This will be the first episode I will be looking forward to seeing since the premiere! Tonight is a big event for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The mystery behind what happened to Phil Coulson will hopefully be revealed and I’ m hoping the show will get better once it is revealed.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of the highest profile shows to premiere this season. The premise was to take the character of Agent Coulson, first seen in the original Iron Man movie 5 years ago and subsequently featured in Thor, Iron Man 2 and the Avengers and give him his a starring role in his own show that would get more into the inner workings of S.H.I.E.L.D. than the movies do. In the movies actor Clark Gregg made Coulson a favorite character of mine and connected the Marvel films in an intelligent and witty style.
Joss Whedon, whose television credits include Buffy and Firefly headlines the show, is the co-creator and has directed one episode. He also directed the hugely successful Avengers movie. So far this season the verdict on the show is still out, not a failure but not a roaring success either. The ratings started out spectacularly strong but then proceeded to fall but have pretty much leveled off to a decent if not great range. The good and the bad:
1. Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson
Gregg is a great actor and I have been a fan of his work since the movie ‘Spartan’ written by David Mamet. When I saw him in the original Iron Man, I loved the deadpan wit mixed with 007 agent skills the character possessed even though his screen time was very brief. He was given more to do in ‘Thor’ and ‘Iron Man 2’ but ‘Avengers’ really developed his personality to a new level. On AOS his character has become fully realized and Gregg has been given the opportunity to show sides of Coulson’s personality that we never saw in the movies. I hope that the show is successful for his character alone as he deserves more stories and adventures.
2. Chloe Bennet as Skye
The non-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that has joined the group. She begins the series as a hacker and truth seeker and is the fish out of water of the group. Spunky, witty and with a more lighthearted personality than the rest of the group, one of the best episodes so far was the one where she had some training and had to go on a mission. It was exciting and there was real suspense with her not quite prepared character out in the field. She is a fully realized 3 dimensional character on the show.
3. The connection to the Marvel movie universe. The show talks about the ‘Battle of New York’ referring to the battle at the end of the ‘Avengers’, had a cameo by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in the second episode and cleaned up after ‘Thor : Dark World’. It would be nice to have a TV show that can bridge some of the story lines from the movies but if it lacks relevance, just talking about the movies is going to get old quick.
1. The whole NCIS/CSI style
It seems like someone at ABC must have told the producers of AOS that if a Comic Book and Superhero related show is to succeed in prime time that it must try to mimic the most successful procedural dramas on CBS. At least that is what it seems like. The show feels and looks a lot like those shows and the problem is that it doesn’t feel like the Marvel movies do or what a show about SHIELD should. AOS will not work if it is not allowed to be its own show.
2. Lack of ongoing story lines
Every week a new danger is introduced and we didn’t even understand what the undeveloped one from last week even meant. Only in a couple recent episodes has the show even slowed down to give some background on characters. It’s like the show began going 100 mph and doesn’t want to slow down. If it doesn’t take it’s time to do the right things, it will suffer the same fate as ‘Heroes’. The only ongoing storyline at all is reaching a climax tonight where we will find out about what really happened to Coulson when he was rehabilitated, or was he, from what happened to him in ‘The Avengers’.
3. Redundant characters
Besides Agent Coulson and Skye, we are left with Grant and Melinda, basically a male and female 007 and Leo and Gemma, basically a male and female Q. My question is : why do we need both sexes of a character that serves exactly the same purpose? On the CW’s ‘Arrow’ we get one Q character, Felicity and she does a better job than Leo and Gemma combined. Why do we need 2 sets of duplicate characters? I’d rather see 4 unique ones.
Hopefully the second half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season one will turn the corner tonight on it’s way to becoming a better show. Only time will tell.
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