Birthday miracles do come true as our IT team worked around the clock (read: finally got around to it after a week and a half and fixed it in 15 minutes) to correct my lack of access to the “New Post” button. I still think that MIDWEST MO ‘Tronned’ his way into our site and took out my login in a fierce light cycle race. Never the stranger to one-uppmanship, I’m going to figure out how to jump in a Delorean and make sure his login was never made. I’ll invite CHRISTOPHER LLOYD along for the ride.
So it’s the night that a great deal of America has been waiting for… the premiere of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Have you ever wondered what happens in the background when the Hulk isn’t punching Thor? Yea, me neither. But we find out anyway, and Marvel takes a pretty big gamble in bringing us this show. Take one of the most profitable franchises of all time, strip out all of the recognizable characters and build a television series around it. As bizarre an ideas as it sounds, it sure seemed to pay off pretty well.
The story itself nestles nicely between the end of AVENGERS and the beginning of IRON MAN 3. Let’s sum up the pilot’s plot: Agent Coulsen isn’t really dead and leads a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents + some hot chick off the street to find some early rejects of the Extremis program, codenamed “Centipede” (not to be confused with “The Human Centipede”, you sick SOB).
Amazingly, the show largely hit the bullseye. It looks and feels like a natural extension of the Marvel universe and retains a very Joss Whedon-esque sense of style. I will say a couple of things, though… the characters are relatively uneven with the “Main” guy played by relative newcomer BRETT DALTON and the token hot chick played by NASHVILLE’S CHLOE BENNET being pretty damn good, but some of the other agents namely Melinda May (played by MING-NA WEN of ER and STARGATE fame) might as well have been a cardboard cutout rocking back and forth with strings.
CLARK GREGG and COBIE SMULDERS appear to lend the most continuity with the movies, although Cobie isn’t in it for very long. Now for CLARK GREGG… the fan favorite Agent Coulsen. He’s not dead. Although there’s something goofy going on with his supposed resurrection that I would very much assume comes to the forefront in a few episodes. Coulsen is a cool dude in the movies, popping in for a few minutes here and there to deadpan some one-liners and moving along. Taking a character like that and making him the lead role was interesting, and I can’t honestly say yet whether he’s awesome or not. He’s not bad, although hopefully his fairly one-sided character will continue to be interesting after the bulk of the season.
Overall, the pilot episode deserves a strong B+. Good action and generally good acting. The superhero/villain of the week had a great monologue near the end, but the climax fell flat holding no real sense of danger like it should have given the circumstances.
I’m sure it’s going to be a ratings juggernaut (Marvel universe humor +1!) but let’s see what the next episodes hold to make a determination of the show as a whole.