Open letter to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Dear cast and crew of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,

After seeing this interview linked to by userinfojames_nicoll, I’ve got to ask: seriously? Seriously? Did your lead actor just call those of us who’ve bailed on watching your show “not geeks”? And “losers”?

If so, I’d like to note that just in case you were wondering, this is not an effective strategy to get those of us who tried your show and bailed to come back and check you out again. I’M JUST SAYIN’.

Because look. I get the whole idea of “not all heroes are super”. I really do. I am coming at this out of general love for the universe that Marvel’s set up in the movies; I don’t have any particular history with Marvel comics outside a few years in my adolescence reading the X-Men, so I have no particular investment in whether specific characters out of the comics show up in your show. But specifically because of the affection I’ve built up for the portrayed universe in the movies, I wanted to like your show. I really did. I swear.

I didn’t bail because you had no superheros in your cast. I bailed because with the exception of Coulson and maybe Agent May, I didn’t like any of your main characters. And for the most part, I’m sorry to say, your stories just were not engaging me, and that’s not accounting for the parts where they were actively pissing me off.

This isn’t a question of me being impatient for stuff to happen, either. I also understand the notion of a show sometimes needing several episodes to get its feet under it. I gave Torchwood a good season and a half before I finally bailed on it–again with the primary reason being “not liking any of the characters”.

And I’m sorry, if I just don’t like your main cast, I don’t see much reason to be spending time hanging around hoping they’ll change my mind. What incidental other characters you bring in to drive the plots means very little to me if I’m not invested in your central cast and what happens to them.

Before you tell me I’m not patient enough either, I’ll point out that I hung in there through Babylon 5’s first season as it got its act together–because even though it was rough out of the gate, I was nonetheless engaged by the characters and the plots. Likewise with Castle. Castle was REALLY rough in its first short season, and Castle as a character had all SORTS of flaws. But he was engagingly flawed, enough to keep me watching.

I’m just not getting that with S.H.I.E.L.D.

I’d say I’m sorry if you think this makes me “not a real geek”, except I’m less sorry and more pissed off by that, too. If any of you have awareness of geek culture at all, you’ll be aware that geek women have been fighting against accusations of not being real geeks for too damn long as it is.

For the record, cracks like “those aren’t geeks, those are losers”?



Edited to add:

Other places reporting on this. I’m seeing in particular in those articles that Mr. Gregg appears to have realized that shooting his mouth off in this particular fashion is, shall we say, unwise. I’m glad he’s realized this, but still, I’m not pleased at the waffly tone of “I guess I don’t mean to say that people who have been frustrated by that discovery period are necessarily losers. I just think they should be, perhaps, a little more patient.”

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