On the Tuesday the 24th of September, the new Marvel TV show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, premiered on ABC. This series is set in the same universe as Marvel’s the Avengers, and all other movies in that world, starring Clark Gregg, and directed by Joss Whedon.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D features Agent Phil Coulson, an operative of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, who investigates the superpowered beings of our world. In the premiere, he is asked to assemble an elite team of agents in order to locate an as-yet unidentified superpowered being who saves a woman from a burning building.
During their operation, they find hacker/blogger Skye, who has hacked into S.H.I.E.L.D on more than one occasion. Accepting her as a temporary, but necessary addition to the team, she assists them in finding Mike Peterson, an average man who is caught up in the superhero community when he volunteers for an experiment that alters his DNA to give him super strength.
The show contains a large number of references to the other movies in the franchise, but for the most part, it is simply a television show, free to move in its own direction from here on in. We have yet to see whether the fact that it exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is merely a publicity gainer, or something that comes into play later on in the show. Although we’ve already seen an hour packed full of reminders that this is related that to the Avengers, none of them are plot-changing events – mostly small throwaway lines. Is this simply to gain more viewers, or is it something more?
There is another issue – Joss Whedon’s cancellation curse. Anyone who has ever watched Firefly or Dollhouse knows that Joss Whedon has a strange aptitude for making great shows that are cancelled after ten or twenty episodes. Has he outgrown this odd phase? Or will we see a quick cancellation of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D?
The main issues that viewers have with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is the characters. The hour-long episode seemed to concentrate on the characters that we found irritating, and not on the ones we wanted to see more of. For example, one of the main focuses seemed to be Skye, the annoying hacker. Agent Coulson is popular. Show us more of him. Melinda May seemed interesting. Show us more of her instead of Fitz and Simmons, the “unstoppable” duo that nobody is interested in.