Josh Wilding Reviews: MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. S1, E01; "Pilot"
Marvel have spent months trying to get us all excited for ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and while that hasn't seemed to have worked all that well here on CBM, I'm sure you all still tuned in last night! So, what's my verdict? Well, it's far from Joss Whedon's best work, but it wasn't a bad start either...
I'm not going to lie; I had extremely low expectations for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Nothing I saw in the trailers appealed to me, while the simple fact that show was set to revolve around a resurrected Agent Coulson just felt - and arguably still does - like a way of cashing in on the success of The Avengers while simultaneously cheapening the impact of his death in that movie for the sake of ratings. However, in fairness, the fact that there is clearly a lot more to Coulson's return than what he believes and what we're told in this pilot episode is intriguing enough to make me want to keep coming back, although you've got to hope that they do eventually deliver a convincing and shocking enough reveal to make the whole thing worthwhile. It's hard to say where exactly the series is heading after this first outing. "The Rising Tide" are obviously going to be the overarching threat for at least the first few episodes, while we'll also see the team also face off against of a Smallville-like "freak of the week". The lasting appeal of that remains to be seen!
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't exactly start off well. The first ten minutes feel rushed, while the not so great special effects do the show no favours. Bear Mccreary's score is also agonising to listen to at times, particularly at the beginning. While his work on The Walking Dead is top notch, he's trying far too hard here to make it sound "superhero-ish". It just doesn't fit in with the tone that this pilot episode is striving towards. As time goes on however and the team comes together, things start falling into place quite nicely and this proves to be an enjoyable enough start to the series. It's hard to imagine that Joss Whedon's involvement with the screenplay on the episode amounted to an awful lot more than giving it a quick read over as it lacks the same kind of wit, humour and cleverness that The Avengers had. Anyone tuning in hoping to fill in the gaps between that movie and "Phase 2" will also likely be disappointed; it's set in the same world, but it feels obvious that the series is being handled in a way which means it won't have any sort of impact on what happens in the movies. In some ways, that ultimately makes it feel pointless in the grand scheme of things, but that doesn't mean it can't still be enjoyed for what it is!
I've learned before to not judge a series by its pilot, and like Arrow, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is unfortunately not one of those shows which hooks you from the very start with a masterful beginning. May, Ward, Skye, Fitz and Simmons are all characters who blend together well in this pilot, but it's essential that their relationships and motivations are all fleshed out in future episodes. Ward and Skye get the majority of screentime this week and both are extremely watchable, with Chloe Bennet in particular proving to be perhaps the best part of this episode. The casting choices are in fact all extremely smart, with J. August Richards also delivering a solid performance. Also, regardless of how you feel about the return of Agent Coulson, it's great to see Clark Gregg get the chance to shine in this role. Hopefully he'll be sticking around for the long haul, because as great as the rest of his team seem to be, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. very much feels like HIS show so far. There appears to be plenty of story to tell with them as well though, with plenty of hints about each of their backstories clearly there to be revealed further down the line.
While future episodes could do without the forced references to Marvel comic books and characters, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has the potential to be something great. This pilot episode is far from Whedon's best work, but it's an enjoyable and entertaining first outing which was easily good enough to make me look forward to tuning in again next week. Oh, and that ending? Awesome.
: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct
. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under "safe harbor" provisions and will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. For expeditious removal, contact us HERE