The periods are a giveaway. The more I watch ABC's lighter-than-helium super-spy romp Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which was just picked up to no one's surprise for a full season, the more I feel thrust back to a different time, a simpler and brighter time when organizations like U.N.C.L.E. (as in, The Man From ...) held sway on TV, fighting its evil counterpart T.H.R.U.S.H. — or given the hokey jokiness of S.H.I.E.L.D., maybe a better parallel is Get Smart and KAOS (which I'm not sure used periods, though maybe should have). I'm not what you'd call a comics maven, so I can't help it that I giggled every time the word "Gravitonium" was uttered in last week's episode. Things get a tad more serious this week (Tuesday, 8/7c) when the team comes across a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who's apparently gone rogue — but as the episode's title ("Eye Spy") suggests, you can't always believe your (or someone else's) eyes.
They're all the rage these days — on film, on TV, even on Broadway — but there was a time when America had no superheroes. So, just like with jazz and blue jeans, we had to invent them. The three-hour PBS documentary Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle (Tuesday, Oct. 15) will track their evolution from the birth of Superman in the Great Depression to the powerhouse dominance of Spider-Man and...