Joss Whedon

ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE, IAIN DE CAESTECKER, CHLOE BENNET

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Ep 1.04, “Eye-Spy”: Vanilla, but with a nice twist or two

The most consistently frustrating thing about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is its absolute refusal to be anything other than a vanilla, middle-of-the-road piece of disposable entertainment. It’s not a show that’s necessarily terrible enough to hate (although some will try) and it’s not anywhere near good enough to like it. The most common response to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has to be a shrug of the shoulders and moving on from there. There’s nothing particularly memorable about anything that it has to work with. Here’s a question for the ages: if this show didn’t have the association with the Marvel universe, would people even be tuning in to watch it? You can ponder that amongst yourselves.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E03 promo pic, "The Asset"

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ep. 1.03, “The Asset” adds comic book inspiration and unfortunate melodrama

When you go back and watch Marvel’s “Phase One” films (Iron Man to The Avengers), these are all films that excel in being particularly goofy and silly. That’s just Marvel’s schtick. They’re good at it. Their golden boy, Joss Whedon, has always had a talent for the same thing. A Whedon film or TV show can be picked out of a line up for that very reason. There’s simply a certain feel to his (and Marvel’s) work. It’s only logical that the jump from movies to TV on Marvel’s part would mirror that same aspect. What doesn’t work for Marvel, however, is the melodrama created by Skye’s (Chloe Bennet) character.

Greatest TV Finales: Angel’s “Not Fade Away” is a Strong, Emotional Finish to the Buffyverse

After Season 4’s controversial serial structure and retcon of the entire show up to that point, Angel Season Five was an excellent return to form for the show, especially with the addition of Spike (James Marsters) after Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s cancellation. This season sees Angel and the gang become even more morally ambiguous as they take over the evil Wolfram and Hart law firm while still attempting to fight the good fight. There are some funny episodes, like Ben Edlund’s puppet episode (“Smile Time”), but beloved characters like Cordelia Chase and Fred Burkle died emotional deaths. Before the finale, Spike, Wesley, Gunn, and Lorne think that Angel has become evil again and joined the Order of the Black Thorn. In “Not Fade Away”, Joss Whedon and Jeffrey Bell do an excellent job wrapping up the story arc of Season Five and the whole series’ story. However, what makes this episode a great season finale is its attention to not just the plot, but the major themes of Angel as well.

Greatest Series Finales: Firefly’s “Objects in Space” waxes philosophic and explores River Tam’s place on Serenity

River Tam (Summer Glau) is the last character introduced in the Firefly pilot, but she is the first character who appears in “Objects in Space”. Up to this point (with the exception of gunning down three baddies with her eyes closed in), River has been comic relief and a human MacGuffin for plot purposes. If Simon hadn’t rescued her, he wouldn’t have joined Serenity, and there would be no overarching story for Firefly. However, “Objects in Space” shows how important River is to the crew of Serenity and the show as a whole.

Final alley scene from the Angel finale, "Not Fade Away"

Greatest Series Finales: Angel’s “Not Fade Away” is one of the best, most underappreciated finales ever made

There is a preconception in parts of Hollywood and America in general that shows one might call “genre”, shows set in a different time period (other than ‘60s, apparently) or featuring actors in billowy coats or, heaven forbid, prostheses are somehow inherently less than their more traditional peers. They can be fun, sure, but they’re not really art and admissions of watching them should be made only in hushed, somewhat embarrassed tones.

Joss Whedon’s modernized ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ a delight

Spending two hours in the world of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing inspires envy in his seemingly palatial abode, as well as delight at his effortless, carefree adaptation of an equally effortless and carefree Shakespearean comedy. There’s mistaken identity, slapstick, swooning romance, and giddy farce, as you would expect from any revival, modern or otherwise.

Serenity movie image

Greatest TV Pilots: Firefly/Serenity

Determining which episode of Joss Whedon’s Firefly is the actual pilot may be a sticking point for many. The two-hour pilot “Serenity” was intended as the pilot, but Fox executives rejected it and used the series’ second episode “The Train Job” as the network pilot.

Buffy Pilot

Greatest TV Pilots – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

When it comes to a modern evolution of vampires in popular culture, it all started with a blond girl arriving in a seemingly boring town, destined to fight the forces of evil while surviving the troubles of high school.
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer began as an usurpation of the classic tale of monsters chasing young blonde women – only this time, she chased them. However, the show’s success was never certain; the original 1992 film starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry was met with mixed reviews (but has since gained a cult following) and five years later, its scriptwriter Joss Whedon reviewed and revived Ms Summers back into the world of the undead.

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