I have two things to admit. The first is that I wasn’t really all that excited about A.G.E.N.T.S. of Shield. ABC makes cheap TV in my opinion, unless it’s maybe a sitcom and a genre specific show revolving around the Bigness of comics and sci-fi, I didn’t have a whole lot of hope. Even if Joss Whedon was heading it.
I was wrong.
The second thing, that’s the last time I’m typing out agents like that, that takes forever.
Anyway, I watched the premier last night and I loved it. It did exactly what I wanted and a bit more. Joss Whedon is a master storyteller and he lives up to that once again. The thing he does like no other is putting together a team and giving each character their own screen time, their own complexity, and he did it with everyone. I’m interested in each of the characters, all their little quirks and eccentricities and I know we’re going to get some great television out of exploring all this.
Beyond that, I was really intrigued by the story. The guy being experimented on with everything from the Super Soldier Serum to Extremis in his veins, the hunt to track him down, Coulson’s resurrection (more on that in a minute), I was all about it. I especially loved J. August Richard’s performance as the guy being experimented on. I loved him in Angel as Gunn, and here he had the perfect portrayal of a guy who’s done everything right and gotten the shaft for thanks. I sympathized with his frustration and I felt his despair, the constricting terror of not having any options. Throw in an unlimited ability to supposedly make everything right, and now we have a character who has a real struggle. That’s what Whedon does, he gives you real people. I really hope to see that character later.
The only problem with the show I see so far is in the special effects. They’re alright, but very noticeable when they happen. Michel’s fight with the guys in the station, it just looked very unnatural. I understand a show doesn’t have the budget for that type of thing, but I found it distracting. I know in Buffy and Angel they mostly just avoided anything they couldn’t portray effectively, and in Firefly everything just looked awesome, so I don’t know how they’ll continue with this. If ever there was a show I thought could use the biggest budget possible, it would be Agents of Shield.
Hopefully, this will be given the breathing room to really soar. Whedon’s shows aren’t always handled the best (FIREFLY!!!!) but considering the clout he has with the Avengers and the hype associated with Disney/Marvel’s whole new lineup, combined with the skills of one of the best storytellers to ever be behind a camera, I can’t see this failing.
Oh, and I’m just calling this now, that’s not Agent Coulson. Either it’s a clone, a robot, a cyborg, magic, I don’t know, but they did Something to make sure he was here and he’s not aware of it. Tahiti is the cover and that’ll be revealed later.