As a youth, I was an avid comic book reader and collector. I subscribed to a whole host of comics and was always so excited to receive them in the mail! I would go immediately to my room and take in everything that the particular current issue had to offer. So when Marvel released Iron Man on the big screen, it was like reliving those childhood moments of imagination, wonder and excitement all over again, yet on a much grander scale and visually grandeur visage.
One character in particular whose presence was the glue so to speak of the moves was that of Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D.. If you have not watched any of the Marvel movies, stop reading this and go watch all of them right now! Also, make sure to watch the “One Shots” which are included upon the Blu-rays. When I first learned that there was to be a television show featuring our beloved Agent Coulson, I was on board completely!
Suffice to say that I have very much enjoyed Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D. and have been really pleased with how it has only gotten better as the season has progressed.
Last Sunday in Hollywood at the Dolby Theater* (where the Oscars take place) there was a special presentation where the cast, producers and executives of the television show were all gathered together so as to provide the fans a unique opportunity to come and not only see the “stars” but to also get some insight into the show itself.
The last time I attended a presentation such as Sundays PaleyFest for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was for the television show Magnum P.I., which is not only my all-time most favorite tv show, but also the one that had the greatest impact upon me over the many years that it was on. Every Thursday night, while my mom would be playing Bridge with her friends and dad was watching sports, I would be watching my beloved Magnum P.I. show. There are a few other T.V. shows that I loved throughout my life, such as The Bionic Man, Battlestar Galactica, Tales of the Golden Monkey and Jack of All Trades, to name just a few. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is now included within my personal little cannon of favorite t.v. shows that I watch faithfully and really enjoy tremendously.
Similarly to the Magnum P.I. presentation, the cast, writers and producers of the show were in attendance for the Agents of Shield PaleyFest, so it was a real treat!
What was fun to see was the interaction that the cast had with one another, for you could clearly tell how much of a family they have become amongst themselves working together over the course of the first season.
One aspect that I that was quite interesting was the fact of how much the actors are left in the dark in terms of what the future events that will be taking place upon the show, as well as what will happen to them in particular. Marvel really does play their creative cards close, which while it was somewhat frustrating to not have a whole lot to actually openly share and discuss with the fans present, it also made me appreciate that there are going to be a lot of character growth, alterations and overall plot events which will leave me sitting on the edge of my seat as I watch each new episode.
Before the actual panel took place, we were provided with a really special surprise of seeing the newest and yet unaired episode. I am not going to reveal anything about the upcoming episode, for it would be not only a breech of trust on the part of those who were gracious enough to allow those attending to have a first viewing of it, but it would also ruin the overall awesomeness of what the show has in store for all the fans when it is finally shown. Suffice to say, I was really pleased by what I watched and so was everyone else in attendance. There was one part where I yelped out loud in total delight over this one particular development, but that is all I am going to say about it.
Once the actors and executive producers and creators came out on stage, it was time for some Q&A, by the primary “host” and then by way of random questions from the audience. While I understand the sense of secrecy as to what is to transpire over the remainder of the season, I was hoping for some more “meaty” questions of the actors, writers and creators. It just seemed to my way of thinking being played “too safe”. The questions by way of the audience also left me with wanting more in terms of what could have been asked or offered up for discussion. As I sat there in my seat, I was mentally coming up with questions that I would have asked had I been the one in the role of the official MC.
These are some of the questions I would have liked to asked/have answered:
1. What is the overall process of coming up with a particular episode by way of the producers, writers and director?
2. How closely does the team of writers interact with one another in composing the scripts/story lines for the show?
3. For the actors, what has been the biggest challenge in playing/portraying their particular character?
4. In what way have the actors come to a greater awareness of their particular character that they play/portray?
5. Can you elaborate upon some of the primary themes that the show is addressing and or dealing with in terms of the various characters and events that transpire.
6. How are Agent Coulson and Skye converging and also diverging in terms of their beliefs and approaches to life, the team, authority and S.H.I.E.L.D. respectively.
7. Learning about Mr. Dalton training by way of attending both Yale and a clown training academy, what type of background experiences and or training can the cast share with in terms of helping to enrich and enflesh their particular character portrayed.
8. How will the show continue to evolve over the course of this current season and hopefully being picked up for an additional season next year?
9. Will we see more Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. within the various Marvel feature films?
10. In terms of a comparison to say Dr. Bruce Banner or Tony Stark, where would Fitz and Simmons rank in terms of their intellectual knowledge and scientific/tech applications.
11. Mr. Clark spoke about the metaphysical ramifications and aspects of playing a man who was dead and brought back to life. I would love to have a further elaboration upon the notion of where he sees his character going and how he has changed since we were first introduced to him by way of Iron Man.
12. Might we see more interaction and a furthering relationship between Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Agent Coulson.
The biggest impression that I came away with from attending the PaleyFest presentation was how gracious and thoughtful actor Clark Gregg truly is both in terms of articulating how his character of Agent Coulson has changed and wrestled metaphysically with what he has gone through, as well as twice going out to the audience, one to accept a fans handcrafted gift for each actor of the show and going out to give a big hug and kind, heartfelt words to one fan who was so overjoyed that her hero Agent Coulson is very much alive.
If only we had more like Clark Gregg in the world and within Hollywood. I was of course a fan before, but now there is also mixed a genuine respect and admiration for the man.
If you have not had a chance to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I give it my full and unreserved recommendation. It has all of the elements that I want from a good story, from action, suspense, humor and plot twists to characters that have grown and developed over the season. I certainly hope that there is not only a Season 2, but many Seasons after that. Agent Coulson and his team deserve it!
*Just an aside, everyone that I came in contact with at the Dolby Theater was so kind, agreeable and professional. From the gentleman working the ticket booth, to the usher who took the time to show me my seat, to manager who asked if there was anything that I might need. I was really impressed and wanted to make a special mention of how cool everyone was! Bravo!