STAY TUNED: 'Agents' of change: Did Marvel live up to the hype

BILL GREEN
ABC
Brett Dalton, left, and Chloe Bennet in a scene from “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”  The show premieres Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

Photo by Justin Lubin

ABC Brett Dalton, left, and Chloe Bennet in a scene from “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The show premieres Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

In the 239

In the 239

It’s fair to say that “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” was one of the mostly highly anticipated shows of the fall season. It delivered impressive numbers nationwide, 11.9 million total viewers.

Usually, that would win ABC the time slot, but it was up against CBS juggernaut “NCIS,” which returned to 19.4 million viewers.

Still, it’s the most impressive drama debut since “V” four years ago. But we know how that ended: canceled.

What did I think? The dialogue was witty — as one might expect from “Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s” Joss Whedon, who was also the brain behind the “Avengers” silver screen outing.

Best lines of the night:

■ “I don’t think Thor is technically a god.” “Well, then, you haven’t been near his arms.”

■ “Under ‘People Skills,’ she drew it looks like a little poop, with knives sticking out of it. That’s bad, right?”

■ “I’m not Hermione; I can’t create instant paralysis with that.”

The premise felt a little reductive — to be expected when you set a TV series in a movie universe filled with Tony Stark, Captain America and the Hulk; yet they are nowhere to be seen. Not even a cameo.

Not by accident, the night of the premiere, Fox decided to announce they had green lit “Gotham,” which is expected to follow the formative years of Batman’s Commissioner Gordon. Great, a Batman show without Batman? Maybe next we can do a “Star Trek” series without space travel.

Speaking of “Star Trek,” “The Next Generation” just celebrated its 25th anniversary. It debuted on Sept. 28, 1987.

And one final pet peeve to our ABC affiliate here in Southwest Florida: I know the weather was bad on Tuesday. But did you have to squeeze the entire picture back and cover portions of audio during the opening (and likely most expensive) sequence of the most anticipated show of the season?

I know. We need to know. But I noticed all the commercials ran uninterrupted. And I don’t pay for HD so that I can have a minimized screen. Would a crawl not have sufficed?

Even Neil Patrick Harris couldn’t save the Emmys

No. I haven’t said a lot about the Emmys this year. Not a lot to say. I will pile on and agree that the In Memoriams were a bit unfair — highlighting only a few actors — and set a depressing tone as they were spread throughout the show. I don’t need to be reminded of death every 20 minutes. No clips from the deceased? The year Jonathan Winters dies is not the year to forego them. He was brilliant.

I was thrilled for “Boardwalk Empire’s” Bobby Cannavale, “Newsroom’s” Jeff Daniels and “Big Bang Theory’s” Jim Parsons; Michael Douglas and “Behind the Candelabra.”

I love “Modern Family.” But they’ve won enough in best comedy. This should have been “Big Bang Theory’s” year.

What are your thoughts on the Emmys? The new fall season thus far? Send me your comments: bgreen@naplesnews.com.

Readers write in

Re: The Fox News changes — where’s Shep?

Judy writes: “Thanks for the update on Fox News. We watch it every night. We were very surprised when Shepard Smith announced one night that it was his last show and that changes were taking place. Our question: Did he get fired?”

A: Nope. You may actually see more of him, but in a less concentrated form. As part of his new multiyear deal, the network’s top news anchor will helm a new breaking news division.

Smith said goodbye to “The Fox Report” but will have an increased presence throughout the day and in primetime with breaking news.

“Shep is a premier journalist and one of the finest newsmen of the modern era,” Fox CEO Roger Ailes told the Hollywood Reporter. “Fox News is when and where the news it, as it happens, no longer bound by a traditional evening format conceived in the 1960s.”

As I mentioned last week, on Oct. 7, Fox News will unveil a new prime-time lineup. Greta Van Susteren anchors the 7 p.m. hour with “On The Record” followed by “The O’Reilly Factor” at 8 p.m. New to the night is Megyn Kelly at 9 p.m. with “The Kelly File.” Sean Hannity takes over at 10 p.m.

Michael Kitchen as Foyle, center. With one war ended, a new one is looming as the iron curtain falls across Europe. Suspecting that British atomic research has been infiltrated, MI5 asks Foyle to investigate the possibility of a Russian spy network in the heart of London. 'Foyle's War' airs Sunday, Sept. 29 on PBS.

Photo by Bernard Walsh/Eleventh Hour/ITV

Michael Kitchen as Foyle, center. With one war ended, a new one is looming as the iron curtain falls across Europe. Suspecting that British atomic research has been infiltrated, MI5 asks Foyle to investigate the possibility of a Russian spy network in the heart of London. "Foyle's War" airs Sunday, Sept. 29 on PBS.

Re: The British invasion

Donald writes: “Thank you for following up recently on Channel 8’s errant ways. I haven’t been watching but think it is goofing off less. I was surprised to read (your column) regarding the British TV invasion and then was surprised that you didn’t mention the wonderful new British programs on PBS. The newest show, Sunday’s ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ (Halifax, England, that is) is a gem! It’s about an older couple who get together after 60 years and marriages to others. There are also younger elements in the series. There is always something clever in the writing. The new ‘Foyle’s War’ is more ponderous but beautifully set in the post-WWII period in Britain.

“As to STARZ, the Daily News doesn’t even list it in its TV grid and I only have basic cable. I do greatly enjoy TCM and (re-watching) movies I saw as a child and usually remember vividly from then.”

Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at bgreen@naplesnews.com. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.

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