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  • Donald J. Bingle, Writer on Demand

Sorry, Joss, But Marvel's: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Has Lost Its Way

I know that there are a lot of nerds out there that think Joss Whedon can do no wrong and, trust me, I'm a fan, too (with a genuine fondness for Buffy, Firefly, Cabin in the Woods, Toy Story, and The Avengers), but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has lost its way and is losing me as a viewer. Maybe it's not your fault (I could blame your brother or ABC or Marvel), but I am increasingly putting off watching my DVR recording of the show cause I'm just not that interested anymore. AoS got off to a rocky start in the first few episodes, but had likeable characters doing cool, interesting things with a mild over-arching plot arc of mysteries to be solved (Tahiti, The Cavalry, etc.) and was fun and funny and mostly episodic. But, since sometime late in the first season, it has become so fixated with twists (and supplementing the Marvel movies plot arc, I guess), that it has become almost completely mythic, which courts the die-hard fan base into watching every week, but does nothing to expand the base or make the show self-contained or fun for a quick watch. Instead, it has turned darker, the once fun characters have all turned dark or mean or unsavory or untrustworthy or all of the above. I've blogged before on how many shows move from being episodic to mythic and the impact of such movement ( and all of that applies now to AoS. It has become a story about dark, unlikeable people playing office politics and making bad decisions. If I want dark, I could watch The Following, which has turned into The Saw, slightly sanitized for a network audience. If I want unlikeable characters, I could watch Duck Dynasty. If I want office politics, I could watch Suits. If I want bad decision making and unbelievable plot points, I could watch How to Get Away With Murder. I've either never started or given up on all of the above. Add in increasing issues with collateral damage caused by the good guys (I've blogged about that at, and it's really difficult to root for the "good guys," if that's what they really are supposed to be. Maybe I'll just binge rewatch Buffy again, instead. Donald J. Bingle Writer on Demand

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