There’s been a lot of talk on social media over the last few weeks about the ABC Network’s television series, “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.”. Some comments about the show have been negative, some positive, but mostly, people are still talking about it, which is a good sign.
Many of the comments state opinions that the show started off too slowly, and that people are giving up on it. Fair point; it did take a while to really get going, but the script writing has been pretty solid in my humble opinion. Mostly, what I’m getting from people is that they expected to see lots of superheroes involved in this show; I get it, but I have to admit that frankly, this isn’t a realistic expectation.
When you add superheroes into the mix, the budget skyrockets. You have to generate tons of special effects; when you’re talking feature films with budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars for two hours worth of movie, yeah, sure, go crazy with that CGI stuff. On the other hand, when your budget is, let say for example, one million dollars an episode — which has to cover everything from cast and crew salaries, to wardrobe, to set design and building (and location scouting/ procurement), and even paying for lunch for everybody, there just isn’t a lot left for dazzling special effects. It totally makes sense. If you’ve ever read the original Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. comic books from back in the mid-1960s, you already know that the supers only showed up once in a while; it was about espionage and fighting the bad guys.
Personally, I agree that the show started off a bit slowly. I like that it’s a primarily an espionage/thriller series and has links to comic book superheroes, and the recent inclusion of Marvel character Deathlok (Sorry! No more spoilers, I promise!) has — or should have — amped up interest considerably. Having stuck with the show since it premiered last fall, I feel invested in the characters, and want to see what happens next.
Guest appearances by the non-superpowered heroes — like Black Widow, Hawkeye, or even Nick Fury — would be awesome, but I suspect that getting the stars who portrayed these characters in the films would be a budget-buster right off the bat. I would definitely settle for other, low-powered heroes like Nighthawk, Luke Cage, Iron Fist; some of the small-time villains like Shocker, Constrictor, or Baron Zemo, would add a little oomph to the show.
We’ve been DVR-ing Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. so far, but this week we watched the show live, and I can see it developing into an actual EVENT in our household, where we actually plan to watch it while it’s being broadcast instead of waiting for later. That impatience on our part tells me one thing, and it’s the only thing I need to know about this show: they’re doing it right, and it’s working. It’s a good show, even if it can’t showcase superheroes every week. I hope you’ll consider giving the show a chance; it’s worth your time.