Another one bites the dust

15 03 2014

I am an extremely lazy television viewer.

Not in the sense of not moving from the t.v. my external monitor, but in that I’d rather watch old shows over and over again than deal with the uncertainty of new shows. I watch to unwind, not get wound up.

There’s nothing wrong with such inertial sensibilities, at least as regards t.v. (and, it must be said, movies), but it does tend toward staleness. Thus, the only way to expand the comfortable old choices is to watch some new stuff.

Eureka worked out; Fringe did not. I’ve liked most of Waking the Dead, at least what’s available on Netflix, but it does seem like it headed toward MI-5 kill-everyone melodramatic cynicism. (Wallender is all right, tho’ a bit predictably dreary; don’t know that I’ll be revisiting that one, tho’ I may watch new episodes.)  And I’ve got some ‘new’ shows in my queue— Battlestar Galatica, Orange is the New Black, Top of the Lake, and a coupla’ other Brit-drams—which I’ll get to. Eventually.

Oh, and Leverage? Big enthusiastic fist-bumps for Leverage! Yes, formulaic and cartoonish, plot-wise, but since the show doesn’t take itself too seriously and the characters are witty and human and weird, well, big enthusiastic fist-bumps for Leverage!

So, anyway, another new show I was watching was Agents of SHIELD. I thought Thor was dumb, haven’t been interested in Iron Man/Captain America/The Hulk, zipped through an awful lot of the Avengers, and I have never been nor am I now a Marvel or DC Comic geek. (I only know about that distinction because of what I’ve read on TNC’s blog.) Still, sci-fi, strange tech: I could be up for it.

And so I watched. Some episodes I liked, some I didn’t, but I wasn’t so bothered as to stop watching. It was kind of mediocre, but I wasn’t so invested in the Marvel world that any plot problems really bothered me. It was slow in bringing everything together, but what the hell.

Well now I’m at to-hell-with-it. No, it wasn’t the poisonously oblique plot lines or the rushed intensity of the characters relationships to one another.

It was the beatings. The torture.

I’m not generally bothered by onscreen violence, and there isn’t overly-much in AoS—the expected battles of good-vs-bad guys—nor its it terribly graphic. That’s fine.

What’s not fine is the good guys beating the shit out of people they have in custody and having that be okay.

A few episodes ago Good-Guy Ward got the information he needed from a perp by threatening to have him sucked out of the plane.

This was not a problem for any of the other Good Guys.

In a more recent episode, another suspect was beaten (the Good Gal beating him was only stopped because she was needed elsewhere), then threatened with having his tongue pulled out and sundry other torments by yet more Good Guys.

Again, not a problem for the Good Guys. Which pretty much makes them not-Good Guys.

(I keep hitting the wrong key and typing “Good Goys”. Which, I guess, most of them are. Goys, I mean. Definitely not Good.)

This wouldn’t be a problem for me if this were all somehow to demonstrate the shadiness of the Good Guys and the moral peril involved in trying to be Good while sometimes doing not-Good. But that’s not how it’s set up: we’re supposed to cheer how bad-ass our Good Guys are.

Fuck that.

The Clairvoyant is bad because she (and, c’mon, she’s gotta be a she) engages in the crudest form of ends-justifying-the-means consequentialism. SHIELD has put the earth in danger and thus can’t be relied upon; someone else is gonna do what’s gotta be done to protect the joint.

Which makes her different how, exactly, from the Good Guys? Why shouldn’t I take her side?

Screw ’em all; I’m done.

So now I have space for another show. Maybe Friday Night Lights? Or how about Breaking Bad? At least we know (almost) everyone on that show is bad, right?

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2 responses

16 03 2014
dmfant

have you tried Elementary?

16 03 2014
absurdbeats

I’ve never been a Sherlock Holmes fan. I did read good things about the first season of Elementary, but not-so-good about the second season.

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