Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22. All times are Eastern.
TV’s best name-meshed portmanteau takes center stage on S.H.I.E.L.D., a Richard Gere-starring BBC series with an even more unruly name-hybrid makes its U.S. debut, and Elizabeth Henstridge owns up to her favorite TV romance. Read on for more.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, Friday, 8 p.m.): What, do you imagine, does a Venn diagram linking people who watch Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. with people who unrepentantly love Fitz and Simmons look like? Is it just a big circle? Maybe just a big dark spot with a tiny little sliver on one side? And what are the odds that people in such a sliver aren’t into time-travel, mind-melty stories like this one, which sees Fitz and Simmons pulled into their own pasts, and forced to confront their demons?
The point, such as it is: Tonight’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems like a crowd-pleaser. Liz Shannon Miller, whose FitzSimmons love runs deep, stands ready to recap.
We asked Elizabeth Henstridge, the Simmons half of FitzSimmons, about tonight’s reunion episode, the latest in a season that seems intent on taking some big, entertaining swings.
The A.V. Club: Tonight’s episode looks a little bit bonkers. What was the biggest challenge in bringing it to life?
Elizabeth Henstridge: I think it was the fact that it was so bonkers! It was a lot of work, putting together what’s just happened, where you are, what’s going on. We had to work out the rules of the episode a little bit... It was about finding the balance of being Simmons in the present, and Simmons looking at herself in memory. And the director, Jesse Bochco, was so great. It’s always wonderful to know you’re in good hands.
AVC: What, in your expert opinion, is it about FitzSimmons that so connects with people?
EH: It’s all an exploration of what it is to be human, really. The good bits, the bad bits. When you find that person that’s your person, you see all the good bits and the bad bits, and love them completely anyway. Fitzsimmons, they’ve seen the worst and still choose each other.
AVC: How would you characterize that relationship?
EH: It feels real, to me. The challenges that come with relationships, they have those. They don’t always get on, but they will always love each other. All couples have tests, it’s just their tests happen to be aliens and creatures and robots, but they’re still just these domestic squabbles. Everyone can relate to loving someone and hating them in the same moment—husbands, wives, partners, siblings, parents, friends. It’s kind of universal in that way.
AVC: Season six has been pretty adventurous. What has it been like to film?
EH: I think it’s been my favorite. It’s like the writers have been saying, “I’ve always wanted to do this, so let’s just see if we can! And the writers, they’re so talented, they can pull it off. It’s a brave thing to do when we’ve done so many episodes in a very certain way. They make the show that’s familiar to people, but they’re also constantly reinventing, which we do more than ever in this season.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, Friday, 8 p.m.)
MotherFatherSon (Starz, Friday, 10 p.m., U.S. series premiere): That’s the mouthful of a name assigned to Richard Gere’s first TV series (give or take a Simpsons and Kojak appearance), a BBC production bowing in the U.S. for the first time tonight. It looks like an enjoyably twisty melodrama, also stars the great Helen McCrory, and again, has a super intense name.
Meanwhile, if FitzSimmonsFest puts you in the mood for another great TV romance, Elizabeth Henstridge has a series she recommends revisiting.
AVC: Do you have a favorite will-they, won’t-they, or a favorite TV couple in general?
EH: Oh, I think it has to be Ross and Rachel from Friends. How can it not be? We followed them for so many seasons, and then they finally got together, and then they weren’t together... That’s what I grew up with. We’d always talk about them at school. So, taking it back with that choice.
AVC: Oh, Friends is still pretty ubiquitous.
EH: Yeah, Friends is forever.