Sorry. I got nothin’. Last week I played hookey. It doesn’t bode well for your show if the reviewer says, “Eh, I’d rather go to jujitsu tonight where I can suffer ego destruction at the hands of teenagers.” Well, last weeks episode turned out to be the best so far. I figure the Science Fiction gods were punishing me for my lack of dedication. Sufficiently shamed by the proceedings, I turned in this week. And as of this moment I have nothing substantial to say about the episode. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has crossed over into the place no television show dares to tread, the land of sleepy time tea.
Great Episodic television is like crack. You wanna squish your face against the monitor and snort up every delectable image. You want to build a time machine out of an old car battery and a can of Crisco because next week’s episode is too far away. You want to blog about it. You want to ride that google wave of algorithms to episodic enlightenment, find out everything you can, discuss it, spread the word. You want to evangelize for that show. You want to take that show to a secluded cabin in the woods, put on your skimpiest lingerie, and make some t.v. babies!
If a show is bad, super-colossal epic fail bad, there’s still hope. Why? People will still talk about something that’s 31 flavors of raw sewage. And in respect to pop culture, the mainstream loves its trash far more than its treasure. There’s one thing though you can never be: bland.
Bland television is forgettable television. Now, I know nerds have a tendency to overreact. They think think something is (in my best Optimus Prime voice) THE GREATEST THING IN THE HISTORY OF LIFE-CHANGING EVEN TS or it (in my best Gollum), Raped the corpse of all we love and hold dear, myyyyy preciiiousssss! So I can see why my analysis might read as a nerd prematurely writing off a show that’s only four episodes in. Fair enough.
But here’s a question for you. If the show is so good (or bad), where are the Facebook memes? Where are the hordes of enthusiastic fans talk about “really cool moment X” It’s not happening, especially with this episode. The supporting cast was blah. The story was eh. Other things were meh (and I am not a man who uses the word “meh” lightly).
I’m trying to be an optimist here. Episodic television can be a slow burn. Gregg Clark is great. He’s the glue holding this rickety helicarrier together, but he’s not enough. There is no dramatic tension. The jokes are cutesy at best. The attractive people are satisfied getting by on their looks.
And that’s the show in a nutshell, it’s getting by, and I’m losing patience with it. I, your intrepid reviewer, will stick it out for the season. Marvel has earned the right to have a few stumbles, but I’m not their battered wife. I won’t hanging around forever hoping the show will change. (I never was a Beauty and The Beast fan, Disney). I’m keeping my fingers crossed for next week.
Written By David Arroyo