First Impressions

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Aired on: ABC

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                As a fan of comic books, I have enjoyed series created by DC, Marvel and various independent brand comic book companies.  But, my favorites seem to come from DC and Marvel.  You can imagine my delight when I learned that ABC would be airing a television series based on Marvel Comicsí S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division).  I couldnít wait to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when it aired on Tuesday, September 24, 2013.

                In the premiere episode, we learn that Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is putting together a new team of agents to handle strange new cases coming to light after the Battle for New York depicted in the Marvel movie, The Avengers.  Those who have seen The Avengers might be wondering how Coulson could be alive.  According to Coulson, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) faked his death and hid him in Tahiti until he could recover from his near death experience.  However, as we learn from Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Dr. Streiten (Ron Glass) Coulsonís return may have some underlying secrets attached to it that even he isnít privy to.

                Coulsonís team features two reluctant members Ė Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), ace pilot and weapons expert with a past she would like to leave behind, and Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), a black ops expert who doesnít play well with others.  The other two enthusiastic members of the team are scientists Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge).  Their first mission is to find Mike Peterson (J. August Richards), a man with superhuman abilities and get to him before a hacker group known as Rising Tide exposes him to the public more than they already have.

                The problem is that a woman named Skye (Chloe Bennet), a member of Rising Tide and expert hacker with an obsession for superheroes, has already gotten to Peterson, warning him that S.H.I.E.L.D. will be coming for him and advising him that she can help him become the hero he was always meant to be.  What Skye doesnít know is how Peterson has gotten his superpowers and at what cost to those around him.  If the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. donít find Peterson soon, the chemicals inside him could cause a major explosion.  But will Skye be willing to help the agents of an entity she has warned Peterson against?

                Being a fan of Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., I wanted to like this show.  I was excited by all of the promos and couldnít wait to check out the premiere episode.  But for all of the hype, Iím not sure Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hits the mark for me.  Sure, there is action Ė some great fight scenes featuring Ward and May Ė and superhero coolness like super-strength and the ability to jump from incredible heights without breaking bones upon landing.  There is also funny banter between the characters, especially Fitz and Simmons.  And then there is the mystery of Coulsonís return. 

                But for some reason, I couldnít find myself getting into the show.  I had trouble relating to the characters and even caring about what happens to them.  I would notice things like the fact that May and Wardís fighting styles were very similar or that upon exiting the interrogation room, Ward slides a door shut, but upon entering, the door opens into the interrogation room.  Silly mistakes that I wouldnít even notice if I was really all that involved in the storyline. 

                While I want to like this show, I find myself feeling ambivalent.  Perhaps the second episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will secure a better bond for me with the show.  Right now, Iím not quite sure I would want to add Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to my Fall TV watchlist.


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