New S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Reporting for Duty

paxtonPerhaps looking to up the action ante on the plodding spy series, the producers of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. are importing a veteran field agent in the form of John Garrett, to be played by genre veteran Bill Paxton. Garrett will be working with agents Ward (Brett Dalton) and May (Ming-Na Wen), and that will certainly change the dynamic.

S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producer Jed Whedon described Paxton’s character:

“We wanted to bring in a rough-and-tumble former cohort of Agent Coulson with a little bit of attitude and cigar-smoking swagger.”

Cigar-smoking? Too bad the Marvel movie universe left Dum Dum Dugan back in World War II in Captain America: The First Avenger. Paxton, a veteran of the action classic Aliens, has impeccable comic timing (see also: True Lies), so maybe he can alleviate the audience-alienating problem of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. taking itself too damn seriously!

Look for Cpl. Hudson Agent Garrett to report for duty in late March or so.

HATFIELDS & MCCOYS (2012 miniseries)

The History cable channel pulled off a terrific feat this week, airing the most massive, highest-rated miniseries in basic-cable history, HATFIELDS & MCCOYS. And it was a damn fine, mighty entertaining three night, six-hour production that made history seem stranger than fiction. For instance, I had no idea so much of the Hatfield/McCoy feud was tied up in state’s rights issues!

The feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys is one of those American stories that has become almost mythical; it’s a shorthand for two groups who don’t like each other so much it practically reaches a molecular level (think Yankees vs. Red Sox), so perhaps the greatest feat of this miniseries was to bring the story back down to Earth and make the McCoys and Hatfields human beings. But the rivalry loses none of its brobdagnigian proportions; in fact, the truth makes the battle somehow even huger, because it really happened.
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