Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD was the biggest network drama debut in the US in four years, an achievement undoubtedly down to the the status of 2012’s massive movie The Avengers as the third highest-grossing film of all time, which landed behind only Avatar and Titanic, both from the titan James Cameron.
The TV show is set after the movie, as Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) have to move SHIELD forward to protect the post “Battle of New York” world, in the process recruiting Skye (Chloe Bennet) as well as working closely with four other agents who all come together to protect and deal with Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) who has been witnessed using superhuman powers.
In this way, the episode blends references to The Avengers, its superheroes and its events – overall sticking with its canon very nicely – with the more human element that made Coulson so loved in the first place; he’s the man in a dark suit who can hold his own amongst this supernaturally-talented group. It’s a relief just to see Coulson on screen again after the devastating events of the film, although the way it was addressed as a not-so-subtle hint at a recurring plot point was annoyingly done.
This theme occurs throughout, as we have clichéd archetypal characters and plot points constantly shoved in our collective faces as an audience. Both Agent Ward and Skye insist that they’re not team players, but inevitably end up helping the group out big time. They’ve also already scowled at each other as they both conveyed a level of distrust, but Ward calling Skye a beautiful woman suggests the writers will go for the long game on a relationship.
Anyone expecting lots of action in this debut are likely to be disappointed, but there are still some fun moments to behold (even if the only superpowers we see are very blatantly copied from certain other Marvel names. Despite this, there is certainly potential for these characters and SHIELD’s mission, but it’s fairly unlikely that there is the required depth and consistency to capture attention for a full American length series.
Frazer says: “It sounds like every other script for an American pilot ever… Hmm……”