non-fans, or even extremely casual fans. On AICN, they were TERRIBLE.

But YES, I like the movie. I liked the movie when I saw it in theaters in 1992. I still like it today, though it is a bit dated.

/I meant to say I liked Alien Resurrection.
//Although I did like Alien 3. I'm not sure how much Whedon had to do with it.
 
2013-09-26 11:25:35 PM
The worst things about Firefly are the fans.
 
2013-09-27 04:24:45 AM

hammer85: On another note, why is "super awesome hacker of amazing" always a chick these days? And always super hot for no apparent reason?


You're right. Why couldn't it have been an ugly chick by putting glasses on the same hot actress?

It's TV, and primarily exists to keep interest for the continuing lineup of Marvel movies, so no ugly people in Disney's seasons-long advertisement for Avengers 2+.
 
2013-09-27 10:54:41 AM

likefunbutnot: Son of Thunder: You think the Buffy movie is better than the Buffy TV show?

Dude... seek help.

ZeroCorpse hates Whedon. This is immediately evident from the last five years of conversations on the Geek tab.

The bar-none biggest disappointment about this new show is that Jeph Loeb was allowed anything to do with the production. I want to love it but Loeb could make me hate a 19 year old blind bisexual nymphomaniac with a lifetime supply of Ky Jelly.


As drawn by Liefeld, amirite?
 
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