So I have this love hate thing going on with Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” (which forever on I will refer to as AOS).  This is a bit lengthy of a post, so I apologize in advanced. Go grab some coffee, log into your SHIELD level 7 computer and read:

This show is just so awesome. There has been a lot of criticism lately that its so slow paced and that it has nothing to do with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the exception of Clark Gregg  reprising his role (again) as Agent Phil Coulson.  Everyone is so wrong about this. The show is genius, just pure genius. Why? It’s the little things, one being the dialogue, which reminds me  a lot of Whedon’s other shows (particularly Buffy the Vampire Slayer) .

Image

Much like Whedon’s other properties, there is a great group dynamic. Britishness

I know that there are a lot of fans *cough* Scourge *cough* who have been disappointed with the show because it took so long to set everything up. As I pointed out to him and now everyone else, you kind of had to do it this way. Speaking as a producer :

* I have to assume that people have not seen all if not any of the Marvel films. (I know box office numbers say otherwise on this, but how may of those ticket sales were repeat people? Scourge and I saw The Avengers four times apiece in the theaters).

* Because of the above point, I cannot automatically dump every reference possible from the word “go”. It would turn off any viewer who hasn’t seen (insert MCU film here). Have you ever watched something of a series and gone “What the hell is going on?” Then you either have to start from the top or try to figure it out or you just give up. (Like I did with Lost).

*There are a number of characters in this show that are not part of the Marvel Cannon at all. Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), Skye (Chloe Bennet) and the team of FitzSimmons ( Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge  respectively) have never appeared in other MCU properties and to my best of knowledge, never appeared in any of the Marvel Comics either. So there is that to contend with in building these characters and their backgrounds.

*Last but not least, as a huge fan of the Marvel Comics world (both the traditional regular 616 universe and the ultimate universe), I have noticed throughout the films and now with this show, there is a hybrid going on between the two different universes. For example, in the Avengers movie we had a team line up consisting of Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow.  In the traditional 616 universe, the team actually was everyone but Hawkeye and Black Widow (instead it was Ant-Man and Wasp). In the 616 universe Hawkeye and Widow eventually do become members of the Avengers.  In the ultimate version of the team, same as the 616 team but Hawkeye and Widow are part of a “black ops” team that is not even known to anyone but Fury for awhile.

With that example, there are some  things with AOS you need to explain such as what exactly SHIELD is, the structure, how the characters fit in so on and so forth.

With these first episodes of the season it did come across as “one-offs”.  Almost like The X-Files meets a weird version of Law & Order.  For those people that think this, go back and re-watch. Marvel is extremely particular in what they do. Ignoring the “Marvel One-Shots” that are included in Blu-Ray copies of the films, there are references to everything if you look hard enough. Don’t believe me? Go re-watch The Avengers.  Bruce Banner makes a comment about “breaking Harlem” which is in direct reference to The Incredible Hulk film. In that film, if you look closely, when Hulk is yelling at the cliff, there is thunder and lighting in the background, which is a great reference to Thor. Speaking of, in The Avengers while Thor and Loki are arguing, look closely to see a couple of ravens flying. Those are Odin’s ravens which you see again in Thor:The Dark World. I could do another few blog posts about all the references   In essence, nothing should be disregard when it comes to a Marvel project.

Going back to AOS I think the huge problem the show has had is similar to the East Coast office of Marvel with shipping problems. I don’t know who to blame for this- ABC, the showrunners, Marvel, but for the sake of it, I’ll blame ABC because they air the show.

This is the schedule of release of the shows (thanks to Wikipedia for this) :

No.

Title

Air date

Rating/share
(18–49)

Total viewers
(millions)

1

Pilot September 24, 2013

4.7/14

17.01[85]

2

0-8-4 October 1, 2013

3.3/10

13.17[86]

3

“The Asset” October 8, 2013

2.9/9

12.01[87]

4

“Eye Spy” October 15, 2013

2.8/8

11.60[88]

5

“Girl in the Flower Dress” October 22, 2013

2.7/8

11.16[89]

6

“F.Z.Z.T.” November 5, 2013

2.5/7

10.93[90]

7

“The Hub” November 12, 2013

2.2/6

10.13[91]

8

“The Well” November 19, 2013

2.4/7

10.31[92]

9

“Repairs” November 26, 2013

2.6/8

12.75[93]

10

“The Bridge” December 10, 2013

2.1/6

9.16[94]

11

“The Magical Place” January 7, 2014

2.2/6

9.65[95]

12

“Seeds” January 14, 2014

2.2/6

9.59[96]

13

“T.R.A.C.K.S.” February 4, 2014

2.2/6

9.77[97]

14

“T.A.H.I.T.I.” March 4, 2014

1.8/6

15

“Yes Men” March 11, 2014

2.1/7

As you can see, the viewer ratings have consistently dropped.  The biggest is between November 26th and December 10th. Why was there a week long gap? Who knows. But then it gets worse with the release schedule. Another 3 week break between December 10th and January 7th. another 2 week break between January 14th and February 4th.  Then a full month before the next episode on March 4th. Now that last gap was more thank likely because ABC didn’t want to  have to compete with the Olympics.  Which makes sense. But in my humble opinion, what should have happened is a consistent release until December 10th then picking up everything again the week of February 25th. This would have avoided the Olympics, given almost 2 months to do a campaign for the “Spring second half ” of the season (think similar to what Fox has done with Glee).

My idea above should also accommodate tie-in issues. Starting with the March 4th episode we have the, what I will refer to as a crossover like in the comic books, titled “Uprising”.  The only crossover at this point has been with Thor: The Dark World (episode “The Well” which aired a week after Thor: The Dark World released) This weeks episode (March 11th, “Yes Men”) had an appearance by Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) who returned to Earth to capture Lorelei (Elena_Satine)  per the orders of Odin.

Speaking of this episode, I will try not to spoil Thor: The Dark World for those who haven’t seen it yet. For those who have, and heard about Sif’s orders…. this is EXACTLY what I am talking about in regards to Marvel doing things purposefully. Really? Odin wants Loreli as a warrior? REALLY? Hmmmm.  I was also wondering, before the show aired, how they were going to accommodate the fact that Sif indirectly knows Coulson visa via Thor talking about him, yet its been made clear since the first episode, that Coulson wasn’t allowed to talk to the Avengers team. Another reason that Marvel is so awesome- they are are on top of things. This issue was addressed early on in this week’s episode.

Marvel: to whoever your script supervisors are between AOS and the rest of the MCU- please give them a raise. Seriously. They deserve it.

Back to the tie in issues- If you haven’t see the trailer for Captain America: The Winter Solider, here you go:

)

As you can see, S.H.I.E.L.D is a huge part of this film, and more than likely the ramifications of the movie will domino affect into AOS which could also explain a bit of their release schedule problems.

In essence, if you haven’t been watching this show, go download it on on Itunes/Google Play. Give it a few episodes. If you have been watching the show, despite the funky release schedule, hang on. I promise, just based on EVERYTHING else Marvel has done, we haven’t even started to get bumpy yet on this ride.

PS>

If you watch the episodes live, go on twitter and follow the following people:  @IMBrettDalton@ChloeBennet4,@MingNa@jedwhedon,  @josswhedon@AgentsofSHIELD@JoeQuesada@AgentM and last but not least @clarkgregg I guarantee, the show is more brilliant (if possible) while all these cool (but not crazy) cats are live tweeting.

Tahiti

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s