Continuing on my journey through new fall tv shows this week was the premiere of The Blacklist on NBC and Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Both of these shows I was pretty excited about seeing. One I felt like I was guaranteed to be invested in so unless the pilot was a total flop I was going to be hooked. The other one I thought looked interesting, but had no guarantee of the turnout. I knew some of the actors and the concept is brilliant, but you can never guarantee how something is going to turn out.
To start out I will just spoil the ending and say I will continue to watch both of these shows. For a more detailed spoiler free response continue reading.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
So I have been excited for this show ever since I first heard it was happening and especially knowing that it is Joss Whedon at them helm. So I do not know that I am really the best judge of how it really went. I was just so excited to see Agent Coulson and Maria Hill as well as the whole S.H.I.E.L.D. concept brought to life. They have definitely left some mysteries left to discover, even who the threat is. I thought one of the best things they did was to really explore the idea of what the world looks like now that the events from The Avengers occurred.
Many people saw multiple superheroes defending New York City. What would that do to the very psyche of the human race? Some might ignore, others exploit, and others would want to be a part of it, but no matter what it would change the general perception of the world and our place in it. I think they did a good job of the initial presentation of that idea. By far Clark Greg as Agent Coulson steals the show and he is a big part of the show, which makes that reason enough to keep watching. The acting was good, the story is a little cheesy, but I like cheesy, it is fun. The tech is also really cool to see. The basic thing is if you have not watched yet, you really should. Although I have heard if you watch all the trailers you will be completely spoiled for the first episode, which makes me happy I ignored the trailers because I already knew I wanted to watch.
Now this is one where I was not 100% on board and so watched the trailers, which resulted in me getting spoiled for the first episode. They kept a couple things hidden, but still the whole plot of the first episode is spoiled in the trailers. On the other hand even though I knew what was going to happen I still had a lot of things to wonder about. The main character Reddington played by James Spader is brilliant. He does not give anything away about who Reddington is, but makes sure you want to know.
Reddington is not a black and white character. Early on we get the FBI’s assessment of him, which is that he is out for himself and money. One of the top ten most wanted criminals, we figure out early on he is not a man to toy with. We also are not quite sure what game he is playing. He turns himself in to the FBI and wants to help them catch a terrorist – but why? He does not seem like a sociopath or psychotic. If he was just out for himself why would he help at all? These are questions that will hopefully be answered as the show continues, but not too quickly.
The other big mystery is what is his connection to Elizabeth Keen, the rookie FBI profiler who is the only person Reddington will deal with? It seems beyond a simple obsession, and he is evasive in talking about how he even knows who she is. I have my theories, but I will save that for another time. The thing I am liking about this show, is bad stuff is happening and while we are not sure of the motivation of all the characters, the outcomes so far seem to lean towards good. I know that is not always the case, but watching the FBI get their asses handed to them over and over again just feels daunting (I’m looking at you, The Following). This has the layer of mystery necessary, but the joy of triumph that keeps you watching and wondering if the tides will ever turn or if we will ever get the answers to all of our questions.
Verdict is that so far both these shows are staying on the DVR, they piqued my interest – now let’s see if they can hold it.