May 14, 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1

            With its Cinematic Universe (MCU for short), Marvel has taken many risks over the past few years and most of them have worked out wonderfully.  Luckily for viewers that has encouraged Marvel to take even more risks.  One of those risks was Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. where the company took the MCU to the small screen.  While Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has felt clunky throughout its first season, there are still enough seeds being left around for something special to be grown out of it if all of the pieces ever come together.

            The first season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. followed Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg reprising his role from the film series) as he assembles his own group of agents to carry out special projects while trying to find out what actually did happen to him in the aftermath of his fatal injury during the events of The Avengers.  Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen served as showrunners.

            Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started interestingly enough with an entertaining if unoriginal storyline that featured noticeably pricy production values.  The big problem this series was always going to have was how it was going to incorporate the larger mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe without causing the series to drag.  Unfortunately, Whedon, Tancharoen and company struggled mightily with this, and the series had a notable downtick in quality when the Marvel Cinematic Universe really came into the forefront beginning with the Thor: The Dark World follow-up “The Well”. 

            As the season went on it became more and more apparent that this entire show was a work in progress that didn’t reach any sort of stability until “Turn, Turn, Turn”, which functioned as a follow-up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  For once, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. looked like it had a solid direction to go in and the series (with some exciting twists) gained confidence to make it finally stand out from the rest of television.

            The current form of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is something that I am very much interested in, but it still has a lot of room for improvement, especially on the acting and character front.  Skye (the team’s hacker), Fitz & Simmons (the team’s scientists) are the only interesting characters and even they can fall into boring subplots at times while it seems like Ming-Na Wen (as the mysterious Agent May) is the only one doing anything close to memorable on the acting front.  Most of the time Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is stuck relying on its stable of guest stars which included solid work from Bill Paxton, J. August Richards, Jaimie Alexander and Samuel L. Jackson.

            Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a long way to go but I will still be there with it (at least for season two).


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