MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1 Review
The Comic Book Industry has a typical practice of creating limited mini series books that compliment or show other characters’ perspectives of story lines that are going on in the regular weekly books. With Marvel now creating a shared universe of movies, where different heroes, and villains all exist together, creating multi movie conflicts and action… it was only a matter of time that the concept of ‘tie in’ stories, would make their way over to the small screen as well. Here is my Season 1 Review of such a tie-in TV Show, MARVEL’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
After the Marvel Cinematic Universe took the world by storm, having multiples heroes existing in the one world together, shown over a series of individual films culminating in a team up movie with THE AVENGERS, a TV show was created featuring some existing supporting characters, as well as some new characters to continue dealing with similar stories in the same universe, but on a smaller scale every week. Starring Agent Coulson From the IRON MAN and other movies, the show looked to tie in existing villains, fiendish plots and larger story arcs or fallouts from the films, and feature them on a weekly basis on the small screen. It’s an innovative concept that started off with a bang with Episode 1, directed by the man Joss Whedon himself, who also created the show along with Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen. However, immediately from Episode 2, as soon as Joss Whedon’s involvement became less prevalent, the show started getting dull.
The main characters of Skye, played by Chloe Bennett, essentially was the audience’s eyes into this new team of rag-tag SHIELD Agents trying to save the world. Recruited for her hacking skills after she inadvertently involves herself in one of their missions, Skye’s plot thread runs through the season as her origins remain a mystery and are tied into the greater threat that S.H.I.E.L.D. faces this season. Joining her is fan favorite Ming-Na Wen from STARGATE: UNIVERSE fame, as well as newcomers Brett Dalton with his wooden and monotone acting talent. The show also features the most intriguing and glaring plot point that picks up directly after the events of THE AVENGERS: the death and return of Agent Phil Coulson. The entire season has this mysterious arc involving Coulson, the reveal of which is shocking to say the least.
After a slow start, things picked up after the release of THOR 2: THE DARK WORLD, the events of which were directly dealt with in the show. AoS built a pretty interesting Season 1 arc, but things picked up the most when even more blatant connections were made to the feature films, with the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (My Review here) directly affecting and tying into the show, changing the status quo of all the characters, a crazy plot twist and an upheaval of everything that was established from the launch of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe with IRON MAN.
In terms of the performances, as is expected of a new TV Cast, they need time to grow on you. Most of the characters are templates of similar characters used from other Joss Whedon shows. Chloe Bennett’s cute and perky computer hacker Skye is reminiscent of FIREFLY’s Kaylee. The genius duo of Iain De Caesteker & Elizabeth Henstridge’s Fitz / Simmons are essentially counterparts of DOLLHOUSE’s Topher. It’s only through the grace of Ming-Na Wen’s badassery and Clark Gregg’s deadpan delivery that the show is able to maintain any investment into the characters. Thankfully, this intensifies as the Season progresses.
This first season crawled over the finish line, simply to the novelty of being a TV show that existed in the same Universe as Iron Man & Thor. However, with the solid ending in Season 1 and the complete overhaul of the format based on events of the last season, hopefully Season 2 will provide more original content and drama, without being based on or relying on the connections with the other properties.
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