After Two Episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D….

SHIELD

The idea behind Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a spectacular one. A television series directly tied into the established Marvel movie universe is ripe with potential. It opens up this amazing superhero world for all sorts of storylines and characters that may not have the strength to carry an entire feature length film. Yet they could add a fun and entertaining depth and dynamic if the show utilized that potential.

The first episode was a good one for the most part. It gave us a basic introduction to the characters and planted itself nicely into Marvel’s movie world. It also established its tone which felt strikingly similar to the successful movies. But while I did think the first show was a nice setup that left me interested in where things will go, it wasn’t an episode that blew me away. Still, it ended in a manner that left me anxious for the next show.

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Last night brought us the second episode. It attempted to draw a better picture of what type of series this will be as well as open up the main characters more. In what looks like an X-Files styled format, the team headed out on their first full mission together. I gotta say I was pretty interested to see the show take off. Unfortunately I don’t think it ever did. In fact I would call this episode a big disappointment and it gave me real reason to be concerned about the series as a whole.

First off the story just wasn’t that interesting or satisfying. The buildup from the previous show never bore fruit and the story had little energy or life. It did try to incorporate a few connections to the movie universe, but for me they weren’t enough to keep me engaged. There were also moments that were just silly and impossible to believe. For example, an inflatable raft stopping up the huge hole in the side of a midair jet. I guess you could say that S.H.I.E.L.D. rafts are stronger, but come on. I can’t help but be optimistic and believe that there is better material on the way. But as a whole, this show was a step back and if the rest of the episodes follow this lead, I don’t see myself sticking with it very long.

Another problem I had is with the production value. Now don’t get me wrong, I never expected this to have the same look and polish of a big-budget Hollywood motion picture. But this thing looked pretty cheap. There were a few money shots and there were instances where you can tell money was spent. But there were other moments that simply looked fake and very low budget. That was pretty disappointing.

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But perhaps my biggest gripe is with the cast and characters. It saddens me to say but so far none of them have kept my interest. Every one of them are lifeless, cardboard cutouts that either fit a familiar stereotype or just spark no interest at all. And the characters aren’t helped by the combination of shoddy acting and weak dialogue. Even Agent Coulson, who I really do love, was way off in this second show. For me this could be the death blow to the series. If you can’t create an interesting and entertaining cast of characters, especially in a show like this, you’re in deep trouble. After the second episode I can’t say I really care about any of them yet.

In a nutshell I can say I’m pretty worried about where the series is heading. I was that disenchanted with episode #2. But I haven’t lost hope. A fun appearance at the end and a cool reference to Thor’s hammer where the highlights for me. They are enough to give me hope that the show can get back on track. Yet suddenly I’m not so sure anymore and as I reflect on this week’s show I can see cracks that may turn out to be irreparable.

So have you watched it? What were your thoughts on episode #2? Please take time to tell everyone what you think.

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28 thoughts on “After Two Episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D….

  1. One of the moments where we are creepily in agreement.
    http://www.blankpagebeatdown.com/tv-review-agents-s-h-e-l-d-s01e02-0-8-4/

    The biggest gaping hole for me (beyond the raft plug) was how blatantly obvious Whedon’s absence was in this episode. The 1st episode had a lot more action, dialogue, intrigue and layers to it… whereas the 2nd was just… eh. If Whedon’s first hand involvement is needed for this show to be successful, then, given his schedule… I smell trouble.

    You are right. The characters ARE all stereotypes and, if you notice carefully, descendants of character archetypes from When’s previous shows. The nerdy scientists, the cute but overbearing young girl, the hard ass soldier, the mysterious ass kicking girl… etc.

    This felt like a filler episode before a mid-season finale. I’m hoping things go up from here.

    • Thanks man. Glad to see we agree on this one. I’ll be heading over to check out your thoughts in just a couple minutes. Anxious to hear what else you have to say.

  2. I haven’t seen the 2nd episode yet, planning to see it tonight. It’s always tough to see a show at 7pm as my hubby n I hit the gym after work. In any case, I actually just discussed it w/ him how long we’d be interested in seeing this. The last show w/ similar theme that we watched was HEROES but we only managed to go up to 2nd season and then we lost interest! I have a feeling after ‘Almost Human’ is out, I might end up dropping this one, Keith.

    • It takes something REALLY great to get me to commit to a television series. I am so movie oriented that TV shows rarely interest me. This one started with promise but this second episode has me really wondering.

      • Well I finally saw it last night. It’s not bad, but not great either. I like the teamwork aspect but they still need to step it up more. Just having those Avengers cameo isn’t gonna cut it, even if it’s fun to watch.

      • I’m just growing more and more indifferent with the characters. Granted it’s only been two episodes but I’m already starting to wonder if I’m going to care about them at all. To me they feel wooden and most fit either stereotypes or imitate characters we’ve seen many times before. Like you said, they’re going to have to do more than just tossing in a cameo or two.

  3. Oh, I know what you mean about the characters – I’m dubious to start watching now that you’ve pointed them out. Here’s to hoping the series is going to pick itself up! It really had potential. Hmm. I guess I’m going to wait a few more episodes – hoping to hear more of what you think of it as it progresses!

  4. I want to like this show. I want to like this show. Maybe if I keep saying it, it will make the show better. The dialogue was just horrendous in that episode. And I also just shook my head with the raft scene. So weak.

  5. In total agreement, Keith. Watched the 2nd episode last night (we’re three days behind the US in the UK for when it airs), and it was a major disappointment. The bit with the raft was indeed totally stupid.

    If you’re after a good superhero series, I recommend Arrow. DC have crafted a really good first season for a character — Green Arrow — that is probably not as familiar as Batman and Superman. You may have already seen it, but thought I would recommend it anyway, just in case!

    • Oh I’m a big comic book guy. I have about seven long boxes full of books dating back from the 60s on up. Definitely familiar with Green Arrow and I’ve heard some great things about that show. Sounds like a much better place to invest my time.

  6. This series has a lot of problems. Mainly its characters, hate the two scientists and care very little for the others. Coulson is fun but he’;s best when playing off other well created characters. Like at the end with Fury, which is the best part of the series so far 😦

    I watch new series for the first 3 episodes and i’ll decide to keep watching after next weeks so it better be a marked improvement because I am not impressed.

    • Great point about Coulson. He’s excellent playing off of other bigger characters. Here is seems to small to carry the show. And I really thought he was weak trying to be tough during the action sequences. I’m just not that optimistic.

  7. Completely agree. I have had the same thoughts watching this series. I figured it was a can’t miss, what with the world’s (especially the USA’s) current love for super heroes.

    But so far, it’s missing. Badly. I’ll be jumping ship soon if it doesn’t find some way to make these characters interesting. Television’s prime advantage over film is that TV has far more time and space to develop characters, but this show is forgetting the strength of its medium, which leaves it feeling empty.

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