All honesty, I’m a superhero geek so even if this ended up being shitty I was likely gonna stay tuned and suggest it to the rest of the nerds out there. That said, I’m not watching Arrow, so clearly I have some sort of SOME sort of requirements as far as script and plot line goes! Today, I’m looking at the recently released TV continuation of the epic 2012 film The Avengers: the Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. While trying to transplant what was one of the most grandiose films of all time (particularly graphically and budget-wise) into the small screen was a huge risk for the continuity of this brand, let’s be honest; Marvel has so much god damn money and devoted followers that they can do whatever they want and always come out ahead. Thankfully, this attempt was both decent and intelligible.
You’ll notice right away that my adjectives to describe this show aren’t exactly out of this world. Let’s call a spade a spade: the CGI (or whatever the hell it is they call it these days) is good as far as TV standards are considered but far from great and the HUGE name actors are of course there so the unique banter that we came to love from the film is starting from scratch with a few of the smaller characters carrying over and using the introduction of some new blood onto the set. The always bald but tension-cutting and humour Clark Gregg is revived from movie and works alongside previous co-(not quite)star Cobie Smulders of How I Met Your Mother fame. Joining the cast are Ming-Na Wen (from ER) and two essential newcomers (and eye candy) Chloe Bennet and Brett Dalton. Long story short, she’s funny and he’s doable. Now, let’s get to the show itself!
Plot. Okay, the plot is fair enough but really not original. In nearly every superhero show these days we see a group of government good guys trying to “contain and support the mutant menace”. In this reality there’s the introduction of alien technology and secret evil factions but really nothing so far is completely unique. Except- most annoyingly- there’s no mutant as of yet helping out the good guys. Honestly, I’m hoping this isn’t just a way for the show to cheapen out on special effects by not having to constant animate flames coming from the main characters hands or whatever. I’m assuming they’ll start turning mutants on their side or S.H.I.E.L.D. is really not how I remember it from the X-Men days!
Thankfully, where the show skips on effects (and those dumb high-tech scanners don’t count Marvel!), they focus on humour and that’s really a huge part of this franchise. No Iron Man to save the day with his unadulterated cockiness, instead it’s the interactions between the jilted characters that makes this one watchable. There’s of course the usual “will they won’t they, Ross and Rachel” tension between future possible lovers but for now it’s funnier to watch them not enjoy one another’s company and continue to bitch about it.
I am hopeful this show adds some dark to it- there were a few scenes where kids are put in danger and morality is strongly tested that I appreciate from an adult series- and still keeps its Marvel style. What I’m looking for is a long-term antagonist and some loss of real characters to turn this typical mutant series into something more capturing and true to the original. I can’t wait to see the next episode and do suggest you at least give this a try… nerds: I know you’ve already watched it three times or turned it off half-way through and ran to the chat rooms to trash it.
Let me know what you think!