“You didn’t see that coming?”

ultron

**This post contains spoilers for Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” under the cut. Proceed at your own risk.**

Believe it or not, I don’t ask a lot of my superhero shows and movies. Pretty much all I want is character consistency. Since I come from a place of mostly ignorance regarding the original comics, I have no expectations for big character moments or backstories outside of what I’ve already seen in previous episodes or movies. At the end of the day, I am the easiest fan to win over. The banter and action sequences and sweeping shots are just bonuses to me — just keep the characters true to themselves, and give them room to evolve as people. It’s really an easy task, right?

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And for this, we are thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! And, if you’re not in the U.S., hello and welcome to Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. We here at WWFTP are planning on spending the better part of today stuffing our faces. (Bread pudding? Bread pudding? Bread pudding?) On Friday, Becca will be heading out to work the sales; Kerry will be hitting the stores and drinking a (possibly) unhealthy amount of coffee; and I will be curled up, catching up on The Fades and finishing a present for my nephew.

But in the interest of celebrating the U.S.’s national day of gratitude, we thought we’d take the opportunity to share the things for which we’re thankful.

Kerry

Everything Is Bloomable

So much better than with that awful Island wig.

Stephen Amell. I’m not sure a more perfect leading man exists.

FSU football. And football in general.

Maycove

A genius, his locks, his partner and his tortoise. (Clyde is in his trailer.)

Jonny Lee Miller. His Sherlock Holmes is only getting better.

Hiddlesmell

I went with the derpiest photo I could find.

Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.

Bo Dennis

Ain’t she great?

Tatiana Maslany, on both Orphan Black and Parks and Recreation.

Becca

The Scarlet Avenger

Wow. Robot faces are so *lifelike* these days.

Joss Whedon brought back Coulson. Clark Gregg is a joy to watch as he plays Coulson.

Whedonesque on Tumblr

As pretty in color as it is in black & white.

Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare with actors from the Whedonverse is perfection.

Veronica Mar’s kickstarter. I’m not going to reveal how many times I saw the kickstarter and Ryan Hansen announcing Dick Casablancas would be back videos.

Felicity Sm0ak

She may be blonde, but she’s not *that* blonde.

Emily Bett Rickards was made a series regular on Arrow. Team Arrow would not be the same if we didn’t have the trio.

David Tennant, Life Ruiner

Yep.

David Tennant back on the small screen. (Including him soon being on the American version of Broadchurch; great choice, Fox.)

Film Onet

From left, Zachary Levi, Nathan Fillion and Tom Hiddleston at the premiere of “Thor: The Dark World.”

This picture exists.

Snarky Knightley on Emma Approved. I always have a hard time choosing between Mr. Darcy, Mr. Tilney and Mr. Knightley, and this web series is making it even harder.

Moff

Cobwebs, Books and Coffee

This has nothing to do with why I love this show, but it’s as perfectly weird *as* the show, so it works for me!

The cast of Sleepy Hollow is probably 90 percent of why this show works, and I’m so grateful it does because I need something a little bizarre to start my week.

Stop Then Rewind

And by ‘machine,’ Britta means ‘Thursdays at 8/7C on NBC, starting Jan. 2, 2014.’ Duh doy.

We finally have a start date for season five of Community, and whatever may come of the new season, at least I know when the Greendale Seven Six Five will be back on my screen.

I Lied Too

Good, bad or neutral as Switzerland, Acker as Root is both scary and scary good.

Amy Acker on Person of Interest. She’s always managed to bring charm to her roles, but her role on PoI has given her a chance to stretch her artistic limits as a character with questionable morals and even more questionable sanity.

Boys in Barrettes

Leslie Knope: Role Model. (No. Seriously.)

The ladies of Parks and Recreation, who manage to be everything I want to be when I grow up, both on- and off-screen.

Broadcast Archive @ the University of Maryland

What’s amazing about funny women? Is it that they’re funny? Or that people actually pay attention when they’re talking?

Carol Burnett winning the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. I grew up watching her show, and between her professional talent and her personal grace under fire, I can’t imagine a better role model for an awkward, chatty little girl like I was.

And, finally, I’m thankful for Becca, who is the Marianne to my Elinor, and Kerry, who listens to my nonsense when I’m tired and rambling on pathetically. Both of them were willing to join me on this little blog adventure, and I’m so honored they did.

A Glimpse of Greatness

Warning: this post contains spoilers from episode 1.06  of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “F.Z.Z.T.”

One reason I stick with some new shows, which seem mediocre, is because they actually do become better. The first few episodes are usually about finding voice, and learning what makes it better like what characters work best with each other. Sometimes a show may never improve, and I eventually drop it. Other times a show does a great episode, and I slowly become committed it. Last week, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally started to show promise. One of the reasons is because it finally stopped focusing on Skye and focused on Jemma Simmons instead. While other Joss and Jed Whedon productions have been about a main character, this production is clearly supposed to be an ensemble piece. If the show was supposed to be about one character, then “Agents” wouldn’t be plural in the the title.

The audience was able to get closer to both Coulson and Simmons when last week’s episode was focused on them. With Coulson feeling and coming to face the fact even if his physical tests and blood work showed him being normal, he was different. Melinda May helped him come to this realization, and accept it when she told him that a person does in fact change from the experience of being dead. This also led to another glimpse of May’s past as well because it felt like she had experienced what Coulson was experiencing now when she talked to him.

Then there is Simmons story . She was infected a virus from that was inside a Chitauri helmet, and nearly died until Grant Ward parachuted out of their headquarters to save her by capturing her, and giving her the antiserum. Elizabeth Henstridge who plays Simmons shone in the episode. Her acting was phenomenal, and we were able to get a real depth for her character as well as shedding a few tears. Henstridge showed that even though Simmons may not have the field training Coulson, Ward, or May have, but she is one of the bravest of the group. We learned she is the reason why she and Leo Fitz are part of this team, she dragged him with her it and called it an adventure.

When her death was imminent, she faced it head on, and was willing to save the others by jumping out of the plane.

I think one of my favorite parts of this episode was the interactions between Ward and Simmons. While this show has clearly paired off the characters (Coulson and May, Grant and Skye, Fitz and Simmons), this is the first time they have given us great scenes with a different pairing. Yes, the Fitz and Simmons scenes were great because they make a brilliant team, but it is refreshing to see different interactions because it helps show them as two different characters. The last scene with them was very enjoyable, between her admitting to lying about the weight of the gun and him acknowledging he knew she’d been making fun of him earlier. The best part was Simmons correcting his impersonation of himself.

It’s scenes like this that leads me to believe Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might finally be on to something. I hope they continue to mix up the characters, and let more of them become the focus. We don’t need a show based on Skye. We need a show based on all of them.

The Best Show You’re Probably Not Watching

Do you ever find yourself listening to your family, friends or coworkers talking about TV shows and wishing you had something to contribute?

(If you don’t, I can only conclude you are a) anti-social, b) Amish, or c) living as a hermit off the grid. Well, mostly off the grid, as clearly you have Internet access.)

Or perhaps you live with people of diverse tastes and interests, and you either don’t know of a show to suggest for group watching or your suggestions are routinely voted down.

Well, I’m here to help. There’s a little show on SyFy called “Haven,” and it is enough to satisfy practically any audience.

Have a friend or younger sibling who likes horror, but can’t always stick it out through a feature-length scary movie?

Have a roommate who likes psychological thrillers that make his or her brain wrinkle?

  

Have a girlfriend who adores angsty love stories?

Have a guy friend whose Entire Life is the WWE?

Your cousin insists on only watching things where she/he can play ‘Six Degrees of Joss Whedon’?

You know you might run into your snippy ex, who talks about Stephen King’s On Writing?

The end of the third season hit a veritable reset button for the series, with Emily Rose’s time-traveling enigma, Audrey Parker, disappearing in a mysterious barn. Between the finale and the Sept. 13 season four premiere, the remaining key players went their separate ways, and it took four episodes to return the key figures to the weird, tiny town of Haven, Maine.

With Rose’s Audrey returned to town, along with Lucas Bryant’s erstwhile sheriff Nathan Wournos, and Eric Balfour’s reformed rogue Duke Crocker, the remaining players in Haven’s bizarre story must now decided whether the death of one of their own will end the “troubles” or familial curses that maim, kill and cause massive property damage.

It’s unclear at this point how the remaining eight episodes will cast the polarizing choice of killing – or sparing – one of the three main characters.New Season 4 Poster

But as one of the best shows you’re probably not watching, there’s plenty of time to catch up on the start of the current season (or even the first three seasons) to decide who should die to save Haven.

Tune In / Tune Out: Week of Sept. 22, 2013

When we met up last night to discuss the first full week of the Fall 2013 TV season, we found ourselves a tad overwhelmed. So many new shows premiered this week that we found ourselves trying to remember exactly what we’d watched and what we’d thought. But this week’s Tune In / Tune Out represents what we found most memorable, for better or worse.

Tune IN

Sleepy Hollow: The dynamic between Lt. Mills and Crane was enjoyable, and the feel of them being partners is evident. It was a good second episode, and I’m glad John Cho is back, even with his deformed neck. The last five minutes of the show was what stood out to me the most. I hope Abbie continues to see the sheriff, and I can’t wait to see where the show goes with her sister being involved. – Becca

The Blacklist: James Spader did not disappoint. I enjoyed his role on the show, and it will be interesting to see where it goes. I’m still getting a he-could-be-Keen’s-father vibe from the show, and hope there is another reason why he is so interested in her. Keen, herself, was good, and I particularly enjoyed that what appeared to be a happy, normal life was, in fact, not. I know that may sound wrong, but I enjoyed the twist with her husband, and I can’t wait to see why he married her. – Becca

How I Met Your Mother: The first half of the hour-long season premiere was lackluster, but the second half (“Coming Back”) made up for it. Between Marshall’s storyline with Sherri Shepherd, Barney coming to terms with his brother’s bad news, and a long-awaited glimpse into Ted’s future with The Mother, this episode brought the heart and the laughs that we remember from seasons past. – Kerry

And the audience goes ‘awwww.’

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The show had its ups and downs, but the ups outweigh the downs. Knowing Joss Whedon’s other works, this is only the beginning of something promising. The problem is it is too hard to have background, a story, and a real depth into the introduction of characters in one hour. – Becca

Person of Interest: After a sophomore season spent relying on the major female characters to play girlfriends or be satisfied with lackluster romance b-plots, the third season opened with impressive performances from Taraji P. Henson, Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker, whose characters each had meaty storylines that almost outshone the Number of the Week. And if The Machine does have a female consciousness, the third season may be POI’s Season of the HBIC. Fingers crossed. – Moff

“It’s ‘Root’ if you’re nice. ‘The Right Hand of God’ if you’re nasty.”

Parks and Recreation: The sixth season opener, “London,” started with an impromptu wedding between Ron Swanson and his girlfriend, Diane, which is probably one of the best weddings we’ve seen on television.

We hear ya, Leslie.

Leslie, meanwhile, was grappling with the reality of her recall election while she visited London to receive an award, and the bitterness that comes with a thankless job. Between speeches from Ron and April to cheer her up, along with exciting news from Ann and Chris, Leslie seemed to break out of her funk. We were also delighted to see Peter Serafinowicz appear as Lord Covington, as well as Henry Winkler as Jean-Ralphio’s father, Dr. Sapperstein. The highlight of the episode was Ron’s tour of the Lagavulin distillery, which Leslie had sent him on as a surprise. – Kerry

Tune OUT

NCIS: LA: It’s funny. While NCIS managed to start off its 11th season with an interesting, if not earth-shaking premiere, its younger sibling started off its fifth season with a less than impressive outing. Maybe it’s that I can’t quite accept Christopher Lambert as a villain when I keep expecting him to whip out a katana and battle to the death. Maybe it’s how played out the Janvier storyline feels at this point, especially as we seem to know no more about him than we did at his introduction. Or maybe I just don’t like seeing Eric Christian Olsen looking so defeated. Tsk, tsk, show. Tsk tsk. – Moff

Come back to Greendale, Vaughn. It’s safe now, we swear. Jeff graduated.

The Michael J. Fox Show (second episode): The story was predictable, and while it had a few good lines, it was nowhere as good as the pilot. The plot of Mike hitting on his neighbor, and belittling his co-worker, Harris, was off-putting even after his explanation. – Becca

Moms: Like Dads, it feels as if everyone is too good for this show. The tagline could be ‘history keeps repeating itself,’ with the three generations of women having close to the same storylines. A good Chuck Lorre show would be Dharma and Greg, not this. The only way it would become interesting is if it was Salem, from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, doing the daily affirmations at the beginning of the show because he was slowly trying to take over the world. – Becca

Talk about unlucky black cats.

Once More, With Secrecy

Warning: If you haven’t seen the pilot episode of ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., this post may contain spoilers.

Ah, fall. Where basic network TV shows welcome you back to your couch for three hours of your night, if not more. The time where favorite shows return, and people make snap judgements on pilots. Hasn’t anyone ever taught them you should not always judge a show by its pilot? A pilot is a wonderful thing: It helps networks decide whether to pick up a show, but that doesn’t mean it will be perfect.

Agents of SHIELD was a great pilot. Sure there was a certain amount of cheese factor to it, but it is a good family show from the Whedon brothers, Joss and Jed. (Jed Whedon’s wife and creative partner, Maurissa Tancharoen, is also a co-writer and co-executive producer.) For example, when Phil Coulson comes out of the dark and says he thinks a light bulb might be out, it works because of Clark Gregg’s delivery. Of course there will be cheese, but the good kind, like Velveeta.

It is the kind of show that requires multiple viewings for the viewer to catch all the details put into it. The identifier which recognized Coulson, Maria Hill, and Grant Ward told them to “say cheese.” I got a thrill when I heard it the first time and immediately rewound just to make sure I had heard correctly. I love it when a show pays attention to detail.

I also love the fact that a new viewer who hasn’t seen the Marvel superhero films would not be lost. Yes, there were several Easter Eggs in explaining the background for the avid Marvel fan, but it worked in a way that included both long-time fans and new viewers.

Casting is always a big deal with me, and the show has done an excellent job. There were some familiar faces from the Whedonverse, like J. August Richards (Gunn on Angel) and Ron Glass (Shepherd Book on Firefly/Serenity), but they were there because they are excellent actors. I enjoyed seeing Glass, who played the doctor for S.H.I.E.L.D., and I hope we get to see more of him. Also, Richards (Gunn) did an excellent job of putting emotion into the character of Mike Peterson. The father-son relationship was great, and the way Mike cared for his son was moving.

The decision to include Cobie Smulders in the pilot was beyond brilliant. It makes this feel more like home for Avengers fans, and Cobie is an awesome actor. Her interplay with Coulson brought familiarity, and I can’t wait until she reappears on the show again. Why did this have to be the year she’s getting married on How I Met Your Mother? Of course, this is HIMYM’s final season, so hopefully we will see more of her next year, if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D gets another season.

Fitz and Simmons are adorable. They are the lab techies of the show, with Fitz being the genius in engineering, and Simmons in biochemistry.  They are a team, but they have their own personalities. I enjoyed their brother and sister interactions a great deal. It felt real, especially with them trying to talk over the other one.

Finally, the return of Son of Coul. Clark Gregg is the best part of this show. His character brings a big human element to a show about superhumans, geniuses, and gods. His character was already one of my favorites, and my love for him has already grown deeper with watching this pilot. I was entertained by everything he did, from the jokes to his affection for all of the other characters. I’m glad Joss Whedon brought him back from the dead, but after the conversation Hill had with the Doctor, I know all is not right. Perhaps Tahiti is apparently not all it is cracked up to be. I will probably want to cry once the truth is revealed later. For now, I’m going to push it to the back of my mind and celebrate the fact that Coulson is back with his beloved Lola.

Joss Whedon and company are known for character-driven shows; he writes characters with depth. I think it’s what he does best. This show will definitely be primarily about the characters, and less about the different situations they face week to week. The majority of the main characters have already received hints on their backgrounds with this show, and it will be interesting to see them delved into further.