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May 13, 2013

Uh-Oh, Is Marvel Going Too Far? "Agents of SHIELD" to Debut on ABC This Fall
Plus, Jack Bauer's Coming Back, Too

Palette cleanser while I look for other news.

They have to worry about the Too Much of a Good Thing problem, no?

Sure, I like superhero movies... once a year or so.

Twenty two episodes a year, though, plus movies? This trailer teases that there might be some cameos in the show from Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk. I imagine these cameos will be extremely brief, but even so, doesn't this take the Event out of Event Movies?

I'm sure they've worried about this themselves.

Another concern they probably have: Marvel studios' primary strength has been quality control. Even if you don't like the films, and even if you find one or two of them to be disappointments (like Captain America), you have to admit they've done a pretty decent job of maintaining a certain good-to-very good level of quality in their productions. (In as much as a comic book romp can be a quality production, of course.)

But twenty-two hour long episodes a year is going to require an awful lot of writers and directors, some of indifferent ability, and TV scripts have a turnaround time (first draft to shooting script) measured in weeks or days, not years.

Ah well. I guess the answer to that is "Joss Whedon is the executive producer." Buffy was a superhero series, of course, and furthermore a Team Superhero series, with stuff like "character relationships" and other such Gay Shit; so this is in his wheelhouse. I suppose he could just dust off his old Buffy storylines and just replace "Vampire Coven" with "Serpent Society."

Marvel Studios famously linked all of its movies, something that made absolute perfect sense given its comic book origins (where team-ups happen frequently), and yet hadn't ever been done in films. Now they're going even further with this linkage notion and directly linking multiple interrelated movie franchises with an episodic action-adventure TV show.

Did I say "an" action-adventure TV show? I meant "possibly several," including the Hulk Show (still in development, possibly stalled in development hell) produced by Guillermo del Toro, and even, possibly, a TV show for the non-Avenger "The Punisher," though I think that one will never happen because they can't figure out the right approach to dark violence and vigilantism.

To be true to the character, they'd have to make it a darker show, inappropriate for kids; but doing so might make the show a poison pill for the rest of the Avengers franchise. You don't want to do a dark, violent, borderline-psychopathic Punisher show that will probably be cancelled in two months anyway and have that damage the Iron Man brand.

Proposed Solution: Ditch the Punisher and instead do a similarly street-level vigilante who doesn't necessarily murder everyone. For reasons I don't really get myself, every geek seems to dig Moon Knight, despite not really knowing much about him. I think he's sort of Marvel's Batman ripoff, except he dresses in white rather than gray or black, and he's Jewish instead of that vague, hybrid religion Bruce Wayne practices where he seems pretty Episcopal but he's constantly surrounded by Catholic imagery and themes.

Oh, and one more thing: I guess now superheroes are big, generally, what with the disguised-superhero show Person of Interest doing well, and the original superhero, Sherlock Holmes, also doing good ratings on American and British TV. And the movies, too.

So that means that... Must be time to gear up Jack Bauer for the Tenth Longest Day of His Life.

If I could suggest something: Call the show "CTU," ditch the "every hour is an hour of one day" gimmick, which is limiting and stupid, do six or seven multipart stories over the course of a season (so they're long-ish episodic stories, but not 22 episodes long!), and you can even then just hire Jack Bauer part-time as you frequently feature his fellow CTU agents tracking down their own terrorism plots.

Hell, you can even have them going after non-terrorist villains, for a change of pace. I don't suggest this to be PC; I suggest this because after 8 seasons of 24 they've done an awful lot of the same darned thing. Might be nice to just do a straight counter-espionage or anti-contraband episode.






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