Yesterday we got a 30 second teaser for TV’s ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” series and now we’ve been treated to an extended look at the superhero show. And the first thing that jumped out at me, other than the fact that there’s a live-action TV series that exists in-continuity with a massively successful movie series based on a bunch of comics, is how Joss Whedony this sucker is going to be. Sure, Whedon is the man behind both the series and “Marvel’s The Avengers” (which makes him the creative bus driver of the whole shebang). But for fans of Joss and his cult classics like “Buffy,” “Angel,” the original draft of “Alien Ressurection,” “Firefly,” and a few lines in “Speed,” there’s going to be a whole lot of those patented clever, cute, quick, and witty Whedonisms to get all shiny about.
Here are 8 bits and bites that I found.
But first, here’s the trailer.
8. The bit about what S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for.
Grant Ward, played by Brett Dalton — who I assume is the series main character next to Agent Coulson — lays out what the acronym of S.H.I.E.L.D. means in an exchange with an off-camera interrogator, “Strategic, Homeland, Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division.” When asked what that means to him, he replies — in Whedon-speak — “It means someone really wanted our initials to spell out shield.”
7. The bit where the guy misunderstands the meaning of S.H.I.E.L.D.
When J. August Richards’ mystery superhero (Rage?) is confronted by hacker Skye, she warns him about how S.H.I.E.L.D. might be coming for him, to which he replies with the cleverly stupid retort, “I should carry a shield?”
6. The bit that’s the casting of J. August Richards as that guy.
He was on “Angel.” Pretty Whedony if you ask me-y.
5. The bit where the hacker gal says something cute about S.H.I.E.L.D.
While warning Rage/Cage/? about the shadowy organization, Skye says, “S.H.I.E.L.D….Government. Scary men in dark suits who come after guys like you.” The “scary men in dark suits” bit is the bit that was talking about. It’s a Buffy-y bit.
4. The bit where Ming-Na Wen plays an ass-kicking female.
Buffy, River, Faith, Echo, Black Widow…Joss is good at ass-kicking ladies. Seems like Wen’s Melinda May is no exception.
3. The bit with the scrappy nerds.
One thing that sets “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Marvel’s The Avengers” apart from Whedon’s other work is the fact that it’s about superheroes who are all super heroic and knowledgeable and resourceful. It’s missing the piss and vinegar of the The Scooby Gang on “Buffy” or the crew of the Serenity on “Firefly.” But it appears that Joss has created a pair of scruffy, Whedony heroes in Iain De Caestecker’s Leo Fitz and Elizabeth Henstridge’s Jemma Simmons. And the duo are perfectly introduced in prime Joss Whedon-invoking “His Girl Friday”-mode with the following exchange:
Simmons: (pointing at Fitz) Fitz.
Fitz: (pointing at Simmons) Simmons.
2. The bit with the hacker in the van.
Chloe Bennet’s Skye seems to be a citizen hacker who’s uncovered S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secret shenanigans, and broadcasting some kind of covert, Anonymous-esque message to the public from a van when Coulson and Ward whip open the door on her line “…and nothing can stop us…” and he says a simple “Hey.”
1. The bit with the “easy way.”
Skye is apprehended by Coulson and Ward and being interrogated. The following Whedony exchange takes place:
Ward: There are two ways we can do this…
Skye: (snarky) Oh…is one of them the easy way?
What did I miss?
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” premieres this Fall on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.