Movie Trailer Round-Up!

I’m excited about several movies coming out this month: Ender’s Game, The Book Thief, Thor 2, and Catching Fire, and I’m also excited for some other upcoming movies that recently released trailers. But first, the final Catching Fire trailer…

So excited! I’m still firm in my belief it’s going to be better than the first movie. Then Captain America: The Winter Soldier…

Captain America is my favorite Avenger because he’s such a gentleman! But he also knows how to take care of bad guys! And then last but not least, the new X-Men movie…

The trailer has made me really excited about the movie. I have shared before that X-Men is not my favorite franchise, but this looks really good, And though his role is minor, I’m glad Shawn Ashmore is back; he was my favorite in high school.

Any other good trailers you’ve seen recently? What movie are you most excited for? 

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The Top 10 TV Character Names I Came to Love

Last week for Top Ten Tuesday I explored the Top 10 Book Character Names I Came to Love. Because I enjoyed creating the list so much, I decided to do it again for TV characters!

1. Peter, Fringe

peter-fringeBecause it’s similar to Peeta, but more legit? Or because of Joshua Jackson’s portrayal of his character Peter on Fringe? All of the above.

2. Olivia, Fringe

olivia-fringeOlivia is a nice classic and feminine name, but I used to think it sounded a little old. It has seemed to gain some popularity lately though, and Olivia from Fringe really made me appreciate it more.

3. Lincoln, Fringe

lincoln-lee2I was already kind of liking the name Lincoln, and even came up with the name for a character in a story. I also had a friend name her son Lincoln (and he’s totally adorable). Then Lincoln Lee came along on Fringe and made me like it more! I like that it’s unique without being strange.

4. Julian, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

bashirIs Julian a girly name for a guy? I don’t know, I can’t decide! But I love Dr. Bashir and he kind of made me like the name Julian.

5. Tucker (from Charles “Trip” Tucker), Star Trek: Enterprise

tripTrip Tucker is my favorite character from Enterprise – a Southern(ish) boy with a lot of personality. I think his last name works well as a first name.

6. Jadzia, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

jadzia2No, I would not name my child Jadzia. But I really want someone else to, and I will give them much kudos. It’s just a fun name for a fun character.

7. Kate, Castle

kate-beckettFor some reason, I don’t really care for nicknames. Maybe it’s because the name Amy isn’t conducive for nicknames, who knows. I’ve always liked the name Kathryn, which is Kate’s actual name, but Kate made me like Kate.

8. Ryan (from Kevin Ryan), Castle

ryanWait, this was on your list last week! Wait! You said you already loved the name Ryan! All true, but it’s my list, so I do what I want to. Besides, Ryan’s a fun character.

9. Kaylee, Firefly

kayleeI already like the named Kaylee pretty well before watching Firefly, but Kaylee from Firefly just made me love it more.

10. Jayne (but NOT for a guy), Firefly

Jayne_With_HatBetween Jane Austen stories and Firefly, I came to appreciate the “plain” name Jane more, particularly with the spelling Jayne. But Jayne in Firefly is a bitter guy, and I definitely would not do that to my son.

What about you? What are your favorite TV character names?

Writers Unite Intro Post!

For NaNoWriMo, I’m joining up with some other writers from the blogsphere for a group called Writer’s Unite! If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year, be sure to check it out!

I feel like I already explained what I’m doing in my Why I’m Doing NaNoWriMo This Year post earlier, so I’ll try to give you some new insight in this post. I’ve been writing stories since I was in the first grade, but this will be my first time to attempt NaNoWriMo. Why? Because I didn’t get super serious about writing until my last semester of college, and the thought of writing SO MANY WORDS in so little time terrified me! However, over the past four and a half years I feel like I have been honing my skills and feel that if I really commit to do this, I can write down 50,000 words in one month (and maybe only 3/4 of them will be crappy). But it will be a challenge! I work full-time and commute an hour both ways, so there’s 50 hours a week already taken up. Then eating, sleeping, hanging with the hubby are also essentials that take up time. Chores and church take up time too, so let’s just say I don’t have a lot of free time. But I will have three days off work this coming month, and I have one hour  lunch breaks, so hopefully I can find and make some time to make it happen! I just have to convince myself to drag my big laptop up three flights of stairs everyday I go to work! Or at least some days! Other days I can continue to write things out in my notebook, be it scenes or ideas or character info or whatever, as I am doing now.

My goal is straight-forward: to hit the 50k mark. And considering that I write YA and that I tend to not be verbose in my storytelling (at least compared to many novelists), I imagine this could be the entire story. At least until I rewrite, but I won’t worry about that until AFTER November! (Probably after the holiday season, actually.) I feel like just getting a lot of words down would be a huge accomplishment for me, and I suppose as long as I hit 35k and know I did the best I could I won’t beat myself up too badly. 🙂

The title I have selected for this project, assuming it doesn’t change, is Earth Bound. Even though I have dozens of story ideas, most of which I have started but have very little written on, I decided I wanted to work on something new and seemed relevant to me right now. The story centers on Noa Reed, a seventeen year old girl who lives on Delta Space Station. After the loss of a close friend, she becomes addicted to virtual reality, and is sent to Earth to participate in a rehab program.

I have a Pinterest story board for inspiration and you can find me on the NaNoWriMo site under username acps927.

I hope you’ll join us too! Good luck to everyone participating this year!

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Review: There You’ll Find Me

There You’ll Find Me is a Christian YA book by Jenny B. Jones I heard good things about on a couple of different blogs, and the premise sounded fun so I decided to try it out.

synopsisGrief brought Finley to Ireland. Love will lead her home.

Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen-year-old. She’s witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming interview at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother, Will.

She decides to study abroad in Ireland so she can follow Will’s travel journal. It’s the place he felt closest to God, and she’s hopeful being there will help her make peace over losing him. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane.

Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She’s the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.

Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down. The loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to a new and dangerous vice. When is God going to show up for her in this emerald paradise?

Then she experiences something that radically changes her perspective on life. Could it be God convincing her that everything she’s been looking for has been with her all along?

thoughts2Overall, I liked this story, but I felt it lacked in some ways.

The Good

Finley’s character arc was interesting and pretty good. She starts off clearly broken, still grieving over the tragic death of her brother a year ago. She is on her way to Ireland hoping to connect with God there the way her brother did, because she feels He’s been distant from her life. Instead of magically feeling better once in Ireland, she still struggles with a myriad of emotions and problems, both old and new, as she deals with a dying senior citizen, a famous and charming movie star who won’t leave her alone, a mean girl at school, and her audition for music conservatory looming over her head. She makes some frustrating decisions at times that just made me want to shake her, but towards the end she starts to realize where she has gone wrong and at the end she makes a decision that I didn’t even see coming, but was clearly the right thing for her to do. The ending itself gave it an extra half star, almost a whole star. I just really appreciated it.

The Christian aspect felt mostly natural, not forced or preachy. I think this is important for a Christian book. Even if most of the audience is Christian, it can still feel fake if spiritual discussions feel forced, just in there for the sake of it. Finley also deals with an issue I think many people can relate to, which is feeling distant and isolated from God, but believing that He is there.

there-you-find-me

The Not As Good

Finley and Beckett’s relationship was just OK for me. I didn’t dislike them being together, but it definitely did not give me all the feels, which is kind of how I’m gauging these relationships now that I have been exposed to a couple of really swoon-worthy ones. I felt like it could have been built up more, where they could have acted like actual friends for a little while first before crossing into romance territory, and that then I would have actually been excited for them when it happened. And though Finley was frustrating many times, I just really wanted to yell at Beckett for insisting over and over to Finley that he wasn’t the way everyone thought he was, but never bothering to explain WHY. Communication, people. Seriously.

I wanted more between Finley and her host sister Erin, and really the host family in general. There with these great secondary characters, especially the host family and Sister Maria, that did not get enough book time. I felt the opportunities that could have happened between Finley and Erin were especially missed. I remember thinking, while reading, that maybe that was the point, that Finley would miss doing so much with Erin and they would have a conversation about it when Finley figured it out and they would hug and cry and eat chocolate cake but NOPE. No such apology ever happens. That made me sad for Erin, because she deserved it. There might have been one “off-screen” but I wanted to know about it!

There were a couple of time leaps that confused me. I don’t want from Point A to Point B to always be spelled out because that’s boring, but there were time leaps that left me feeling disoriented in time. The worst was when a chapter opened with Erin and Finley’s dates coming to pick them up from the dance, but last we knew neither of them had one. I wasn’t surprised by the outcome of who the dates were, and I suppose it was meant to be some big reveal or surprise, but it didn’t work that way for me.

The prologue and epilogue felt meaningless. The prologue and epilogue take place in time before and after the main story, respectively, and both had analogies with kites. I guess it was supposed to be a theme and mean something but it just fell flat for me.

Most of the opening chapter snippets felt meaningless too. Before each chapter there was a little snippet. The ones I liked were from Will’s travel journal when he went to Ireland. The ones that were just OK were Finley’s eating, running, and practicing music counts, which showed what Finley was doing, but it seemed a little unnecessary since it was pretty well explained in the story. Then the ones that I was not a fan of was communications with her family back home. Now, this is a good idea in theory, since there is almost no interaction with them within the story (which I also think was a missed opportunity), but none of it advanced the story line. Also, I was distracted by the fact that it would have a text message from her brother and it would say “sent to my iPhone,” and then later there would be a text from her dad and it would say, “sent to my Blackberry.” Why does she have an iPhone and a Blackberry? And why did she need both in Ireland? It seemed really silly and threw me off. One last thing that threw me off…

I hate pop culture references! This book was published in 2011 and thankfully nothing was irrelevant yet, but I’m sure some of it will be before too long. I find pop culture references to generally be avoidable and unnecessary, and annoying because they date the story and sometimes feel more forced than natural.

But overall, despite these nit-picky things, I really did like the story and the characters! I just wish I could have had more of the good and less of the mediocre. I think one more edit could have done a world of good. For all reasons listed above, I’ve decided on a 3.5 stars.

3.5stars

Content Advisory: Nothing here, really! Just a little bit of kissing. 

If you’ve read There You’ll Find Me, what are your thoughts? If not, what’s your favorite book where a character travels to a foreign country? 

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The Top 10 Book Character Names I Came to Love

Top Ten Tuesday topic is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Character Names I Love or Top Ten Unusual Character Names, so I’m going to focus on the top 10 character names that I might not have been a favorite going into the story, but I came to like. This week’s list is no particular order.

1. Peeta, The Hunger Games

Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, Entertainment Weekly, August 5, 2011I’ve talked about this before… No I wouldn’t name my kid Peeta, but somehow the character was able to get me to believe that this was a completely acceptable and even a good name.

2. Catherine, Northanger Abbey

I already liked the name Catherine, but this was never my favorite spelling for the name. Well, it still isn’t, but I did come to like it more after reading Northanger Abbey.

3. Elizabeth, Pride and Prejudice

elizabeth-p&p

OK, the movie more so than the book but still, the movie wouldn’t exist without the book, and Elizabeth is the same person in both. Elizabeth is a strong yet feminine and classic name, and it was given to a character who fits the same bill.

4. Ryan, What’s Left of Me

Who am I kidding, I’ve loved the name Ryan for a long time. But liking the character Ryan in What’s Left of Me sort of revived it for me.

5. Elliot (for a girl), For Darkness Shows the Stars

fordarknessshowsSometimes, taking a guy name and using it for a girl works. This is one of those times. Elliot was the perfect name for this character and I think it could work for some other girls too. Now Maxwell on the other hand, maybe not so much… looking at you, Jessica Simpson…

6. Kai, Cinder and For Darkness Shows the Stars

TWO great guys with the same name?! How could I not grow to appreciate it?!

7 & 8. Chloe and Cameron, Left Behind

left-behind

When I read this book way back (like sixth grade I think?), I loved the characters Chloe and Cameron (AKA Buck, a name I also grew to love at the time) and I found myself really liking their names as well. As time has passed, I still like them both, though the nickname Buck doesn’t have quite the same appeal anymore. (Side note to explain picture: Cassi Thomson is playing Chloe Steele in Nic Cage’s reboot of Left Behind (after Ashley Tisdale dropped out), and Chad Michael Murray will be playing Cameron “Buck” Williams. I really hope the movie turns out OK…)

9. Gibson, Double Minds

This is from a book about a girl who is getting into the music business, and she and her brothers are all named after guitars, one of them being Gibson. Maybe it’s the fact that I live in the Nashville area, drive by Gibson headquarters almost daily, and love the look of their hollow-body guitars, but I like the name Gibson for a guy. So much so, in fact, I’m using it as a character name for my NaNoWriMo story!

10. Scout, To Kill A Mockingbird

scout-tokillI don’t know if this hit me quite the same way in high school as it does (even though I haven’t read the book in over ten years), but it’s such an interesting and fun name for a girl.

What character names from books do you love? Since I had so much fun with this list, next week I’ll do a Top 10 list dedicated to my favorite TV show character names! 

Why I’m Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

In November 2011, I decided to use National Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to focus on writing a short story. Which turned into a novella. Which turned into a novel. Which turned into a part of a series. But not all in one month, but over many months, and after changing my ideas so many times for that story itself and for the series, I’ve decided instead of overwhelming myself with big ideas, I was going to go back to focusing on something small again.

5booksatonceAnd by small I mean a full-fledged novel to be written in November (as much as I can, anyway). But just one story, and a stand-alone at that. Hopefully. The other started as a stand-alone short story after all…

However, I have a plan and a plot this time. In 2011, I was going in completely unplanned, discovery writing if you will. Which was kind of fun, and it led to a lot of changes. But this time, I know that to write approximately 50,000 words in one month, I’ll have to be focused. I’ve plotted what I can and written bits and pieces, and the rest will have to find me as I go. I already have the end in mind and I feel the two main characters are well established.

And I have to remember the first draft won’t be a masterpiece. And that’s OK.

I’m reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott right now, which has already been so encouraging for me when it comes to writing. I decided I wanted this to be the last book I read before launching onto this novel writing project, and that in November I might not even read anything. I have spent from February to the present so focused on reading and blogging that writing has taken more of a backseat than I have wanted it to. This is to help re-orient myself back to it. I’ve exceeded my reading goal for the year so it feels easier to move on to writing now. So now I just have to take it sentence by sentence, or as Anne Lamott puts it, bird by bird.

write-a-bookAnyone else participating in NaNoWriMo next month? If you’re a writer, tell me how you stay focused to plug away at your story! 

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Early on in Thirteen Reasons Why, I pegged it as the reason I don’t like reading contemporaries. Teenagers making stupid decisions, using bad language just because, thinking they have a clue about romance, but then the deeper I got into the story, the more I started to understand the heart behind it. The more I felt for Hannah, who even though she was making extremely dumb decisions, didn’t deserve the suffering she went through and obviously needed better guidance in her life. I grew more sympathetic towards Clay, who obviously was a nice guy who wanted the best for Hannah.

synopsisClay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

thoughts2I attended a writing conference where Jay Asher was the keynote speaker, and I appreciated how honest he was about his writing career. He deemed himself a slow writer, and shared how it took over a decade for him to get his first book published. It was oddly encouraging and discouraging at the same. It’s nice to know published authors have struggles too… but it also makes you worry just how much you’ll struggle in your own process! But it’s worth it, or so I’m led to believe!

All that to say, even though Thirteen Reasons Why is not normally something I would gravitate towards, when my co-worker who also attended the conference asked me if I wanted to borrow it and read it, I decided I did want to read the story that was on Jay’s heart and that first got him published. Funnily enough, this book first came on my radar several years ago when I was in college, when I was mostly removed from reading YA but not opposed to it, I just read hardly any for fun at the time due to busyness of life. I didn’t read it then, but I’m glad I read it now; I think I understood it better now than I would have then.

I saw one review on Goodreads where the reviewer said that the book was unrealistic in that Hannah’s reasons for suicide didn’t make sense, and that Mr. Porter didn’t handle the situation well when she came to him. But I have to disagree. I might have felt the same way ten years ago, but after living a little more life I find that I understand it a little better than I would  have even as a teen. Because I used to think depression was something you could just “get over,” like many people sadly think. But I have taken enough psychology classes to realize that isn’t true, that it’s real and it may not be rational, but it hurts and it’s not something easy to handle. And while her situations, though sad, may not have seemed extreme to or me, to her it was more than she could bear. As far as Mr. Porter goes, he was teacher trying to play the role of counselor, trying his very, very best to get to the heart of the issues that Hannah brought him, but he did not even have the proper training. She shut him out when he accidentally said the wrong thing. It was a lose-lose situation.

I liked the way the story was told in the dual POV between Clay in current time and Hannah on the tapes, but I admit I got confused more than once, even though the different view points are clearly distinguished by italics or regular font. I also liked that Asher decided to use tapes, and have the characters acknowledge it was old, instead of using CDs or MP3s and acting like it’s normal, when those may seem outdated ten years from now. The lack of pop culture references in general made this a better contemporary in my opinion.

But speaking of the tapes, I got lost in the number of tapes Clay had listened to and how many people had been mentioned. I assume Jay matched it up right, but I thought only five people have been mentioned and all of a sudden we were on person #9. It distracted me some. And also speaking of confusion, I got lost on who was who among all the people Hannah talked about, since they all had fairly normal names and we didn’t get to know any of them well enough to be distinguishable. 

It’s not an easy read or a fun read because of the subject matter, and it was frustrating at times, but I think it tells an important story. And in the end, there’s a glimmer of hope, which I appreciate.

13ReasonsWhyIf you’re looking for an “issues” book or just curious about the story, I would recommend Thirteen Reasons Why. I give it four stars for its poignancy.

4stars2Content Advisory: Moderate language and sexual content. Non-graphic description of a rape and a couple of other sexually charged activities. None of this is for shock, however, but to tell Hannah’s story. 

Have you read Thirteen Reasons Why? If so, what were your thoughts? 

My Top 10 Books I Was “Forced” to Read

Top Ten Tuesday topic is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Books I Was “Forced” to Read, whether it is from required reading, a book club, or just an extreme amount of peer pressure! This week’s list is no particular order.

Required for School

Crime and Punishment

crime&punish2When I saw that Crime and Punishment was part of my required SUMMER reading for AP English my senior year of high school I’m sure I was thinking, really?! What surprised me though was how much I really liked it. Sure, nearly half of the book could have been omitted (especially the subplot with his sister’s drama) but the story of redemption in it is powerful to me. I even did a video project in college based on this book.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

dorian grayI read The Picture of Dorian Gray the same summer as C&P, and enjoyed it as well. Oscar Wilde’s commentary of his society is filled with wit and it was easy to understand, even if I didn’t know much about the time period and place. Also, the ending’s a kicker.

The Crucible

the-crucibleI read The Crucible my junior year in high school and it really made an impact on me how the characters stood up for themselves, disregarding what others said of them and even disregarding that they could be put to death.

Rebecca 

rebecca-by-daphne-du-maurierI read Rebecca my sophomore year of high school and found it so much more intriguing and suspenseful than many of the other books I had to read for school! And you know it has to be good when Alfred Hitchcock, master of suspense himself, adapted it to film. Let’s just say that the film I made off this book for my English class was no where near as good…

To Kill a Mockingbird

Mockingbird2I’m pretty sure I read To Kill a Mockingbird my sophomore year in high school as well, but unfortunately I have a little more book amnesia with it. Of course I remember the main themes and that I did enjoy it, but I definitely need to revist it sometime, especially now that I am older and can look at it with new eyes.

The Importance of Being Earnest

being-earnestI read this play my senior year of high school and again, I just loved Oscar Wilde’s wit. If you need a light read that feels intellectual at the same time, this is a perfect fit.

Night

nightI read Night my junior year of high school and found this story of a Jewish Holocaust survivor powerful. I had read The Hiding Place previous to this, so I was not unaware of concentration camp horrors (I would highly recommend it as well, by the way), but I always like hearing someone else’s story about what happened to them during WWII. It’s an important reminder of a dark time in history.

The Hobbit

the-hobbitI read The Hobbit in eighth grade I believe, and admittedly, I actually remember very little of it (let’s say when I saw all those dwarves in the movie adaptation I was completely surprised). However, I think this book was unknowingly a turning point for me. I didn’t think there was any way I could like this book, but I did, and I think that it might have helped me down the road be more open to different genres than what I had been reading.

Due to A Movie, Multiple Recommendations, and the Whole World Reading It

The Hunger Games

book-movie-hg

Thanks to some junior high aged girls at church, two friends, and Lionsgate, my interest in The Hunger Games got picqued to the point where it could not be ignored. FINE, I’LL READ IT! Clearly, I’m glad I did. Not only did I love it and the entire trilogy, but it got me back into reading after quite a hiatus, and it re-introduced me to the YA market, which was booming with some great content.

Book Club

What’s Left Of Me

hybrid-chroniclesI am in a blogger’s book club and we have read one book so far, What’s Left of Me. As mentioned in previous posts, I had the chance to get my book signed by Kat Zhang and get the sequel Once We Were early as well, so I felt compelled to buy and read it as well. Thankfully, I enjoyed both!

What books were you “forced” to read but ended up really enjoying? 

Round Up: The Thirtysomething Teen, Emma Approved, and Sci-Fi Posts

Round-Up is my very occasional feature where I share my favorite story and media related articles from the interwebs with you! 

The Thirtysomething Teen: An Adult YA Addict Comes Clean

heygirl-YAlitIt seems like there are more and more articles like this one popping up about adults reading YA.  It’s nice to know that the market for YA goes beyond teens, and that more adults are open to admitting that they like it too.

Emma Approved

As I think most of you are aware, the new web series Emma Approved, brought to us by the folks who did The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, has arrived! I will admit, my first thought on Emma herself was that she is annoying, but she is supposed to start off a bit immature and presumptuous, and I trust the crew working on the project. They proved with LBD that they want their characters to grow. Knightley is perfect though, wouldn’t you agree?

knightley-faceI love Johnny Lee Miller’s portrayal of Knightley in the 2009 BBC production, and I think I’m going to love Brent Bailey’s portrayal just as much!  I’m also anticipating meeting more characters: Harriet, Mr. Elliot, and Frank! I’m really looking forward to watching the series move forward!

Fictional Sci-Fi Inventions – Be a Part of Our Lives, Please!

oblivion-shipMeg at Adrift on Vulcan explores our favorite sci-fi tech that we are ready to be real! She talks tech from Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Star Trek, and more!

And Speaking of Star Trek…

voyager-crew

Check out my guest post on Kelley’s blog Another Novel Read, if you haven’t already, about elements from Star Trek Voyager I want to see adapted into a book! Even if you’re not into Star Trek, I think you’ll find it interesting!

What media related stories have stood out to you this week? 

My Thoughts on the First Three Episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The new ABC show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is now underway with three episodes under its belt and having already delivered great action, fun characters, and of course witty dialogue as all good Joss Whedon projects ought to.

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After this Agent Coulson says: “Sorry, that corner was really dark, and I couldn’t help myself. I think there’s a bulb out.”

My thoughts by category…

Story

I thought the pilot story and the second episode story were just OK. I liked the story of the third episode better, but it still felt rushed and underdeveloped. What I am hoping to see more of with this show is more over-arcing themes, which would be totally easy to do with the tie-ins to all the various Avengers movies and characters. They have this whole big universe to explore, some which some people are already familiar with, and it would be great to utilize more of that. I’m not saying that Tony Stark or Thor need to make a cameo in an episode (not that I would complain if they did), but using themes from their stories for the show. They do reference things a lot, but I want to see it applied to more big concepts, not just little details. The end of this last episode hinted at something that might come back, and I hope it does! It’s hard to tell what is a set-up this early on, but I hope to see recurring themes. Next week’s episode looks intriguing to me, so I’m hoping to like its story more.

Action

One thing this series has definitely done right so far is the action. I never even realized I would like such an action-oriented TV show, but I do in this case! The fight scenes are interesting to me and I love the mix of ingenuity and kick-buttery involved in these sequences.

agents-of-shield-still-ming-na

Agent May can seriously kick tail.

Dialogue

The dialogue is definitely the best part. Agent Coulson delivers great one-liners, and the other characters have their fair share of good lines as well.

“Listen, you cannot walk away from this. With great power comes … a ton of weird crap that you are not prepared to deal with.” – Skye

“Saying his name repeatedly does not increase productivity!” – Simmons

Grant Ward: There are two ways we can do this.
Skye: Oh, is one of them the easy way?
Grant Ward: No.
Skye: Oh.

And that is just a very small sampling. Not to mention how much more fun it is in context. Anyone who has seen Firefly, Serenity, or Dr. Horrible can attest that Whedon is a master of wit.

look-at-my-wristCharacters

I’m not loving the characters yet… which makes me a little sad because this is generally another strong suite of Whedon’s (again, Firefly attests to this). I don’t dislike them either though, and I think over time I will like them more. Ward is interesting in a mysterious sort of way… he has this tough exterior but you know there’s more deep down. Same with May, though I find her less appealing… but that could be because there is more emphasis placed on Ward’s character, as he and Skye seem to be set up as the forefront of the show (other than Coulson). And he’s also attractive, I’ll admit that. Skye definitely already has a lot of complexity, but I have a hard time entirely liking someone when I still don’t really trust them. Well, unless they’re Garek from Deep Space Nine, but it took a while for me to warm up to him too.

CLARK GREGG, BRETT DALTON, CHLOE BENNET

It’s also real clear from the show that Skye and Ward are going to hook up at some point…

I really want to know more about Fitz and Simmons. Right now, they’re a couple of British kids spouting off all their science babble, and it’s fun. I like them and I like how they play off each other. But I want to know more about them, because I know there’s more to them than their passion for science. And I want to know more about their past. It sounds like they went through school together, which explains the neat (but totally platonic) dynamic they have.

agents-of-shield-fitz-simmons

If I go to a Halloween party this year, I may dress as Simmons. I like shopping from my closet for Halloween costumes. 🙂

Fun!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is definitely fun so far, but I hope it won’t shy away from more serious episodes or moments as appropriate.

agents-of-shield-hill&coulson

It’s hard to say much after three episodes, but I will say that I do think the show has already gotten better with each episode, so I hope the show will continue to grow and become more and more interesting and fun. If you haven’t checked it out yet but have some interest in the Marvel superhero world and what’s going on “behind the scenes,” I’d recommend it!

marvels-agents-of-shieldHave you seen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? What are your thoughts on it? 

Also, if you’re interested, check out my guest post on Kelley’s blog from Tuesday, where I discussed elements from Star Trek Voyager I would like to see adapted to a book!