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(1 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Are you referring to Sliderscast? Those guys are very irregular.

The Rewatch Podcast did all five seasons of SLIDERS here, however: http://www.goldenspiralmedia.com/page/9?s=sliders

And they did a special Sliders Rewatch finale here: https://earthprime.com/podcast/sliders-rewatch-reborn

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(909 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

This feels like a good time to wheel out my usual disclaimer: I cannot repeat often enough in the name of the Professor's slide-rule, Rembrandt's afro and Sabrina Lloyd's daughter that the views of pilight, ireactions, Grizzlor and Informant do not reflect those of Sliders.TV as a whole and while I do have VIEWS on Informant, he is a very fine writer and any money on his books is well-spent. https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B005CB … leDbs=true

TemporalFlux wrote:
ireactions wrote:

I will do this for you. I still have the Word file. And I just got some new screenwriting software that can convert a Word document into a properly formatted screenplay (although some minor edits are needed to correctly mark dialogue as dialogue, transitions as transitions, etc). It'd also be good to get a proper version of the SLIDERS: DECLASSIFIED logo as you envisioned it. I will send you the PDF in a few days.

There’s probably a few minor revisions I’ll make first.  I’ll send you that when I can.

I just, in a forum PM, sent you a link to a draft of the PDF. It obviously doesn't have your revisions, but I made a title page and put a graphic on Page 4 and put it together because I wanted you to get a sense of how the PDF can look. I'm so excited that you'll be releasing DECLASSIFIED!

**

My niece writes SUPERNATURAL fanfic and my opinion is generally that she struggles with converting Sam and Dean into prose. The characters were designed to be performed.

When I put "Slide Effects" together as a screenplay, it first like an awkward substitute for an actual TV episode. But then, as I included more description than a real teleplay would contain and put all the acting into the script, I found that that the script wasn't a second-rate alternative – it was a meaningful experience in its own right. At the time, I attributed that to the content being an actual story from the show's creator and because it could lay some claim to canonicity.

Later, I read SLIDERS DECLASSIFIED and I realize TF wrote it as a blueprint for a film or a comic and not a product for the audience to consume. But I found his script had all the strengths of the screenplay format. His scene descriptions choose sparse but select details that evoke a wider picture. His dialogue is tight and immediate and conveys characterization within a few sentences. His exposition is efficient and clear. His script pages are filled with personality, warmth and that trademark SLIDERS charm and humour of the Torme era.

I loved SLIDERS DECLASSIFIED as a script and it made me realize that the screenplay format was not a substitute for TV and should and could be treated as a valid medium in its own right with its own strengths and advantages to capitalize upon.

Every page left me with a goofy smile and I think that's why I proceeded to write eight more SLIDERS scripts and focused so heavily on comedy myself. That said -- while I have a lot of messages from readers telling me that SLIDERS REBORN felt like SLIDERS, I think what they really meant was that the *sliders* felt like the characters we all knew (although Transmodiar considered them overwrought, overwritten, overly exaggerated caricatures).

In contrast, SLIDERS DECLASSIFIED felt like SLIDERS: it has none of the original cast, but it has that elusively comedic and satirical tone, that whimsical sense of gentle dramedy, that charming sense of wit and insight touched with uncommon wisdom voiced by flawed and troubled characters. Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo aren't in DECLASSIFIED, yet DECLASSIFIED truly captures the spirit of the show whereas REBORN only captured the fan memory of the characters.

The only issue I take with DECLASSIFIED now: I felt there was a role in there who was clearly written for Allison Mack which is never again going to be a good thing to feel.

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(909 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Listen to Children Who’ve Just Been Separated From Their Parents at the Border

ProPublica has obtained audio from inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, in which children can be heard wailing as an agent jokes, “We have an orchestra here.”

https://www.propublica.org/article/chil … ion-policy

TemporalFlux wrote:

I think I’ll go ahead and just put the script out there for any interested.  It will take some time to get it into a presentable format on PDF, but maybe it will bring back something of what you loved about the series.  It’s called “Sliders: Declassified”.

I will do this for you. I still have the Word file. And I just got some new screenwriting software that can convert a Word document into a properly formatted screenplay (although some minor edits are needed to correctly mark dialogue as dialogue, transitions as transitions, etc). It'd also be good to get a proper version of the SLIDERS: DECLASSIFIED logo as you envisioned it. I will send you the PDF in a few days.

6

(909 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant, please accept my sincere thanks for your continued participation on this board and your commitment to sharing your views regardless of what anyone, myself included, may think. I cannot stress enough in the name of all that is sacred and holy that neither ireactions nor Informant's views represent the entirety of SLIDERS.tv dear God please don't ever think that. I personally think Informant is insane, but I'm pretty crazy too. Anyone who writes as many words about Jerry O'Connell's career as I have is clearly in a strange place.

In 2018, I think any hypothetical SLIDERS comic would have to start fresh and create a new version of the characters going sliding for the first time. I think any TV show or movie would have to do so as well.

**

From a 2000 standpoint -- all the emotional difficulties Slider_Quinn21 raises are too convoluted for SLIDERS because they interrupt what should be a very simple, straightforward premise: the sliders are lost in the multiverse trying to find a way back home. Addressing merged Quinns and Kromagg invasions and Kromagg Prime origin stories and resurrecting Wade and wrong Arturos is too complicated, and even pilight's dismissals (Quinn and Wade don't remember their traumas!) would still require addressing them. There is, in fact, a decidedly unsettling undertone to saying Wade should simply forget that David Peckinpah raped her.

It's also counterintuitive to bring all this continuity into a story only to say none of it matters anymore -- and it's also far more than could fit into a TV episode or a comic book, and even if you could, what is the point of any version of SLIDERS that's more concerned with resurrections and de-mergings than it is with exploring parallel worlds? That's probably why TF's LOST SLIDES concept is getting such a good response in this thread.

Slide_Override's dismay at wiping out 65 episodes is well-founded, but that's like a patient protesting life-saving surgery because he's scared of sharp objects. Tracy Torme seemed conscious of this as well when he came up with "Slide Effects" as a Season 4 premiere that would erase everything after "The Guardian" and when he suggested it as a hypothetical Season 6 premiere. His story would have had Quinn waking up after "This Slide of Paradise" or "The Seer" to discover time rewound to the Pilot with home uninvaded, Wade and Rembrandt and Arturo alive and well and only Quinn remembering sliding. The emphasis would not be on the traumas of Seasons 3 - 5 but rather Quinn's disorientation and confusion at his present/past situation and how sliding doesn't seem to exist.

The situation would be revealed as a Kromagg trick along everything after "The Guardian." But, as a concession to the 21 or 65 episodes he'd be erasing, Torme had *Quinn* retain all his memories while Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo would only recall Seasons 1 - 2 and the first five episodes of Season 3. That was his solution to SlideOverride's protests: one slider would remember all of it, the other three would only remember the Torme era. Is it a perfect solution? There is no perfect solution, but a post-"Slide Effects" SLIDERS is certainly in a better place than a post-"Seer" SLIDERS.

More importantly, "Slide Effects" is a story that could fit into a 42 minute timeslot or a double-sized comic book whereas neither Slider_Quinn21 nor I nor pilight nor Temporal Flux have ever been able to present a point-by-point repair process that could reunite the original characters within those constraints. I think even a resurrected Ernest Hemingway would defer to Torme's story on this one.

Admittedly, it's a moot point now since no hypothetical 2018 revival of SLIDERS should be trying to turn clock back to 1996 -- at least not without a successful reboot first (whether in TV or comics). The reimagined BATTLESTAR GALACTICA TV show had a lot of media tie-in comics and inevitably, that led to a comic series set in the original continuity (although it wasn't the first) and that paved the way to a crossover where the 2004 BSG characters met the 1978 version in a universe-spanning storyline.

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(909 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant is free to declare on this forum that it's false outrage to be furious at how children are being forcibly separated from their parents, that all of Trump's homophobic/white supremacist/racist views can be safely ignored if he even acknowledges their existence and how any time a black man is gunned down by a cop or a negligent doctor lets a kid go blind, Informant is firmly and totally in their corner and Informant is also welcome to express the wisdom of noted fraudsters Kellyanne Conway, James O'Keefe and Sarah Palin as the epitome of ideal American thinking and debate and how Richard Spencer couldn't possibly be a Nazi because Informant says so --

I just want to reiterate that Informant's views are not the views of Sliders.tv as a whole and both his and all opposing views are welcome -- although whether or not one has the time or energy to expend on talking to Informant about anything outside make believe is entirely at your discretion. Personally, while I would eagerly hand Informant scripts and manuscripts for his review and read his as well (and spend money on them), if I have to watch another asinine 'documentary' of deceptively edited footage made by hate groups or discredited 'journalists,' I'll kill myself and make it look like Bill Dial did it.

I think Slide Override is referring to "Heat of the Moment," and I totally agree with his criticisms.

Anyway. A SLIDERS comic book in 2000 shortly after the series was cancelled is a very different proposition from a SLIDERS comic book in 2018. TF's story ideas were all about his craft for world-building and social satire and none of them depended on being set in 1995 - 1996 aside from the presence of the original sliders.

2000
In 2000, SLIDERS fans were pretty traumatized by the events of "The Exodus," "Genesis," "Mother and Child," "Revelations," "The Unstuck Man," "Requiem" and "The Seer" which mutilated the cast and concept. It's a fair argument that it's emotionally disengaging to reveal the Season 3 - 5 events happened to a different set of sliders.

However, one could argue that the damage was done on TV already and picking up from the Season 2 finale and having these sliders encounter a post-"Seer" Rembrandt would be repairing harm that happened long before the comics saw print.

I think a comic book version of SLIDERS in the 2000 - 2005 era featuring Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo would have needed to find some way to cast off the shadow of Seasons 3 - 5. I personally imagine SLIDERS #1 (2000) seemingly set between Season 2 and Season 3. But then a year in, there'd be a SLIDERS #0 (2001) to adapt Tracy Torme's "Slide Effects" and reveal Seasons 3 - 5 were a Kromagg simulation and the comic has been replacing Season 3 and onward all along. Hopefully, a full year of issues would have gotten the audience so invested in the comic that deleting Seasons 3 - 5 would be acceptable and dodge SlideOverride's objections.

Something similar happened with IRON MAN comics. Tony Stark was, in 1995's "The Crossing," transformed into a mind-controlled murderer who'd been in thrall to a villain since his origin story and then killed off. When Tony returned in 1998's IRON MAN #1, he was heroic again and there was no reference to "The Crossing" until 2001 when it was hurriedly explained that Franklin Richards, Mr. Fantastic's son with reality warping powers, had restored Tony and the mind-controlled period was retconned, scaled back to a few months. Most readers were so pleased to have Tony back that when the explanation for his restoration came three years later, it felt like old news.

2018
With 2018, I think a comic book SLIDERS shouldn't return as an extension of the TV show but instead be a reboot that exists on its own terms. But the Pilot story is *very* long for the 22 page comic book format, so it'd probably be best to open with SLIDERS #1 (2018) again featuring the sliders having already been sliding for 3 -6 months, explaining their situation to a guest-character and do the origin story later.

When the NEW 52 BATMAN comics started up, there had been a recent reboot, but the NEW 52 BATMAN comics didn't start from day one. They started in the present with Batman already established with about 5 - 10 years of experience. After a period of time, there was a flashback arc, YEAR ZERO, which depicted Batman's origin.

Remix?
POWER RANGERS comics have gotten away with shifting the 1993 show into a floating timeline of perpetual now because the 1993 show seemed to be set in a bubble of a few standing sets and reused footage from Japanese superhero shows. The original POWER RANGERS had no backstories for its characters and showed nothing of how the larger world reacted to aliens on the moon launching weekly attacks on a single American city. The comics have a nearly blank slate outside the onscreen bubble and their filling it in is satisfying even if those details don't always line up with the show itself.

I don't think SLIDERS could get away with shifting the 1994 - 2000 continuity into a floating timeline since SLIDERS' world-building wasn't vague and foggy like POWER RANGERS. I also don't think the SLIDERS concept does well when satirizing a period of time that's over two decades in the past. SLIDERS should always be set today.

Also, while the actors on POWER RANGERS were treated terribly, the characters were inoffensively written off: they left the team to join a peace summit, compete in gymnastics, become archaeologists and some returned from time to time. Nobody reads GO GO POWER RANGERS and feels sad about how Billy's search for a place to belong will end with him getting shot and blown up because he wasn't. The LOST SLIDES approach would have gotten SLIDERS back at the height of its powers, but the dark future of Seasons 3 - 5 would have been a problem.

One of my favourite episodes of the SLIDERS REWATCH podcast had Tom and Cory talking about how they thought "The Alternateville Horror" was a fun episode, but it was hard to enjoy anything lighthearted when home had been invaded and Wade was in a rape camp. I think LOST SLIDES would have had a similar problem.

I have never seen a single HALLOWEEN film, but the continuity fascinates me.

You didn't. I was commenting on the 2000 - 2005 situation for the fans during which (a) Robert K. Weiss was attempting a series revival (b) TF was hoping to do SLIDERS comics and (c) the fans were hoping that SLIDERS could resurrect its original cast and get back to the Season 1 - 2 situation.

It's a difficult scenario for any creator and the remix approach is intriguing because it immediately restores what made SLIDERS worthwhile in the first place -- the concept and characters -- and puts that center stage rather than splitting the Quinns and defeating the Kromaggs. And that's great for the SLIDERS property, but I don't know if it's good for the fans? Because the fans would have read and enjoyed these comics, but there would be a terrible shadow over any Quinn, Wade and Arturo story given their eventually fates on TV. I wonder how it would have been received had the comics gone through.

The comic book medium is very different from TV and audio (or fan fiction). The average comic is 22 pages, and the page count to undo Seasons 3 - 5 would have been gargantuan. Telling lost stories set during Seasons 1 - 2 would have immediately presented the SLIDERS concept and characters: four friends, parallel worlds, boundless adventure, entry level stories.

That said, in 2000, the majority of the fanbase *wanted* the original sliders resurrected, the loose threads wrapped up -- and I just don't think TF's lost stories approach would have served that wish. However, SLIDERS should never be presented as a back catalog of unfinished plots to be resolved. I can't think of anything worse than opening a new SLIDERS comic book with a post-"Seer" story and all its complexities.

If the comic book adventures of Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo had sold well and led to spin-offs, it'd have been nice to do a "Slide Effects" extra-sized comic in which Tracy Torme's plot for resurrecting the original sliders in a single story with the ongoing comic set after Torme's story and Seasons 3 - 5 no longer casting a shadow over the ongoing comic. But that's a 2000 - 2005 proposition. After that point, I think a SLIDERS comic would need to present SLIDERS as a comic book, not a tie-in to a TV show that was no longer in production or recent memory.

If we were to do a SLIDERS comic today, I would probably advise going with something similar to TF's approach. Start with the sliders already sliding, introduce the characters and concept immediately, have them convey their backstory to a guest-star in a single-issue premiere comic. Indicate that this is a rebooted version of the sliders, not an extension of the 1995 series. If the comic did well, then there could conceivably be a SLIDERS: ORIGIN mini-series that would be a comic book adaptation of the pilot set in the modern day -- and perhaps a SLIDERS CLASSIC series to resolve the 1995 series as well.

The QUANTUM AND WOODY comic book, a superhero series, was in a similar position. It was a popular superhero comedy from the 90s that unfortunately got cancelled. When the comic came back a few years ago, it was a reboot with a new writer. However, once the reboot series was up and running, the publisher hired the original writer to come back and do a wrap-up series for the original series continuity.

Back in the early 2000s, Temporal Flux was working on producing a SLIDERS comic book series. In the end, the cost of licensing matched with artists and printing proved too high and the gross too low. But what I found really intriguing was TF's attitude towards continuity.

Revival?
I assumed that TF would revive SLIDERS in comic book form by doing a post-"Seer" story to resurrect the Torme cast, reset all the deaths and continuity alterations to just after Season 2 and go back to basics: four adventures, parallel Earths, boundless adventure. But TF wasn't doing a reset.

Reboot
I thought that TF, having declined the reset option, would then reboot SLIDERS: if the comics started in 2001, then we'd deal with 2001-era doubles of Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo. Quinn could be working on his doctorate, Wade might be running the Doppler Computers, Rembrandt and Arturo would be about the same as they were in 1994. This was how TF imagined a SLIDERS feature film and if he did it in the comics, he could create a comic book version of the sliders who wouldn't be superseded by any film revival from Robert K. Weiss who was attempting one at the time.

Remix
But TF wasn't doing that either. No, instead, TF was going to do what I shall refer to as a remix version of continuity. He was going to tell stories set during past seasons of SLIDERS. He was going to tell Season 1-2 style stories of light comedy and cheerful social satire, Season 3 style stories of action and adventure, and there would be a few stories set during Seasons 4 - 5 as well. However, TF was going to use this anthology format to add depth and shading to SLIDERS' tapestry: for example, the original quartet would encounter a Maggie double *before* they met her in "The Exodus," creating a more meaningful relationship that would add weight to the onscreen character.

The tentpole moments: the deaths, the cast changes, the continuity alterations -- TF was simply going to work within them and tell stories within each era but focus primarily on the characters exploring alt-history. That said, TF did think that once the comic was up and running, there was some possibility of a spin-off or mini-series to take place after "The Seer."

I don't know how I feel about this: I think I would have wanted either a reset or a reboot. A remix? I couldn't wrap my head around it.

Power Rangers Remix
And yet, I was recently reading BOOM Comics' POWER RANGERS comics: they have two main ones: MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS (MMPR) is set shortly after the Green Ranger was freed from evil mind control and joined the Power Rangers. GO GO POWER RANGERS (GGPR) is set immediately after the pilot episode where the Rangers first got their powers.

Both serieses, despite being continuity implants within the 1993 season of POWER RANGERS, are yet at odds with the TV show in subtle and distinct ways. The comics are set in the present day, not 1993, so all the Rangers have social media accounts and smartphones. The characterization is distinctly not the TV show: all the rangers are nervous and suspicious of the Green Ranger who is suffering from post traumatic stress.

Past Eras in Present Day
The world at large is aware of Rita and world governments are debating whether to surrender to her or count on the Power Rangers who don't answer to any governing body. The population of Angel Grove is fleeing due to the constant monster attacks. The Rangers are written as actual teenagers who are in over their heads and Zordon and Alpha's rationale for giving alien weaponry to kids: they could exist outside the establishment in secret and the telepathic-biological link between Zords, Power Ranger weapons and users is more effective when paired with someone starting at a younger age. Zordon also doesn't want Zord and morpher tech falling into military and corporate hands.

Billy has become so insecure over being bullied at school and being a superhero in secret that he's been living his life morphed in the blue suit but with a holographic face and civilian clothes on top. Kimberly's parents are getting divorced. Trini's mother is a control freak. Jason's father is sick.

This is a modern vision of POWER RANGERS. It's almost like a RIVERDALE version of POWER RANGERS -- if RIVERDALE insisted at every turn that every episode is set between issues of the 1941 comic books despite having markedly different characterization and a different time period. And yet -- the POWER RANGERS TV show was generally set in a juice bar, a classroom and then reused superhero effects footage from cannibalized Japanese TV shows. The show only ever showed the Rangers in costume or at athletic events with almost no exploration of their lives outside superheroing and sports.

The comic book seems to imply that the POWER RANGERS TV show in 1993 was a child's fuzzy, selective memory of the more complex and psychological and militaristic series that is the POWER RANGERS comic.

Looming Future
There are continuity issues that will become glaring if the series continues: Tommy must eventually lose his powers and the orignal Rangers will see the Red, Black and Yellow Rangers leave to go into politics. Writer Kyle Higgins (MMPR) and Ryan Parrott (GGPR) have insisted that their comics are set within the 1993 season with future TV events lying ahead of their comics, yet they have also in interviews hinted that the future on TV may not be set in stone. There was a POWER RANGERS: PINK comic written by Brendan Fletcher and Kelly Thompson which was set after the Pink Ranger had left the team and TV show and focused on her solo adventures, but is again set in the present day.

The BOOM creators have called their comic continuity a "remix," taking place between past events yet shown to be in the present. Kyle Higgins remarked that he didn't want to write the POWER RANGERS he saw on TV; he wanted to write a comic that reflected how the TV show made him *feel.* The sales seem good and readers seem happy getting an updated version of POWER RANGERS that draws on their memories of the TV show without being constrained by its continuity. I can understand why the writers wouldn't have wanted to just retell the TV stories in comic form to give themselves a reboot continuity when they could just have that continuity from their first issue onwards.

At the same time, one wonders if the GO GO POWER RANGERS series, set shortly after the first episode, but have published a #0 issue that would have adapted the pilot for this new continuity. I wonder what SLIDERS fans would have made of a remix style comic book.

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(230 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

TemporalFlux wrote:

Honestly, one of my favorite episodes of Discovery season one was the Harry Mudd episode where he’s trying to steal the ship.  Unless I remember incorrectly, that was a total bottle episode.

You remember correctly. Don't you always? Isn't that your gimmick?

14

(16 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

**assuming** 'recent' is within the last five years, this is basically why jerry did what he did ^.  to excite/spark fans and media and maybe something happens.  because what other option do you have when nothing else has pushed it into existence?

I suppose I wouldn't have Jerry do anything differently today -- but we as fans need to be clear on what the situation is and not mistake wishful thinking for actual reality. As someone who is friends with two actors, I would say that actors, due to their work, often have trouble separating reality from the imaginary. They often talk in terms of what they'd like to do rather than what they'll actually do but will conflate one with the other. They mean no malice by it.

As consumers of their content, we should know to distinguish actual news of a revival from speculative chatter no matter how well-intentioned and loving it may be and know the difference between the creator who longs to restore his series, the actor who hungers for the career he let slip through his fingers through his youthful stupidity and asinine unprofessionalism and the studio that (for now) probably finds SLIDERS too convoluted to bring back when they could just commission an original show about parallel universes.

15

(230 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

If there were ever a show that was tailor made for bottle episodes, it was STAR TREK. I mean, the standing sets are built, they have to rent them regardless and the show is set on that ship. TREK has always been more about conversations than whizbang action; even the rebootquels courting Americans wanting to see things explode were largely oriented towards characters cracking wise and making jokes.

16

(16 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

pilight wrote:

I'm certainly not going to defend Kangaroo Jack as a quality film.  Whatever small amount of success it had was not due to Jerry O'Connell.  Jerry wasn't even invited back for the direct-to-video animated sequel.

As far as Jerry being the lead in a new Slider series, it's a wrong approach.  Sliders works best as an ensemble.  Look at the pilot.  When they're on Soviet World, Quinn is mostly in the background.  That's how it should work, with the story in the forefront and the characters sharing the spotlight.

I would appreciate it if you did not willfully and deliberately misrepresent my remarks. On this board, you have consistently told me my opinions were wrong (like how the sliders could fight monsters with science), but when asked to elaborate on your opinions, they were no different from mine (you would have had them fight monsters with science) meaning you had no issue with my words but took issue with the fact that I said them.

Jerry gets top billing in SLIDERS. From a marketing standpoint, he's a lead. I made that very distinct from a storytelling standpoint. I have proven in my ten SLIDERS screenplays that I consider SLIDERS an ensemble series with the pages consisting of the quartet sitting around bantering.

My pitch, which you have read and commented on three times (always negatively on pettily small-minded criticisms) is clearly designed to reunite the original ensemble and to present REDUX as featuring only Jerry is unreasonable when his character is by necessity the catalyst to get them sliding again.

Transmodiar criticized REDUX for the 1994 story elements cluttering a straight reboot concept. SlideOverride criticized it for not fully explaining the post-"Seer" situation. Those are valid criticisms whereas you whine that Jerry shouldn't be the lead and gets too much attention in a potential pilot for SLIDERS in which his character created sliding.

You don't have a problem with my pitch except for the fact that it's my pitch.

17

(16 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

pilight wrote:

Kangaroo Jack, as Down Under was eventually called, actually did decently at the box office.  Made $90M on a budget of $60M.

Thank you for the correction. I was conflating KANGAROO JACK's critical reception with its financial results. KANGAROO JACK killed Jerry O'Connell's career as a leading man in films and made it quite clear that nobody would watch a film just for Jerry O'Connell nor should anyone hire him for the limp, unconsidered, charmless, characterization-free performances he was giving during this period where he was coasting on his good looks.

Transmodiar wrote:
ireactions wrote:

long-winded, well-reasoned, hilariously antagonistic rant against JOC

lol

It's interesting to wonder at what point Jerry's attitude shifted. It's entirely possible that having to get healthier and his return to working class TV acting on CROSSING JORDAN forced him to gain the humility he'd lost upon moving from Vancouver to LA. But, being fond of psychodrama, I like to think that the moment Jerry realized he had to clean up his act was when he was absolutely certain he would be cast as Peter Parker in Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN, that he was too handsome not to have that role, that his fan following would propel him into superhero stardom -- only to see a casting announcement reveal that the below-average looking Tobey Maguire had been hired instead on the grounds that he had the acting skills to play a high school nerd.

Jerry in 2018 is very different from Jerry in 1998 and I do think that he sells himself short to say he couldn't lead a new SLIDERS series. He's a great actor (now), a wonderful writer (NARCOTICA was a terrific script), he considers Tracy Torme "the boss," and I think that it would be amazing publicity if SLIDERS were revived with Jerry as the series lead and showrunner and presented with Jerry being both the face of the show and the talent behind it (and naturally, Jerry would share co-executive producer status with Torme and Weiss). Jerry could play a 44-year-old Quinn, an alternate discovering sliding for the first time. That said, Torme's not the guy to call; it's the studio that needs to want to see SLIDERS come back.

Anyway. I was talking about this thread during dinner.

REGAN: "Did something you'll like on the weekend."

IB: "You committed to a skin care regimen? I'm telling you, alpha hydroxy acid is the way to go."

REGAN: "No, I watched the first three episodes of SLIDERS."

IB: "Are you out of your god-damn mind? Why would you subject yourself to that? Do you have any idea what kind of trauma, heartbreak and horror you're bringing upon yourself!?"

REGAN: "I just wanted to understand your religion. I get it. Quinn is so sexy, but he's a geek, and the Professor is the father figure you wish you had."

IB: "Ugh. I don't want to hear this. Please don't watch SLIDERS. Watch FRINGE, for God's sake, the ideas are just as good except the show actually measures up to the ideas."

REGAN: "You know, the Pilot and the epidemic episode were actually pretty serious. I read some of the pages of your SLIDERS REBORN script and your version of SLIDERS is a lot goofier and sillier than the actual show."

IB: "Oh yes, I totally agree. I think the show was more focused on bleak social commentary and black comedy whereas I'm more about character interaction and the performances of the actors... "

**

IB: "You know, I have an idea for how to revive SLIDERS today but with the original actors and for a new audience."

REGAN: "No. No, you don't. I read like 10 pages of SLIDERS REBORN and I couldn't understand what the hell was going on because I hadn't seen the whole show."

IB: "No, no -- that was for the fans. I call my revival idea the SLIDERS REDUX."

REGAN: "Okay."

IB: "Well, the 2018 revival -- it could start just like the Pilot -- with the 1994 video footage of Quinn saying he opened something, something incredible, but then he knocked out the power -- but then we smash cut to TODAY -- and Quinn's now a fortysomething tax accountant who lost his passion for science after failing to create anti-gravity. And he's doing income tax returns for his clients, two of whom are Wade and Arturo. Wade can't stand him because he made out with her and then acted like it never happened back in the 90s and she's still sore. Arturo is mad at him for abandoning science and going into finance and also for how Quinn humiliated him in the last class Quinn ever attended."

REGAN: "Wade is still mad about how a dude kissed her once in the 90s? Really?"

IB: "Shut up! Anyway, the Professor starts ranting at Quinn, saying, 'You turned your back on your talent. You could have changed the world; now you fill out forms and you're nothing but a calculator on legs. You are a disgrace!'"

REGAN: "Are you trying to do an English accent? Because you can't."

IB: "And Quinn quietly takes the abuse, then gets a phone call. He hangs up and he looks lost and haunted and the Professor says, 'What the devil is wrong with you now?' And Quinn says, 'My mom had a heart attack. She's dead.'"

REGAN: "No! I love Quinn's mom!"

IB: "And there's a really awkward silence and the Professor says, 'But upon reflection, Mr. Mallory, perhaps I'm being too hard on you.'"

REGAN: "Hahaahahahahahaahahah!"

IB: "We go to a blur of events. Quinn is arranging his mother's funeral. We see some of Wade: she writes gadget reviews for cell phones and smartwatches and she finds it really boring and she works on a laptop at this coffee bar. And the guy who owns and runs this coffee bar is Rembrandt -- who is also pretty bored and the only time he really comes alive is on his open mic nights when he sings and plays saxophone."

REGAN: "I dunno if Rembrandt should be playing sax."

IB: "The Professor attends the funeral, Quinn later goes to his mother's house to clean it out and sell it. He goes to his old basement lab which he hasn't seen in years. He sees the anti-gravity equipment. He sees his old VHS cassettes, his video diaries. He puts one on and then he sees a video diary he doesn't remember making, talking about adjustments to the anti-gravity. He tries to make those adjustments. They don't work, but he has another idea, he reassembles and activates the machine -- and it opens an interdimensional gateway. It sucks him in, he has an adventure in a parallel Earth, he ends up back home. And, excited, he suddenly realizes: back in 1994, it must've been an alternate Quinn who kissed Wade and insulted the Professor in class. He calls them over to his house to explain. While they're on their way, he builds a new timer. He opens the gateway, they all decide to step in -- and Quinn accidentally makes the vortex too powerful and the vortex accidentally ensnares a passing Rembrandt as he drives by the house."

REGAN: "Why was Rembrandt driving by the house?"

IB: "For reasons too strange and terrible to elaborate here."

REGAN: "You don't know why, do you?"

IB: "He's driving by because -- because -- because Wade left her laptop at his coffee shop and he was bringing it to her."

REGAN: "How does he know that Wade's at Quinn's house? Or where Quinn's house even is?"

IB: "Regan, could you please just -- ? Could you please just -- ? Could you please -- ? Could you please? Could you please? Could you please? Could you? Could you? Could you? Could you?"

REGAN: "I guess he called her and she told him where he was and he happens to drive by on his way home."

IB: "Thank you. Moving forward -- all four end up in a parallel universe, but the timer gets damaged, they all get lost in the interdimension, and the adventure begins again."

REGAN: "I don't understand why this pitch has all the 1994 stuff there if this is a reboot."

IB: "Well, then we go to the website. The website has some extra video diaries from Quinn. And one video diary -- it's made in 2001 with Quinn played by Jerry in de-aging makeup and obscured by TV scanlines. This Quinn -- he says that he's in a bad situation. The Kromaggs are destroying reality. The multiverse is collapsing. The war between worlds has killed all his friends. And a slider sacrificed himself to bring Quinn back from quantum limbo. Quinn can only see one way to end the war: he's going to alter universal constants so that sliding isn't opened by altering the Earth's gravitational field, but instead by altering the Earth's vibrational frequency. This will retroactively change reality so that sliding is never created by any civilization or individual: not by Quinn, not by the Kromaggs, and the multiverse will exist as though sliding never did."

REGAN: "What?"

IB: "The gist of it is that sliding's erased from reality. That's how all the dead characters are alive again and living like they never went sliding. But Quinn says in this video -- he knows: even if he doesn't create sliding in 1994, he'll create it eventually, he's too smart not to. So, he creates these video diaries to warn himself of how sliding went wrong last time, and how he now has a second chance to take his first steps. But this material -- it's only on the website. So, for the diehard fans, this is a sequel. But for a new audience, it's a new beginning that doesn't require any familiarity with the old show."

REGAN: "Oh. I get it."

IB: "And I think the Quinn in the video, his monologue to the older Quinn should be something like, 'This is the that day sliding died. This is how I closed the door. But for you -- this is the day that sliding starts. You have a second chance to take your first steps. And this time, you can get it right.'"

REGAN: "Are you sure the show wouldn't be better off just recasting the original four and starting over?"

IB: "Regan, could you please just -- ? Could you please just -- ? Could you please just -- ? Could you please? Could you please? Could you? Could you? Could you!? Could you?!?!?!"

REGAN: "Oh my God, don't lose your shit over this. Calm the fuck down."

IB: "Sorry."

REGAN: "So, you know how every time we hang out, I give you three SLIDERS cards and take one away every time you bring up the show? I'm not giving you any cards for the next month."

IB: "Oh thank God. I can't stop myself without you."

**

TRANSMODIAR: "This reboot idea with the original actors playing their older selves who never went sliding -- isn't this Temporal Flux's idea?"

IB: "Yeah! Except he gave it to me in 2000, so his idea was that Quinn was done with college and working on his doctorate, Wade was running Doppler Computers now, Remmy would now be a music teacher and the Professor would still be the Professor. Basically, it'd be the sliders five years later if they never went sliding, and every few years, I update their jobs and their ages for his idea."

TRANSMODIAR: "That sounds like a totally normal and healthy relationship with a cult FOX show from the 90s."

IB: "And then I recently combined it with your idea for SLIDERS REBORN that I didn't end up using where you thought that Quinn's mission in a sequel should be to try to kill sliding before it does any more damage."

TRANSMODIAR: "Are you saying you've created the bastard child of Temporal Flux and SpaceTime?"

IB: "Yes. It is the very best of both of you, you see. All your wisdom and knowledge will endure in this SLIDERS REDUX. All your ego and regret will be left behind."

TRANSMODIAR: "Yay you. Time to do some original work!"

18

(16 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Oh for God's sake.

Jerry O'Connell has been desperate to return to SLIDERS since 2002 and referring to phone calls with Robert K. Weiss and then Tracy Torme. After 16 years, it's time to stop seeing his comments as anything other than wishful thinking and longing.

I try to live with respect and love for all fans of SLIDERS, but there is one jackass I cannot stand, Steven Applebaum. He once bragged to SLIDERS fans in the forums that he was going to do something about bringing SLIDERS back by phoning Tracy Torme to demand Torme revive the show. During this call, he pitched to Torme an alternate Season 4 that would feature Sabrina Lloyd as Wade having joined the Kromaggs and would explain why the Kromaggs looked different in the original Season 4 and reveal that the Earth in "Genesis" wasn't the one in the Pilot.

Torme had no idea what the hell he was talking about, having never seen Season 4. As someone who has seen Season 4, I wondered why Applebaum wanted an alternate Season 4 to explain plotholes in the material he was dismissing. Or why he felt he needed to subject Torme to this idiocy. Or why Applebaum tried to convince fans that this absurd phone call with Torme meant SLIDERS was building momentum for a revival.

Torme mercifully cut him off during this deranged phone call by telling Applebaum that Applebaum would need an agent for Torme to hear anymore of his pitches -- at which point Applebaum asked SLIDERS fans if they could refer him to an agent, presumably so he could continue to harass Torme with his continuity porn.

The basic truth that Torme attempted to convey that Applebaum dutifully reported but willfully ignored: NBCUniversal owns controlling interest in SLIDERS. As the creators, Torme and Weiss likely own 10 per cent of the property; they cannot make a SLIDERS revival happen unless NBCUniversal wants one. NBCUniversal has no intention of using the SLIDERS brand, but they also won't sell it. SLIDERS is (conceptually) worth some figure that, collectively with other intellectual properties, adds to NBCUniversal's total worth just by existing in their portfolio.

Until NBCUniversal seeks to revive SLIDERS, phone calls with the co-creator won't move SLIDERS any closer to a revival than it's been for the last 18 years. That's the case whether the phone calls involve Jerry O'Connell or a delusionally self-important fan with no grasp of how intellectual property rights are held and managed.

Jerry O'Connell, when he left SLIDERS in 1998, was metaphorically drunk on his own (middling) success as a lead actor of a FOX show and some small roles in SCREAM and JERRY MAGUIRE and literally drunk because nightclubs and bars would cover his tab in exchange for Jerry's minor-league celebrity drawing other celebrities and notoriety to their establishments. Jerry bragged about how his handsome face would make him a Tom Cruise level success and mistook SLIDERS fans for Jerry O'Connell fans. He declared that his returning to SLIDERS in any capacity was "not a possibility."

But Jerry didn't commit to the acting craft with anything resembling Cruise's intensity and he certainly didn't commit to a proper workout regimen and he chose projects based on whether or not his character was presented as an attractive man -- which was how Jerry preferred to see himself after he'd spent his childhood overweight and ignored by (shallow) women. And he proceeded to destroy his film career with a half-assed performance in MISSION TO MARS, a lifelessly hungover performance in the disastrous comedy TOMCATS, and then he nearly got fired off the movie DOWN UNDER for being overweight again (due to his drinking and diet).

He buckled down, got sober, got into shape, gave a passably mediocre performance for DOWN UNDER -- only for the film to bomb with test audiences and be reshot to focus on a computer generated kangaroo that had originally appeared in a single scene. The movie failed at box office. Jerry O'Connell's leading man film career was over and his last feature role of note had featured him playing second banana to a digital marsupial.

During this catastrophic time in his career, he was also passed over for the role of Spider-Man in Sam Raimi's 2002 film as Sony decided they would prefer to hire a real actor. That and DOWN UNDER seemed a humbling experience: after that, Jerry went from being dismissive of SLIDERS to declaring he would gladly return to play Quinn Mallory, that he'd love for the show to come back, preferably as a feature film, that he'd been talking to the creators -- and since then, we've been on the same cycle.

I'd speculate that Jerry saw his film prospects end and finally realized: Quinn Mallory was his one shot at cultural immortality the way Shatner and Nimoy will always be Kirk and Spock -- and he threw it all away. Jerry is actually a *very* talented writer: his NARCOTICA comic book was brilliant, but when he got creative control on SLIDERS in Season 4, he didn't try to affect the stories outside of getting his brother and favourite drinking buddy to be on the show.

I do think that Jerry now appreciates what he could do for SLIDERS and what SLIDERS could do for him, and he clearly longs for the Vancouver days as expressed in a brief video interview. He keeps a photo of himself with Sabrina, Cleavant and John in his kitchen. He watches Season 1 - 2 episodes with his wife and children. Jerry's first car was a used auto he bought from John. Jerry continues to draw on John's tutelage in preparing for his present-day roles and since 2008, Jerry's acting has had all the nuance, detail and care that he had from 1994 - 1996.

Jerry has turned his life and career around as a successful TV actor, (amateur) athlete, husband and father. He really does want SLIDERS back. From 2002 to 2006, I think he was desperate for Quinn to save his film career. Since then, he's accepted he's a TV actor, gotten his skillset together -- and now he misses his old castmates AND thinks Quinn could give him the stardom of which he always fell short. His affection for SLIDERS is genuine, but phone calls with Torme are simply that -- affection. And we need to stop getting excited for SLIDERS to be revived every time someone who misses SLIDERS swaps Christmas cards with Torme whether that someone is Jerry O'Connell or Steven Applebaum.

19

(194 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I stopped watching LOST in the middle of Season 5. I got busy with other things and by the time I had time to follow it, I'd forgotten too much of the show and didn't have time to rewatch. However, I do love FRINGE, another show JJ Abrams launched and then left to chosen successors, and I have a similar query of congruent import.

In the pilot episode of FRINGE, FBI Agent Olivia Dunham is desperate to save John Scott from a deadly and unknown toxin and succeeds after a gauntlet of horrific and terrifying challenges – at which point John murders the toxin's creator in the hospital before he can be questioned and then flees. Olivia pursues him, a car chase ensues, John tries to run Olivia off the road and it ends with John killing himself in a car wreck having tried to murder the woman who put everything she had into saving his life. It's a shocking turn of events that drives Olivia into Fringe cases.

"The Transformation," episode 13 of Season 1, has Olivia discovering that John was part of an undercover investigation into a bioterror cell. A simulacrum of John formed from his memories before his death communicates with Olivia, assuring her that he loved her, that he wasn't trying to kill her, that he'd intended to propose marriage, that his investigation into the bioterrorists was a secret he longed to share with Olivia, and this recreation of John is validated when Olivia finds the engagement ring he never had a chance to give her. These revelations relieve Olivia's torment and give her the peace to move on.

Except John being undercover doesn't explain:

(a) why he murdered the doctor who would have had key information in his own investigation
(b) why he tried to run Olivia off the road when she was chasing him

These questions aren't raised and instead quietly sidestepped. "The Transformation," rather than providing answers about the details of John's backstory, focuses on showing Olivia that John loved her, intended to propose marriage, hated keeping secrets from her and longed to reveal all. "The Transformation" seems to depend on the viewer having a fuzzy memory of the Pilot which had aired five months previous and works well on a first viewing. But watching the Pilot and "The Transformation" back to back shows that John's redemption arc doesn't hold up.

So... what was the original intention for John Scott and why was it decided to reinforce his heroism and quietly retcon his murderous actions?

20

(788 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Maybe Cavill's character is undercover.  Maybe the mustache plays some part.  Or maybe they did just want to make Cavill less pretty.  Either way, it just seems like an odd choice for Cavill to agree to....or an odd decision to force on him.  It was either petty on Paramount, naive of Cavill, or just a bizarre set of circumstances.

Christopher McQuarrie, director of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE V and VI, doesn't really like computer generated imagery when it's central. Both he and Tom Cruise prefer practical effects as much as possible.

In M:I2 (directed by John Woo), when Cruise had a hunting knife thrust within a few centimetres of his eye, that blade was a real weapon with the actor stabbing towards Cruise's face at full force at Cruise's insistence -- with the cable holding the knife back painted out in post. In M:I5 (which McQuarrie did direct), when Cruise is running across the wing of a plane and hanging onto its side as it takes off or when he's performing motorcycle students or diving into pools, he's doing it for real -- although other cars and harnesses and rigs are removed and the backgrounds are altered.

There's a genuine sense of reality in the McQuarrie's approach: there's wind blowing into Cruise's eyes when he dives off a building and his body is really coiled to anticipate the hundred-foot drop and you can see Cruise's terror and determination as he performs jumps and takes punches and handles falls as Ethan Hunt, a human crash dummy of a secret agent. And Cavill would be made to do the same things.

I don't think McQuarrie would be happy having one of his actors perform such scenes with a CG mustache; it would affect what parts of the actor's face are visible and the actor would adjust his expressions accordingly. I don't think McQuarrie would want a CG creation at the center of Henry Cavill's shots when he wants the actor to control the physicality and tone of the performance, not a special effects artist in a computer lab. CG is for adjustments, not centerpieces, in McQuarrie's world.

McQuarrie will accept CGI for painting out cars, cleaning up backgrounds, removing safety gear, changing a pool into a lake, etc., but he wants his actors to be reacting and performing according to as much physical reality as he can offer and a CG mustache is the antithesis of McQuarrie's aesthetic.

McQuarrie would also not be happy having an actor film chase sequences and fight scenes with a fake mustache that would need to be reglued, rearranged, realigned and restyled for every single shot. "That's just not Mission," he would probably say.

As for why the character had to have a mustache, well -- Cavill has a friendly face, he's playing a deadly assassin who has no issue with casualties in contrast to Ethan Hunt's decidedly non-lethal approach. A mustache makes Cavill look more sinister, it's part of the look that McQuarrie designed for this role and McQuarrie was responsible for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT, not JUSTICE LEAGUE.

There's a hilarious line in AGENTS OF SHIELD, Season 3, Episode 11, "Bouncing Back," where Coulson tells the President: "We'll keep doing what we do and you'll keep pretending we don't exist."

Informant wrote:

The Council of Wells is like... You know when an unfunny person tells an unfunny joke, but they insist that it's funny, so they keep pushing it harder and harder, to the point where it wouldn't be funny even if it had been funny to start with? Like a lame "Dad joke" that will not die.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I don't think the writers are responsible for the Council of Wells stuff.  I'm guessing it's Tom Cavanagh driven.  Either he's asking for opportunities to be funny/goofy, or he's being funny/goofy enough that the sleep-deprived writing staff thinks everyone would enjoy it as much as they do. I don't think it's funny either.

TemporalFlux wrote:

I wish that Harrison Wells could get away from the “being stupid” thing, but looks like we’re stuck with it.

From Season 3 onward, THE FLASH has been treating Dr. Wells like he’s Tom Cavanagh doing stand-up and sketch comedy. Dr. Wells is, unfortunately, the victim of a fate suffered by many characters: he has been modified to resemble the actor even if such a direction doesn't serve the character.

The original Dr. Wells was effective as Barry's mentor. He had wisdom tempered with humility due to the particle accelerator disaster. He was often arrogant and modest in the same scene. He was Professor Arturo. He was Temporal Flux. He was Dad. That's why it was heartbreaking to learn he was Eobard Thawne with a face stolen from the man he'd murdered. Naturally, the producers wanted to keep Cavanagh's gift for playing Barry's mentor in Season 2 and they introduced Harry, intending for this double from Earth 2 to be the heroic, gentle Wells whom Cavanagh played for one episode before Thawne killed the character.

But Cavanagh resisted this, asking that Harry be arrogant, caustic and embittered by a secret except, unlike Thawne, Harry was trying to save his daughter Jessie. Season 2 ended with Harry saving Jessie and returning with her to Earth 2. And as much as fans enjoyed Cavanagh and the Harry character, there was no sensible way for the Season 2 finale/Season 3 premiere to explain why Harry would leave his company, daughter, home, career and dimension.

Cavanagh was still on contract, so Season 3 introduced HR, the goofy, silly, scientifically illiterate alternate of Harry. If you've heard MIKE AND TOM EAT SNACKS, a podcast where Tom Cavanagh and his friend Michael Ian Black review snack foods and go off on absurd conversational tangents of nonsense, you'll realize: HR was Tom Cavanagh's real-life personality. Season 3 didn't even bother to pretend that HR was just an excuse to keep Cavanagh present and simply had Tom Cavanagh playing himself.

The show attempted to make HR the human resources manager at STAR Labs. The comic relief. The stand-up sketch artist. And while Cavanagh was appealing and hilariously annoying, HR lacked any purpose because he wasn't a scientist, fighter, investigator or anything that a superhero team actually needed. The show ended up using him as a decoy to be killed off.

Season 4 brought Harry back, having alienated his daughter off-camera during the summer hiatus. They could have used this excuse in Season 3 but having it happen between Seasons 3 - 4 avoided tarnishing the happy ending of Season 2. Instead, Harry had been given a year with his daughter, driven her crazy, been kicked out of his own STAR Labs -- and now it made sense that he would gravitate to the only other people who would tolerate him.

But the Season 4 Harry was not the effective mentor, teacher, father figure with a dark side that he'd been in Season 2. He no longer guided the team or offered his experience or provided his brilliant and ruthless efficiency. Instead, Harry now rambled awkwardly (like HR), he blustered without being able to back it up (like HR) and was repeatedly upstaged and undermined as a self-sabotaging incompetent (like HR). Jessie Quick's rejection shook Harry, shattered his self-esteem, left him insecure and pathetic. He had been arrogant and certain of his genius, but his own daughter not wanting him in her life made him feel unwanted by everyone. He was off-balance. It made sense.

What didn't make sense, however, was Season 4 taking this tragic drama of a broken man finding humility -- and playing it all for laughs. Harry spent Season 4 teamed with Cisco and having his ego further punctured in lighthearted ways. The conflicts between Harry and the team weren't serious. Harry acknowledged that he was a shadow of his former self, but such scenes emphasized comedy rather than pain. Harry was so deflated that he attempted to augment his mental prowess but instead gave himself brain damage. This was the bottom of his downward spiral where Harry had lost his company, daughter, home and now he would lose the only thing he had left, his intelligence -- except this too, was presented as comedy with Harry stumbling about and banging into furniture and meandering through conversations.

Why? Season 4 already had Ralph Dibney for comic relief, so why was Harry's arrogant ineffectualness presented with such lightweight, conflict-free goofiness? Why not have him play the role he was created to play: to be Barry's ruthless, trustworthy, caustic, encouraging mentor and teacher? 

I'm actually not sure. I wondered if Cavanagh asked for Harry to be written as Tom Cavanagh so that Cavanagh could play himself, but Cavanagh actively pushed for Harry to be a darker character in Season 2. Did playing himself/HR in Season 3 go to his head or did it go to the writers' heads? Cavanagh, in interviews, remarked that the writers had felt the team lacked a comedy character in Season 3 and decided to have him fulfill that function. They clearly kept the same mindset for Season 4.

Since Season 3, the writers have not tried to write Dr. Harrison Wells, physicist engineer genius whose intelligence is exceeded by his ego and whose vast overestimation of his competence leads to bad situations but also a drive and ambition that inspires his students and teammates. The writers are simply writing Tom Cavanagh's stand up comedy for him. This is particularly glaring with the Council of Wells. In theory, this would have been an intriguing look into different paths Harrison Wells might have taken. In practice, it was a chance for Cavanagh to affect silly accents which he loved doing on MIKE AND TOM EAT SNACKS.

This approach of using Cavanagh for comedy was also present with the Earth 1 Eobard Thawne we saw in CRISIS ON EARTH X. He wore Tom Cavanagh's face for no adequately explained reason. Cavanagh played Thawne with a cartoonish glee, a ridiculously exaggerated enunciation and over-the-top silliness. This clearly wasn't the master manipulator Cavanagh played in Season 1 or the arrogantly superior villain Matt Letscher presented in LEGENDS. This was a caricature.

There's also a problem that's somewhat beyond Cavanagh. Barry already has a father figure in Joe. Dr. Wells was essential for scientific support and urging Barry into his superhero career for Seasons 1 - 2, but Joe came to accept Barry as the Flash. Caitlin and Cisco grew sufficiently to take over as Barry's doctor and engineer. Iris stepped up as team leader. Wells became redundant, the writers tried to keep the actor around by putting him with Cisco and having Cavanagh be funny, but it only suggests that Cavanagh mastered Wells so thoroughly and taught Barry so fully that there's nothing left to do with Dr. Wells and he's been reduced to being his actor.

Maybe it's time Cavanagh left the show... or joined LEGENDS OF TOMORROW with Wally?

23

(172 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

SUPERNATURAL and AGENTS OF SHIELD should definitely take heed of how dire their situations have become.

24

(172 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

Dean saying yes to Michael after all these years... it was cool. However, it led to some of the more horrifically corny visuals to ever grace this show. The flying battle was bad. It was like watching a B-Movie from the 80's, to the point where I kinda think that they might have been riffing that style on purpose (especially with the freeze-frame at the end of the episode).

I've always found Informant to be one of the most visually illiterate people in fandom -- so when even he notices problems in the cinematography, choreography, blocking, composition and editing on SUPERNATURAL and AGENTS OF SHIELD, you know something's gone really, really, really wrong with the production.

ireactions wrote:

With the LMD arc, AGENTS OF SHIELD was in many ways invited to contemplate the value of its own concept. In a world of superhumans and the potential for Life Model Decoy androids to replace SHIELD agents in every task, what was the point of having Agents of SHIELD? As the cast of SHIELD were replaced with LMDs and neither the characters nor the audience knew who to trust, viewers wondered how this pod tied into the question of whether or not AOS was truly part of the MCU and realized that it probably wasn't all that relevant to the thesis. Damn.

Actually, I found a spin!!

Pod 8 - Season 4, Episodes 9 - 15 - "LMD"
With the LMD arc, AGENTS OF SHIELD was in many ways invited to contemplate the value of its own concept. In a world of superhumans and the potential for Life Model Decoy androids to replace SHIELD agents in every task, what was the point of having Agents of SHIELD?

As the cast of SHIELD were replaced with LMDs and neither the characters nor the audience knew who to trust, the writers made a fascinating choice to grant the LMD replacements for Coulson and May different degrees of self-awareness. The android May was shocked to discover she was a simulacrum of the real person with all of the real May's emotions and memories while the android Coulson had been aware of his true nature the entire time.

In a strange moment of insight, the android Coulson declared that there was no distinction between the real Coulson, who was currently living in a virtual reality, and the LMD Coulson who was inhabiting the real world.

"My programming is different than yours," the LMD Coulson tells the LMD May. "You had to discover that your body had been replaced -- whereas I still have my mind but know exactly what I am, and more importantly, I understand a basic truth that you don't realize yet. That our bodies don't matter." The LMD Coulson later remarked of his prosthetic hand, "My phantom limb used to ache in cold weather. But now I don't feel that pain. I haven't felt this good in years."

The LMD Coulson was arguing that the question of whether he was less real than the biological Coulson was irrelevant as both were existing as simulations, one as a digital intelligence in a physical reality while the other as a physical body whose consciousness now resided in a digital reality.

To the LMD Coulson, the experience of existence regardless of its nature, whether programmed or biological-- or whether in a Marvel feature film or a Marvel television series -- made no difference because the experiences themselves had left impact, memory and meaning. And the LMD May would come to turn on the LMD Coulson while expressing precisely the same opinion.

"I know I'm not real," says the LMD May who has at this writing never been mentioned or shown in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. "I'm all phantom limbs," she says, accepting that she is not a real person while metatextually highlighting that Melinda May is no more real than Tony Stark or Steve Rogers regardless of the medium they inhabit. "That doesn't make the pain less real," says May, going on to add, "That pain, that regret that's what made you a person a person I love." Her sentiment is meant for the real Coulson as the simulated May does not consider May's feelings a simulation and she sacrifices herself to help Coulson's team enter the VR simulation to rescue him.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I find it odd that the show came out when it did.  Was it designed to run for half a season of "standard SHIELD stuff" before blowing the show up?  Was that by design?  Or were TV and Films always so disconnected that, when Agents of SHIELD was announced, Films laughed at the idea that they were going to blow up their show midway through their first season?

What follows is largely speculation:

My suspicion is that Ike Perlmutter wanted Marvel to have TV shows to propogate the brand, expand opportunities for merchandising and get paid by a network to produce content rather than having his own studio finance the content.

I don't think AGENTS OF SHIELD was conceived in terms of creativity because I don't believe Perlmutter sees anything in terms of creative content. It was a product like the toys he sold on street corners when he was scraping by. The fact that the SHIELD concept was slated for demolition was irrelevant to him.

And Joss Whedon, our favourite fake feminist, having seen two TV shows crash and burn, was looking for an opportunity to return to his medium of choice. Whedon confessed that AGENTS OF SHIELD was a show made with "leftovers" from the film department and said that Coulson's resurrection on TV didn't allow him to rejoin the film series. Whedon gamely tried his best with the AOS pilot which features some hilarious jokes and heartfelt writing, but the script lacked a clear vision for how the SHIELD of big budget feature films could be done on a TV budget.

I suspect that the poor production on the early episodes were due to confusion. Joss Whedon had planned to run the show like BUFFY where he would oversee and rewrite all scripts. Instead, he ran SHIELD the way he ran ANGEL: a subordinate worked with the writers and ran the scripts past Whedon, but Whedon lacked the time to rewrite or do anything beyond vetoing the show from using concepts for which the movies had plan.

There was also the issue that Whedon, judging from his script for AVENGERS, viewed SHIELD rather ambivalently. Captain America was suspicious of Fury and thought him potentially a conflict-seeking warmonger; Fury himself was in conflict with the World Security Council. But suggesting that SHIELD had dark secrets or malevolent intentions would be paving the way to the reveal that HYDRA had infiltrated SHIELD -- which AOS couldn't be allowed to do because WINTER SOLDIER was in development.

With WINTER SOLDIER being written and filmed over the course of a year and AOS episodes being made in a week's time, there was the risk that AOS' hints and clues might not line up with however WINTER SOLDIER would reveal HYDRA behind SHIELD. There had already been difficulties: Whedon said in interviews that the writers had developed an arc featuring Loki's scepter -- which Whedon later had to stop as it was being used in AGE OF ULTRON. One can understand why the writers tried to play it safe for awhile.

The early episodes suffer from that confusion: is the show a comedy or a spy thriller? Are the team professionals or amateurs? Are they a family or at odds? Are they superheroes or are they police officers? How much can the episodes play with the movie concepts?

AOS didn't seem ready to make these decisions and with ideas getting shot down and airdates to meet, the staff likely decided to do one-off villains and wait out the situation. The early episodes are full of overly bright lighting and confused character dynamics and odd comedy choices. It's like watching first drafts get filmed and rehearsals get aired. It gives the sense that the creators didn't know how lighthearted or serious their show was to be and the person they expected to make those decisions was busy making AGE OF ULTRON.

I'm guessing that halfway into the season, some serious workflow revisions were made: Joss Whedon ceded control to Jed Whedon. A darker tone was chosen, and the WINTER SOLDIER tie-ins allowed the show to divorce the TV SHIELD from the feature film SHIELD. The show would develop its own mythos so as to never again be barred from plot progression by a film.

It would be interesting to know: did the writers grasp from the outset that Coulson's team made no sense? His roster consisted of an untrained hacktivist, two scientists with no field clearance, an assassin with no capacity for teamwork and an office administrator who didn't want to fight anymore. A paramilitary security force like SHIELD as seen in the films would never approve such an unbalanced group of mismatched unprofessionals. No spy agency would sanction such an incapable group or have them led by a partially amnesiac trauma patient whose memories and sanity couldn't be trusted.

In "Turn Turn Turn," the writers provide an explanation: May chose the team and manipulated Coulson into selecting the specific individuals needed to assist him in his post-TAHITI condition: Jemma could treat his body, Fitz could reengineer his memories, Ward could kill him if he went insane like the other TAHITI patients and Skye was completely unexpected. Was that reveal always planned? Or was it to address an obvious flaw in the material resulting from wanting a product before deciding the content?

Other Marvel TV productions like IRON FIST and INHUMANS were commissioned in a similar fashion: product first, content later. Sadly, those projects seemed to lack the staff or vision needed to turn them around, or at least IRON FIST did. I haven't seen INHUMANS and I think barely anyone did.

Pod 10 - Season 5, Episodes 1 - 10 - "Quaked Apart"
During its fifth season, AGENTS OF SHIELD had a conflicted situation between Marvel Film and Marvel TV. The film division was moving forward with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY II, BLACK PANTHER and INFINITY WAR, but with no interest in creating tie-ins and crossovers with AGENTS OF SHIELD.

But Marvel TV was advancing as well, launching DAREDEVIL, JESSICA JONES, LUKE CAGE and IRON FIST on Netflix. The Netflix shows, unlike the "Fan Fiction" era of AGENTS OF SHIELD, weren't spinning out of a feature film but defining themselves as street level superheroics. Marvel Films made it plain that the AGENTS OF SHIELD and Netflix characters would never be featured in any AVENGERS films.

In response, Marvel TV worked around Marvel Films. The crime and underworld drama of the Netflix shows was so distant from the widescreen heroics of the AVENGERS films that Netflix shows could function, like AGENTS OF SHIELD, in their own corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe sandbox. There were unlikely to be world-changing events in Daredevil's battles with crimelords and corrupt cops.

But AGENTS OF SHIELD didn't have that advantage. AOS had changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe significantly: SHIELD had been sustained as a rogue organization that eventually regained government status, the events of Season 2 had awakened Inhuman powers in random people around the globe. But with no acknowledgement from the AVENGERS films, AGENTS OF SHIELD would perpetually need consider how to depict significant events that wouldn't ever be mentioned by Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Ant Man, Black Panther and Spider-Man.

For this pod, AGENTS OF SHIELD destroyed the Earth -- which is to say the cast were transported to a future time period where the Earth had been destroyed due to Daisy Johnson's powers going out of control. But this was pointedly not the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Like the Framework, this future scenario was presented as a possible future that SHIELD would avert in order to avoid contradicting INFINITY WAR and any subsequent Marvel movies.

Like the Framework, this pod ultimately declared that victory would mean erasing itself from reality, a moral and emotional conflict that was left unresolved and carried over to the next pod. It was an uncomfortable situation shared by the AGENTS OF SHIELD TV show where it needed contribute to the MCU but only in ways that could be safely forgotten by the films.

Pod 11 - Season 5, Episodes 11 - 22 - "Destroyer of Worlds"
With the final pod of Season 5, the cast were returned to the present to prevent the future they saw. This run of episodes saw AGENTS OF SHIELD suffering from its greatest threat which was not Loki or HYDRA or LMDs or the Kree but instead, the severity of ABC's budget cuts.

The show had barely won a fifth season and made it by slashing the licensing fee which meant fewer resources. The previous pod had dodged the difficulties by setting the show in a post-apocalyptic human settlement of poor living conditions with a few special effects sequences to establish the outer space setting.

This pod, however, was using the same sets as the one before but redressed to be new and clean. Set in the present, it was hard to ignore how the lavish location filming and numerous extras of Seasons 1 - 4 were now missing. Coulson and his team spent most of this pod walking slowly through empty hallways confronting masked thugs (whose masks allowed the same three actors to be reused as different henchmen).

There was also the looming AVENGERS III. This movie, INFINITY WAR, saw Thanos attacking Earth and erasing 50 per cent of all living beings from existence. This threat, if carried into AGENTS OF SHIELD, would necessitate that the show lose a random number of its contracted cast members due to a conflict in which they'd had no involvement.

The polite co-existence shown in referring to CIVIL WAR and thematic tie-ins to DR. STRANGE and GUARDIANS was not an option. But if AGENTS OF SHIELD wasn't going to react to INFINITY WAR's cataclysm upon the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, how could it claim to be part of the same shared reality?

During this run, the show had a dimensional rift presenting manifestations of the characters' worst fears. Agent Coulson was assailed by a phantom of Mike Peterson, the first person he'd ever saved in the show.

This spectre of Mike asked Coulson to consider his deepest terror -- that AGENTS OF SHIELD might be apocryphal to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

MIKE: "Hello, Agent Coulson. It’s time I told you what’s really going on here."

COULSON: "You’re not here to hurt me? You’re going to let me pass?"

MIKE: "Do whatever you want. Shoot me if you like. After all, you’re the one that’s making this up. But you know there’s something deeper. And you’re here to face it."

COULSON: "Face my fear?"

MIKE: "How am I your fear, Phil? No, I mean face facts."

COULSON: "What facts?"

MIKE: "That this is all in your head."

COULSON: "Are you telling me that that I’m still in TAHITI?"

MIKE: "No, Coulson. I’m telling you that you’ve never been to TAHITI. Or Malta. Or Puerto Rico or outer space or the Framework or the future. You’re on the table, Coulson, code blue."

COULSON: "Okay, Phil, back to work. Don’t pay attention. This makes no sense."

MIKE: "What makes more sense? That you were brought back from the dead after many days? Your mind programmed with false memories? A world with alternate realities and rocks that tear holes in spacetime? Or is your brain is being stimulated with electricity to revive it, and your consciousness is trying to make sense of random synapses firing off in your brain?"

COULSON: "That’s not true."

MIKE: "You know it’s true. Loki ran a scepter through your heart, and we are desperately trying to bring you back. But isn’t working."

COULSON: "No, no, no, no. No, I’ve been through too much. I’m not going to let this nightmare get to me."

At no point is this scenario presented as a narrative possibility. The moment the phantom Mike tells Coulson that the entire show has been a hallucination, we cut to the rest of his team observing the situation on video monitors.

But the fear manifestation's argument is easily read as a comment on AGENTS OF SHIELD's relationship with the feature films. The existence-threatening stakes of INFINITY WAR dwarf AGENTS OF SHIELD, making the battle to save one planet trivial.

MIKE: "This whole thing has been a dream. You really think your skull caught on fire, Phil? Or does it hurt to have electrodes on your scalp for this long? You think there was an alternate reality where you were a history teacher? Or were you remembering your father who was a history teacher? You’re reliving mementos of your life mixed with the dreams you wish had come true.

COULSON: "No, Mike. This is fear. I thought I’d come to terms with death, but this is my fear of it manifesting, because it’s harder to let go of than I thought it would be."

MIKE: "And that’s why your mind created this story where you spent years doing all the things you never got a chance to do. To vacation on a white beach with blue water. To travel to the stars. To own your own plane, a car that flies, your own team. To have a family. The brilliant students you never got a chance to mentor. The daughter you never had. And above all, a chance to be a hero."

COULSON: "No, I’m not trying to be a hero. I’m just here to see that SHIELD continues."

MIKE: "There is no SHIELD. Even now, your mind is rejecting the fact that I’m just an EMT standing over you. It’s trying to make me into something else. It’s trying to find a way out."

COULSON: "You don’t know what those people mean to me. Don’t say they’re nothing. Don’t say that."

The sequence ends with the real Mike Peterson coming to Coulson's rescue, validating AGENTS OF SHIELD and Coulson's experiences. The final episodes in this pod took place at the same time as INFINITY WAR -- but decisively ended the season before INFINITY WAR's cliffhanger, sparing the SHIELD characters any onscreen involvement.

The pod concluded with Coulson setting out to enjoy his retirement while the remaining SHIELD team flew off to new adventures. On one level, there was an awkward sense that this happy ending would be eradicated with INFINITY WAR's conclusion, but on another, AGENTS OF SHIELD had argued that relationships, emotional bonds and meaningful moments had weight and value even if they were to be wiped out of existence by the Framework simulation shutting down or a future timeline being averted or a supervillain wielding an Infinity Gauntlet.

The Legacy of Spies
AGENTS OF SHIELD is likely to be the most irrelevant Marvel Cinematic Universe production among all of them, averaging 1.8 to 2 million viewers by its final season and never acknowledged by the feature films. Its lack of impact has been bemoaned by star Chloe Bennett and addressed diplomatically by showrunner Jed Whedon. The short ONE SHOT films on the Blu-rays likely had a larger audience.

But AGENTS OF SHIELD is, despite being situated in a superhero universe, a series about characters in espionage. Its lesser status brings to mind the old adage that spies have been honoured and spies have been hanged, but for the most part, spies have been ignored.

28

(94 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Shall we all agree upon a schedule to monitor Sabrina Lloyd's blog for any signs that she's joined a cult? https://motheringaroundtheworld.com

Over the weekend, I wanted to write the book on AGENTS OF SHIELD. Didn't get far, but it was interesting to note: AGENTS OF SHIELD, since Season 4, has been dividing its storylines into what the producers called "pods" where each season was actually 2 - 3 short and separate seasons within 22 episodes. But every season of AGENTS OF SHIELD seems to have had its own pods:

Pod 1: Season 1, Episodes 1 - 12 - "Fan Fiction"
The first 12 episodes of AGENTS OF SHIELD are an extremely simplistic children's show. SHIELD agents are all uniformly good, all others are bad. AGENTS OF SHIELD is presented as an extension of the AVENGERS film, but it seems more like a Disney children's cartoon that accidentally got filmed in live action.

Skye, Fitz and Simmons are constantly played for easy jokes and face lightweight threats. They feel more like characters in a children's half-hour sitcom than the cast of a Marvel Cinematic Universe production. The overlit look gives the impression of an student production. Namedropping "Romanov," "Banner" and "Stark" when those characters don't appear onscreen seems desperate.

Worse, the cameos from Nick Fury and Maria Hill have no impact on the plot and feel like deleted scenes ripped off a blu-ray and plugged into a fan film. The use of the term "Gifted" to avoid calling superpowered people "mutants" is an awkward way to address lacking the X-MEN rights. The tie-in to THOR: THE DARK WORLD is carefully designed to avoid any impact on the film series. The show feels like a STAR TREK novel: disposable, making no waves in the universe it supposedly inhabits and designed to be ignored by the actual MCU productions.

There are any number of reasons for this. The production was forbidden to offer any buildup to WINTER SOLDIER revealing that HYDRA had infiltrated SHIELD to the point where AGENTS OF SHIELD had to use "Centipede" to refer to its central evil organization. The show was barred from making any hints that SHIELD might be anything other than an organization of white knights lest the surprise be ruined.

There was the initial sense that a TV extension of AVENGERS needed to skew to a younger audience. The production difference and distance between TV and film made it hard for TV to write stories that films could respond to as films were made over years while TV was made in weeks.

But the result: AGENTS OF SHIELD didn't seem to be a genuine extension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe laid out in the AVENGERS movies and had a painful air of illegitimacy.

Pod 2 - Season 1, Episodes 13 - 22 - "Agents of Nothing"
Which is why it's so interesting that the "Agents of Nothing" era determinedly turns into the spin by taking that accidental illegitimacy and making it text within the show.

Despite the tie in to WINTER SOLIDER being from Episode 18 onward, the real shift in tone actually begins with episode 13, "TRACKS." Although there's a goofy sequence of Simmons shrieking at Coulson in public (with a Stan Lee cameo), the show is more brutal as May encourages a villain to stab her in the shoulder so she can cut the ropes binding her and the episode ends with Skye shot twice in the stomach. There's something shocking about seeing bloodshed in a show that seemed more like GIRL MEETS WORLD or LIV AND MADDIE than it did AVENGERS.

We're truly in different territory as "End of the Beginning" and "Turn Turn Turn" tie into the WINTER SOLDIER feature film in which HYDRA has infiltrated SHIELD since its beginnings to the point where Captain America is forced to dismantle the organization entirely.

Coulson, Fitz, Simmons, Skye, May and Ward never felt like they represented SHIELD; now they truly aren't SHIELD at all. They have been reduced to a malfunctioning plane, scant weapons, Ward is a traitor and Coulson has driven May off the team. Maria Hill shows up to make a full appearance only to establish that the team's textual illegitimacy means they no longer have resources, backups, bases or support outside themselves.

There's a sincerity and a genuine sense of threat here; we've seen how Skye, Fitz and Simmons can only win in a Disney world of easy answers, weak villains and immediate solutions. An episode ending with Ward and Garrett flying the SHIELD jet and the rest of the team sitting nervously around a pool is terrifying.

The "Agents of Nothing" have Coulson attempting to contain a monster of the week and stop Garrett and Ward from finishing their supersoldier program and they face defeat on all sides. Stopping one superpowered villain used to be easy with all of SHIELD; now they're reduced to using spotlights. Fitz and Simmons are sunken to the bottom of the ocean. Garrett is unstoppable: he has Deathlok. He has Ward. He has the SHIELD data. He has a superhuman body.

Most tellingly, Garrett has what the Agents of Nothing have always lacked: he has legitimacy; he can present HYDRA to the US Government as a genuine, above board arms manufacturer through the guise of Cybertek. The Agents of Nothing are outmatched and doomed.

But then Fitz and Simmons find a way to escape the ocean. Skye realizes Garrett is threatening Deathlok's son to secure his compliance and wins Deathlok's aid by saving the boy. And Nick Fury returns.

Samuel L. Jackson had revealed early on that he'd be appearing in the season finale, but even then, AGENTS OF SHIELD manages to make him feel like a surprise. When Fury appears to pull Gemma and Fitz into a helicopter, the downbeat terror of the last four episodes suddenly turns around. Jackson has an instant charisma and he inspires confidence and trust with his effortless appeal.

Jackson's screentime, despite being significant, is clearly designed to excuse the Nick Fury character from any further involvement in the show. He calls Coulson the reason SHIELD works, promotes Coulson to director, gives him the last of SHIELD's resources and leaves the TV show and SHIELD's legacy entirely in Coulson's hands.

It's a shift that finally moves AGENTS OF SHIELD away from being an awkward sequel to AVENGERS that lacks any actual Avengers. Jackson's role serves to hand the torch to Coulson and company and free them to define their own show.

Pod 3 - Season 2, Episodes 1 - 10 - "SHIELD Underground"
In terms of tone, this pod is similar to the Agents of Nothing run. The gang are still underground fugitives, but Fury's resources have allowed them to recruit some new teammates. This smaller scale suits the showrunners' preference for a cast of awkward misfits rather than purely militaristic professionals.

SHIELD's limited resources are played effectively: their military might is an empty show, they win through cleverness and perseverance and while they're fighting HYDRA, the world at large considers any SHIELD agent to be indistinguishable from HYDRA.

For this pod and the next four, SHIELD is not considered a legitimate peacekeeping force or law enforcement agency; they are viewed as criminals -- a great way of deepening the sense that AGENTS OF SHIELD never felt like a genuine extension of the feature films and turning it to the show's advantage. It's a take far more suited to Marvel, a publishing house that's always been more about the underdogs and the rebels than it has about the establishment.

The main focus is on fighting HYDRA, but a larger myth-arc is present as the show presents HYDRA as merely one faction in a long-running conflict involving alien interference in humanity from the dawn of its existence.

Where Season 1 awkwardly attempted impact-free sequels to feature films, Season 2 begins delving into a secret history to the MCU that AGENTS OF SHIELD can explore on its own terms and this pod ends with Skye being revealed to be a comic book character named Daisy Johnson and also to be Gifted.

Pod 4 - Season 2, Episodes 11 - 22 - "Inhumans"
As a whole, the Marvel Cinematic Universe struggled with illegitimacy but to a lesser degree than SHIELD. Despite claiming to be the cinematic representation of Marvel Comics, the MCU didn't have Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, the X-Men or any other characters whose film and TV rights were carelessly sold to FOX and Sony.

The absence of the X-Men left a hole in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a concept, mutants served as a catch-all explanation for how people could have superpowers without needing screentime for origin stories.

SHIELD tried calling mutants "Gifted," but without access to the X-MEN explanation that mutants are the next stage of human evolution, the Gifted concept was a fractured facsimile of the original idea. Jealous of FOX's success with X-MEN, Marvel executive Ike Perlmutter proposed that the INHUMANS concept, featuring a superpowered civilization living on the moon, could compete with the X-MEN cinematically.

It was ridiculous. But AGENTS OF SHIELD, ordered to present the Inhumans concept in their show, rolled with it beautifully: Pod 4 focused on how the Kree alien race had experimented on humans thousands of years ago, resulting a percentage of the human race having the potential to have their Inhuman abilities awakened. Rather than being an awkward photocopy of X-MEN's mutants, Inhumans were now the core mythology for AGENTS OF SHIELD and a legitimate concept for the TV series.

The question of legitimacy was further explored the show revealed that there was a separate faction of SHIELD survivors, apart from Coulson, who considered themselves the real SHIELD and Coulson's team to be impostors using a name and legacy to which they had no genuine claim with Coulson supposedly manipulating everyone to gain a secret weapon.

This ended in a very nice tie-in to AGE OF ULTRON where Coulson's secret weapon turned out to be the airship used to evacuate civilians in the film and the two SHIELD factions united. With a united (but rogue) SHIELD, the Inhumans and HYDRA, the show now felt like a meaningful exploration of its own corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe rather than the timid tie-in it had been before.

Pod 5 - Season 3, Epsiodes 1 - 10 - "Age of Ward"

This pod introduced the Secret Warriors and presented Ward as the primary villain of the series, but for the most part continued with the SHIELD Underground concept even as Inhumans took a larger role.

Interestingly, it's at this point that the fracture between Marvel Films and Marvel TV took place; AGE OF ULTRON's aftermath had led to a break between the two divisions and the CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR screenwriters confessed in interviews that they'd not watched AGENTS OF SHIELD and were unaware of the Inhumans concept.

AGENTS OF SHIELD most determinedly did not need CIVIL WAR to give it direction; it had its own concepts to explore and had plenty to do with Ward becoming the main threat. However, the threat of AGENTS OF SHIELD not being a true part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was again a potential issue. CIVIL WAR was the most significant depiction of the MCU since AGE OF ULTRON and CIVIL WAR didn't have a single line of dialogue acknowledging the rising superhuman population with the Inhumans.
 
Could AGENTS OF SHIELD truly be considered part of the MCU when the main forces of the MCU weren't addressing it?

Pod 6 - Season 3, Episodes 11 - 22 - "Hive"
Despite a brief reference to SHIELD seeking to register its Inhumans cast under CIVIL WAR's superhuman registration act, the "Hive" era, like the "Age of Ward" episodes, didn't tie into the feature films at all. Within the show, SHIELD made one brief bid for reintegration with the US Government only to be dismissed, almost as though the show itself couldn't imagine itself rejoining the AVENGERS and the original presentation of SHIELD as a government organization. SHIELD was more an NGO on the fringes. At one point, the MCH President of the United States appeared to advise Coulson continue SHIELD unofficially. "We'll keep doing what we do," Coulson remarked, "and you'll keep pretending we don't exist." He might as well have been addressing the Marvel film division.

With no direct integration with the new CAPTAIN AMERICA film, this pod had Ward being written out of the show but the actor remaining, Ward's body possessed by the ancient being of power that HYDRA had worshipped and sought to revive.

AGENTS OF SHIELD in the "Fan Fiction" era had felt like an abandoned stepchild of the MCU. Season 2 attempted to make it a neighbour to the AVENGERS films in the MCU neighbourhood. By Season 3, AGENTS OF SHIELD seemed to have genuinely outgrown the AVENGERS films: the Hive storyline had no need for CIVIL WAR at all. What's more, AGENTS OF SHIELD seemed to be on the verge of expanding. Season 2's new cast members, Bobbi and Hunter, had become so popular that Marvel was seeking to launch MARVEL'S MOST WANTED, a spin-off show with them as leads.

It was an excellent pod, marred only by outside issues. AGENT CARTER was tragically cancelled on a cliffhanger and ABC declined to launch MARVEL'S MOST WANTED meaning Bobbi and Hunter had been written out of the show for no good reason.

Pod 7 - Season 4, Episodes 1 - 8 - "Ghost Rider"

It's at this point that analysis seems unnecessary as showrunner Jed Whedon explained his approach to integrating AGENTS OF SHIELD into the MCU. While not addressing rumours that the AOS writers were now relying on trailers and press releases to know what Marvel Film was doing, Whedon described his approach of "thematic" links. The DR. STRANGE film had introduced magic, so AOS could now delve into similar material by exploring the Ghost Rider mythology and the Darkhold book.

Despite the lack of direct continuity references and tie-ins, the "Ghost Rider" pod was a highly successful run of episodes that saw the procedural, systematic approach of the SHIELD cast confronting the ambiguities of mysticism. AGENTS OF SHIELD had been working in its own section of the MCU, but now it felt like it was part of the same world presented in the DR. STRANGE feature film.

Tellingly, this was also the pod in which SHIELD was reintegrated into the US Government, having earned the legitimacy it hadn't back in the first pod, although this wasn't to last for long.

It was in this season that the idea of separate 'pods' within seasons was discussed in showrunner interviews, although Jed Whedon remarked in interviews that Ghost Rider's special effects were so costly that the show could only sustain the character for a brief run.

Pod 8 - Season 4, Episodes 9 - 15 - "LMD"
With the LMD arc, AGENTS OF SHIELD was in many ways invited to contemplate the value of its own concept. In a world of superhumans and the potential for Life Model Decoy androids to replace SHIELD agents in every task, what was the point of having Agents of SHIELD?

As the cast of SHIELD were replaced with LMDs and neither the characters nor the audience knew who to trust, the writers made a fascinating choice to grant the LMD replacements for Coulson and May different degrees of self-awareness. The android May was shocked to discover she was a simulacrum of the real person with all of the real May's emotions and memories while the android Coulson had been aware of his true nature the entire time.

In a strange moment of insight, the android Coulson declared that there was no distinction between the real Coulson, who was currently living in a virtual reality, and the LMD Coulson who was inhabiting the real world.

"My programming is different than yours," the LMD Coulson tells the LMD May. "You had to discover that your body had been replaced -- whereas I still have my mind but know exactly what I am, and more importantly, I understand a basic truth that you don't realize yet. That our bodies don't matter." The LMD Coulson later remarked of his prosthetic hand, "My phantom limb used to ache in cold weather. But now I don't feel that pain. I haven't felt this good in years."

The LMD Coulson was arguing that the question of whether he was less real than the biological Coulson was irrelevant as both were existing as simulations, one as a digital intelligence in a physical reality while the other as a physical body whose consciousness now resided in a digital reality.

To the LMD Coulson, the experience of existence regardless of its nature, whether programmed or biological-- or whether in a Marvel feature film or a Marvel television series -- made no difference because the experiences themselves had left impact, memory and meaning. And the LMD May would come to turn on the LMD Coulson while expressing precisely the same opinion.

"I know I'm not real," says the LMD May who has at this writing never been mentioned or shown in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. "I'm all phantom limbs," she says, accepting that she is not a real person while metatextually highlighting that Melinda May is no more real than Tony Stark or Steve Rogers regardless of the medium they inhabit. "That doesn't make the pain less real," says May, going on to add, "That pain, that regret that's what made you a person a person I love." Her sentiment is meant for the real Coulson as the simulated May does not consider May's feelings a simulation and she sacrifices herself to help Coulson's team enter the VR simulation to rescue him.

Pod 9 - Season 4, Episodes 16 - 22 - "Agents of HYDRA"
The majority of this pod are sent inside a virtual reality simulation which presents a timeline where HYDRA had defeated SHIELD and Coulson and his team live the lives they would have had if HYDRA and triumphed. As we delve into this alternate timeline and we see characters gradually regain their memories, we're invited to consider: does the Framework reality or any events inside it actually matter? What meaning, value or purpose can these situations or people have if they are merely simulations?

It's a question AGENTS OF SHIELD might not benefit from raising because it leads to asking: what value do Seasons 3 - 4 have if they are completely ignored by the feature films? If CIVIL WAR didn't mention the rogue SHIELD operation, if ANT MAN made no reference to the Inhumans, if DR. STRANGE didn't have Coulson show up for a consult, then how can AGENTS OF SHIELD actually matter at all?

It's a question AGENTS OF SHIELD doesn't shy away from at all. At one point, we spend some time getting to know Grant Ward in this alternate timeline where he was recruited by SHIELD instead of HYDRA. With his loyalty to heroes, he never became a villain. It's a beautiful insight into a once irredeemable antagonist and despite this Ward being a simulation, this perspective into his character is not easily forgotten. The Framework situation closes out with Mac pleading to stay in the Framework because a simulation of his deceased daughter exists in the VR. Mac protests that even if his daughter is a simulacrum, she matters to him: she laughs at his jokes, she cries when he does, he feels her warmth and he believes that she's alive.

To be concluded with Pods 10 - 11.

Edited to add commentary to the LMD arc.

The writers clearly changed their minds between IRON MAN and AGENTS OF SHIELD. There's a little wiggle room in that the SHIELD of AGENT CARTER is not actually SHIELD but the Strategic Science Reserve. AGENT CARTER had the SSR being a covert operation which seemed to be the case until the first IRON MAN movie during which Fury tells Stark that Stark has brought superheroes into the public eye where they were in the shadows before. It's possible that SHIELD realized Stark was going to expose his Iron Man identity to the public and decided they would finally wheel out the acronym they'd set up for public use but never deployed until now.

I was rewatching some Season 1 episodes of AGENTS OF SHIELD and the show is a shockingly poor failure in so many areas. The pilot episode is adequate with Chloe Bennet giving Skye a spunky, irreverent energy that contrasts well with the buttoned down Coulson.

But immediately with the subsequent episodes, problems come up. The lighting is entirely too bright for a show about espionage and it makes everything onscreen look like an overlit toy commercial. The depiction of SHIELD is entirely too clean: it's a covert spy operation that drives around with its insignia on its SUVs; its surveillance is entirely benign, its methods are largely bloodless. It's a child's vision of what spies do.

Another problem: the SHIELD team we see the most of is composed of a hacktivist with no security status, two scientists with no combat training, a pilot who doesn't want to fight, a stone cold killer who isn't a team player led by a man who is officially dead. They come off as a ragtag group of misfits and yet, we're constantly told they're part of a large, highly equipped and completely professional organization even though the lead team we see the most of is a gang of awkward amateurs.

This is a version of SHIELD that is totally disconnected from the glimpses we got in the AVENGERS films, totally at odds with the sprawling, global, professional SHIELD that the characters describe onscreen, and it's impossible to imagine Nick Fury signing off on this team.

There's also a high level of humour that doesn't deepen the situations but instead makes the show seem goofier and the threats less serious. Fitz whining about a sandwich on an operation is distracting and silly; Jemma getting too deep into her role as Coulson's daughter on an undercover mission undermines the danger. The jokes don't fit the show; the characters don't fit the SHIELD concept -- it's all these disparate and mismatched pieces.

And it's strange how WINTER SOLDIER destroying SHIELD actually helped the AGENTS OF SHIELD TV show get into place. The Agents of Nothing phase is when the show starts to figure things out: the cast is a gang of misfits, so having them become an underground operation makes a lot more sense for these characters. These characters are not fit to represent the entire SHIELD organization, so having SHIELD reduced to them and only them is a far better fit. And when SHIELD is down to Coulson's team, the jokes take on a bleaker, darker tone that actually deepens the sense of danger and paranoia.

I did note, however, that even in Season 1 when the budget was high, there was a lot of walking through dark and empty hallways.

I think the bad green screening was deliberate; the background plate was based on the dreamy, blurry stock footage of Coulson's Season 1 flashes of his false memories. Season 5 also tied back into Season 1 heavily with Coulson's hallucination of Mike Peterson telling him that Seasons 1 - 5 have all been a near-death dream as Coulson lies dying on an operating table after Loki stabbed him with line with the phantom of Peterson reciting some of Coulson's dialogue in the Pilot.

**

The only thing I really disliked about "The End" -- I kept bracing myself for any one or more of the cast to dissolve into dust and as the plane flew overhead, I kept thinking it would crash into the beach because the pilots might have vanished due to Thanos -- and I kept worrying that the autopilot might not be set and the plane could crash into something else when Thanos' snaps his fingers in a few minutes or hours.

I think AGENTS OF SHIELD was in a difficult place. INFINITY WAR’s release date was close to AGENTS OF SHIELD’s finale, but there were strong signs that this would be the final season. If they tied into INFINITY WAR, they’d be ending on a cliffhanger and while the situation would be resolved in AVENGERS IV, there wouldn’t be any closure for the SHIELD cast. So they elected to do a series finale with a happy ending — that is likely to be negated anywhere from five seconds to five minutes after credits when Thanos erases at least half the cast from reality.

Anyway. The numerous bottle episodes in the second half of the season were clearly to permit the location filming and the effects for the Quake/Graviton fight scene in the streets of Chicago.

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(303 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

SliderQuinn21 wrote:

I think Chris Carter has said in interviews that he never intended for the X-Files to have a proper ending. Something like "life never ends, why should the X-Files?"

To be fair, "My Struggle IV" has closed off most of the show's plots, just not in a terribly satisfying way. The Spartan Virus isn't coming, the Cigarette Smoking Man is dead (?), the X-Files have been shut down and Mulder and Scully are starting a new family. If it weren't for Skinner being either dead or injured in an alley nearby as Mulder and Scully hold each other, this could have been an ending. But Carter deliberately aimed for the Season 11 finale to feel incomplete. CHUCK and BUFFY have shown how you can write a season finale that works as a series finale, but Carter has declined this route, instead insisting that THE X-FILES will return.

That seems unlikely to me. Season 10 started with 16 million viewers and ended with 7.6 million which is pretty solid, but Season 11 hovered around 3.5 million for most of its run.

Informant wrote:

I think something is wrong with Chris Carter. He was never the best writer on the show, but some of the decisions that went into this final season (especially the finale) were beyond just bad writing.

I think the problem is Chris Carter's anthology style. His refusal to engage in serialization is mismatched to how a modern viewer watches television.

Chris Carter once remarked shortly after Season 9 that THE X-FILES' audience had disappeared and he wondered where they'd gone. The answer: they'd gone to shows that offered ongoing plot and character development with characters who grew with the viewers.

In the 90s, it was fine for Mulder and Scully to be written with contradictory characterization from week to week and for the X-FILES universe to be magical one week and scientific the next. Most viewers didn't see every single episode. But towards the end of THE X-FILES, television was becoming more serialized. THE X-FILES wouldn't commit to serialization despite the alien myth-arc and Mulder/Scully relationship demanding it; as a result, the audience gave up on the show.

In 2016, THE X-FILES received a second chance and now it had viewers who would see every episode. Carter had an opportunity to serve this new, mainstream audience wanting to see week to week development with Mulder, Scully, the myth-arc and their partnership. But Carter instead presented episodes that contradicted each other from week to week.

"My Struggle" declares that the alien myth-arc is THE X-FILES primary content, but then "Founder's Mutation" offers no progress on delving into the Conspiracy of Men. The Spartan Virus is unleashed in "My Struggle II," but MSIII rewinds time to minutes before the outbreak – and then has it on hold for reasons never given. The Smoking Man is hideously scarred in MSII but healed in III. Colonization is debunked in Season 10 but genuine and aborted in Season 11.

One could argue that THE X-FILES is really about the characters, not the plot, but even the characterization was perplexing from week to week. Mulder and Scully had left the FBI in "My Struggle" but acted like they'd never been gone in "Founder's Mutation." Mulder went from believing in "Founder's" to skeptical in "Were-Monster." "This" had Mulder and Scully living together but "Plus One" had them apart. Later, "Followers" showed that Mulder had never been to Scully's home and had Mulder driving what was Scully's SUV in Season 10. "Plus One" wrote Mulder and Scully like they were still in their 30s and on the verge of becoming romantic while "Nothing Lasts Forever" made them amicable exes who were nearly senior citizens.

Each week, Seasons 10 - 11 found new ways to baffle. Was Colonization genuine or a fraud? Is the show about unravelling a conspiracy or weekly monsters? Are Mulder and Scully living together or not? Is the Spartan Virus coming or not? Are they searching for William or not? Is this universe scientific or magical? Chris Carter wouldn't decide. The result was a show that couldn't even figure out where the characters live or what car they're driving. A show that confused casual viewers like Slider_Quinn21 and broke diehard fans like the EatTheCorn webmaster.

Carter's view was that mandating consistency would deprive the individual writers of their creative freedom. But when even basic character details aren't consistent from week to week, viewers become detached. They can't connect, can't relate and can't get invested. The show went from 16 million viewers to 3.5 million. Alongside FRINGE and SUPERNATURAL, the modern revival of THE X-FILES looked clumsily out of touch. It's time to let THE X-FILES go.

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It's pretty sad that Chris Carter had a feature film and SIXTEEN EPISODES and a high flying FOX budget and the all original actors and Vancouver and he STILL couldn't wrap up his show.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Some Infinity War spoilers below....

ireactions wrote:

Another possibility -- although it's a stretch -- is that the AGENTS OF SHIELD writers didn't know Thanos planned to erase half of the universe's population. There are rumours that since AGE OF ULTRON, the SHIELD writing staff have been trying to tie into the movies by watching the trailers and that the flow of information from Marvel Films to Marvel TV has stopped dead, so the SHIELD writers couldn't give the Confederacy any knowledge of Thanos' plan as the writers had none. But -- I find this difficult to believe because Thanos' desire to erase people was in the INFINITY GAUNTLET comic book.

Man, I can't imagine things are that bad between Marvel TV and Marvel Film, but Ike Perlmutter still runs TV and is hated by the studio....so maybe you're right.  [...] And even last episode when Mac sees a news event about an attack in New York, it looks like different damage than I would've expected from the Iron Man/Spider-Man/Strange fight.  I don't remember any damage to buildings like I saw in that shot (although its been a couple weeks now and I can't remember exactly). So, with that in mind, I don't think they'll address it at all.  They probably weren't given any warning so I'm guessing the finale will end before Thanos snaps his fingers.  Maybe they'd have time to film some sort of epilogue but even then, I doubt it.

I honestly find this unlikely. Thanos has been wanting to erase 50 per cent of the population since the 1990s if not sooner. I think probably, the AGENTS OF SHIELD team wasn't embedded into INFINITY WAR production the way they were integrated into WINTER SOLDIER. WINTER SOLDIER's footage was put to use in Season 1 of SHIELD; I think at this point, the SHIELD writers probably received a breakdown of events for INFINITY WAR and an explanation of INFINITY WAR's conclusion... but probably not any footage or an actual script, hence AGENTS OF SHIELD using generic NYC footage that wasn't made by the INFINITY WAR team.

I just thought it was an interesting writing challenge trying to tie into INFINITY WAR while knowing nothing about it, but that might not actually be the case.

If the tie-in to the INFINITY WAR film is the cast looking at an offscreen monitor and a news report and declaring that something terrible has happened without specifics, the SHIELD writers are probably writing in the dark. If it's more specific, then we'll know otherwise. We'll find out this Friday!

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Slipping them into a parallel dimension could work.  Time travel could possibly work (either send them back in time to the 50s - maybe mix in some Agent Carter?) or sending them forward in time to avoid any consequences.

I'd kind of like to see AGENTS OF SHIELD briefly morph into AGENT CARTER for a couple episodes via time travel to wrap up AGENT CARTER's plots -- but on the Season 5 budget, I don't think AGENTS OF SHIELD can afford to do AGENT CARTER's period drama unless it is also set in an underground bunker of shadowy hallways.

I just think it is unlikely that AGENTS OF SHIELD can allow the Thanos erasure to cause them to lose half their cast; the actors are on contract and it'd be foolish to break up the cast due to events that aren't specific to AGENTS OF SHIELD. Maybe they could disappear in a cliffhanger, but then the Season 6 premiere will require coming up with some reasoning that restores them but can't be extended to the other characters who were lost in INFINITY WAR. It's probably best just to avoid it entirely.

Informant wrote:

Ragnarok was just horrible. I was literally cringing through the first quarter of the movie, and then my face got tired. But I was cringing on the inside for the rest of the movie.

"By Odin's beard, you shall not cut my hair, lest you feel the wrath of the mighty Thor!" [pause] "Please, kind sir, do not cut my hair. NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

"That looks painful. Dear brother, you're becoming predictable. I trust you, you betray me, round and round in circles we go. See Loki, life is about... It's about growth, it's about change, but you seem to just want to stay the same. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you'll always be the god of mischief, but you could be more. I'll just put this over here for you."

"The damage is not too bad. As long as the foundations are still strong, we can rebuild this place. It will become a haven for all peoples and aliens of the universe." [Asgard explodes] "Oof. Now those foundations are gone. Sorry."


Informant wrote:

I just don't understand it. Why can so many people watch these movies and enjoy them, but I watch them and they're just embarrassingly bad? It wasn't always like this. Even the early "bad" MCU movies were somewhat fun to watch (First Avenger, Thor, Iron Man 2), but now they seem 100% horrible.

Translation: "These movies and shows aren't made to serve MY personal interests and specific desires for film and TV, therefore they are objectively bad and people who like things I don't are wrong." Didn't you learn anything from your nervous breakdown in the DCEU thread?

I don't think the budget was blown on anything. There were a few CG monsters in the premiere in dark lighting, but the bulk of the action was walking about in the Lighthouse which is still the case, except the lighting's been brightened. The CG space sequences were limited, too. The only episode to really cut loose visually this year was Fitz's interlude with Hunter which had location shooting. The bottle episodes will likely lead to a season finale that splurges.

I feel sad that SliderQuinn21 didn't notice the bottle episode look until I noted it. But you know it's there when even Informant notices seeing as he was blind to CHUCK suffering from the same in its last two seasons.

**

I wouldn't change INFINITY WAR; I think the movie called for giant battlefield sequences. They're just not something I personally enjoy. I also don't enjoy racecars, savoury biscuits or gay sex, but I don't want them erased from existence.

INFINITY WAR going into production probably led to Disney overruling ABC's decision to cancel AGENTS OF SHIELD after Season 4 and led to another year of the team trading quips and cracking wise. It's fine. I agree with Slider_Quinn21 saying that RAGNAROK's ending hasn't been undone by INFINITY WAR.

**

I got the sense that the Confederacy on AGENTS OF SHIELD is perfectly aware of Thanos' plan and also don't believe they can stop him. A number of possibilities present themselves: they've accepted that one out of two of them will be erased by Thanos and want to proceed with strip-mining the Earth's resources and using the threat of Thanos to turn any potential resistance into willing allies in the extraction. The Confederacy races have already had their numbers halved by a previous Thanos attack (hence their belief that they can't fight him).

Another possibility -- although it's a stretch -- is that the AGENTS OF SHIELD writers didn't know Thanos planned to erase half of the universe's population. There are rumours that since AGE OF ULTRON, the SHIELD writing staff have been trying to tie into the movies by watching the trailers and that the flow of information from Marvel Films to Marvel TV has stopped dead, so the SHIELD writers couldn't give the Confederacy any knowledge of Thanos' plan as the writers had none. But -- I find this difficult to believe because Thanos' desire to erase people was in the INFINITY GAUNTLET comic book.

**

One thing that worries me is the idea that half of the cast of AGENTS OF SHIELD will dissolve into dust in the finale due to a conflict with Thanos from which they were largely disengaged. It would be awkward for SHIELD to lose half its cast, but it would also be awkward if they explicably suffered no casualties even though Nick Fury and Maria Hill were erased. There is a back door built into the show, however: in the middle of the season, rifts between dimensions were opened in the sublevel of the Lighthouse.

The rifts have since then been sealed, but if the entire team pass through one of the rifts or if a rift is briefly expanded to encompass the Lighthouse, then the inhabitants of the Lighthouse could be considered to be technically outside the bounds of our universe, and therefore untouched by Thanos' erasure of half the population. Season 6 could then take place in this depopulated situation with a number of episodes to air after AVENGERS IV is released and the situation is resolved.

INFINITY WAR was okay. I didn't hate it, I thought it was a good superhero epic -- it's just, I'm not really that into epics. I don't like seeing giant battlefields with hundreds of thousands of people charging forward; I prefer the three-person battles of CIVIL WAR or, despite reservations, Daisy and Coulson walking through a dimly lit hallway. It bothered me that INFINITY WAR trampled over RAGNAROK's ending by immediately slaughtering "half" of the survivors of Asgard and gave Thor his eye back.

I don't really have any strong opinions about INFINITY WAR except to say it's not really for me; I'd rather see superheroes more on the scale of Oliver and Felicity eating breakfast for dinner or Barry making his wedding plans or Kara and Lena eating Chinese food, if that makes any sense.

I found the scale of INFINITY WAR really difficult to relate to and, to be honest, the only reason I went to see it in theatres was so that I could watch this week's AGENTS OF SHIELD (which I will go watch now at the gym).

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(18 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I had a long phone call with Robert Floyd in 2015 which I wrote up (and transcribed) here: https://earthprime.com/interviews/rober … looks-back

I had a long chat session with Tracy Torme back in 2000 where he told me what he would do if he'd had one more episode of SLIDERS to resolve the cliffhanger of "The Seer" which I wrote up in 2011 here: https://earthprime.com/etcetera/slide-effects-2

It's also gotten kind of cheap. This whole season looks like it was filmed in someone's basement and they clearly don't have the money for the extras and location filming that they once had. Excellent character-oriented writing and the stories are as strong as ever, but every episode feels like a bottle episode with only a few exceptions this year. I love the scripts, but the visual quality of the show has gotten frustratingly claustrophobic with the team constantly advancing down dimly lit hallways to get to more dimly lit hallways.

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(584 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

ME: "How does THE KARATE KID get a revival with #COBRAKAI when #SLIDERS gets nothing?"
LAUREN: "People actually watched THE KARATE KID and the sequels and the reboot and nobody cares about SLIDERS and are you CRYING?"
ME: (shaky) "No!" (quavering voice) "Not yet!"

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(18 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Transmodiar wrote:
ireactions wrote:

I didn't know you'd met Jerry. What happened there? I knew Jerry had met your wife and hit on her unsuccessfully when she was interning at MTV before your marriage and while you were both taking a break. You blogged, rather grimly, "It's heartening to know Jerry wants my ex." And you met Charlie O'Connell at a bowling alley, didn't you?

Thank you for remembering more of my life than I do. smile

Although I didn't meet COC at the bowling alley - I just saw him there. The story about running into JOC is dumb and not worth mentioning publicly, mostly because my friends who lived the "adventure" continue to give me shit about it to this day.

Fun fact: COC and my son share a birthday. AMAZING

I don’t think I approve of you, Transmodiar, hoarding away a trinket of anecdotal SLIDERS trivia and refusing to divulge it on the grounds that your friends mock you for it when that only indicates how urgently you must divulge it.

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(6 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I enjoyed EVERYTHING SUCKS. It wasn't a great show, but it was a thoughtful, gentle, nice series that amended a lot of problems with 90s era teen dramedies. The absence of black and gay people in significant leading roles was addressed. The series had a caring, sweet tone that was very comforting. The cliffhanger ending was unfortunate, but it was a *soft* cliffhanger and it wasn't one that left you wondering what happened to Rembrandt and Earth Prime and the Kromaggs, if you will.

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(18 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I didn't know you'd met Jerry. What happened there? I knew Jerry had met your wife and hit on her unsuccessfully when she was interning at MTV before your marriage and while you were both taking a break. You blogged, rather grimly, "It's heartening to know Jerry wants my ex." And you met Charlie O'Connell at a bowling alley, didn't you?

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(584 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Courtesy of my sister:

Some slim fit suits have trouser legs that taper, narrowing from thigh to calf. However, this can cause problems where dress pants that feel great when standing feel tightly constricting when sitting. An alternate approach is trousers with a crease down the center of the pants to create a tapered look. These days, there's the supercrease technology which uses a line of adhesive to make a permanent crease that doesn't need to be maintained with an iron and can survive laundering and dry cleaning.

What you're referring to in terms of leg length has nothing to do with slim/modern/classic fit. Trouser length is addressed regardless of the fit. It's the question of whether to have a full break (the trousers drape over the shoe), a half break (the trousers make slight contact with the shoe) or no break (the trousers don't touch the shoe). This is adjustable when you first buy ready to wear pants which are sold too long so that you can choose, and you can have whatever break with whatever fit.

A full break creates 'ripples' in the pants when clean lines are preferable, a half break has a good effect and no break can make your legs and pants look oddly short (but gives you a clean trouser line). The half break is probably best.

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(584 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

While clothiers separate suits into classic, modern and slim fit, no two manufacturers ever have the same measurements in the same divisions. I’m not sure what you mean by trouser legs being too short as most ready to wear trousers are deliberately too long — so the customer can have them hemmed for their height.

Slim fit generally refers to clothes hanging close to the body in contrast to a more loosely fitted design. If you watch FRASER or a Sean Connery Bond film, jackets and trousers were large and wide whereas on SMALLVILLE, Clark’s suits were very fitted to his figure. The latter is how most modern suits are cut for average sized men. Some manufacturers call it slim fit.

https://ezrapaul.com/blogs/news/are-you … -too-tight

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(584 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

So, my sister recently demanded that I stop dressing like Clark in Season 1 of SMALLVILLE and start dressing like, um, Clark, but in Season 8 of SMALLVILLE. During a recent visit, she threw out all my old clothes so that I'd have no choice but to wear the new ones she got me. I now have a collection of men's suits and sport jackets.

I have this one very classic cut suit with somewhat wide lapels and a window-pane black, and it's been tailored to drape well on my figure while still looking quite traditional. It reminds me of the suit that Lois stole for Clark to wear on his first day at the Daily Planet when he walked in wearing flanel, jeans and a knapsack. I call this suit the Clark.

I have another suit that is black with pinstripes and it's a slim-fit suit with skinny lapels that, instead of draping, wraps around my body and sits rather closely for a lean, streamlined fit that looks very modern and casual while technically meeting all the requirements of a formal business suit. I call this one the Quinn.

49

(94 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

There is no redemption for a human trafficker, for procuring children to hand over to a pedophile, for enslaving and torturing women into forced labour. I have no concern whatsoever for Allison Mack's recovery or well-being and I'd suggest we save our concern for the victims and not the perpetrator.

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(94 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slider_Quinn21's right that Allison's crimes aren't onscreen whereas Jerry O'Connell's bad choices were. Sorry for the typo.

**

Allison's lawyers are trying to negotiate a plea deal; her parents have taken a deal her out of custody but under house arrest. My opinion: we cannot make deals with people like Allison Mack.

I couldn't care less what New Age garbage or pedantic psychobabble we might put forth: this woman is a human trafficker, a willing accessory to rape and slavery and pedophilia and she did it all in the guise of female empowerment and she used you to do it. She used me to do it. Every time we felt pride and joy and admiration for Chloe's intrepid perseverance and compassion for all, we were feeding a false myth that Allison used to carry out her crimes with impunity until now.

I have no children, but I have a niece. Her name is Lauren. I love her more than I've ever loved any one or anything, so much that I wrote her into SLIDERS REBORN as Quinn's gay teenaged protégé. If Lauren were arrested for Allison's crimes, I would certainly visit Lauren in prison, but I would do nothing to extricate her and nothing to mitigate the consequences of her crimes and I certainly wouldn't put up any money to give her the creature comforts of house arrest after she deprived innocent people of their liberty and safety and violated their bodies while using Chloe Sullivan to entrap her victims. Also, I wouldn't have any confidence in Allison's ability to abide the conditions of her bail; she has no concern for right and wrong, actions and consequences, harm and suffering. She has no kindness, no care, no love, no soul. I want Allison in jail. I want justice served.

Realistically, however -- she may turn evidence against Raniere, expose his network, lay bare his organization and assets and accomplices and victims and offering her immunity and a reduced sentence could serve a greater good and contain a worse evil. I understand that. But the thought of striking any kind of bargain with Allison makes me sick. The idea that Allison could resume her life without a shred of consequence for all the people she's abused and tortured and raped and enslaved and possibly present herself as a victim is outrageous.

Grizzlor wrote:

FAKE NEWS!!!!!  Damn I've been waiting to say that! [...] if she were hiding out in Mexico OR on the run from the law, would she have agreed to appear in ATLANTIC CITY, NJ, in April???

https://www.gardenstatecomicfest.com/ac … uests.html

Not to poke fun at Grizzlor who has shown himself to be one of those excellent people who can admit that they were wrong -- but in a shocking turn of events, Allison's appearance has been cancelled, and I hope we can say that everything else in her life has been cancelled as well.