Reviews: Agentsof SHIELD
It's definitly worth it
Most shows follow a pattern: They start out slightly shaky, then get better and better, reach their peak during the second or third season and then start to decline step by step until they are not watchable anymore, unless someone pulls the plug in time. With this show, the start is weak. Really, really weak. And then suddenly it's like someone flipped a switch and it feels like all those annoying episodes one had to sit through actually had a point. Boring characters become suddenly interesting, the puzzle pieces fit together and you ask yourself what will the show do next. Since the show needed to long to hit its stride, fans tend to be more critical of it than they would if they had gotten hooked from the get go. But I can honestly say that it just gets better and better. So, give it a chance and try to keep an open mind.
Definitely Grew its Beard
I found the beginning of the series so-so, but "The End of the Beginning" put the first stubble on the show, and it only got better from there. The episodes were more exciting, and the characters became fully fleshed-out. I know some people have issues with a certain character's surprise villainous status, but I thought it was a great twist (especially since I hadn't originally found that character very compelling). The pacing improved, and it still managed moments of lightheartedness in the middle of the increasingly dark episodes. Yes, it still has its flaws, but I think the pros outweigh them. I've become emotionally invested in the characters now in a way I really wasn't in the earliest episodes, and I really love Triplett's inclusion to Team Coulson: he's a character I enjoyed from his introduction. The stakes started raising fast, and I don't think any of the characters went OOC to meet them. Now that the show has an air of real urgency to it, I've come to love it. I think it's kind of funny that, for a series called Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, it really hit its stride once there was no more S.H.I.E.L.D. The characters now have to act, rather than react, as they did earlier in the season. In a way, it's moved from being a procedural to a dramatic thriller, and it's much better for it.
You have met the Kingdom of Joss Whedon, King of the nerds, a kingdom filled of fantastic creatures like Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America. In a world now filled with such dangerous creatures, meet now the police force that will make sure that law & order prevail: six guys without any superpower at all. A superhero miniseries, with hardly any superheroes in it. A spy miniseries, with hardly any detective work in it. A science fiction miniseries, with hardly any interesting techs or weapons in it. "But this is an icer. Triple the stopping power and a much cooler... name". Sell it on E-Bay, dude. The team is led by Phil Coulson, a man that proved that the might of an Asgardian god is insignificant next to the Power of the Fandom. He is assisted by Melinda May, an agent with the hostility and combat prowess of Xena Warrior Princess, but not the boobs or the skirt. Skye, an orphan teenager living in a van, who inexplicably knows how to hack even SHIELD and the Centipede organization. Ward, a grown up man who falls in love with Skye, and manages to cause so much controversy over other things he does, that nobody cares to accuse him of child molestation. Fitz, Simmons' wacky sidekick, and Simmons, Fitz' wacky sidekick. And Nick Fury, who would defy even the laws of science to save his friend. Oh, get a room you two. They will team up against Raina, a woman with egg eyes and a morbid obsession on superhumans and... flowers. The Clairvoyant, the mystery villain behind everything, who had fans wondering for months wondering about his identity, and with theories that spanned all the Marvel Universe... unless you know the unwritten rules of miniseries reveals, in which case the candidates could be counted with a hand. A bunch of misfits who get instant super powers just by holding a staff. And a man with psychic powers, constrained to a chair... and who is not called Charles Xavier. Starring: The Glue. Ward in the Skye with Mayamonds. Leopold Simmons. Jenna Fitz.
On board for season 2
I admit that I overlooked Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the beginning, dismissing it as a Marvel version of Warehouse 13. But after seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and hearing how the series tightly tied into the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I went through an Archive Binge of the first season. Needless to say, I'm fully on board the train and ready for season 2. Yes, season 1 starts off a little slow, and initially comes across as just a series of "weird event of the week" shows. But there's very little actual "fluff" here, as nearly every episode lays the groundwork for the season arc, builds the characters, or both. Once I got past the halfway mark I could feel myself being pulled in, by the two-thirds mark I was hungry for more, and the season finale was as fun and amazing as the series' big-screen cousins. The show is a worthy companion to the MCU, and I definitely want to see more of Coulson and his team.
So-So Super Secret Spies
As of this writing, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has aired half of its first season. I'm a relative newcomer to the prime time drama community, but I expected a lot more out of it by the half way point. Maybe that's being unfair, but when you want something to succeed you have to hold it to a higher standard. Ao S has a good premise. Agent Coulson leads a team of his fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents as the world adapts to super beings after the Battle of New York. We're introduced to Agents Ward, Fitz, Simmons and May relatively quickly while wild card Skye is brought in as the audience surrogate, the newcomer to the shadowy para-government deal. I don't have a problem with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s logo being everywhere, if they have their hand in every pie then its stands to reason they can't be that secretive. I like it's portrayal as a higher-than-high government division. What I don't like is Skye (Which has been strongly hinted to not even be her real name. How mysterious). Before, Coulson brought a lot of dry, spot-on humor to the films. Now, everyone gets in on the lighthearted joking action, leaving Coulson's quips a lot less indicative of his character, and no character is more guilty of this than Skye. I can't shake the feeling that she's meant for all the uninitiated female viewers to project onto. That's not bad in and of itself, but the most cliche stories were drawn up for her. She's quirky, motormouthed, unrivaled with networking and computer stuff, able to get in and out of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s top secret databases and flirts shamelessly with Ward. If those two don't end up together in the most drawn out, agonizingly melodramatic way, I'll be honestly surprised. Skye aside, the show also suffers from a lot of slow episodes and redundancy. So far, Ward and May do the exact same stuff, fight really well, except May is better at it and Ward has a Tragic Childhood. Fitz and Simmons hide away in the lab and got a grand total of one defining moment each while Skye and Ward smolder at each other. And Coulson delivers his quips sandwiched between two comedic scenes. All told, I do like Coulson's team. Ten episodes might be a little unfair, and I do see the show blossoming beautifully as Skye moves out of focus, but for right now, blowing up a minor character and kidnapping a team member just don't have me gripping the edge of my seat.