Disney paired the Blu-ray and DVD releases of both Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete First Season” and “Captain America: Winter Soldier” together in a very smart move. It helps both products promote each other and no doubt monopolize the home entertainment sales for the week. There’s no question as to which one needs the most help with its marketing push.
Agent Phil Coulson leads a team against international terrorist threats too big for the U.S. military and government to take on. As the team is dispatched on missions, they discover there’s more to the world than what we experience in our everyday lives. Super villains exist that threaten the very existence of humanity. It’s S.H.I.E.L.D.’s job to intervene when the Avengers and other heroes cannot.
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” was so up and down in the ratings and rightfully suffered a lot of negative feedback from diehard and casual fans of comic book movies and TV shows. I gave up trying to follow it on a weekly basis after the first six episodes failed to engage me. After hearing from several trusted sources that it started to pick up, I decided I wanted to give it another chance. Thanks to its home entertainment release, I was given a second attempt at revisiting it.
While it definitely did improve from the first uninspiring few episodes, I can’t say that I was excited. As the credits rolled on the finale, I still didn’t feel a sense of urgency for the next season. One of the biggest problems with the show is a cast of characters that just don’t engage me. There’s nothing all that interesting about any of them and the actors’ performances don’t demand my attention.
Another issue is a lack of an engaging plot or story concepts that truly feel stunning or bring anything new to the Marvel Universe. I understand what “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is trying to be. It’s a show about the organization and people working behind the scenes of the super heroes. What it feels like is a comic book show without the flair of what drives people to read its very source material.
Whether the Whedons and other producers of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” want to admit it or not, the show desperately NEEDS the presence of super heroes. I have a very simple answer to the problem. The Marvel Universe is made up of literally hundreds if not thousands of different characters. I understand that they can’t bring in the A-listers like Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, or Thor for guest appearances on the show.
What about all the countless other B and C list legends who never get their moment in the limelight? How about three or four-arc storylines featuring Dazzler, She-Hulk, Blink, Captain Britain, Comet Man, Man-Thing, or Longshot? That’s just to name a few right off the top of my head.
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete First Season” boasts special features that give viewers Level 7 clearance. It contains featurettes like "Journey into S.D.C.C." and "Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe." There’s also five behind-the-scenes “Field Reports.” Audio commentaries, bloopers, and deleted scenes are included as well.
Most Marvel fans will embrace “[Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469)” at face value. Apparently, I just expected more from the producers of such giant blockbusters like “Iron Man,” “Avengers,” and the “Captain America” movies. The show could be so much better than it is. Maybe if the Whedons can quit trying to fit all the characters into their “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” mold, it might start working better and deliver some bigger and more unique thrills.