After a long year of anxiously waiting, the world finally laid their eyes on Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ on ABC last night. The first live action television show to be set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe saw the return of Agent Phil Coulson after the events of ‘The Avengers’ where we all thought that he met his demise at the hands of Loki. Now, he’s back in business and assembling a team of his own for the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division to tackle the cases that have yet to be classified, which include superhuman activity, alien artifacts, and more. The show saw the return of Joss Whedon to television, along with his brother Jed Whedon and sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen, to show the unsung and unpowered side of a world where the Hulk, Iron Man, and Captain America are out and about.
In this first episode, Coulson and his new team track down and attempt to recruit prominent Rising Tide hacker Skye, who has some vital information about a new superhero who had recently emerged and a secret project known as “Centipede”. But as they uncover more about this mysterious experiment, Agents Grant Ward, Melinda May, Jemma Simmons, and Leo Fitz realize that S.H.I.E.L.D. has seen this sort of thing and its explosive developments before.
After finally getting to see the pilot episode that received rave reviews from the crowd at San Diego Comic-Con, I would say that the show is off to a very solid start. The team was formed pretty organically and I didn’t find anything to be forced. There was a ton of references and in jokes, but none of them weighed down the plot or the action in such a way that people not in the know wouldn’t know what was going on. Even though the show was clearly marketed towards fans of the Marvel movies, the show managed to cover the exposition it needed to cover without overdoing it, which can often be a problem in new shows. But considering that storied veterans of the TV game created the show, it’s no surprise that things were well put together.
While the script and story were well written, the cast and their deliveries pulled it all together. Throughout the episode, there were some great cameo roles from ‘Firefly’ alum Ron Glass and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ star Cobie Smulders, who I hope to see a lot more of this season, however, it’s really the main cast that shines throughout. As we’ve seen in his previous appearances in the big screen alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Clark Gregg is pretty amazing as everyone’s favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. field agent, but he’s surrounded by actors and actresses who can totally keep up with his level of awesome. The tandem of Fitz-Simmons has some great moments throughout the episode, but I think I’m becoming partial towards Skye. She has a sort of female Coulson feel to her and her interactions with Agent Ward were some of my favorite scenes in the show. But overall, just like Coulson, there’s a lot that we don’t know about her yet that I’m really excited to find out about.
Overall, my favorite part about ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ is how it has everything that you could be looking for in a TV show. There’s a good amount of action, comedy, and suspense that’s sure to appeal at least a little bit to everybody. Just like Joss Whedon did with ‘The Avengers’, he managed to take something that we’ve seen as dark and brooding and make it fun again. Not all superhero movies need to be ‘The Dark Knight’ to be good, and the filmmaker carries that same idea over to ABC and makes a government procedural more accessible and light to watch. Although, for a minute, I thought things were taking a vintage Joss Whedon heartbreaking turn, but it all tied together nicely to send the crowd home happy and wanting more. So, despite some people saying that it doesn’t pack the same punch as ‘The Avengers’, it’s easy to see that this is a completely different entity all together that can be enjoyed by old and new Marvel fans alike of all ages.
Oh yeah, and the flying car definitely didn’t hurt either.
‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ starring Brett Dalton, Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Chloe Bennet, and Clark Gregg airs on Tuesdays at 8:00pm on ABC.