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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #101 - Pilot Review

4

Just because the superheroes are busy on the big screen, there's still plenty of Marvel Universe action happening on a television near you.

Could a Marvel TV show work without a focus on the actual superheroes? When most people think Marvel, they think of the big and colorful heroes. Making a show focusing on heroes can be tricky (and costly). For Marvel Studios to shift their focus on S.H.I.E.L.D., an organization already familiar to the millions that have seen The Avengers, it was the best move they could do.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is still being fleshed out. What this show allows is a chance to see the other parts of it. Taking place after the "Battle of New York," we get to see how the atmosphere has changed among the "civilians." An attack by an alien race and a Norse god will do that.

Within the first ten minutes, we immediately find out there are more "unregistered gifted's" in this world. We also find out how the heck Agent Coulson can be in a show taking place after his death in The Avengers. Then again...you'll have to watch for yourself.

For a first episode (or pilot), there is the right pacing. Of course we get the occasional witty remark and bits of humor thrown in. There are some little nods to the comics ("journey into mystery"). The important thing is it doesn't look like a low-budget production. Perhaps more was spent on the pilot but based on this, we're off to a great start.

As we get introduced to the decent sized cast, it's not possible they'll all be likable. At least for me, the duo of FitzSimmons was a little too much. But it is early. We still need to see the others get more time in the spotlight. Characters may evolve, etc. We need to become invested in the other characters. Agent Coulson is great but it's not a solo TV show. Also, did they pull in too much for the reasoning behind the big threat in this episode?

There were some doubts over this show, at least for me. Was Marvel Studios simply going to try to cash in on the recent [great] movies they've released? Either way, this is a great next step in giving the fans what they want. Plus, it's a really good show for primetime television.

It's mentioned in the show that the "Battle of New York" ended things and also marked the beginning of a new world. This show is doing that as well. We're getting a new world and new kind of comic book TV show. Let's hope the show can keep up this momentum. Things are looking good.

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Edited by feedonatreefrog

everytime I hear the names FitzSimmons I want to throw up

Posted by noj

It was pretty good. A little cheesy at points but I like how they set up mysterys behind most of the main characters that will surely be brought to light in the future. The Coulson mystery, Wades family, Skyes past ect. Will definitely be tuning in for future episodes.

Posted by Mister_Sensational

Must say I was thoroughly impressed! This was indeed the television event of the year (for me anyway). After being very apprehensive as to if it could work or not, I am now fully convinced it can and it will. Definitely going to be saving space on my DVR for this show!

Posted by Fallschirmjager

Must say I was thoroughly impressed! This was indeed the television event of the year (for me anyway). After being very apprehensive as to if it could work or not, I am now fully convinced it can and it will. Definitely going to be saving space on my DVR for this show!

...You must not watch must TV eh?

Posted by kantrip

I cannot wait for next week. I have a feeling that whatever this Rising Tide group is, they may morph into a well known Marvel organization to counter SHIELD. I hope!

Edited by SavageDragon

Kill FitzSimmons now.

Lol it was pretty good and a fun show, definitely not great but it was a nice pilot. I was surprised on how many nods there were to the Marvel Cinematic universe ideas, like gamma radiation and extremis. Obviously comic fans get that stuff but my friend who was watching it was lost once they started on about extremis and the combination of powers. Nice for fans of the MCU but probably hard for some to follow. Coulson is cool, as is Maria Hill but for me the jurys still out on all the other characters. Its got a very attractive female lead, always a plus for me. Id go with a 7.5/10 mainly because the banter of FitzSimmons irked me and the resolution with the hooded hero seemed a bit off (Coulson's dialogue) I will check out the next few episodes for sure.

Posted by Cyborg6971

Better than expected. I Will keep on my dvr. I have a feeling the comic like cliffhangers will be in every episode. Which is smart.

Posted by LiveForever

Went in with middling expectations... and it was a slight pleasant surprise. Not amazing, but pretty solid. Don't hate any characters yet. A bit too campy, some of the jokey one-liners weren't delivered quite right... but we're also used to RDJ delivering them, so maybe I need to temper expectations.

I definitely enjoyed the Iron Man 3 tie-in. There was a distinct lack of SHIELD in that movie, and I think we see that here in that they didn't know much about extremis.

I'll definitely continue watching. A little nervous about Joss' limited involvement from here on out though.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Good but not great. 7 outta 10 at most for me.

Posted by Don_Jay

I can't help it, I loved every minute of it. Probably helped with that, that I only watched the first 2.5 minutes long trailer back when it came out.

Oh, and my money's on LMD.

Posted by The Stegman

I'd give it a 3

Posted by Avilon

I liked the fact that they kept the old marvel type movie humor alive in the show. It will be interesting to see were they go with the show. It kinda reminded me of a slightly more comedic ALIAS Hero's put together.

Edited by Teerack

I was really excited about this show and thought it was gonna be good, but I have to say with each passing scene the show got worse and worse. I kinda wish I didn't watch it at all because this is very much one of those shows that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

The whole Coulson probably being a LMD thing was stupid as well.

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Posted by Mbecks14

I really enjoyed it!

Posted by ARMIV2

I really dug it. I dug it a whole lot.

Posted by RedhoodFlashLantern

I wanted to like it so much but i honestly thought it was very boring and cheesy. ill watch ep 2 so well see

Posted by War Killer

I'd probably give it a 4-out-of-5 as well, I felt that it was a good start and look forward to seeing the next episode.

Posted by FoxxFireArt

I don't plan to ever watch AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. mainly because of the Coulson issue. I like the character, but any revival completely undermines one of the most important parts of THE AVENGERS for me. Liking the character is what made his death so impactful. It also perpetuates one of the things I hate the most in comics. Death has no meaning or consequence. I'm not going to rant on about this series. Just pretend it doesn't exist.

Edited by bunkerbuster05

@foxxfireart said:

I don't plan to ever watch AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. mainly because of the Coulson issue. I like the character, but any revival completely undermines one of the most important parts of THE AVENGERS for me. Liking the character is what made his death so impactful. It also perpetuates one of the things I hate the most in comics. Death has no meaning or consequence. I'm not going to rant on about this series. Just pretend it doesn't exist.

That's silly. Considering the Marvel universe has LMDs, and that's clearly the direction its going with Coulsen. And the first 5 minutes EXPLAINS why Coulsen died, and it makes sense. They even make it tragic in a way for Coulsen.

Comic books deaths are never going away. Its been here for decades. Boycotting a great TV show because of it just baffles me.

Then again, I'm not a person who easily gets butthurt over these things.

People need to remember this is a cable show on ABC. It's not Game of Thrones, it doesn't have millions of dollars per episode. It's a standard television action show, and it happens to be better than a lot of the shit that we usually watch. Oh, ANOTHER spinoff of NCIS? No thanks.

Posted by MrMazz

As far as Whedon pilots go this is pretty good. As a pilot it isn't my favorite but from all the crap i've had to dredge through recently on the Network TV Front the sheer confidence and audacity to do stuff is refreshing. Serioulsy you try watching The Blacklist Hostages and Sleepy Hollow all in one night and right about it!

Bret Dalton is pretty wooden but eh he should warm up. Chloe Bennet is all yoru typical Whedon stuff so it's a lot easier to handel. and FrizSimmons is just adorable as all get out. And hey Clark Gregg continues to be great.

If this show manages to find a middle ground between NCIS and The X-Files I think this show is going to be just fine. At the sametime this Network TV and Disney going full DISNEY in their vertical intergration transmedia strategy so it might not be the most pure Whedon we get. Just keep Jeph Leob far faaaaaaaaaaaar away from it.

Posted by lesterlawton

Not spectacular, but not half bad. I'll continue to watch for 2 reasons:

1. It's not yet another redneck reality show.

2. I want to see who/what gets added from the Marvel Universe.

Posted by turel_hash_ak_gik

i got to watch maria hill walk away, played by cobie smulders. you have my interest show.

Posted by Rabbitearsblog

I actually enjoyed this pilot and I can't wait to see more from the characters and what their mission really is!

Posted by Dernman

@foxxfireart: It was hinted in the beginning of the show that he is a LMD.

Edited by JonSmith

I really liked it. I got out of this show what I come to the Marvel Universe for: Superhuman problems, solved by human beings. Fallible, embarrassing, sometimes inadequate, human beings. And I knew I was going to get that out this show before the first commercial break. From Coulson commenting how he couldn't resist hiding in the shadows, to him and Maria disputing her little drawing on the report.

Little things that don't really tell you much about the characters, they're not there to develop the story, or foreshadow little details, by all rights, they should not be in the story because there's no REASON for them to be, but they are, and I'm looking forward to more.

Also:

I'm not the only one whose calling Coulson having actually died before the Battle of New York, and the Coulson of this series being an LMD? With the reason he hasn't noticed being SHIELD pays his doctor, so his doctor tells him everything's legit?

Posted by FoxxFireArt

@bunkerbuster05:

Giving an explaination doesn't excuse the fact they are pulling back on a death that had meaning. You returned the character. Clone, LMD, dead for a few seconds. None of that changes that the character is back. If they weren't willing to let the character go, they shouldn't have done the death to begin with.

Posted by CpTait

The cameras being used really gave the sense that they were on a set, and I only saw the actors as actors. Joss Whedon is a great writer and director but I hope it gets better going forward. Also Clark Gregg, who I love as Coulson, needs to move a little more... or not depending on if his LMD joints are a little rusty.

Edited by CommanderShiro

I enjoyed it, looking forward to the next episodes.

Posted by Michael_Moran

I enjoyed it

Edited by Conniption_Fit

IMHO Coulson is not a LMD. He keeps saying "It was a magical place" I wonder if they took him to Asgard or he ended up in Valhalla for dying to an Asgardian in battle. Perhaps Odin pulled some strings. Or maybe there is some other supernatural element.

Posted by KomicKev

Giving an explanation doesn't excuse the fact they are pulling back on a death that had meaning. You returned the character. Clone, LMD, dead for a few seconds. None of that changes that the character is back. If they weren't willing to let the character go, they shouldn't have done the death to begin with.

However, do we know SHIELD was in development at the time the death scene for Coulson was being written or filmed? Clark Gregg's character turned out to be a fan favorite. SHIELD using LMDs is very long-time tradition, so not way out there all that much. And. like someone else stated: this is Marvel Comics, for crying out loud! Death and coming back to life are part of their package!

For me, I liked it . . . didn't LOVE it, but it kept me wanting to give at least the next few episodes a try. The "New York" scenes were cheesy. They looked like Hollywood back lots instead of the real thing (same with the guy being helicoptered away from "Paris"). But all-in-all, not bad.

Posted by fodigg

I walked into the room about 20 minutes into the show, so I'm sure that hurt my impression of it, but it seemed like a typical show pilot: everybody is still trying to get a hold of their characters, overly slow pacing as we get eased into the world, lots of tone whiplash as we vacillate between witty one-liners and dramatic speeches with the intention of showing the show's range.

I will have to rewatch in full, of course, but meh. I have yet to be thrilled.

Posted by Herokiller12344

@bunkerbuster05:

Giving an explaination doesn't excuse the fact they are pulling back on a death that had meaning.

Actually, it...kinda does.

Edited by Mr. Kamikaze

I don't know why people are hating Fitz Simmons (Fitz and Simmons?) I loved them, they were adorable and funny.

I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually a decent show. Leaned a little heavy on the Avengers references, managing to reference every Marvel movie since Iron Man, haha! So I don't know how accessible it'll be to casual viewers, which makes me fear just how long it'll stay on the air.

But I did enjoy it, definitely a Joss Whedon show. Headstrong young girl, quirky characters, moments of cheesy dialogue and some inappropriate moments of trying to be funny. Not that it's a bad thing, I think as an overall package, it came together quite nicely.

Posted by Perfect 10

if i had to give it a rating 1 out of 5 stars. the first half dealing with shield was unbearable luckily i was cooking and then eating so i only got parts of the awfulness. the parts i liked were with may and michael and some sky. michael's story was the saving grace of the show but surprise surprise black had to be saved by the white man. and this show waaay too white washed and i still dont get why they couldnt use known shield agents like contessa or jimmy woo or gabriel washington etc etc. avengers is whitewashed and so is its spinoff. sigh, if michael is done then im done with the show but seeing as he isnt in any of the cast photos they keep popping up i have no reason to believe ill be seeing him anytime soon

Posted by HybridComics

I think it would be a great nod to fans to bring up LMDs considering their presence in comics. Also thought having Colbie Smulders appear was a smart move too, helps make it feel more connected

Posted by BradyDale

I have to say that I watched it in a place where there were constant distractions so I only about 2/3s saw it, but I felt really good about it. It was a little too much "trust Authority - the Authorities are good" but maybe that's mostly "Trust Agent Coulson."

I'm surprised you didn't like the Fitzsimmons. I really liked them. Their quick repartee was super fun.

I was a bit bummed to see that the first hero was someone with implanted Extremis technology. I hope it isn't all implanted technology. Let's get some mutants and magic and weird power acquisition. There's something about Extremis that I just don't like, too. I don't know what it is, but it rubs me the wrong way.

Still, it looked great. I really want to watch it again, honestly.

Posted by KomicKev

The "New York" scenes were cheesy.

Oops, I meant "Los Angeles" . . . but still cheesy.

Posted by GuardianAj

Guys...ALL shows start out rocky..there arent many shows where it starts out awesome and stays awesome indefinitely. It takes time for the writers and actors to get into their roles and comfortable with their characters and roles.

It was a fun first episode. Not with out its flaws..but generally speaking as long as each episode is good enough to warrant to watch the next one..then they did their jobs. And over time..episode by episode..season by season it will get better. Just takes time.

Posted by CheeseSticks

Arrow is better

Edited by Gotham331

I'll give it another week. First show was ok.

Edited by Loki9876

Am i the only one who liked Fitz and Simmons?

Posted by greenlucario

@cheesesticks: I should hope so Arrow has an entire season under it's belt. And to be honest it wasn't without it's low points. I'd be alright with a comparison if both were entering their second season, or if both had the main focus on a superhero, but this isn't the case, not very comparable.

It was a good episode not great, honestly it took about half the episode before things got to a point that I found it enjoyable. I can see why some people don't like it, but it wasn't as bad as some are making it out to be. Worth a shot, I'll check this out again to see if things get better.

Guys...ALL shows start out rocky..there arent many shows where it starts out awesome and stays awesome indefinitely. It takes time for the writers and actors to get into their roles and comfortable with their characters and roles.

It was a fun first episode. Not with out its flaws..but generally speaking as long as each episode is good enough to warrant to watch the next one..then they did their jobs. And over time..episode by episode..season by season it will get better. Just takes time.

Well said.

Posted by IrishX

When they explained Agent Coulson's death and return I couldn't help but think of the movie Thank You for Smoking...

Nick Naylor: Cigarettes in space?

Jeff Megall: It's the final frontier, Nick.

Nick Naylor: But wouldn't they blow up in an all oxygen environment?

Jeff Megall: Probably. But it's an easy fix. One line of dialogue. 'Thank God we invented the... you know, whatever device.'

Too many jaded people here. The show was pretty good and still has a lot of potential.

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Posted by JesterCK

@bunkerbuster05:

Giving an explaination doesn't excuse the fact they are pulling back on a death that had meaning. You returned the character. Clone, LMD, dead for a few seconds. None of that changes that the character is back. If they weren't willing to let the character go, they shouldn't have done the death to begin with.

So I assume you have also boycotted any books involving Jean Grey, Jason Todd, Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, or Bucky... not to mention Captain America, Bruce Wayne, or Superman. And that list is by no means comprehensive. As was mentioned above, characters dying in comics and then the writers finding some way to bring them back is pretty central to comics.

I was heartbroken when Coulson died, as I have been a big Clark Gregg fan since his West Wing cameos and love the Coulson character. I loved how it inspired the turning point for the Avengers. Does his "resurrection" cheapen that? Absolutely. Do I feel emotionally cheated? Maybe a little. Am I upset about it? No, because that's how this industry has always worked (really, shame on me for someone dying offscreen in a comic movie and actually buying it), and ultimately I get to keep watching a beloved character every week.

Posted by Gotham331

Someone help me with this. I'm having a difficult time rationalizing this. If Coulson is a LMD, then why is a LMD running a team of SHIELD agents? Are those things capable of doing that? Also, if Coulson does have or did have an LMD, wouldn't it have made more sense to send it to stop Loki with the destroyer cannon on the avengers then staring him down yourself. I mean I get the whole they needed the push thing, but are you really gonna risk your own life to give them a push when you can easily send in a decoy? If Coulson had sent his decoy to face Loki, then all he would've needed to say on the show was, " it wasn't me. I sent in my decoy. Like I'd really face down a god. C'mom I'm crazy, but I I'm not stupid"

Just food for thought

Posted by ccrosby

@kantrip: If I'm not mistaken, this 'Rising Tide group' is actually just Skye. I'm hoping if they go the secret organization route they go Hydra, AIM or the Hand (though the hand wouldn't make much sense here- we need a new daredevil movie to introduce the ninja aspect to the marvel movie-verse)

As for the show, I'd give it a 2.5 out of 5. Very 'Meh.' I went in expecting spy drama with some light humor and instead got a Saturday morning kids show. It certainly wasn't terrible, but so far it seems Arrow is a way better comic character TV show adaptation for adults. S.H.I.E.L.D. will still be recorded every week on my DVR and I'll definitely give it a few more chances before I write it off- you can never judge a new series by the first episode, or sometimes even the first season.

I did really like three things about the show- the possibility of Coulson being an LMD, or even an A.I. that will turn into Vision at some point, Lola, and Skye (gorgeous, good acting and comedic timing). That lead male agent is unfortunately very forgettable- hopefully they can do something to make me actually care about that character.

Posted by TheHeat

I don't plan to ever watch AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. mainly because of the Coulson issue. I like the character, but any revival completely undermines one of the most important parts of THE AVENGERS for me. Liking the character is what made his death so impactful. It also perpetuates one of the things I hate the most in comics. Death has no meaning or consequence. I'm not going to rant on about this series. Just pretend it doesn't exist.

The show hints that the real Son of Coul is dead, while this AOS' Coulson is a LMD.

Posted by dreamfall31

I thought it was a decent start. I have a feeling a show like this needs it's characters to grow a bit before the show becomes good. I will definitely keep up with it as it's pretty much the only regular TV show I'm interested in.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

I’ll be honest, I was disappointed in the pilot of Agents of SHIELD last night. I decided to make a list of the things that bothered me the most that they should work on.

1) WAY TOO FAST PACE - The easiest way to kill a show or movie for me is moving way too fast. There was a sense that the show was really impatient and wanted to just move to the next scene as fast as possible, which is a huge problem when this first episode is supposed to set up the characters. All the emotional beats were off, and even the jokes fell a little fast because they seem like they had to spout them out before the scene ended. I hope the show slows down after this episode.

Compare this to the first episode of Firefly. One of my favorite introduction was between Shepard and Haylee. You saw the characters breathe in that scene. In this show, it seemed more concerned with gags than character.

2) DISTRACTING MUSIC - One thing that I noticed that drove me nuts was that there were not many silent scenes. Everything was loud and noisy, and it was very tedious to hear this bombarding music. There’s a reason why silent scenes are more effective. It allows the emotions to come naturally, not this score telling you how to feel.

3) HAMMING IT UP - I thought most of the crew was overacting and it got distracting. Greg Clark kept grinning throughout the start that it just took me out of the moments. The best actor of the show was the guy with the powers, and it’s unfortunate that he’s not going to be a lasting cast member. He really was above everyone on this show’s acting level.

4) SKYE - I think this is the character who I was annoyed the most at. With her overly pretentious narration at the start, I went “Uh oh”. The first scene with her at the diner made me groan in frustration. This actress is really overacting and it’s annoying. It was especially noticeable as she was sitting across from the best actor of the episode. She just came off as horribly miscast and incredibly annoying. It got worse when she went into Smug Mode for the rest of the episode.

I think the problem is that I think the character was horribly cast. To be honest, I think a black actress would have been better in this role. Because to me, Skye came off as this super privileged girl who’s ego was just being fed.

I know people will disagree with me on this, but her character really didn’t work for me because she felt so fake.

5) THE SHOW NEEDED FOCUS - I think the show introduced way too many characters in the first episode that none of them had time to just gel. We got a full blown cast of 6 and then the antagonist of the episode. Compare this to Futurama. The first episode was three of the cast. Bender, Fry and Leela. In Agents of SHIELD, they bounced around so much that there was no really impact when the characters were making the jokes.

I think the strongest part of the episode was the climax, but the rest was a fast pace mess. I’m definitively going to watch the next few episodes to see if it gets better, but I got to be honest, this show really disappointed me with it’s first episode.

(Breaking Bad and Fringe spoiled me)

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