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Agents Of SHIELD: Pilot

Agents Of SHIELD Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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#101 SparkyCola

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:11 AM

White Collar has a very stable, healthy marriage in the form of Peter and Elizabeth Burke. Peter is also a thoroughly smart, decent guy who is not dark or corrupt in any way that I can think of. That's why I love him as a character :love: He's the champion of 'doing the right thing' where Neal always wants to take a shortcut. It's a great dynamic between Peter and Neal.

Love White Collar- and yay it's coming back on soon :happy:

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PS - they are unlikely to kill off Peter as that would kill the show, and killing of El would be a HUGE mistake. I don't think they will. If they do, they would lose a lot of fans.

Edited by SparkyCola, 30 September 2013 - 05:13 AM.

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#102 Christopher

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:11 AM

^That's a non sequitur. Just because some fictional relationships are stable, that doesn't mean it's impossible to understand the motivation behind putting a fictional relationship into conflict. Obviously no competent writer will do the exact same thing to every character, nor should any audience member wish them to, because that would get awfully boring. Yes, Peter and Elle have a stable relationship, but Neal's whole arc in the first couple of seasons was about losing the love of his life and having to cope with the consequences thereof, and his subsequent relationship with Sara has been fraught with conflict. And didn't Diana and her girlfriend break up last season?

Yes, you can argue that a specific instance of putting a relationship in jeopardy may or may not have been a good idea. But saying it's inexplicable why a writer would doom a relationship is just disingenuous. The answer is the same as for any other crisis or loss in fiction: because crisis drives story. Disagreeing with a choice is not the same thing as being unable to understand the motivation behind it. That's the point I was making.

Edited by Christopher, 30 September 2013 - 08:12 AM.

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#103 SparkyCola

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:22 AM

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That's a non sequitur.

Nope.

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Just because some fictional relationships are stable, that doesn't mean it's impossible to understand the motivation behind putting a fictional relationship into conflict.

I didn't say it was. Stop throwing all these straw men at me.

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Obviously no competent writer will do the exact same thing to every character, nor should any audience member wish them to, because that would get awfully boring. Yes, Peter and Elle have a stable relationship, but Neal's whole arc in the first couple of seasons was about losing the love of his life and having to cope with the consequences thereof, and his subsequent relationship with Sara has been fraught with conflict. And didn't Diana and her girlfriend break up last season?

I had a feeling you'd bring that up. You seem convinced that my point is monomaniacal and devoid of nuance, but that's just not true. I'm obviously not expressing myself well enough. Pointing out that there exists one stable healthy marriage where no one has yet died does not indicate that I cannot tolerate anything BUT that, or that I would want only that. I WOULD say that it's quite rare, and more rare than is necessary. I'm just saying it is possible to have a stable relationship and still be entertaining - it was a recommendation aimed RJ's way too, as I think he might like not only that aspect but the fact that Peter is not a 'dark' corrupt character, and Neal is not particularly edgy either.

You don't need to derive drama from only one type of tension - I think in Castle, dragging out the relationship between Beckett and Castle was a mistake, and there is enough to sustain the show without the constant tension of a "will they won't they" turned into "seriously will they just get together already..." ... and sure, in White Collar Kate died - we didn't know her that well so it really isn't the same thing. And other characters have relationships that are realistic in the sense that sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, sometimes it ends well, sometimes badly, but it's also realistic to have a strong marriage/ relationship that simply works. It's a nice change. If Whedon were in charge of White Collar, I'm not convinced he would be capable of letting them be - he would have to kill one of them (presumably El) - but why? It's not necessary in this instance. And yes before you start, I GET that it IS necessary or desirable in SOME instances, but I'm talking about this one. Ok?

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Yes, you can argue that a specific instance of putting a relationship in jeopardy may or may not have been a good idea. But saying it's inexplicable why a writer would doom a relationship is just disingenuous.

I never said that either, and I'm not being disingenuous. You're the one interpreting my views into something simplistic and ornery. However, would you concede that relationships do not need to be doomed 100% of the time? For me it's a refreshing change to see El and Peter.

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The answer is the same as for any other crisis or loss in fiction: because crisis drives story. Disagreeing with a choice is not the same thing as being unable to understand the motivation behind it. That's the point I was making.

I think this was someone else's point, not mine. I quite understand the motivation for introducing conflict into a story.

Sparky

Edited by SparkyCola, 30 September 2013 - 10:23 AM.

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#104 Christopher

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:36 AM

View PostSparkyCola, on 30 September 2013 - 10:22 AM, said:

I had a feeling you'd bring that up. You seem convinced that my point is monomaniacal and devoid of nuance, but that's just not true.

This isn't about you. I made my comments in response to NeuralClone's statement that he couldn't understand why relationships in Whedon shows were doomed. You then chose to reply to my reply to him.

Edited by Christopher, 30 September 2013 - 10:37 AM.

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#105 NeuralClone

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 11:57 AM

I'll post a longer and more specific reply later since I'm on my phone at the moment.

I just wanted to clarify that I understand Whedon's motivation for destroying relationships. Of course it's to create conflict and drama. What I was trying to say is that I don't understand why he seems to feel that's one of the best and only ways to do that. He's done it so many times now that it's become a very predictable storytelling technique for him. For me, it isn't interesting conflict anymore. I want to see him tackle healthier relationships.

And I also realize that he isn't alone in that regard. Destroying relationships in fiction has been a storytelling technique for hundreds of years. I'm not expecting it to go away or suddenly change. I get the appeal of it from a writing perspective and from a viewing perspective. But I'd like to see a relationship actually last for a change on Whedon show without it ending in tragedy. There are plenty of ways to create drama in a relationship without it ending in the death of one of the characters.

Regarding Dollhouse, I honestly don't know how I forgot about those relationships. I've seen the series several times and the second relationship you mentioned, Chris, is one of my favorites. Not only is it a creative way to handle a relationship, but the way it's executed is brilliant. Somehow both of those just slipped my mind.
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#106 Godeskian

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:15 PM

Two minutes into the first episode, and I'm calling it. Coulson is a Life Model Decoy.

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#107 Christopher

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:24 PM

View PostNeuralClone, on 30 September 2013 - 11:57 AM, said:

I just wanted to clarify that I understand Whedon's motivation for destroying relationships. Of course it's to create conflict and drama. What I was trying to say is that I don't understand why he seems to feel that's one of the best and only ways to do that. He's done it so many times now that it's become a very predictable storytelling technique for him. For me, it isn't interesting conflict anymore. I want to see him tackle healthier relationships.

Maybe it's just that there's such a strong Shakespearean influence on Whedon -- he gravitates toward tragedy. Even beyond relationships, his work tends to have a certain darkness to it beneath the fun, quippy surface. Conventional definitions of good and evil are challenged or rejected. Heroic victories are often Pyrrhic, and the very idea of good triumphing over evil is questioned. Dark forces are powerful and pervasive and good guys sometimes lose. So I don't think it's just about relationships for him. I think it's part and parcel of his larger approach to storytelling.


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But I'd like to see a relationship actually last for a change on Whedon show without it ending in tragedy. There are plenty of ways to create drama in a relationship without it ending in the death of one of the characters.

Regarding Dollhouse, I honestly don't know how I forgot about those relationships. I've seen the series several times and the second relationship you mentioned, Chris, is one of my favorites. Not only is it a creative way to handle a relationship, but the way it's executed is brilliant. Somehow both of those just slipped my mind.

Well, there you go. He has given us what you asked for in his most recent series prior to this. So maybe he's already decided to diversify his approach, and maybe we'll see more of that in the future. Especially since he's now working on Marvel/Disney's behalf and there will probably be some pressure to hold his darker, more cynical side in check.

Edited by Christopher, 30 September 2013 - 12:24 PM.

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#108 Godeskian

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:09 PM

Enjoyed it. I actually liked Sky, and am a little disturbed that I know someone very much like her in the real world. Coulson rocks, Mel Rocks, agent Bland and the tech twins I'm willing to give time.

Defy Gravity!


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#109 Alica

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:57 PM

I enjoyed it. Sure, some of the dialogue was a bit cheesy, but you kinda expect that in a pilot/set up where they have a lot of stuff to cover, and skip the nuanced stuff. I think it has potential.

I REALLY hope Coulson isn't a LMD. I don't want it to be something that guessable. Here's hoping the writers are cleverer than that. Or if they're not, they read online and quickly come up with something better. :lol:

Btw, what was up with female tech nerd's accent? Can anyone tell me what accent that was supposed to be? According to IMDB the actress is English....that didn't sound like any English accent I know.
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#110 NeuralClone

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:18 PM

View PostAlica, on 30 September 2013 - 03:57 PM, said:

Btw, what was up with female tech nerd's accent? Can anyone tell me what accent that was supposed to be? According to IMDB the actress is English....that didn't sound like any English accent I know.
Well, the actress is from Sheffield. But that definitely wasn't a South Yorkshire accent...

Edited by NeuralClone, 30 September 2013 - 04:37 PM.

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#111 SparkyCola

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:21 PM

^ I know - for some reason English actresses seem to feel compelled to do a kind of posh London accent that makes it sound like they're doing an imitation of an English accent even though they are actually English. She may be covering a stronger regional accent that American viewers wouldn't be able to follow as easily?

Stop Press: NC just posted that she's a Sheffielder (woohoo!) - so perhaps she has a strong Yorkshire accent in real life :D

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#112 NeuralClone

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:36 PM

View PostSparkyCola, on 30 September 2013 - 04:21 PM, said:

^ I know - for some reason English actresses seem to feel compelled to do a kind of posh London accent that makes it sound like they're doing an imitation of an English accent even though they are actually English. She may be covering a stronger regional accent that American viewers wouldn't be able to follow as easily?
My guess is that's the case. The accent sounds a lot like the accent Lauren Cohan, who grew up in England, used on Supernatural as Bela. It seems like it's probably supposed to be some sort of posh London accent without being too specific and therefore not sounding like an actual accent.

David Tennant had a similar issue on Doctor Who except with an imitation Cockney accent. I'm by no means an expert on accents but it sounded like an actor trying to do an accent rather than a natural accent, which was obviously what it was given Tennant's Scottish accent in real life. This is only one of many examples of an actor trying to do a particular accent and falling short or making changes to it to cover a more general region. This sort of thing happens with American actors too. Southern accents in particular seem to be rather problematic and I suspect that strong northeastern accents would be equally troublesome for most actors.

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Stop Press: NC just posted that she's a Sheffielder (woohoo!) - so perhaps she has a strong Yorkshire accent in real life :D
Apparently she moved to Los Angeles too. So her accent may have diminished a little while living in the US, depending on how long she's been here. If she does have a Yorkshire accent in real life, it would have been nice to let her keep it in the show (albeit diminished a bit because that's an accent many Americans would probably have trouble with).

(By the way, Sparky, love your Womble avatar. :lol: )
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#113 RJDiogenes

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:17 PM

View PostOmega, on 29 September 2013 - 08:11 PM, said:

Uh... yeah, sorry to have spoiled my own story. I assumed anyone here interested already knew about it. Don't worry, much more happens that I haven't spoiled. :)  
Wow, Foundation fan fic. I didn't know there was such a thing. I will try to read this in the near future.  I warn you, though, Daneel is one of my favorite characters.  :lol:

View PostSparkyCola, on 30 September 2013 - 10:22 AM, said:

it was a recommendation aimed RJ's way too, as I think he might like not only that aspect but the fact that Peter is not a 'dark' corrupt character, and Neal is not particularly edgy either.  
Thanks. I had never heard of that show.

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I quite understand the motivation for introducing conflict into a story.  
Exactly. It's not about conflict.  It's about forced conflict. That's as much a part of the D&G trope as the shocking death of a major character, and just as boring.
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#114 Alica

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:01 AM

View PostNeuralClone, on 30 September 2013 - 04:18 PM, said:

View PostAlica, on 30 September 2013 - 03:57 PM, said:

Btw, what was up with female tech nerd's accent? Can anyone tell me what accent that was supposed to be? According to IMDB the actress is English....that didn't sound like any English accent I know.
Well, the actress is from Sheffield. But that definitely wasn't a South Yorkshire accent...
Is that what it is? A South Yorkshire accent I would have recognised - being from West Yorkshire, I have a fairly distinct Yorkshire accent myself! Maybe next episode I'll try sounding like I'm from London and see what it sounds like. :lol:
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#115 Godeskian

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 11:58 AM

You know, the more and more I think about it, the more I'm going to keep watching the show for the humor, even if the show turns into an objectively bad show. I like banter, and I can actually watch a show which is 90% banter and 10% pretty people (God knows, I've watched shows for less) as a space-filler if nothing else, and I get the feeling that Skye and Ward will be my prime candidates for that. The interrogation just made me chuckle repeatedly with lines like

Ward: There's two ways to do this
Skye: Is one of them the easy way?
Ward: No.
Skye: (face falls comically) oh.

It just tickles what passes for a funny bone in my body. Actually, I really like Sky, because I find the way the actress (Chloe Bennet I think) sells the character hilarious. Her 'Oh Crap' face when Coulson opened the van followed by the lamest 'Hey, what up?' ever just made me laugh.

And I can forgive a show a great deal if it makes me laugh. The best bits of Buffy, Angel and Firefly were (IMO mind) the more lighthearted moments when you remember that they're actually people, and not just vehicles for pain. Heck my big problem with the latter half of Buffy was it was just so relentlessly dark it became nigh on unwatchable.

I like that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is more like the Avengers in that regard, upbeat and lighthearted. In fact, it seems to be a conscious design philosophy for the MCU is to keep the stories not cheerful per-se, but definitely upbeat and hopeful.

Defy Gravity!


The Doctor: The universe is big. It's vast and complicated and ridiculous and sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles... and that's a theory. Nine hundred years and I've never seen one yet, but this will do me.


#116 Christopher

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 12:15 PM

What bugs me about the "two ways to do this" line is that I'm not sure it was ever explained what the two ways were. So it felt like just a setup for the joke and didn't work otherwise.
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#117 BklnScott

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 12:32 PM

One way was that she would cooperate and therefore damn herself and her hacker confederates.  The other way is that they would inject her with drugs to force her cooperation.  Neither being the "easy way" for her - since she betrays herself and her allies regardless.  

Coulson turns the tables when he injects Agent Ward instead and encourages her to flip the script and interrogate him.  He is clearly already angling not just to get her to cooperate but to recruit her... And also exhibiting a blind faith in SHIELD's rightness of purpose that will surely come back to bite him down the road.

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#118 NeuralClone

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 01:35 PM

Indeed. It was never actually stated directly but it was shown through how S.H.I.E.L.D. carried out the interrogation.
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#119 RJDiogenes

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:52 PM

The joke was that Sky's snarkiness was undercut-- the implication was that the two ways were the hard way and the harder way.

The one that bugged me was, "Did you hear the one about the man who was afraid to fly?"
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#120 BklnScott

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 06:55 PM

The implication is that they are destined to smooch.

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