ABC’s highly-anticipated “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” debuted last night to a
huge 11.9 million viewers.
Like many Marvel fans, we tuned in to see the mysterious return of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his crew suit up to take down ordinary villains.
So how was it?
Honestly, it was pretty “meh.”
We didn’t love it, nor did we hate it, but for a show that was highly regarded as must-see TV of the fall, it didn’t deliver a pilot that will be talked about long after next Sunday’s “Breaking Bad” finale.
With plenty of references to the films and corny humour, here are our gripes with the season premiere.
Totally thought this was going in a different direction.
If you weren’t familiar that the show was going to follow the Extremis storyline from “Iron Man 3,” then it feels like “SHIELD” is going to take a different route.
In the beginning, we’re introduced to Michael and his son Ace.
Michael appears to be a normal guy, but it’s soon introduced to us that he has superhero capabilities. Cool! So, we’ll be following the lives of other people with super powers who aren’t the Avengers?
Not so fast.
Michael turns out to be injected with a highly dangerous Extremis serum. Much like the innocent people who were being tested on in “Iron Man 3” under Aldrich Killian’s (Guy Pearce) watch, the serum will make him explode if agitated.
That said …
Major plot-hole: Can’t SHIELD just consult Tony Stark on Extremis — er “project Centipede”?
Presuming the pilot of the series takes place after “Iron Man 3,” the all-knowing SHIELD team had to hear about random people blowing up all over the place, right?
Then they would know that Killian the mastermind behind the serum which most likely led to “project Centipede” (not as cool sounding as Extremis).
But where would the fun in that be, right?
If this has you hoping for a future Robert Downey Jr. cameo, don’t get your hopes up. It’s pretty unlikely considering his salary for a Marvel film.
Cobie Smulders shows up for a small cameo and then just disappears.
Smulders reprises her role of SHIELD agent Maria Hill oh so briefly in the beginning of the episode to consult a fellow member. Though she pops up once more in the episode, she’s gone for the rest of the action.
We know Smulders is still under contract with the final season of “How I Met Your Mother” currently airing on CBS, but it didn’t seem believable for the actress to disappear when the team would have needed her most later in the episode.
Guess we’re left to presume she was just “working on other missions.”
Hopefully, we’ll see more of her as the series continues.
The “humour” is painful.
Here are a few examples of actual dialogue from the premiere.
Phil Coulson reveals he’s alive by stepping out of a dark corner and blames it on bad lighting.
“Sorry, that corner was really dark and I couldn’t help myself … I think there’s a bulb out.”
A Spider-Man reference … “With great power comes …”
They went there.
After confronting Michael about his powers, Skye (Chloe Bennet) starts to utter the iconic Spidey phrase but instead of finishing the line with “comes great responsibility,” — which would have been even more corny — we get this: ” … a ton of weird crap that you are not prepared to deal with.”
… And a “Snow White” nod.
One of the agents begins an NCIS-like crime-scene investigation with the words “High ho … off to work you go.”
We know the show was made to appeal to a family audience, but there are ways to do that without lame attempts at humour.
The Over-Abundance of Marvel References
Talk about beating a dead horse.
While Marvel fanboys may have crooned or lit up every time Tony Stark, the Hulk, and a clever sneak-in of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson’s character) was casually referenced, the mentions begin to feel forced after the first 20 minutes.
It’s as if they had to be dropped in every few minutes just to remind us of the show’s obvious connection to the highest-grossing movie of last year.
We get it. You’re a Marvel show.
Use the references wisely like when Coulson makes a mention about one of the show’s characters looking and sounding like someone dressed in cosplay outside of Stark Towers.
At the episode’s opening, Michael’s son Ace is looking at a series of Avengers toys. When asked if he wants one of the superhero toys, he’s disinterested, showing he’s not impressed with a want-to-be replica.
Neither are we.
Are we watching “Back to the Future”???
At the end of the episode, Agent Coulson’s car randomly transforms into a flying vehicle and he zooms off.
While kid’s probably loved this, we were waiting for Coulson to channel Doc Brown with a “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”
WHAT WAS INTERESTING:
In one of her short appearances, Hill (Smulders) hints there’s more to Coulson’s brush with death then we or even he know. Coulson believes he was in “Tahiti” healing. If he wasn’t there, where was he really? Is this Coulson even really Coulson? Could he be a clone? We’ll stop getting ahead of ourselves.
Keeping it family friendly.
It’s been been far too long since there’s been a good series that the entire family can gather around to watch together. ABC used to be good at this with TGIF Fridays and Wonderful World of Disney Sundays.
Consensus: Give it a view. Just don’t go in with really high expectations.
The show has a lot of potential with where the series can go with the Extremis storyline. Clark Gregg reprising his popular role of Agent Coulson is the obvious scene stealer. If done right, Joss Whedon can smoothly set up a transition from the television show to the upcoming movie releases.
At this point, it feels like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” can go either way from here from the trailer previewing the rest of the season.
Watch the series trailer:
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