Clark Gregg Questions Those Who Bailed on 'Agents of SHIELD,' Calling Them 'Losers'
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Clark Gregg Questions Those Who Bailed on 'Agents of SHIELD,' Calling Them 'Losers'

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | February 3, 2014 | Comments ()


According to the Salt Lake Tribune (via Blastr), on the set of Agents of SHIELD, Clark Gregg — who plays Agent Coulson, one of only two worthwhile characters in the series — called those who bailed on the show “losers.”

From the SLT:

Those aren’t geeks. Those are losers. You start to have people like Deathlok showing up; You start to understand that a bunch of these different episodes were connected. A lot of the geeks that I respect most…are very excited about where we’re going. So I’m going to choose to work for them.

I’m not sure that that’s the way to win back those, like myself, who bailed on the show. I mean, I appreciate that the series is finally going somewhere (if, in fact, it is), but they had months to figure there sh*t out. I know that I heard more than once one of the actors suggest we should stick around because it was about to get better (that suggestion was made, for instance, about the mid-season finale). I watched until that terrible mid-season finale, and it never did get better.

How long must we give a show before giving up? I haven’t heard anything from anyone else suggesting there’s a compelling reason to jump back in. This was a incredibly anticipated series, and because of its pedigree, and the talent involved, most of us gave it much, much longer than we would’ve with most other shows. And now we’re “losers” for lacking the patience to continue? (I will grant that Gregg likely made this statement with his tongue in his cheek, and a huge grin on his face, because he’s obviously a great guy who wouldn’t make the statement with any kind of maliciousness).

He also added this:

Gregg compared it to eating “the healthy stuff first” and saving “the dessert” for later. “We’re deep in dessert right now.”

Look man, even broccoli can taste good, if it’s prepared by the right chef, and this show had Joss freakin’ Whedon to serve the appetizer. You can’t save a bad meal and expect us to stick around. You have to expect that, if we’re served soggy fries, we’re going somewhere else to get our ice cream.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Frank

    Meh. I watch the show. I'll continue to watch the show. Sure, It's not Firefly; but seriously, what the hell else is on?

  • Coolg82

    I was never interested in AoS and saw that I missed nothing, but wanted it to do well solely so that Ming Na and Clark Gregg would continue to have work. Also, the show runners have little motivation to make it good if the show's presence is necessary for whatever Disney has planned for the MCU. If it is guaranteed a place on Disney's network until whatever story it has plays out, where is the motivation to actually try to make it good. Plus, it has the misfortune of having to conform to the image of a "Whedon show" without having him there most of the time, whether his absence and input hurts the show or the inability to move beyond the Whedon tropes hurt the show.

  • kinoumenthe

    "How long must we give a show before giving up?"
    It's easy : until you actually forget to watch it one week. That's a very good meter of how much one feels invested in a show.

    Anyway… It works nicely for me, at least.

  • When one is trying to sell a book, it's important to have a hook, something to get the reader to turn the page and decide to lay down their money. But there has to be some story behind the hook; there has to be something at stake that resonates with the reader, and if you promised it in the hook, you had better build those stakes starting in Chapter 1.

    Television is an instant gratification medium, which means you don't have the built in expectation of patience that most readers develop after finding out that some stories build up slowly but are worth the time investment. So it's sort of absurd to say "But we're going to get better, I promise!" after more than half a season of mediocre television. I tried, but this show has not established any plot nor given me reason to invest in the characters, and there is absolutely nothing at stake, as far as I can tell. I have watched every episode, and I can't bring myself to care. That's an epic amount of meh.

    Sometimes, people get published simply because they are famous for
    something else, and their name will sell the book for a little while,
    maybe even make it hit the best seller list, but if the book is boring
    or bad, it will hit the discount shelf pretty fast and eventually fade
    from memory. And sometimes, a famous person's sister/spouse/child/best friend gets the chance to run a show based on the famous person's name recognition, and it turns out they have no idea what they're doing and thereby lose the built-in audience. In neither case should you blame the consumer for choosing to walk away from a bad product. That's just bad form.

  • PatriciaDelicia

    I gave up on this show maybe 4 or 5 episodes in. Other than Coulson, none of the other characters gelled with me. Where did they get these actors with zero charisma? They're kinda like cardboard paper dolls and I didn't care what happened to them, and nearly went brain dead watching the show. One of my questions to myself when watching a TV show or movie is "Do I care what happens at the end? Do I care who dies?". If the answer is "no", then I stop watching.

    C'mon SHIELD people, bring in some good tried and true character actors. There's plenty of them out there that need the work. Surely you have the budget for it!

    Pajiba, I've been waiting to hear your "Almost Human" review or maybe I just missed it. Almost Human is my fave new show and there's been a few episodes that blew me away. Now those two lead actors have CHARISMA!

  • Almost Human is miles above and beyond this shitshow.

  • stella

    Well now I definately wont be back. I was gonna try once season one had wrapped up and I could watch all at once, but nevermind.

  • dizzylucy

    If this were back in the day of 3 networks and not much competition, more people might have stuck it out. But there's too much good stuff on right now for people to waste their time on something they don't enjoy, even with the continual promise that it gets better.

    I probably gave it about 7 or 8 episodes, but found it very hard to pay attention and get invested in it.

  • TK

    A fair point, Mr. Gregg. If I may, a rebuttal:

    I love you, but your show is boring as fuck.

  • loo shag brolley

    I had a big ol' rant planned, but this pretty much covers the gist.

  • Except that, but for you, none of the characters are anything that an interested geek would care for?

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Dude, you're on a TV show, it's not supposed to be hard to watch. It's not math homework, I don't have to slog through it in hopes of a greater understanding. It's a superhero show. So it better be goddamned entertaining or I'm going to spend my free time being a loser and reading.

  • Tinkerville

    Dear Clark,

    Using the argument "we took way too long to get even remotely interesting, so why the hell aren't you still watching it?!" doesn't work. I love you but you're making it hard for me to like you right now.

  • Bob Genghis Khan

    I watched this for six episodes. Even with a gun to my head, I could not give you a detailed list of ten things that happened.

    It's a shit show, and without the Marvel name would have already been axed.

  • Sam

    *Pats head*
    There, their, they're.

  • general rhubarb

    I was going to ask Dustin about that too. He is NEVER so ragey that such an egregious error would slip through!

  • I like Agents of SHIELD, but the first half of the season was a slog. Calling people who bailed "losers" isn't fair. It's the show's job to reach out an retain fans - not just coast by on good will and geek cred.

    Gregg's comments are unfortunate. They diminish my respect for him because they seem really out of place from a guy who otherwise seems very humble and nice.

  • luthien26

    I'm hoping this was just taken out of context - nothing else I've ever seen has indicated that Gregg is anything other than gracious and funny.

    The problem with Agents of SHIELD at this point is that it's still struggling to find its identity. It wants to be a badass secret agents show, but still have that sort of feeling of "wacky team doing wacky things together and learning a heartwarming lesson at the end" - and sometimes those things just don't blend all that well. It worked for Firefly because at the end of the day it was a rather lighthearted show, despite the sometimes serious subjects it tackled. I think the biggest issue is that the SHIELD we see on the show doesn't jibe with what we've seen in the movies, and there's a bit of a disconnect.

    That said, I'm still watching to see where this goes.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    To think that a lot of you staid with Buffy to the end...

  • loo shag brolley
  • NateMan

    But Buffy earned it. They were not great for a season, but they were trying something new and they were never as bad as SHIELD. And then they were amazing for several seasons before the decline began. I was willing to stick with them because they had given me reason to care about the characters. Apart from Coulson this whole group could die horribly in the Helicarrier's scheduled crash this coming Wednesday and I wouldn't care.

  • loo shag brolley

    I got hooked on Buffy in two episodes -- one from season one, the other from season two. I was not hooked on the plots or the shtick or the dialogue. I simply just had to know how these characters began: how they met, how their relationships developed, and so on.

    I couldn't care less about anyone aboard that TOTALLY COOL airplane, or any of the TOTALLY COOL people or villians they'll meet. And that is the problem with this show. This show that makes Ming Na-Wen seem tiresome. MING NA-WEN.

    But hey- perhaps there are three flowers in the vase and that the third one is green. I'll wait for somone to tell me when it happens.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Buffy was horrible in its first two seasons and it took even longer for the one-note supporting characters to even start developing. And Gellar was abysmal all the way through.

  • mzblackwidow

    wow - just - wow. I have never seen so much wrong in such a short post before.

  • stella

    But season two had the Angelus arc which was fantastic. To each his own I guess.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    You mean the moping vampire that was even more of a wet rag than that Twilight twit?

  • Sirilicious

    Awww, you still angry that your OTP broke up and she chose to shag Spike instead?

  • Fabius_Maximus

    She was in Buffy? Wow. Didn't know that. I have to ask her about that.

  • NateMan

    Well, I disagree with pretty much all of that, but to each their own.

  • Jezzer

    Of course you disagree with it. Any right-thinking person would.

  • Modernlove

    I really hope it was said tongue in cheek. I've read/listened to several interviews with the guy and he seems like a good, funny dude. Humor just doesn't always translate well.

    I know I'm clearly in the minority, but I'm still watching. It might take me a day or three to see the latest episode, but I'm giving it a chance. I just can't quite give up hope on this show yet.

  • Laura Darch

    I may be a loser, but I now have a bit more free time, and I have all of my brain cells intact. I doubt that would be the case if I watched even one more episode of this garbage.

  • NateMan

    By episode 6 or so Dollhouse, which previously qualified as "the show which I really wanted to like but the beginning was shit" they pulled out of the death spiral they were in for viewing. Ditto for the first 5 or 6 of Fringe.

    I gave SHIELD half a dozen episodes. They were still shit. That's as much as you get, dude.

  • Daniel Lewis

    Dollhouse got way better

  • NateMan

    Exactly. I gave them half a dozen shows to make it work, and they did. Not sure how many hours of life Gregg expects us to waste on a terrible show in the hopes that it'll improve, but I think we've already hit it.

  • grr arrgh

    I don't have a hard rule about number of episodes I'll give a series. It depends on how good it is upfront, who is on it, and how much potential I see for a good show. Agents of Shield is what I call a Netflix Second Chance show. I started out watching it as it aired and then when the story of the week wasn't compelling and every character but Coulson and Melinda May bored me to death (I did like FitzSimmons but not enough to keep up with the show) I figured that once it hit Netflix Instant I'd give it another chance and if it STILL doesn't draw me in, I quit for good.

    Dollhouse was full of potential and I understood that their concept was different and it would take them a bit to get a hold of the reins and figure out what they were doing. I saw enough potential (plus DIRECT involvement of Joss Whedon) that I kept watching and then it got really good. Didn't see enough potential. Quit after two episodes.

  • JustOP

    'You guys aren't REAL geeks or fans because you bailed on my AWESOME show, dweebs'.

    How about no, Phil. Your show is shit, the characters have the charisma of a dilapidated brick wall, with a plot about as interesting. And it's a shame, because the marvel movies themselves are delightful (if not shallow) little romps with a lot of dramatic potential.

    Almost Human took away any chance of me ever wasting my time on this show again.

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