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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 01)

Josh Reviews Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1

It picked up a little bit in the final third, with the episodes set after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but nevertheless it’s hard to characterize the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as anything other than a colossal  disappointment.

When the show was first announced, I thought it was a brilliant idea.  Any type of TV show based on characters from Marvel Comics would pique my interest, but the notion of setting the show in the same continuity as the Marvel Studios films, and to actually have the show weave around the events of future films as they were released?  How cool was that idea!  It was such a clever combination of never-been-done-before gall and so-obvious-it-hurts common sense.  I wasn’t initially wild about the idea of resurrecting Agent Coulson (so memorably killed off in The Avengers), but I loved Clark Gregg’s performance in the role and was not unhappy to get to see more of him.  I’ve loved the work of Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen before, so I was thrilled to see them in place as the show-runners, and with Joss Whedon directing the pilot, the series had a can’t-miss feel.

And yet, right away from the pilot (click here for my initial review) it was clear that something wasn’t altogether right with this show.  The writing didn’t have the spark I had expected, and the look of the show seemed surprisingly cheap.  Worst of all, the characters were flat as can be.  I suppose it’s not fair to compare to compare this show to one of the greatest television shows ever made, but compare this cast of characters to that of Joss Whedon’s Firefly, another fantasy-set motley-band-of-heroes-against-the-world show.  By the end of the pilot episode of Firefly, I loved those characters.  I wanted to know more about each and every one of them, and I was hooked in and ready to watch many, many more episodes with that crew.  (Sadly, that never happened.)  But even after 22 episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., even in the final episodes of the season, when the plot was flying fast and furious, I really didn’t care one whit for any of these characters.   That’s the sin that most sinks the show for me, because if I don’t really care about the characters, the show doesn’t work.

It’s a shame, because once we got to that final batch of episodes, set after Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we got to see some very cool ideas that the writers had clearly had in mind from the very beginning of the show.  They knew that the events of The Winter Soldier were coming, and so the show … [continued]