REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Pilot
The Marvel movie franchise that started years ago back in the early 2000’s has made such a smash at the box office that it has now made its way into homes across America in the form of television. Fans have been waiting months to finally get to watch the first episode of SHIELD and now that it aired last night Major Spoilers is here to give a review.
Intigration with the films
Adjusting to TV
Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: A group of super powered individuals came together to save an alien invasion in New York City. This is not the story of those individuals, but the shadowy organization that backed them throughout their mission.
SO. MUCH. SEXY.
This first episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. serves as a variation of “getting the team together.” We are introduced to Agent Grant Ward who is the thrill seeking agent, Melinda May as the reluctant former agent pulled back in, Phil Coulson as the not dead agent from Avengers, the smart gadget duo of Fitz and Simmons, and eventually Skye. Besides being involved with S.H.I.E.L.D. all of the characters share one common characteristic: they are all good looking individuals. Coming from the movies this is no real surprise as every character in those are equally attractive, but even the “villain” of this episode was above mildly attractive.
Even though this pilot episode goes through the process of putting the team together it worked well for two different reasons. First off, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. draws influence from the Marvel comics, so what would happen in the first issue in a team-up book after the threat has been presented? Putting the team together. Second this concept worked well here because S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t copy and past the formula from other works but is able to throw in elements around the troupe that kept the plot interesting. Pulling in the continuity of this year’s Iron Man 3 as the basis for why the team needs to be together was a fantastic idea since it was the most recently released Marvel film so it is fresh in the minds of audiences and gives S.H.I.E.L.D. the larger connection to the films that fans want.
Not every element of the premiere episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was perfectly executed though. In the beginning we are presented with a shocking revelation that there may just be more superheroes than those “Heroes of New York.” It would turn out that the human we are shown is in fact not a superhero but simply an experiment for a “Project Centipede.” Realizing this was disappointing because if the man would have turned out to be a superhuman, we could have seen our first non-white hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY
In the world of media franchises Marvel has certainly gone a route that most would not. Instead of creating the television show that goes for five seasons and then gets a movie, they went the route of creating seven large scale movies and then venturing into TV. With that step from the silver screen to the small screen there are going to be aspects of creation that will be impossible to replicate.
One of the most notable shifts is that S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t look like a movie due to the frame rate difference between the two mediums. A small increase of six frames a second may not sound like much on paper, but it does equate to a lot visually. And, the visuals are the second big change from the films. S.H.I.E.L.D. does not have the budget of Avengers and because of this the special effects do not look as polished. This is nothing against the visual effects in the show at all, but they aren’t 120 million dollar movie quality, which is all that we have seen of this world previously and may turn away viewers that expect the same quality as what they have seen at their local cinema.
BOTTOM LINE: A VISION INTO THE FUTURE FOR MARVEL
All in all, the pilot episode for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. surpassed my original expectations for the show. While moments of the show smelt of the stinkiest cheese in the writing and acting, the ties to the larger continuity, the subtle twists in the plot, and Clark Gregg being Clark Gregg ultimately made the episode an enjoyable experience. Marvel certainly has the potential to set up future plot lines for movies inside this show which may just make the show worth watching so you proudly proclaim your depth knowledge of events while leaving the theater after the next Avengers movie. If you are a fan of what Marvel has done with the movies, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is certainly worth your time for a quick viewing.