While it may seem that my television universe is dominated by sitcoms, I do enjoy the hour long format as well. The Walking Dead is my favorite and I think every show should learn from it, but there are a few others I watch as well. Going into the 2013 season, I was looking forward to two new shows that I would be adding to my DVR season pass: Agents of SHIELD and Tomorrow People. So far I’ve stuck with both shows, but my patience is wearing thin. Both shows share one major flaw: No big stories to make me come back next week.
SHIELD is the better of the two, so I’ll start there. I’ve read a lot of reviews and comments on the show that hate on the character Skye, but I’m not one of those people. In fact, I like all of the regular characters on the show. I especially like Fitz and Simmons and their strong friendship. The episode that featured Fitz risking his life for Simmons was very touching. But other than the characters, the show is missing a lot. I feel they need a superhero on the team. Maybe a Luke Cage (Power Man), or even a new super powered hero created just for the show if they don’t want to mess with a potential future film franchise. Don’t give me any bull about budgets because there have been plenty of shows with with super powered characters. But this isn’t the biggest problem I have with Shield.
The real problem with Shield is that it exists in a Science Fiction/geek universe, but is trying to play to a wider CSI/NCIS audience and is going to end up with no audience at all if it keeps it up. Already, its ratings are just above 2.0 and it has lost over half it’s watchers since its premier. From the beginning, I thought this show had the potential to be the new Alias, with an intriguing story arc that builds week after week and actually goes somewhere. So far all we’ve got is ten to fifteen seconds (on some weeks) of Agent Coulson’s mystery. I think he’s a clone, but at this point, I don’t actually care what the mystery ends up being. I care even less about Skye’s parents (I think they were double agents). We need something bigger that the whole team is fighting for. Something that maybe ties together the cases they solve each week. They need a big overarching plot that they spend more than a couple minutes on each week. And if they are planning on going somewhere with the plots that they’re writing now, they need to get there soon and move on because no one will be left watching by the time they actually flesh out.
I saw the trailer for Tomorrow People early in the summer and this held the mantle of the show I was most excited for. Unfortunately, it has disappointed me in every way. Unlike Shield, I don’t like or care about the characters, and because of this, I may not hang in there for much longer. I’ve gotten used to watching the CW’s fast paced Vampire Diaries where major plots that seem like they should wrap up in the season finale, end up being resolved four or five episodes in. Tomorrow People doesn’t have a single major plot I’m invested in and the show doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Stephen’s double agent duty with the Tomorrow People and Ultra should’ve ended long ago. Stephen tried revealing his powers to his friend Astrid in episode one, but many episodes later, she doesn’t seem to remember this when she sees him disappear and then gets mad at him for keeping secrets. The love triangle seems forced and the whole love triangle plot is so played out anyway. I cringe a little each time the characters talk in each others heads. It doesn’t play well and sounds cheesy, and this isn’t the biggest cheesy thing about the show, that award goes to the title of the show, Tomorrow People.
I understand that this is a remake of a 1970’s show from England. And maybe these people being called “Tomorrow People” worked in the 70’s, but now it just sounds plain dumb. I know it’s too late to fix this, but they can avoid it by saying the words “Tomorrow People” as much as possible. And lets get back to the original British version of the show. It ran for 6/7 years there. this means they have a lot of stories and plots to draw from and could easily pick up the pace. We don’t live in the 70’s anymore. We demand more, bigger and faster paced stories. They can easily wrap up the 6/7 years of the original in a couple of seasons. Fill every episode with “holy shit” moments and game changers.
Where will The Walking Dead go next season? Where will the story be set? Which characters will survive and which ones will die? I don’t know and this is what makes that the best show on television right now. This is the show that continues to grow and create more and more buzz. They don’t sit on their butts and wait for the season finale to have an episode of any consequence. They’re not afraid to kill off a character or wrap up a plot thread. This is the kind of show that Shield and Tomorrow People could be and SHOULD be. They are not and if they ever get there, I fear it will be too late because no one will care anymore.