Fall 2013 Pilot Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Airs: Tuesdays on ABC at 8:00 EST

Timeslot Competition: NCIS (CBS), Dads/Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX), The Biggest Loser (NBC), The Originals (CW)

Premise: Agent Coulson puts together a S.H.I.E.L.D. team made of non-superheroes to help work with individuals who discover they have superpowers.

Pre-show Thoughts: I have been ready to watch this show since before I saw The Avengers (which was only a few weeks ago). I know that the team behind this show is capable of doing something extraordinary and I am looking forward to watching it for that alone. Plus, I really love the tagline “Not all heroes are super”. It may be my favorite since “Save the cheerleader, save the world”. I’m excited to watch Ming-Na in something again and for the brief time that he was in the movie, I got the impression that I’m really going to enjoy watching Agent Coulson on a regular basis.

Post-show Thoughts: It’s not the best pilot I’ve ever seen, but I enjoyed it enough that I’d like to see more. It was a little heavier on the action and lighter on establishing the characters than I expected, but I can see why they made that choice, considering how action-heavy The Avengers was.

More than anything else, I’m interested in the group that is behind Project Centipede. I want to know why they are creating super-soldiers and what they intend to do with them. I’m also intrigued that Skye is critical of SHIELD and I really hope that continues even after she joins. It brings up the question of how much the government should try to protect the general public from information they aren’t ready to know and there’s nothing I love more than a show that brings up important issues.

I don’t know how much Marvel will have the final say in the events that go on in the season or the content of the show itself, but I have confidence that this show is being led by some very capable hands. That alone is enough to make me want to give this show the time it will take to settle into itself and hopefully start focusing more on the characters and a little less on the action. I definitely don’t want it to go away entirely as that would be out of place on a show like this, but to me, the psychological dynamics of SHIELD and the philosophical questions this show has the potential to ask are far more fascinating to me.

I also enjoyed the familiar faces of Ron Glass and J. August Richards in this episode. I would not be at all opposed to more appearances by Whedon alumni in future episodes.

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One thought on “Fall 2013 Pilot Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

  1. As usual, your thoughts echo my own. I was hoping for a little more character development in this pilot (because I still don’t feel much of a connection to anyone beyond Coulson), but I have so much faith in Joss that I’m about 99.9% sure I’ll be loving so many of these characters and dynamics after a few episodes. I think the pilot needed to be action-heavy to attract the “Avengers demographic” but one of my favorite things about that movie was the deft way Joss was able to work in real, human moments amid the action sequences—and I have a feeling he’s going to find ways to put real human emotion and conflict into this story, too.

    Like you, I like the philosophical questions posed in this pilot about the government, the nature of espionage, and the things kept hidden from everyday folks. I’m interested to see if those questions become even more of a part of the story as it goes on.

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