Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. is a government agency tasked with keeping the peace and protecting the United States, and that's exactly what Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team have done for the past four seasons on ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." So why not throw them into outer space for Season 5?
Because it's bizarre and doesn't really make a lot of logistic sense, you say? It's too late. No one's listening to you. It's happening. And it's happening right now.
Kicking off tonight with a two-hour season premiere entitled "Orientation," it's a whole new status quo for the Marvel series that's seen quite a few shifts in its status quo since its premiere in 2013. None quite so drastic as this one, though.
But as bizarre as "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." in space is, it's not the weirdest or the worst thing to be done on a television show over the years. From interns to lottery winnings to random superpowers, television writers have taken their shows off the rails before, with some of them never recovering.
While we wait to see if "S.H.I.E.L.D." can survive its outer space adventures, let's look back at some of the other strange journeys our favorite shows have taken us on.
"Roseanne" Wins the Lottery
What was that? After eight amazing seasons showing what life was really like for working middle-class Americans, Roseanne Barr decided she would rather be an American knockoff of "Absolutely Fabulous" -- she even met that show's stars during this season -- and had the Connor family win over $100 million. Immediately, everything about "Roseanne" that was charming and enjoyable was gone, replaced with lavish shopping sprees and ridiculous guest stars.
Barr backed out of it in the final episode by going dark and revealing that the entire lottery plotline had been a story that Roseanne was writing to deal with the grief of losing her husband. With John Goodman signed on for the revival, though, it looks like another rewrite may be on the way. Just so long as there isn't a lottery ticket in sight.
We can at least partially blame the network for this one as creator Bill Lawrence wanted to create a spinoff of "Scrubs" after its intended eighth season and series finale. The network balked at that and instead convinced him to just revamp the show completely and make his spinoff a ninth season.
The action shifted to a medical school location with a drastically changed cast, featuring occasional guest appearances by the "Scrubs" regulars. But it had lost all of the heart and camaraderie of the original eight years, as well as most of its good will and audience. The ninth and disastrous season would be its last.
"Felicity" was a very popular show about a very ordinary girl graduating high school and heading off to college to try and figure her life out. Keri Russell perfectly played the role and made everyone love her, until she cut her hair ... but even that wasn't the show's biggest offense.
Introducing Felicity's college roommate as Wiccan is fine. Sure. Explore alternate religions and lifestyles. No biggie. But then, after Felicity lamented about some of the decisions she's made, her roommate sends her back in time ... like for real. And yet, Felicity still manages to screw things up with the boy and wraps the series working on another spell. When did this become "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch"?
Let's face it, "Baywatch" was about watching beautiful people in slow motion running up and down the beach with the sun glistening off of their tanned and toned bodies. Sure, they had other stuff going on like romances and saving lives and whatever, but it was about the bods ... and the sun.
What it wasn't about was David Hasselhoff investigating and battling supernatural crime at night... until it was. Spinning out of "Baywatch," this sequel series was nothing that the original was, instead riding the coattails of "The X-Files" with Hasselhoff trying to be Mulder-lite. It was still on the beach, but always gloomy and at night. Just a total disaster.
We kind of knew this problem was on the horizon from the beginning. When you name a show "Prison Break" and proceed to present this beautifully elaborate prison break scheme and watch as two brothers try to execute it from inside the prison, there's this little voice in the back of your head wondering what the second act could possibly be?
The show was a bona fide smash, and so we got to find out. The second act was a manhunt, with the escaped prisoners split up and on the run. All of the prison politics and claustrophobia and relationships of that stellar first season were gone, and we were left with a show that was running away from what made it great ... literally.