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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: Pilot
Welcome to Level 7. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bursts onto the scene with the usual snarky Joss Whedon dialogue and tons of superhero references. I really didn’t know what to expect with this series. Would it deal exclusively with people that have superpowers or would they tackle anything such as aliens?
The show opens with Michael Peterson, a regular guy who ends up having superpowers, saving a woman from a burning building. This is where the S.H.I.E.L.D. comes in.
We are now introduced to Agent Grant Ward, played by Brett Dalton, getting promoted to Level 7 of S.H.I.E.L.D. after his recent successful mission. After getting the promotion, he meets a very alive Agent Phil Coulson, again played by Clark Gregg, from the Marvel films. He says that he faked his death as a motivation tactic for the Avengers but it is hinted that is not all of the story and Coulson doesn’t know it yet. Each character gets a small intro and what their main function to the team is. Their common goal is to detain superheroes and to help them before they become public knowledge.
The very first thing I noticed about the show was the dialogue. It is very Whedon-esque. With small jokes peppered throughout the script. I enjoy his writing style but it does worry me because he won’t be writing every script so I’m wondering if they will continue to keep this type of energy.
The second thing you’ll notice are the various Marvel references. Things like the hover cat from Captain America are nice callbacks to the previous films. They do refer to each of the Avengers by name but I doubt that we will be seeing them anytime soon. I do like the idea though of Marvel expanding their universe and who knows, maybe Tony Stark will make a cameo.
The main plotline, which looks like will be the big connecting story for this show, is the Extremis storyline from Iron Man 3. Now, I didn’t have a problem with Iron Man 3 like some people I talked to but I felt this was an opportunity to have an original storyline instead of rehashing old plot devices. I feel like they are cashing in Avengers and Iron Man since both films grossed over a billion dollars.
This is the biggest problem for me is that it seems like you would be totally out of the loop if you knew nothing about superheroes or didn’t see the Avengers films. Granted, this show is made for the superhero fan but with the constant references to past films, I don’t see this attracting the casual viewer.
I have to say that so far Clark Gregg is carrying this show. I felt the rest of the cast was pretty bland and they had no real personality. It’s to be expected though because these characters are still new to us and I’m sure we will get storylines to build them up.
After watching the episode, I was a little underwhelmed. I like it but I guess I was expecting more. In the end it felt like it’s going to turn into “the gang vs a new monster”. It looks like that they want to give you film quality entertainment but they are limited to the TV structure. The sets are smaller and the special effects aren’t as good. I understand the limitations but they shouldn’t make promises like this if they can’t deliver on it. But it’s unfair to judge the series after the pilot. Shows need more time to find their fitting and I think Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing just that right now. It doesn’t know what kind of show it wants to be and hopefully it will find it’s footing. I’m going to stick around.