Television: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
WEEKLY REVIEW: LONG DAYS WITH S.H.I.E.L.D.
MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. | Season 1
Iain De Caestecker,
Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
After the Battle of New York, the world has changed. It now knows not only about the Avengers, but also the powerful menaces that require those superheroes and more to face them. In response, Phil Coulson of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division assembles an elite covert team to find and deal with these threats wherever they are found. With a world rapidly becoming more bizarre and dangerous than ever before as the super villains arise, these agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are ready to take them on.
I watched about half of the first season of
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
it first aired but the show didn't my hold my interest so I eventually stopped watching.However, months later, people were insisting that the second half of the season dramatically improved but I was always skeptical of these statements. I went back and caught up to see if my suspicions were right. Also, I have that compulsive need to finish the things I've started.
Agent Phil Coulson
is the show's lead character and serves as the primary link between the show and the already established Marvel Comic Universe from the movies, Coulson is the character that's supposed to hook viewers in.I didn't really care for Coulson in the movies though? That indifference has extends onto the show. I just don't find him a particularly interesting character. Coulson makes for a good moral character and Clark Gregg constantly proves he has good comedic timing but I have a hard time truly believing Coulson is a strong enough team leader to carry the show. Throughout the season,Coulson's major arc is the uncovering of Project T.A.H.I.T.I., an experiment that has revived him from the dead. T.A.H.I.T.I. was interesting from the beginning but I quickly grew weary of the countless number of times it was mentioned. I understand Coulson's strong drive to discover the mysterious events surrounding around his death but it became dull. Also, the reveal of the project wasn't worth the suspense. It was so predictable to me. I had already called it early on.
You know who made me want to watch this show though?
! Oh, how I love Melinda.The emotionally detached warrior is not a novel character by any means but when it's done right, it's one of my favorite tropes to see these distant characters slowly become more sentimental. And
Ming-Na Wen does it perfectly with Agent May. Her face remains indifferent and stoic most of the time but occasionally, she reveals her inner emotions in the slightest of expressions and it's wonderful. May's dedication Coulson is so obvious and endearing in the way her eyes just shine when she talks about protecting her friend.
I hope there's so much more of May next season because her character has the potential for incredible depth. I want to see more of her background, especially after the brief glimpse at her mother, a fellow spy. May's only storyline outside of protecting Coulson is her relationship with Ward and that was fine but she also deserves her own solo arc.
Then there's S.H.I.E.L.D.'s pair of dorky bickering scientists. I can tell
are supposed to provide cute moments of humor throughout the show and I suppose they do but I've never been taken with them.For the most part, Fitz annoys me with his childish remarks and demeanor. Luckily, Jemma Simmons is there to balance him out with more mature attitude but I don't think I find their relationship nearly as fun as the show wants me to.Jemma has grown on me though and I've come to really like her, especially apart from Fitz. Therefore, I'm not exactly excited about the possibility of a romantic relationship between Fitz and Simmons. It's likely to contain too much fast paced talking and awkwardly amusing moments. I would much rather the show continue with the relationship between Jemma and Agent
It took me a while but I grew to really love
as well. Coulson's immediate and unexplainable attachment to her threw me her off at first but slowly, the adorably sarcastic Skye won me over. I think what really solidified my love for Skye was her reaction to Ward at the end of the season. She immediately realized saw Ward for what he really was and never tries to justify his actions despite their a strong bond. I've seen too many instances of a woman attempting to excuse the heinous actions of a man, especially when the two are love interests.And I would guess it's evident now but yeah, I'm not a fan of
. Everything about the actor and character is so wooden and boring to me. Ward's reveal at the end of the season is the only time I've found him the least bit compelling to watch. And even then, Bill Paxton deserves a lot of credit for that. Paxton delivers such an entertaining performance as Ward's narcissistic superior officer. I dread Ward's redemption arc next season. You know it's going to happen and I hate that it will because some of Ward's actions are so just inexcusable. What's worse though, is that Skye and Ward will likely restart their romantic relationship at some point.
Early on, the show received criticism for how slow the character and story development was and I completely agree. I understand that audiences need to invest time in order to invest themselves into a show's story but it took more than half a season for me to genuinely start caring about
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
. In season with 22 episodes, 12 episodes is too long to finally provide me with interesting content I actually look forward to watching.The show starts out with the usual anomaly of the week for the team to fight as well as the build up of several story lines with the Clairvoyant, Project T.A.H.I.T.I. and Skye's birth origins but after the first couple of episodes, everything grows stale. I couldn't bring myself to care anymore, hence me quitting the show mid season. I returned and I admit, the show does get significantly better. The last couple of episodes, specifically everything involving John Garett and Ward's reveal, were really compelling and interesting but like I pointed out, this is a long time to expect viewers to wait.
Nonetheless, the show does a pretty good job in the reveal of Ward's motives and the identity of the Clairvoyant. The story lines and their execution prove that the show can be throughly entertaining and exciting. I'm not sure if the last batch of episodes is quite enough to compensate the chore of getting through the earlier episodes but it was fun to watch.I would also like nothing more than for the show's main team to be pared down to these five with Tripp, May, Coulson, Skye, and Simmons. They're pretty much the only characters I really enjoy. But I'll have to learn to tolerate the return of Ward and Fitz.So yeah, I guess you really have to be in it for the long haul with
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
. Be prepared for several boring episodes before things become even a little interesting. The show does dramatically improve but I still don't consider the show great television or anything. I like it enough to watch next season because I'm interested in more of Skye's origins. I'm sure there will still be a number of tedious moments for me endure along the way though. I just hope the show has learned to maintain a more fast paced momentum in its second season.
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 1: [rating=2]
Episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.are available on the ABC site and Hulu.