As you know, nerds the world over are squirting in their Super Friends Underoos over this week's debut of Joss Whedon's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, Tues Sept 24, 8 pm). Actually, its full name is Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is Marvel's way of saying, "This is OUR show, not yours—and we're only letting you watch it because we're nice, and we want to sell more Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. squirt-resistant Underoos." However, since Joss Whedon did all the heavy lifting on this project, I'm going to refer to this show as "Joss Whedon's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," or JWMAoSHIELD. Because that's not confusing at all.
So is JWMAoSHIELD something to squirt in one's underpants about? All squirts point to YES! Why?
SQUIRT #1: Joss Whedon! After years of unappreciated excellence—being a staff writer for Roseanne, helming the amazingly awesome Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, the incredibly terrific Firefly, and the c'mon-admit-it-not-so-great Dollhouse—Whedon hit nerd superstardom with his mega box office hit, The Avengers. So it's about goddamn time that a network trusts him with a high-profile series—even if Marvel is trying to take all the credit by putting their name first.
SQUIRT #2: A great cast! While Whedon's series may revolve around science fiction and fantasy, his scripts focus on the characters and what makes them human. So you'll happily note some of the same loveable archetypes in JWMAoSHIELD that you saw in Buffy, Angel, and Firefly—including nerdy computer geeks, tough-as-nails women, and a terrific lead character in Clark Gregg (AKA fan fave Agent Coulson). As S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury's right-hand man, Coulson is beloved—not just because he's an agent fighting on the side of right, but because deep inside he's a superhero-loving, Underoo-squirting geek like the rest of us. I mean, "you"! Not me! YOU!!!
SQUIRT #3: Humor, intrigue, and action! One reason why Whedon is head and shoulders above the rest of his action-directing contemporaries is that he's able to successfully mix humor and face-punching violence. In JWMAoSHIELD, expect plenty of smart, self-effacing, hilarious Whedonesque quips delivered by complicated characters, stirred in with scenes of unqualified whoop-ass. Plus, unlike his former series that were given little to no monetary support from their network... (COUGH! Fox. COUGH!)... ABC knows it has a winner on its hands, so the CGI in JWMAoSHIELD won't make you roll your eyes and squint to make it seem more believable.
Hey, that's a lot of squirting for one show! The real trick will be if Whedon can sustain the momentum from his very enjoyable pilot into multiple episodes. Will S.H.I.E.L.D.'s superhero-hunting escapades eventually turn into the recurrent "freak of the week" exploits of The X-Files—which you have to admit, hung around waaaaay too long? Or will it become another Whedon classic, forcing me to buy multiple pair of clean underpants to wear while watching his...
This Week on Television
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
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10:00 FX THE BRIDGE
It's the final showdown between Sonya and the killer... and it takes place on the titular bridge!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
8:00 ABC WIPEOUT
Season finale! People with "dirty jobs" run the unwinnable obstacle course... because their jobs aren't difficult enough already.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
8:30 ABC THE NEIGHBORS
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9:00 CW AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL
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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
11:30 NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
A repeat of last season's season finale starring Ben Affleck (yayy!) and Kanye West (boooo).
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Saluting certain people's opinions about which is and which is not the best TV show, and no, I'm not JEALOUS!
9:00 AMC BREAKING BAD
Only two episodes left! SQUEEEEEE! OMG! SQUEEEEEE!!!
9:00 SHO DEXTER
Series finale! The last episode ever! SQUEEEE! OMG! SQUEEEEEEE!!
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
9:30 CBS MOM
Debut! A so-so new Chuck Lorre sitcom featuring a funnier-than-her-material Anna Farris.
10:00 CBS HOSTAGES
Debut! FBI agent Dylan McDermott kidnaps the family of surgeon Toni Collette and tells her to kill the president! Dick!
10:00 NBC THE BLACKLIST
Debut! James Spader is a criminal mastermind who helps a young FBI agent catch other criminal masterminds. Looks pretty good!
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
9:00 ABC THE GOLDBERGS
Debut! Jeff Garlin stars in this less romantic version of The Wonder Years set in the '80s. Medium funny!
9:30 ABC TROPHY WIFE
Debut! Malin Ackerman marries a dude with two naggy ex-wives—or as it's otherwise known, "The Future Mrs. Wm. Steven Humphrey Story."
10:00 ABC LUCKY 7
Debut! What happens when seven people win the lottery. (Spoiler alert! It's not all super awesome!)