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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Some Samplings of the New TV Season

Well, back on Saturday, I sat down and started going through my PVR, watching and re-watching some of the season premieres I had recorded.  It's an exciting time, as it's season premiere season and all the new shows are premiering, so I thought I'd take a moment to just jot down some of my thoughts on all the stuff.

First up, had to watch one of the most anticipated new shows of the fall, Agents of SHIELD.  Disney/Marvel looks to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the small screen, as we follow this series about an elite team of SHIELD agents as they jet across the globe, investigating all manner of superhuman threats.  Led by Agent Phil Coulson, whom we all thought died in The Avengers.  According to Coulson, when he makes his return, he was clinically dead for 43 seconds, but the SHIELD medics brought him back from the brink, and he's spent the past year recovering in Tahiti. 

But, eventually, we learned that this is NOT the case, and his resurrection is SHIELD top secret.  No doubt the circumstances of his resurrection will eventually evolve into some kind of myth-arc. 

But we see Coulson's team is the usual bunch.  We've got our gung-ho soldier, we've got the combat veteran who was traumatized for some reason and is reluctant to go back into the field, there's a pair of socially awkward scientists, and a quirky girl hacker.  Can they overcome their differences and become an ace team of secret agents?  Of course, or else it'd be a very short series.

The series is masterminded by Avengers director Joss Whedon.  Now, I wouldn't really call myself a Whedonite.  I mean, I enjoyed Firefly, but I'm pretty sure that's because when I first got Space, Space was showing it non-stop.  Nothing gets you into a TV show like when it's the only thing on for 18 hours straight.  And despite assurances that I would love Buffy, I always found myself wandering away bored after a few episodes. 

With all that in mind, I did enjoy Agents of SHIELD.  It successfully transferred to the small screen that sense of fun that I've enjoyed in all the Marvel films.  However, it did have a familiar vibe to it.  I must agree with one online critic I read that said it look and felt a lot like the Knight Rider reboot from a few years ago.  It was similarly slick, polished, and too clever for its own good.  I'm certain, though, that they'll find their footing, and it'll be a fun series.

I just kind of hope they'll follow Arrow's lead and occasionally bring in some well-known C-list heroes and villains from the comics for team-ups. 

And speaking of the Marvel universe, I also picked up the Iron Man 3 Blu-Ray last week.  (Look for a review on Fishing in the Discount Bin in about 6 months or so.)  And I just wanted to take a minute to talk about the latest Marvel one-shot, Agent Carter.  For those just joining us, Marvel's been doing this thing called "One-Shots" starting with the Thor Blu-Ray, where they include a little universe-expanding short film.  And the latest, Agent Carter, is probably the best.

It picks up a year after the end of Captain America, and we catch up with Agent Peggy Carter, the WW2 secret agent who was Steve Roger's girlfriend.  Needless to say, she's a little bitter about her new desk job, as she pretty much saved the world, and with the sexism at the time from "The men are coming back from war, head back to the kitchen, ladies," she's now being treated as a glorified secretary.  So, she goes rogue one night and kicks some ass.  It's fun, it's exciting, Bradly Whitford plays Carter's CO, and I forgot that he can play a really good sleazeball.  Definitely worth checking out.

And lastly on the PVR we had the season premiere of Elementary.  I kind of like Elementary, but my only disappointment with it is that I find it very...conventional for a detective show.  The season premiere dealt with one of the bigger elephants in the room, as our modern day Sherlock Holmes learns that his old colleague Inspector Lestrade is in a spot of trouble, so he and Watson go home to London to help Lestrade. 

Also notable is when they return to London, they run into Sherlock's brother Mycroft.  I thought it would be hilarious and blow the minds of Elementary/Sherlock fans if they got Benedict Cumberbatch to play Mycroft, but instead they went with Rhys Ifans, who played the Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man.  How they changed Mycroft for the series is, rather than being Sherlock's smarter brother and working for the government in some vague capacity, he's now a highly successful London restauranteur.  So, yeah.  Mycroft is now Gordon Ramsay, only with less swearing.

But that was Elementary.  Just my usual complaint with the rest of the series...so very conventional for a detective show.  I wish with a franchise as historical as Sherlock Holmes, they'd go a little above and beyond, but they haven't. 

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