Observation on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

21 Mar

I’m making progress on catching up with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I am a fan. A big fan. I’ve liked the show since its (admittedly slow) start and I’ve been enjoying it more with each episode. I’ve even come to genuinely like Skye, who annoyed the heck out of me at first, and can at least remember Agent Pretty Guy’s name now.

Wayne. Or Will. Walter? Whitney?

Okay, I remember it most of the time.

Last night I watched the episode T.R.A.C.K.S., where they go undercover to pull a job on a train. This was an episode I particularly enjoyed, and not just because it reminded my of the train episode from Firefly. It’s because I realized something;

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are PCs.

Stick with me. Normally gamers play their characters to try and emulate iconic fictional characters, but we don’t take things too seriously. We’re not actors, we’re having fun, and the banter of game play reflects this in ways that the archetypes in the stories usually don’t. This dynamic feels reversed in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

T.R.A.C.K.S. was like watching a gaming session jump off my table and onto the screen. The mission briefing was serious and straight forward. The plan was equally straight forward, but carried out with the flair of a group of player characters, complete with banter that felt like table talk. In particular, Jemma Simmons’ insanely detailed cover story was exactly the kind of thing that would spring from the mind of an overly caffeinated gamer. Throw in some brutal plot twists pulled from the mind of a ruthless GM and you’ve got a good night’s gaming session. There were even a few times where I could hear the dice falling as the characters made their saving throws.

I’m definitely looking forward to the next episode and I’ll be watching with a can of Mt. Dew and a bowl of Cheetos at my side.

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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Movies & TV


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