Well, at the least I can say this, I’m not a loser.
Clark Gregg, everyone’s favorite dead S.H.I.E.L.D. agent-turned-surgically resurrected S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, recently told the Salt Lake Tribune that the people who have stopped watching ABC’S Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are not card-carrying geeks, they are “losers”. Yup, that’s in quotes. The article with a few loose quotations from Gregg and executive producers Jeph Loeb and Jeffrey Bell was not in full-on interview layout, so I can’t say what question he was responding to. The general gist of the write-up was about the ongoing discussion about how much “Marvel” stuff is in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on a weekly basis. Many, including myself, feel that there isn’t enough, but I am willing to concede that with the recent reveal that Mike Peterson is turning into Deathlok, the crew behind Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are moving in a more fanboy-oriented direction. Loeb said that the first dozen episodes were groundwork needed for “the incredible momentum and urgency of what’s going to happen.”
The overall tone Loeb’s and Bell’s comments seem to be more diplomatic.
Jeff Bell: “We’re turning that into a TV show and we’re doing that with characters that people don’t know,” said executive producer Jeffrey Bell. “And so there were expectations.”
Jeph Loeb: “But there are still people online who go, ‘We don’t understand why Iron Man isn’t on the show! … You know what? He’s not. I love Robert [Downey Jr.] — not coming by anytime soon.”
Yet Gregg, who was turned from a bit player in the early Marvel cinematic movies into something much, much larger comes across a little bit bitter. Honestly, I’m sure I would be too. You put your heart into something and to have it received poorly in the circles that you want it to succeed the most in has to hurt, but “losers”? Co-star Ming-Na Wen, also frustrated with fans, said, “”I love our fans so much, but they want the end of it already,” she said. “We have 22 episodes and, hopefully, years to come of stories and developing characters, and all we want is our fans to just be patient and not come down hard. Go with us. It’s a slower ride.”
Gregg, Wen, and the rest of the cast and crew had to know that the hardcore fans of the internet want immediate gratification, even if their expectations are sometimes rushed and misguided. Having seen some longer interviews with Gregg and knowing that he seems to be a pretty nice guy (after all, he’s Baby Houseman’s husband – how bad can he be?) and back pedaled to say that he was very protective of his show and that he didn’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.”
Clark, by no means to I want to defend the trolls of the internet, but you’d think you’d want to invite them back to the show instead of calling them losers for bailing before watching twelve (!) episodes of a TV show before deciding whether to call it quits. I may not like the show as much as I want to but I still watch it every week, AND Agent Coulson doesn’t think I’m a loser.