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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this."

Pajiba (via Deadline) reports that Joss Whedon will be back on television "on a network that's not Fox and with a show no one would dare cancel." I think they're letting their enthusiasm get the best of them. I'm excited that it's not Fox -- that much, we agree on. But I have to admit that I'm a little bit McKayla on this one. I have......feelings about it. It's possible that Whedon will write a well-crafted, smart, fun, pilot script about S.H.I.E.L.D.'s attempts to protect the world from various supernatural baddies. It's even possible that that script will retain much of its original character (or even get improved) from script to screen. And maybe ABC will cast the show with people who can act, or who can, at the very least, be compelling in whatever their roles are. IF this pilot actually gets made, AND it gets aired, I will watch it. But, even if the pilot is good, I'll be surprised if it's something I want to continue watching. Maybe this is because I'm not familiar with the S.H.I.E.L.D. comics, but nothing about the movie S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever made me think I wanted it to be the main idea. Avengers? Yes. S.H.I.E.L.D.? Not so much. And what will the show actually be about? I don't mean what will they *do* -- they will protect the world from various supernatural baddies. But, what will be the show actually be about? Is there a story there past what they do? And is there any chance a weekly TV series -- especially one that will be selling itself as an action-hero show -- will be given the time to develop that story in a way that makes it interesting enough for me to watch? Fox or not, they'll still need to generate ratings numbers, and I really get the feeling that the version of a S.H.I.E.L.D. show I'd be most likely to watch and enjoy for more than the first episode is not the version of a S.H.I.E.L.D. show that will have enough of an audience to survive on the budget it will need to do it well. And there's a lot that could go wrong here, from trite, dumbed-down storytelling to bad acting to lack of diversity in the cast to all of the huge gender issues that run rampant in both television and the comics world. And then there's Dollhouse.

All of which is to say that, while I can't wait to see what Whedon et al. try to do with this, I'm not entirely optimistic. As I said when I got news of HBO's American Gods plans, I'm not *completely* sure it'll be a tragic failure, and at least the pilot will be good? It's a big question mark, and I'm not impressed, yet.

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