This was probably one of this most hyped shows coming into the fall TV season. I mean, a Joss Whedon show about the agents who track down and interact with super heroes? How could that not be great? Unfortunately I have to say that I don’t think this show has quite lived up to expectation so far. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to watch.
The show follows Agent Phil Coulson, who has gotten better since his death in The Avengers, and now leads a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents on various “flavor of the week” assignments. Of course some of these have started tying into more long-term, series-arch type villains. One of those is an organization known as Centipede that is trying to research the different uses of the alien technology that was left behind after Loki’s attack on New York City. The series follows the events of The Avengers, and it will also tie into other Marvel movies as well. Apparently Thor: The Dark World is going to be even more of a must-see, as the show will feature episodes that take place in the aftermath of that movie too.
The show is fun and action filled and does feature some nice dialogue exchanges, as we might expect from a Whedon show. That being said, I think it falls a little short in some areas.
Joss Whedon is credited as a producer for the show, and I believe that he is involved in some of the writing process. However, I’m not entirely sure just how involved he is, and/or if he isn’t distracted by the work he has to do on the Avengers movies. I say this because one of the most lacking areas of the show is the group dynamic. After making a name for himself with amazing ensemble cast shows in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has failed to assemble a group that is anywhere near as compelling. All of the characters are certainly likeable, and so is the cast, but the show is really the Chloe Bennet show at the end of the day.
Bennet plays “Skye” a member of the hack-tivist group “The Rising Tide” who has managed to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. and has been hired onto Coulson’s team as the resident computer expert and hacker. So far the show has really been about her journey and her growth as a character, while other members of the team take a backseat. Agent Grant Ward, played by Brett Dalton, is probably the next most interesting character on the team, but that is largely because of his developing relationship with Skye as her training officer. Coulson as the leader also makes some interesting decisions and has a bit larger of a role, but everyone else basically performs whatever their role is for the team.
While Skye’s journey is fun and compelling, I hope that as the series progresses there will be more time and development given to the other characters so that they can shine as well. Some shows can easily sustain themselves on the back of a single lead, but I don’t think this is really one of those shows. But, it’s been fun so far, and as a Whedon fan I do feel compelled to give the show a pretty long leash.
Anyway, after a week’s hiatus, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be airing again tonight. I also recommend trying to catch the second Thor movie to stay up on what is going on in the show. I plan to at any rate.