Ror Reviews: MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. S101 - "Pilot"
I assume most of you have now watched the first episode of Marvel's highly anticipated tv show and had your say on the various articles that have have followed it, but click on to find out what a skeptical, generally non-fan of network tv thought of Coulson and his pals..
After all the fanfare Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered last night to what seems to be a pretty decent, if not hugely positive, response from both fans and critics. I must say I was pretty skeptical after what I'd seen from the clips and trailers, and I really wasn't happy about the decision to resurrect Phil Coulson (mush as I like Clark Gregg in the role) as I felt it lessened the impact of his "death" in The Avengers. But, despite all that last night's pilot episode won me over -- for the most part.
Right from the get-go we're dropped straight in on the action and introduced to the team. They're a (too?) pretty, seemingly a bit interchangeable bunch at first but after a while personalities emerge and they stop being quite so annoying. Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) is our main man -- tough, no nonsense, reluctant to be a part of a team. He's joined by the tough, no nonsense, reluctant to be part of the team Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) a couple of argumentative but endearingly geeky techies (Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge) and the outsider/newcomer Skye (Chloe Bennet) who, along with Coulson, gets the best lines. All of the above are fine in their roles, but there's nothing particularly impressive on display. Still, this tends to be the way with pilot episodes and I have every confidence that as they grow into their characters that they'll start to shine. Plus, last night's guest star (Angel alum J. August Richards) shines bright enough for everyone..I really hope he shows up again.
Make no mistake about it, this is Joss Whedon through and through. If the only thing you've seen of his are his movies (Serenity/The Avengers) and are not familiar with his television work then you probably won't realize quite how much the writer/director toned down his "Whedonisitries" for his big-screen stuff. Whedon's tv output has always skirted the fine line (while occasionally skipping over it) between funny and silly, sincere and schmaltzy, OTT and GTFO...and you'll either accept than or you won't; AOS isn't going to make you a convert. The tone is pretty lighthearted most of the time (think more Iron Man 3 than The Avengers though), and there are a lot of gags -- most of them work, but some don't; and those that don't score pretty high on the eye-rollometer. There are also plenty of pop culture references and nods to previous Marvel movies. Again, this is either going to work for you or it's not -- I personally never found it too forced and thought it added to the show.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a bit daft at times but it knows it..and unlike say Arrow, it doesn't take itself too seriously and actually has some wit to it. The pilot wasn't without its problems but it WAS just the pilot and I think when it (and its cast) settles, this could be something special.
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