Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

By David Knox on September 29, 2013 / Filed Under Reviews, Top Stories 17

MAOS-001 - 003If you’re missing Heroes, and maybe a little bit of Alias too, then Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is right up your alley.

It’s got super-powers, espionage, action and, thankfully, a dash of dry humour too.

S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division but as we will also learn, “It means someone really wanted our initials to spell out SHIELD.”

Tongue-in-cheek lines are clearly the work of director and co-creator Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, Angel, Firefly) doing his best with this agency created by Stan Lee way back in the 1960s. “With great power comes … a ton of weird crap that you are not prepared to deal with” …there’s a bunch of lines like this.

This version takes place after “The Battle of New York” as seen in The Avengers, where aliens and superhumans have emerged.

Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) returns to head up S.H.I.E.L.D. (with apologies to KAOS and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) and a team of agents assigned to stop a group of hacktivists known as Rising Tide. They encounter unemployed labourer Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) who has superhuman powers -sometimes used for good rather than evil- and a hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet) who wants him to out himself to the world.

But while Thor, Captain America, Incredible Hulk and co. fleshed out theĀ Avengers flick, they’re absent here. Instead we have a team of agents and weapons experts who “protect the ordinary from the extraordinary” at Coulson’s directions.

The team includes a quarrelling UK duo Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) known collectively as ‘FitzSimmons’ who add the light and kooky -y’know a bit like NCIS and Criminal Minds have on their teams. Also on board are veteran agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) and black-ops specialist Grant Ward (Brett Dalton).

The show has sexy toys: a big black plane, a shiny red sports car, a honeycomb-walled interrogation room and heavy artillery, as well as some CGI explosions and martial arts. While it clearly lacks a movie budget, there’s driving music to ramp up the atmosphere and just about everyone sports designer-wear clothes.

While Clark Gregg has fun as the leader of this troupe, its Whedon’s dry humour that provides the light and shade in the first hour (Seven will screen two eps back to back).

It’s never easy for comic book adaptations to sustain a broad audience, yet there’s good potential here. But it could also be the kind of show that settles into a 9:30 timeslot by Season Two where fanboys store up questions of logic shortcomings for comic conventions.

That said, so far so good.

Marvels’ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D airs 7:30pm Wednesday on Seven (review of first episode only).

17 Comments »

  1. ryaneco October 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm -

    I didn’t like the pilot…. we’ll see how episode 2 goes… I won’t drop it immediately but if it doesn’t get interesting I won’t stick around too many other quality shows to watch.

  2. dshan October 3, 2013 at 1:31 am -

    @Kylie, not only should it be okay for a 9 year-old, no one older than that should watch it.

    It’s truly awful, a mystery how it could have been so popular in the US. It makes Warehouse 13 look polished, well acted and intelligent. Dreadful acting, stupid plots and badly written.

    I’ve long thought Joss Whedon was an over-rated hack and this nonsense proves it.

  3. jtshadow65 October 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm -

    can not wait for this tonight a show where the first episode had a estimated 22.1 million viewers through live,DVR,encore, & online viewing.

  4. David Knox September 30, 2013 at 11:56 am -

    Ep1 is PG.
    Ep 2 is M.

  5. David Knox September 30, 2013 at 11:02 am -

    Correct 2 eps. 1 ep reviewed here.

  6. daredevil2012 September 30, 2013 at 10:54 am -

    I thought the premiere on Wednesday was two eps, as 1 only goes for an hr, the pilot was ok,though i hope it picks up otherwise its not going to be a show im going to watch, my 9 yr old liked it though

  7. harrypotter1994 September 30, 2013 at 1:57 am -

    @A It will be a 8.30 show after the premiere as Slideshow will return…

    @mydoona Its set after the Avengers and im looking forward to finding out why he is alive!

  8. Kylie September 30, 2013 at 12:17 am -

    Thanks David :-)

  9. David Knox September 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm -

    Rated PG. There’s a bit of violence, but it may be edited down. Maybe record it any see what you think….?

  10. Kylie September 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm -

    Can anyone who has seen this tell me if it’s suitable for children?

    My almost 9yo boy has seen the ads and wants to watch it – is it ok? He’s seen the Iron Man’s and Avengers movies.

    Thanks!

  11. mydoona September 29, 2013 at 7:08 pm -

    is this show set before the Avengers? Will they explain what happened to Phil Coulsen in the movie?

  12. maxxdude September 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm -

    Everything I have read from fans is that they did not like it. I seem to be the only person who hasn’t already watched it online so seven need to keep up the fast track. I think it will suffer from not being able to have any of the Avengers in the show as they are only for the movies.
    Nine could take the warning to fast track Arrow as it suffered from all the fans had already seen it by the time it was shown on air.

  13. A. September 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm -

    Would I be considered naughty if I admitted I haven’t watched the Avengers? I plan to one day but it doesn’t worry me either way. I’m glad it is unnecessary to have watched it. I’m curious will this show be a 7.30pm show? Or is it for only one week? It makes sense. I might catch the repeat as long as I know I can enjoy it. I love Joss Whedon and his humour but he can be hard on characters in the long term.

  14. Clint September 29, 2013 at 10:03 am -

    It wasn’t as good as I thought it could be. Hoping it settles down…

  15. JB September 29, 2013 at 9:49 am -

    I loved it. You don’t really need to have seen Avengers (although everyone has), but it ties in really well with the film. Good cameo which will probably become permanent, and hopefully some cameos from the Avenger’s themselves will be awesome and would help the shows ratings.

    This along with The Blacklist are the best new shows, and they both rated hugely in the US so Seven’s onto a winner.

  16. tomothyd September 29, 2013 at 9:43 am -

    I didn’t mind the pilot episode, it did remind me a bit of Heroes, but I still wonder where the show will go. Will it be a ‘superhuman of the week’ type show like Buffy and Angel has the ‘demon of the week’ theme through most of its run. An overarching storyline needs to be brought in I think.
    I found the UK duo a little annoying, no way near as much as the group from Bones who were so intolerable to watch in episode one that I never watched the show again.
    The explosion scene looked like it was filmed in the WB a backlot, but at least they were actually in real LA location and Paris it appears.

  17. adrianguest September 29, 2013 at 6:29 am -

    Episode 2 is due to air Oct 1 in US, so Seven have definitely fast-tracked it.

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