Tuesday, September 17, 2013

From LA Examiner: 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' & 'Lucky 7' Advance Reviews...

Much like The CW's Arrow before it, I feel the need to express to you lovely readers that I am not super familiar with the comic arcs' of the various characters depicted on ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which shall forever be hereafter referred to without the studio in its title. You may choose to take my subsequent review of the pilot episode with a grain of salt if you like, but I declare this not to show off an ignorance but rather to prove that no comparisons will be drawn and I will be focusing solely on what worked and what didn't from the story and execution presented in the pilot alone. The truth is, regardless of how much you know about the world set up in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before even flipping the show on, it has to stand on its own and be both entertaining and informative to attract a wider audience than just those who grew up with the comics. And the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot does just that: it actually makes its world extremely accessible for anyone who isn't familiar with the myths and legends of Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) or Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) while setting up a very loud, very high-adrenaline, very fun series. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is pure entertainment, and it should only be expected to be entertainment. It is when the pilot tries to dig deeper to deliver a larger, preachy message that it stumbles a bit through schmaltz, rather than sentiment... [MORE]

ABC's Lucky 7, based on an international version of the same story, is not a flashy or hook-driven show. Yes, there is a hook (that a group of blue collar workers win the lottery), but the show is a character-driven ensemble that turns a lens on some ordinary people-- people who could be you, me, or any one of our friends or neighbors-- and explores their intricacies and personalities both before and after wealth. Lucky 7 doesn't rely on tricks or special effects to draw in its audience; there are no literal explosions or supernatural events or superhuman feats featured here. Yet, it is such a compelling character-driven drama that it is impossible not to be swept up in the story from minute one, focused entirely on the people who pop off the screen, in a way that seems to silence everything else around you from your phone to social media. Lucky 7 sucks you in with its grounded reality and makes you fall in love with every minute of it... [MORE]

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