Agents of SHIELD

I am predisposed to like Agents of SHIELD. On that basis, I really wish it would get the finger out and live up to the standard it could.

I don't know enough about the writers or other people involved to really comment, and I know it's not fair to look at a series' first five episodes and make judgements on it, particularly when it's built around story arcs. But I'm going to go ahead and comment anyway. Spoilers for the first five episodes abound, and speculation on the rest of the season is included.

First up, I like most of the characters. I concede that their level of diversity could do with some improvement, but of the six on the team, there are even numbers of men and women. Possibly, of the five on the team, there are also even numbers, because I'm pretty sure Fitz/Simmons should be counted as one character.

Ward is dull. He can be killed off at any point, thank you very much. Given the levels of character available for the others, and typical of Whedon, I'm willing to bet it's Ward's destiny to die off either mid-way through the season or toward the end, and be replaced by someone more interesting.

The Skye is-she-or-isn't-she "tension" between the Rising Tide and SHIELD, well, isn't. The series title gives it away. Also, the "boyfriend" had as much screen chemistry with her as a bag of rocks. Skye clearly gets on rather better with the jeep she lurks in.

I do like the composite Fitz/Simmons character, although they've been in the background pretty much throughout. I'd like to see more focus on their interactions with other characters - we've no clear picture yet what they think of most of the others, beyond a broad liking for Skye and a professional treatment - more or less - of the more action-oriented types.

Coulson is Coulson. For someone who's essentially the cornerstone of the series, he's kind of unremarkable. But that's his schtick in the first place. I am interested in the long plot arc about his death and resurrection, though.

I'm not particularly down with the mobile HQ. It's a lot less cool than the helicarrier, which it's probably meant to echo, and weirdly less practical - how does the stuff stay on the shelves in Coulson's office? It's also cramped, in terms of dramatic spaces (although I do like the echoes of Serenity), but it limits the crew. They can't bring in incidental characters seen in the background as per Fringe or even ST:TNG, because there is no background.

That's a lot of complaint, but there are things there I like as well. I just want to see the show do better, because it really looks like it can.

Posted by Drew Shiel at October 23, 2013 3:06 PM

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