Sep 24th, 2013
Joss Whedon's New Big Thing. "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (And will he survive it?)
Joss Whedon, creative genius behind the beloved, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", "Firefly" and the direct to internet "Doctor Horrible" is about to launch another TV venture.
This time, it's all about Super Heroes. -Or rather, it isn't. It's the behind the scenes stuff, the human government agency called, "S.H.E.I.L.D." (an acronym for something suitably bold and clichÃ©d, I'm sure), charged with managing super-people and all the calamity which seems inevitably to come in their wake. Humanity's last, best defense against the almighty gods.
Okay. Neat premise, and one which will inevitably lead to a number of timely questions about the role of government secret agencies; what powers they hold and how they operate.
In other words, Joss is dancing into THE media mine-field of the century.
Joss, against long odds, has risen to power on his excellent script-writing abilities, sneaking in through the relative back door of comic books. (not many realize that Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn't actually end with the TV series finale, but rather that the story and lives of the characters continue to this day in the form of monthly comic books.)
Comic books, the last hold out against the media control Medusa, where anybody with a good story and good drawing chops can actually make a difference. Or, could for a while, anyway. -Far more so, at least, than one can do in TV and Movie land. Propaganda needs to work in teams with a tidy balance of both stupid and evil, so a bright individual who doesn't stay on message isn't going to last long in Hollywood. Except for Joss. . .
Despite "Firefly" being canceled early, (in Firefly, the Empire of the Elite were the enemy), and "Dollhouse" being sabotaged from the outset by robotic executive decision makers at FOX, (the original Dollhouse script, unmolested, was a thing of stark beauty). Despite all of this, Joss has remained and has indeed accumulated power. He has the ears of the nation. If he were to, say, explain clearly how the banksters own the politicians and convincingly explain how we, the public, could take them down, then real problems could occur for the top brass. That's the power of the media, and right now, Joss has the tiger by the tail. What will he do with it? That's the question.
So. . , a prediction:
This new venture, this "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", will succeed or fail depending entirely on its level of compliance with Empire.
If it makes the US look like a bunch of crazy, evil goons out to stomp on, control, predate and generally put under the thumb, the population, (as is currently the case), then this show, like Firefly, and Dollhouse before it, will be sabotaged and shuffled off stage right smart quick.
If it steers clear of aiming criticism at Captain America and his jolly crew of crime busters, then this new story-telling adventure might be allowed to survive. "Just fight metaphoric monsters, like Vampires, Joss; fight aliens and Doctor Menace, make the Secret Services look humane and up beat, and we'll allow you to stay on air. -However. . , should you ever unwisely try to nose your make-believe crime fighting apparatus into the subject of illegal wars in the Middle East, into Wall Street's criminal activities, into, heaven forbid, the banking cartels, the CIA or Israel, -or really, any of the other thousand problems afflicting the world today. . . Well, you might be in for some trouble, mister!"
And even more upsetting to consider. . .
If Joss outright decides to play ball with the Beast, promoting the good fight against 'terrorists, painting the black world in a wholesome, friendly and forgiving light, (which I don't see how he can avoid with the series premise), then. . .
Well, he can go straight to hell, (and probably will, Karmically speaking). I certainly won't stand in his way.
But I'm not sure it's in his blood. He's surprised us all before, many times, with his plot twists and savvy turns. Maybe he'll do so again. He's a very clever man and his message has been pretty clear; "Empire of the Elite = Evil, and how does Found Family survive under the weight of that burden?"
I'm a Joss Whedon fan; I've always enjoyed his work, so I'll be waiting to see how this new TV drama plays out, both on and off camera. The story is one thing, but the social engineering is quite another, (and I find, far more interesting!)
Because we live in a world where if you are a little too insightful, a little too persuasive, have a little too much soap box under your feet, well. . .
So, good luck, Joss! Don't let us down.
Sep 24th, 2013