Thursday, September 26, 2013

TV Review - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

   The good news is, last night's premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a big hit - in fact, the episode is being re-run again this week.

   The better news is: it's actually a good show.

   I'll admit this first episode wasn't quite as high-octane as I was hoping, but considering that it's spinning off from the excellent Avengers movie, it would be difficult not to enter it with high hopes.

   But budget constraints means this series must be a bit more down-to-Earth. This episode is really something of an origin story, as Agent Coulson gathers a special team to investigate extraordinary incidents - so we have to meet each one, learn a bit about them, establish their basic tools, some tantalizing mysteries, and throw in an actual adventure for good measure.

   The adventure has them tracking down a hooded figure who ran into a burning building and rescued a woman, leaping easily from the top of a tall building. But is he a hero - or a menace? 

   The investigating team includes a James Bond-like spy who doesn't work well with others, a pilot who has some secrets of her own, a couple of tech geeks who are adorably funny, and a computer hacker who may or may not be working for the bad guys.

   Coulson gives us an immediate mystery - how did he survive Loki's murderous attack in the Avengers movie?  (Don't expect any easy answers there.)

   There are wonderful comedic touches, some inside jokes ("Enjoy your Journey Into Mystery"), several good action sequences, a budding romance (or two), and actual continuity with the other Marvel movies (including a close tie to the Iron Man 3 film).

   So it's not perfect, but Coulson alone is a fun character to watch, and the others have lots of potential. I'll be watching this one faithfully, and I suspect any comics fan will enjoy it.

Grade: B+



Anonymous said...

Just watched this a second time and liked it even more than the first time. Very smart. Well done. Nice to see the credits. Wish they'd used more of the SHIELD comic book characters though. Where's Sitwell?

Chuck said...

Pete, yeah, I'd love to see a straight adaptation of Steranko's SHIELD stories. I suppose that would be a bit of a strain on the ol' budget.