As the Marvel Cinematic Universe entered Phase Three it seemed to take on a unique challenge, reinventing itself with each new film. “Thor: Ragnarok” was basically the MCU’s answer to Monty Python. “Ant Man” was an “Ocean’s” movie with a dude who could shrink. Even “Guardians 2” changed things up by being incredibly personal and intimate where the first was loud and brash.
“Marvel’s Agent Carter” (8 p.m. Central Tuesdays on ABC) largely meets my expectations of having the vibe of those two “X-Files” episodes that featured FBI agent Arthur Dales in the 1940s. All the guys wear suits, and if they’re not smoking a cigar, you get a sense that they could do so at any moment. The women are in demure skirts and blouses, the technology is primitive (photographs have to be “developed”) and – although the show is filmed in color – everything is tan and brown (except the photos, which are in black and white).
“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) has such gorgeously detailed production design in every frame that I almost want to watch it again on mute. There probably wasn’t a better-looking film released last year. But the film itself is shallow, and frankly, it might be the most overrated of 2014.
With Fox’s “Almost Human” and ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” both at about the halfway point of the season, I thought it’d be fun to pit the two most-hyped new sci-fi law enforcement shows against each other in a category-by-category showdown:
Joss Whedon’s first four TV series are about underdogs who are victimized or marginalized by a corrupt government or system, which they heroically battle against: Buffy is a tool of the Watcher’s Council, but she asserts her individuality; Angel is beat down by Wolfram & Hart and tries to take it over from within; the crew of the Serenity is pushed to the fringes of the galaxy by the tyrannical Alliance; and Echo is a slave of the Dollhouse, which literally can program her brain as they see fit.