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AW Review: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD

SHIELD-cast

If you aren’t familiar with “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD”, chances are you’ve been living in a dark room the past few months. With marketing material like bus benches, billboards and commercials seemingly everywhere you turn, Disney has hyped the new ABC series more than any other show that I can remember in recent history.

The question is, did the pilot for “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” live up to the hype?

Last night’s episode of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” didn’t do anything revolutionary but it did begin the storytelling process by introducing us to the team of SHIELD agents that we would be getting to know this Fall season.

Agents Grant Ward, Melinda May, Skye, Fitz & Simmons and Phil Coulson (yes, the Phil Coulson who died in “The Avengers”) form a group that are on the search for individuals with heroic qualities.

With Joss Whedon at the helm, fans could expect some intricate storytelling which will carry out throughout the season. His style works brilliantly in films as he can tell a story from beginning to end in a 2 hour span where as a TV series will require the audience to commit week after week. How many episodes will the average viewer give it before deciding whether to stick with it or move on to something else? That is an important question to ask with regards to this series.

Whedon, who was given a long creative leash with shows like “Buffy” on The CW, has also had an unsuccessful TV run with “Firefly” on Fox. Though the show has since become a cult classic, the ratings didn’t hold up and Fox decided not order a second season.

Following Whedon’s extremely successful take on “The Avengers”, the 2012 theatrical film that grossed over $1 billion worldwide, Disney wanted to utilize their acquisition of Marvel and bring a branded series to network television.

My biggest concern with last night’s episode was that if you take away the Marvel logo and rebranded it, would it really be a good show? Or are we relying on the brand to carry the series?

Realistically, the acting was sub par in many areas and the effects didn’t hold up to cinematic quality. Though it is understandable since the series has a smaller budget and less production time, you can’t help but compare it to Marvel’s theatrical releases and feel that it falls short.

Aside from some Avengers toys in a store window, there was no real mention of any common characters from the Marvel Universe which left the show’s focus on a bunch of men and women in suits which ultimately detached it from the comics.

Either way, knowing Whedon’s style, I have already “season passed” the series on my TiVo and will give it a full season before passing judgement. Though the pilot really didn’t intrigue me as much as I was hoping, I give Disney, Marvel and Whedon the benefit of the doubt and hope the show will evolve into something that will exemplify what made “The Avengers” so great.

How did you like the first episode of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD”?