deird1: Buffy looking annoyed, with text "I'm a bitch. Ask me how." (Buffy bitch)
[personal profile] deird1
Things I knew about characters after the first-ever episode of the show:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy - is the Slayer, doesn't want to be, likes fashion, is fighting with her mother, snarks at lurky guys in alleys
Willow - is nice, nerdy, insecure, and into books
Xander - is into Buffy, has a Whedony way of talking
Giles - is a Watcher, is studious, really keen on his new job helping Buffy

Wash - likes playing with dinosaurs and being silly
Kaylee - cute, perky, shiny, cheerful, and nice to everyone
Mal - damaged
Simon - loves his sister, very smart, nervous when holding guns

Tru Calling
Tru - into medical stuff, track star, sucks at undercover
Harrison - gambler, likely to get beaten up by mobsters
Davis - nervous around women

Once Upon A Time
Emma - loner, excellent bounty hunter, great at undercover, not so great with kids
Henry - idealistic dreamer, but loner, has issues with his mother

Gibbs - is happy to steal bodies from the FBI
Tony - is happy to assist in said body-stealing by pretending to be a corpse

How I Met Your Mother
Ted - idealistic dreamer, sucks at dating
Marshall - in love with Lily
Lily - in love with Marshall, teacher
Robin - likes dogs, likes Ghostbusters, likes scotch, likes Ted
Barney - catch-phrase obsessed, suit obsessed, skirt chaser

Agents of Shield
Coulson - died mysteriously (or maybe didn't die, mysteriously), is perfect team leader who knows all
kung-fu chick - does... kung-fu
secret agent guy - does... secret agent stuff?
tech guy - ...does tech stuff?
science chick - ...does sciencey stuff??
hacker chick - ...does hacking???

It doesn't take that long to establish some sort of personality for your characters. And yes, the drawn out explanation of that personality might take a while - but you need to give that single line, that little glance, that something that establishes at least a molecule of actual person. Otherwise, there's no reason for your viewers to care.

Xander's stuttered "Can I have you?", Niles's chair-dusting, Joey hitting on Rachel (yes, I am accusing AoS of making less of an effort than Friends), Hardison's slightly smug "This is not the room you're looking for.", Katara's iceberg-destroying rant – all those things showed us who the characters were, in such a simple way. They let us know who we were looking at – which is a good thing, because if you don't know, you can't care.

But Agents of Shield? It never let me in on the secret of who I was watching.

Date: 2013-12-16 01:34 am (UTC)
angearia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] angearia

Date: 2013-12-16 02:08 am (UTC)
velvetwhip: (Willow/Angel/Oz)
From: [personal profile] velvetwhip
That seems to be how everyone feels about AoS. I never had the desire to watch, so I have not.


Date: 2013-12-16 03:50 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] a2zmom
I do not disagree at all.

Date: 2013-12-16 04:55 am (UTC)
nimthiriel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nimthiriel
AoS keeps hinting that there are other things to be revealed about all their characters (Kung-fu chick only wanting to "drive" the "bus", for example, and not see action), and the science chick reminds me a heck of a lot of you in her mannerisms :-p

The annoying thing for me is that I keep seeing these hints, but very little actually gets revealed.

Date: 2013-12-16 06:35 am (UTC)
vass: A sepia-toned line-drawing of a man in naval uniform dancing a hornpipe, his crotch prominent (Default)
From: [personal profile] vass
Oof. I haven't watched AoS yet, but you just sold me on NOT watching it.

Because you're dead right.

The West Wing
CJ: very busy, extremely smart and competent, funny in a self-deprecating way
Sam: idealistic, romantic, intelligent, maybe not very practical
Josh: very smart, very arrogant, a smartass in fact, very impulsive, maybe has a problem with women
Toby: grumpy, dedicated, seasoned, willing to make hard political choices at the expense of friendships
Leo: cranky, has known the President for a very long time
Mrs Landingham: warm, snarky, has certain standards for propriety regarding the office of the Presidency
Mandy: ambitious, high-strung, a serious multitasker, high standards for herself and other people, maybe unreasonably so.
Jed: an orator, inspires great loyalty, not incapable of fucking up, has a smart, wise wife.

All that is just from the first episode.

Date: 2013-12-16 07:18 pm (UTC)
ruuger: (Mentalist: Jane/Hightower)
From: [personal profile] ruuger
Yes, this! People keep saying that BtVS/AtS/Firefly/[insert show here] also had weak first season and it's unfair to expect too much from SHIELD, but though the writing in all those seasons might have been shaky at first, the characters were interesting.

Date: 2013-12-17 03:39 am (UTC)
nenya_kanadka: Wonder Woman poster (kneeling with sword) (keep calm Boromir)
From: [personal profile] nenya_kanadka
I dropped out of AoS after two episodes for this exact reason, though I was a bit intrigued by "Tahiti", and Melinda May's backstory re: combat situations. But those should have been the weakest of a set of stronger notes, not the best I could scratch up.

I went back later and tried a few more episodes, and it's actually improved enough that I enjoy watching it now. But I completely understand if anyone else doesn't feel it's worth the investment.

Also--reading this on my phone, I clicked through because I thought you meant Alternate Original Series for Star Trek, about which I couldn't disagree if you *had* meant they lacked characterization, but I digress.


deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)

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