When it comes to TV, the relationship between super heroes and the medium has been largely hit or miss. Most of the shows have come from the D.C. side of the aisle with Louis & Clark and Smallville, there's also been plenty of Batman, and CW's awesome three years and running, Arrow. There's even been an Aquaman pilot that was made and flopped instantly a few years back, and now D.C. has The Flash getting his own show this fall too. Not to be left out of the TV game completely, Marvel has had some TV presence over the years too. A Blade pilot was made and flopped just like Aquaman, and The Incredible Hulk, was of course a long-running adventure show for everyone's favorite angry green gamma-infused monster, but this was back in the 70s. Since then, Marvel hasn't had a presence on the small screen. That was until they launched Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this past fall.
Through the years, starting with the initial Iron Man and moving forward through a number of different movies, Phil Coulson (played by Clark Gregg) was kind of like the Stan Lee cameo in all of those Marvel movies, but with added character importance. In a way, he was the glue that connected all the movies together. When he died during The Avengers, then he really was the glue that kept all of these giant characters together. Well, as it turns out, Marvel didn't keep the character under for long, instead they let him captain his own show, Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel's foray into TV was an interesting thing to watch over the last year. Because they integrated so much from the movies into the show, they were limited in what they could do. They couldn't introduce any character they wanted, or really move forward with any character without any real and purposeful direction in doing so. It's something that makes the show suffer in the initial ten or so episodes. The characters were a little dull, Skye was unlikable, and the whole time most of us were watching and thinking, 'but yeah, where are the superheroes?'. But as time went on, eventually AoS picked up a lot of steam and started playing a critical role in the Marvel universe. Especially in the final four episodes. So, if you start this and think it's boring initially (which you won't by the way - because there's some decent action here) stick with S.H.I.E.L.D., because it ends with a bang.
The storyline is largely a mixed bag, and for the most part the cast is too. The good news is that through the course of the season, they grow on you, De Caestecker and Henstridge get fleshed out of their generic scientific roles, and Brett Dalton and Chloe Bennet eventually get out of their generic roles too. The good news is that Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May and Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson are awesome and good throughout the entire first season.
The DVD extras on this set are largely good. There's plenty of behind the scenes and deleted scenes content including a gag reel. There's nothing uniquely special about the content, but there are some nice features here that are worth watching if you're a fan of the show.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is pretty much you'd expect for a new TV show from a company and a property that was removed from the medium for a long period of time. There are some great moments and some flubbed ones too. The good news is that the show finished strong and set itself up for a great second season. Be sure to pick this up or download it on iTunes to catch up before season two starts next month.
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