Tuesday, September 24, 2013

SF Television

Last night was a pretty good night for TV watching.  The premiere of ABC's Marvel's Agents of SHIELD came on last night and it was pretty good.  I guess that shouldn't be too big a surprise since Joss Whedon is behind it.  He  is also known for other successful shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, the Avengers movie, and many other enterprises.
I don't know a lot about Marvel's Avengers, however, I did see the hit movie, and enjoyed it a lot, and I've read some of the Marvel comics.  But that said, I haven't been a diehard fan and never followed the comic books in my youth.  So if the TV show breaks some sort of continuity or changes up some of the mythos, I'll never know it.  I watched it from a novice point of view.  I know that the character of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (actor Clark Gregg) is revived from Whedon’s Avengers film – just as the character himself is revived, somehow, from the dead.  They make mention of it in the first episode and also drop a hint that there's some mystery surrounding that as well.  

In the first episode they pretty much get the team together, and the action moves along pretty quickly as they pick up each member.   Each member has their own specialized talent.  Coulson’s right hand man, or so he thinks, is Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), a whiz in combat and espionage. Agent Melinda May’s (Ming-Na Wen) expertise is martial arts and she also knows how to fly a plane. Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is a topflight engineer while Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) specializes in bio-chemistry. The obligatory crack computer hacker is named Skye (Chloe Bennet).  The last member they pick up is the strong man of the outfit, who was the one they were hunting during the program.  At least that was what I assumed, I guess I'll find out next week.

If they can keep the episodes light with bits of humor, build on the characters, and keep up the action, I think they'll have a pretty good hit on their hands.  I think that might be possible from just watching the opening show, and I'll be excited to see what they do next week. 

After that I watched Face Off, which is a reality show on the Syfy Channel about creating special effects make-up.  This is the fifth season I believe and I've enjoyed all of them.  I enjoy seeing how the contestants create a creature from an  idea to the drawing board and then to the actual 3-D design.  It's been a fun series, and I don't know if I'll tire of the format or not, but so far I haven't.

 A new show premiered on the Syfy Channel after Face Off called Fangasm.  I enjoyed it too.  If you enjoy SF how can you not have a bit of geek fandom in your inner soul?  To be sure, it's manipulated much like all reality TV.  I would think that the young people involved are probably not as geeky as we are led to believe, however, it's not pushing the envelope too much from what I've seen.  

The basic premise of the program is that these fans are chosen to help Stan Lee out at a Comic Con.  I have to say I was actually moved when one of the fans got to meet one of his idols, George Takei, from Star Treak: TOS.  He  got rather tearful relating a story to the group that he didn't have may friends growing up, and that he used to watch Star Trek: TOS with his grandmother. Even though she wasn't a big fan of the show she enjoyed the time they could spend together watching it.  Takei left on a good note saying that we are all special, and you should embrace your own inner beauty.  


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