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Xiphias Gladius

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Caught up on the latest AGENTS OF SHIELD [Nov. 9th, 2013|04:35 pm]
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I'd been considering giving up on the show, but people were saying that this one was better than the previous ones.

And it was.

It still isn't actually GOOD, but it was better. If this is their "A" game, well, I'm not sure what the "then" of that phrase is, but it's not encouraging. There was an entire scene with Skye and Ward in which I was able to speak most of the lines along with them -- "I hate this, what can we do?" "We wait." "I feel so helpless." Blah Blah Blah exactly like every other time two characters in anything have ever had that scene, and the only lines I missed were because they actually went with the MOST trite lines, rather than do something even a LITTLE different, and I'm used to even people who do that particular trite scene at least slotting in ONE original phrasing.

This, right here, is EXACTLY the same blog post as everybody else is writing, as if we're copying and pasting from each other. We're not, though. It's just actually THAT obvious. And let me go on with the same blog post that everyone else is writing.

I couldn't help but thinking about SLEEPY HOLLOW, which would have taken that whole ninety second scene, or however long it was (it felt longer), and done it with Nicole Baharie and Tom Mison glancing at one another with A Look, and covered it, because, well we already KNOW that's what they're thinking, so they would just do, "This look means that we are covering the ground of Standard Scene 28A. If we were going to do something different, we'd have THAT scene, but we're not, and we really can't AFFORD to waste ninety seconds on doing the Exact Same Scene That You Already Know, because we have Stuff To Do."
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: alexx_kay
2013-11-09 09:42 pm (UTC)

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Thanks for reassuring me that I was right to jump off when I did.
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2013-11-09 09:47 pm (UTC)

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It's not bad. It's just so relentlessly mediocre. It's the EXACT middle of the genre. It's what happens when you get enough creators in the room that they decide to take zero risks.

AGENTS OF SHIELD is such a safe bet. It's a hugely popular franchise, it's a popular and beloved character, it's got money powerhouses behind it. It's created by a beloved creator. It's a totally safe bet. And the creators have decided to continue to make the safe bet every time.

I don't think the show's had a single unexpected plot twist, except in that I sometimes miss what they're going to do because I don't think they could possibly be THAT obvious, but they are. It's POSSIBLE that they're doing this on purpose in order to subvert it later on -- apparently that's what Joss did in DOLLHOUSE: exactly set up a trope in order to subvert it.

But if they're going to subvert it and show that all of their obviousness and triteness was a misdirection, they'd better make their move soon, because, otherwise, there won't be anybody watching when they do.
[User Picture]From: alexx_kay
2013-11-09 10:30 pm (UTC)

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My read on it isn't that they are consciously avoiding risk, but that they are suffering from Third Artist Syndrome. The characters are (supposedly) several different varieties of brilliant, but they all speak (and apparently think) like TV-Witty, not like *actual* brilliant people.
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2013-11-09 10:54 pm (UTC)

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Lis just said that AGENTS OF SHIELD is a "pre-TV Tropes show". It just paints by numbers, not realizing that we all also know what number goes with what color.

We live in a post-modernist world. It's a modernist show, and therefore looks clunky and out-of-date. It looks so twentieth-century.

In the AVENGERS, Phil Coulson is a post-modernist character. He's an audience-surrogate fan, because he knew the superhero tropes -- he was a Captain America fanboy. In AGENTS OF SHIELD, he's just a normal "company man." He doesn't have that genre-awareness that he did in THOR and AVENGERS.
[User Picture]From: tigerbright
2013-11-09 10:05 pm (UTC)

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It's very comforting, in a way, this predictability.

Edited at 2013-11-09 10:05 pm (UTC)