The new ABC show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is now underway with three episodes under its belt and having already delivered great action, fun characters, and of course witty dialogue as all good Joss Whedon projects ought to.
My thoughts by category…
I thought the pilot story and the second episode story were just OK. I liked the story of the third episode better, but it still felt rushed and underdeveloped. What I am hoping to see more of with this show is more over-arcing themes, which would be totally easy to do with the tie-ins to all the various Avengers movies and characters. They have this whole big universe to explore, some which some people are already familiar with, and it would be great to utilize more of that. I’m not saying that Tony Stark or Thor need to make a cameo in an episode (not that I would complain if they did), but using themes from their stories for the show. They do reference things a lot, but I want to see it applied to more big concepts, not just little details. The end of this last episode hinted at something that might come back, and I hope it does! It’s hard to tell what is a set-up this early on, but I hope to see recurring themes. Next week’s episode looks intriguing to me, so I’m hoping to like its story more.
One thing this series has definitely done right so far is the action. I never even realized I would like such an action-oriented TV show, but I do in this case! The fight scenes are interesting to me and I love the mix of ingenuity and kick-buttery involved in these sequences.
The dialogue is definitely the best part. Agent Coulson delivers great one-liners, and the other characters have their fair share of good lines as well.
“Listen, you cannot walk away from this. With great power comes … a ton of weird crap that you are not prepared to deal with.” – Skye
“Saying his name repeatedly does not increase productivity!” – Simmons
Grant Ward: There are two ways we can do this.
Skye: Oh, is one of them the easy way?
Grant Ward: No.
And that is just a very small sampling. Not to mention how much more fun it is in context. Anyone who has seen Firefly, Serenity, or Dr. Horrible can attest that Whedon is a master of wit.
I’m not loving the characters yet… which makes me a little sad because this is generally another strong suite of Whedon’s (again, Firefly attests to this). I don’t dislike them either though, and I think over time I will like them more. Ward is interesting in a mysterious sort of way… he has this tough exterior but you know there’s more deep down. Same with May, though I find her less appealing… but that could be because there is more emphasis placed on Ward’s character, as he and Skye seem to be set up as the forefront of the show (other than Coulson). And he’s also attractive, I’ll admit that. Skye definitely already has a lot of complexity, but I have a hard time entirely liking someone when I still don’t really trust them. Well, unless they’re Garek from Deep Space Nine, but it took a while for me to warm up to him too.
I really want to know more about Fitz and Simmons. Right now, they’re a couple of British kids spouting off all their science babble, and it’s fun. I like them and I like how they play off each other. But I want to know more about them, because I know there’s more to them than their passion for science. And I want to know more about their past. It sounds like they went through school together, which explains the neat (but totally platonic) dynamic they have.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is definitely fun so far, but I hope it won’t shy away from more serious episodes or moments as appropriate.
It’s hard to say much after three episodes, but I will say that I do think the show has already gotten better with each episode, so I hope the show will continue to grow and become more and more interesting and fun. If you haven’t checked it out yet but have some interest in the Marvel superhero world and what’s going on “behind the scenes,” I’d recommend it!
Also, if you’re interested, check out my guest post on Kelley’s blog from Tuesday, where I discussed elements from Star Trek Voyager I would like to see adapted to a book!