Is Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Really Any Good?

agents

Kicking off in 2013, Marvel Studios and ABC co-opted a Whedon-esque network television show intended to give Marvel Cinematic Universe fans a weekly glimpse of the world behind the films. It’s going arguably strong three years later for a number of reasons, some of them unchanged from the original conceit of the show.

Clark Gregg reprises his role as Phil Coulson, the S.H.I.E.L.D. handler killed off by Loki in The Avengers, only to return from the dead seemingly unharmed. This plays as one of the series’ first of several overarching story/mystery threads as Coulson heads up his own special ops team composed of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents with different skills and backstories suited to helping him continue the main mission from the movies: find, handle, and possibly recruit people with superpowers.

From the start, many people were cautiously optimistic about this kind of MCU expansion. If you didn’t get into the show, then you’d miss out on a lot of important context that would supposedly inform the films. In other words, no one wanted the MCU to become as narratively complex and mangled as the comics most of this material is based on, trading simplicity and tight continuity for brand hemorrhaging.

But it turns out that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. set out to do the opposite. Since the midpoint of Season 1, the ABC show has been mostly reactionary to the events of the MCU, to the point where one scene in the first season depicts the agents picking up the literal pieces of the battle from Thor: The Dark World.

agents

This ended up being both an interesting and annoying aspect of the show as it continued this habit just this past year with its narrative attention paid to the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War. On the one hand, it became a fun distraction for the super-fans (or just people who genuinely like the cast and stories) without making it feel necessary to tune in if you want to watch the movies going on in the background. Conversely, it’s expected and ideal for show-watchers to keep up with the MCU movies in order to understand when world-shattering events inform the show…even when they don’t want to

The oddest thing about all of this, though, is the show’s unwillingness to commit itself to MCU crossovers. The only major MCU characters to make an appearance on the show have been Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and Lady Sif,, which begs the question: what gives? Why is the MCU show so afraid of following through on one of the most bankable ratings grabs available to any network show?

Instead of including perhaps an Avenger or one of their supporting players (even the villains), the show has instead begun its fourth year with a new take on Ghost Rider (and the Robbie Reyes version that will never make it to theaters, at that). Granted, they’re doing a good job with the character so far, but this looks quite bad considering how the show’s large attention to Inhumans has either directly or indirectly led to Marvel kicking that standalone movie off of its own Phase III schedule.

This brings me to my main question: is the show really any good? Or is it simply a decent-at-best extension of something we already like? I ask this because I honestly wonder if Marvel Studios is currently asking itself that same question, because their purported faith in the show is not coming across either way. If anything, the MCU seems almost hostile to the idea of crossing over its TV and movie shows, outside of just Agents. The same goes for the apparent lack of any Defenders in upcoming MCU tentpole films, despite Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage all proving to be culturally impactful fan favorites (and Cage’s show hasn’t even come out yet).

agents

To be clear, I don’t belong to the camp of viewers who dismiss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. out of hand or call it playground names as is sometimes seen by people who haven’t bothered to give the show a real chance. Though it got off to a slow start, Agents is as addictive as any network show of its kind, while still pressing on with a likable cast and a worthwhile story. In my view, it’s just a hair better than Agent of Carter, while not quite being as artistically bright as Daredevil or Jessica Jones, but that’s probably by design. Unlike Agents or even Carter, the Netflix shows don’t overtly meddle in the affairs of the MCU. They’re far closer to being standalone offerings, which lifts a lot of the unease some viewers might have about jumping into a piece of entertainment they have to do homework on.

And that’s the biggest problem with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a show with any hope to leave some sort of legacy. Too many of its merits can be misconstrued as results of a series of movies it reacts to, not its own episodes and scripts that place great characters into thrilling situations. The ironic thing is that if you did a thought experiment to separate the show from its MCU context and analyzed everything objectively, you’d probably find one of the zaniest comic book serials ever put to television. This is the same network show that once depicted a middle aged spy jumping out of an airplane only to land in a portal that promptly sent him to another dimension.

So that’s a good argument for why Agents is at least more unique than some give it credit for, but that doesn’t necessarily make the show good. Nor do its occasional brilliant episodes, for that matter. Some of the standouts have been massive character reveals that were unprecedented, like when the show explained the obvious script flaws of a certain bland character by presenting him in a brand new light during Season 1. Or when the show had the gall to make some of its villains more compelling than almost every MCU villain we’ve seen so far.

As a whole, though, it’s hard to say if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the total package—if it’s actually good. It’s easy to say parts of it are good and sometimes great. It’s just as easy to complain about its lack of crossovers with meaningful MCU characters, though we’re usually too distracted by Chloe Benet’s absorbing transformation from people-person hacker to vigilante superhero whose flaw is that she uses her powers too much. Or the eclectic romance of Fitz and Simmons, which just barely avoided wearing out its welcome. Or how the show has a penchant for the extraordinary corners of the Marvel universe the movies will (probably) never touch.

If you consider a show good for these sorts of moments—like providing connective tissue to weird but intriguing comic book fodder too one-note for the movies—then you might just have your answer. And if Agents continues to go down this path of competently made comic book TV that just happens to coincide with great comic book movies, then I have no doubt it will one day be fondly remembered for its merits, not just its premise.

Let me know in the comments if you agree, disagree, or have a show you think should be reevaluated for how good (or bad) it really is.

Jon Negroni

Jon Negroni

I write and I know things.

  • In Brightest Day

    “simply a decent-at-best extension of something we already like” says it best. It’s not horrible, and at its best it can be excellent, but it can’t sustain that for longer than a couple episodes. It probably tries too hard to be part of the MCU. One of the strongest aspects of DD/JJ on Netflix is that there’s the occasional mention of a character or event from a movie, but for the most part they steer clear.

    • Thanostic

      Much as I’d like to agree with you, I’d say at it’s best it can be pretty good. Excellent seems beyond this show’s grasp. I’ll watch again this year hoping for pretty good, but with pretty low expectations.

      • In Brightest Day

        Last year there were a couple episodes early on, especially the one detailing Simmons time on the other world. At the beginning of s2, the first couple eps with the Absorbing Man were great. They just can’t maintain. Agent Carter wiped the floor with it. Wrong kid died!

        • SAMURAI36

          Which is why it can’t create any successful spin-offs. They can keep trying to paint this pony as a race horse all they want, but this show won’t be around last season, especially with it being on the 10PM timeslot, which is the death knell for most TV shows– especially the ones that were already suffering.

          • Jon Negroni

            The odd thing is that some people still think that ABC did this to allow for a darker show.

            Yeah, no. They put it after a two hour comedy block against NCIS, which has like 13 million viewers. It’s clear that they’re setting up the show to be canceled by next year, and this will be their ideal way to prove it’s a good idea.

            And even though I like this show quite a bit, I don’t really blame them.

          • Axxell

            Gotham will sooner be cancelled with a 3.8m premiere at 8pm…

  • Jax Maxton

    I quit the show about mid-season last year. I think the string connection to the MCU has been the weakest aspect of the show. The only time it ever paid off is with the Hydra reveal after Winter Soldier. But otherwise, the connections have been lame and silly. I think the should could have been great at one point with some massive tweaks, but it’s too little too late at this point in the game.

    And that’s a shame. I thin the future of comic book stories is on the small screen, not the big. The Netflix shows have, in some ways, become more exciting and more anticipated than the movies. On the DC side, the CW has slowly assembled a comic book universe on TV that many think is better than the movies so far.

    As Agents of SHIELD continues to be overshadowed by it’s TV cousins on Netflix, I don’t think there is a future for the show in the MCU. It has always been the red-headed step-child that provided some okay entertainment, but never lived up to the hype.

    • Derek Wiles

      I see where you’re coming from. It sounds like there were a lot of limitations placed on AoS that they are trying to work around. I hope this season comes back strong!

  • Derek Wiles

    I love the show. The first season started really slow but it picked up and the dynamic between Fitz and Simmons is really awesome. I hope Fitz regains some of his comedic humor he had in the first season.

    • Jon Negroni

      I think Fitz has come a long way since Season 2, when he was maximum grim dark. Watching him engage with Radcliffe last week was some of the most fun I’ve had watching his character in a while.

  • T-Vo

    So the short answer is “Perlmutter”. I’m surprised the writer of this article didn’t bring up the riff between Permutter (Head of Marvel TV and comics) and Kevin Feige (Head of Marvel studios) Feige fought with Permutter so much that he now reports directly to Iger at Disney. The characters used on TV shows and Neflix are Perlmutters doing and thats why we haven’t seen a crossover since Feige started to report to Iger. The Russso’s said in an interview during that there was a Civil War within Marvel too. I think thats why Russo’s have been so non committal to dismissive of Netflix characters appearing in Infinity War.

    • Jon Negroni

      I almost brought this context up, but in the end I thought it would be distracting to start playing the blame game. What really matters, in this case, is the finished product. At least to me.

      • Axxell

        I still think it’s speculative to say the Inhumans movie was cancelled because of some conflict with the show’s producers, when in reality we all know the movie’s spot has been filled up with other newly surfaced projects since the original schedule was announced (Spiderman, Antman & Wasp, etc).

        • Jon Negroni

          I agree. That’s why I said either directly or indirectly, since we don’t really know for sure. But I can’t help but feel like it has something to do with the low ratings of the show possibly lowering their faith in an Inhumans movie. That definitely shouldn’t be the case, though.

          • Axxell

            It’s more likely to do with the potential the Inhumans franchise has of being the foundation for the next MCU arc, in the same way the X-Men and Avengers are.

          • SAMURAI36

            Why shouldn’t it? Marvel has been trying to push Inhumans for the past few years, in lieu of the X-men, & has been a dismal failure, especially on the publishing end of the company.
            Notice, they don’t seem to be pushing Inhumans anymore on AoShit. It’s a concept that hasn’t caught on in 30 years, & likely isn’t going to.

          • Jon Negroni

            To be fair, I think the show is believably branching off to keep things interesting, not because the Inhumans stuff has failed necessarily. The main character is still an Inhuman and Season 4 begins with Inhumans plotting clashing with more supernatural material.

            As for the comics, I’m definitely annoyed at how Marvel is trying to force these characters to be popular without doing their due diligence. I don’t mind the stories themselves, and the premise of a royal family is perfect territory to merge some Game of Thrones-esque drama into the Marvel continuity. But no, they’ll never fill the X-Men sized hole noticeably missing from the MCU. I prefer how Marvel expanded on Guardians of the Galaxy as its own thing without making it feel like an obvious cash grab, or passive aggressive reshuffling of their comic properties. Makes sense on a business level, but it’s downright shady.

      • SAMURAI36

        People need to know, though. The media presents Marvel as this unified media entity, when the reality is, they are far from it.

        And the fans buy into that narrative, because nobody in the media challenges it. The truth of the matter is, the real “Civil War” takes place behind the scenes.

        Marvel Studios could care less about Marvel TV, especially AoShit. You’re NEVER gonna see any AoShit characters in any of the Marvel movies. You probably won’t see any of the Netflix characters either.

        There were stories online, about how the TV people didn’t learn about the story of Silly War, till they sat down in the theaters to watch it.

        As for AoShit itself, the reality is, it’s a fail. The only reason ABC keeps it on, is because they want their own, homegrown comic book TV show, to compete with other networks that have their own TV shows (mainly DC).
        But in reality, ABC has cancels other TV shows with better ratings than AoShit.

        And here’s the thing that I ALWAYS bring up, but nobody ever wants to acknowledge: Marvel claims that “it’s all connected”, but the general audience doesn’t buy into that. If they did, then why are these Marvel TV shows only averaging about 3-5M viewers an episode?

        You’d think that these MILLIONS of movie goers that spend $10 – $20 a pop for these films, would want to continue their Marvel experience for FREE. But they don’t. You have to be honest, & say that those 3-5M viewers are basically the Marvel diehards. And that’s not just AoShit, but those Netflix shows as well.

        These shows aren’t brining in the viewers, not even a fraction of what the movies bring in. But aren’t these shows are supposed to be so good? So why is it that Supergirl averaged 7-10M viewers, & Walking Dead averages 15 MILLION VIEWERS, with no connection to a Billion dollar cinematic universe, & WD is on one of the smallest networks?

        I’d love to hear your take on it, because Marvel fans only try to deflect.

        • Jon Negroni

          We can definitely agree that the show is hanging by a thread because of its low ratings. That’s undeniable, and I agree it’s mostly because ABC doesn’t really care about its Marvel shows anymore for several key reasons.

          But it has little bearing on the point of this editorial, which is to simply point out whether or not the show itself is actually any good, either on its own or weighed against the same types of superhero shows across DC and Marvel.

          Even if they did have a better relationship with the MCU and included more in-universe content, the main issue is that they under delivered on a promise and premise three years ago…while still delivering something else that can be seen as either better or just slightly worse.

          I would add to your point about the shrinking audience that it’s getting that way due to the show’s narrow barrier of entry. Which is weird to complain about because you can also argue the opposite, that they don’t do enough. That’s why this is such a confusing topic that deserves some breakdown and thinking, which I don’t think will be accomplished if we dwell on the obvious, which is that the best of the MCU is far away from network television.

          Plus, I don’t personally measure whether or not a show is “good” by the numbers it brings in, anyway, and I see no good reason to.

          Sidenote: Do what you want, but when you call these shows aggressively snarky names, it does nothing but make you come off as antagonistic and irrational. I’ve read your comments in the past to know that you’re more insightful than that, and for what it’s worth (if anything at all) your point was made without having to go there.

          • SAMURAI36

            We can definitely agree that the show is hanging by a thread because of its low ratings. That’s undeniable, and I agree it’s mostly because ABC doesn’t really care about its Marvel shows anymore for several key reasons.

            Indeed, we do agree on this. However, I’m curious as to what you think those reasons are.

            But it has little bearing on the point of this editorial, which is to simply point out whether or not the show itself is actually any good, either on its own or weighed against the same types of superhero shows across DC and Marvel.

            Whether it’s “good” or not is purely subjective. But I’ll expound more on this in a moment.

            Even if they did have a better relationship with the MCU and included more in-universe content, the main issue is that they under delivered on a promise and premise three years ago…while still delivering something else that can be seen as either better or just slightly worse.

            I agree with this, but only in theory. A full, genuine, in-universe approach would indeed be a truly novel idea, & it’s precisely what people signed on for. That’s this show’s ONLY real appeal. Otherwise, it’s bland, generic, & not to mention a rehash of probably a half dozen other shows in recent memory.
            Now granted, I don’t think it would improve the actual quality, but at least it wouldn’t be on the verge of getting canceled as it is.

            I would add to your point about the shrinking audience that it’s getting that way due to the show’s narrow barrier of entry. Which is weird to complain about because you can also argue the opposite, that they don’t do enough. That’s why this is such a confusing topic that deserves some breakdown and thinking, which I don’t think will be accomplished if we dwell on the obvious, which is that the best of the MCU is far away from network television.

            I don’t think that point (underlined) should be underestimated. For instance, Do I think there will be a difference in quality between the TV Flash & the movie Flash? Yes, of course. But I think we both agree that TV Flash is perhaps far & away, one of the best CBTV shows, in any generation. In fact, I think it’s pretty fair to say that the movie will be compared to the TV show, & not vice versa.
            Plus, it has the advantage of being its own stand alone entity. And while it won’t be able to escape the comparisons with its movie counterpart, it doesn’t need its counteract to survive.
            The same cannot be said about AoShit. The show is completely dependent upon the rest of the MCU. It’s not even like Arrow, which possessed enough depth to spawn an entire universe.

            Plus, I don’t personally measure whether or not a show is “good” by the numbers it brings in, anyway, and I see no good reason to.

            In a perfect world, we wouldn’t measure things by the numbers, but we both know that art is subjective, & therefore immeasurable. And while the numbers don’t tell the entire story, they do help to pain the picture.
            And I don’t think it’s appropriate to pretend that numbers don’t at least play a part.
            For instance, I can’t speak on the quality of Marvel Netflix; I don’t subscribe to Netflix, & I’m d&mn sure not to sign up, just for Marvel. Similarly, I’m not a fan of Marvel by & large (as I’m sure you’ve been able to glean), but that doesn’t mean that I can’t recognize why the movies are so popular. Thus, it makes sense that it would draw in billions of dollars, much in the same way that the Kardashians do.
            But none of that applies to AoShit. It doesn’t even have any of the entertainment value that the rest of the MCU possesses.

            Sidenote: Do what you want, but when you call these shows aggressively snarky names, it does nothing but make you come off as antagonistic and irrational. I’ve read your comments in the past to know that you’re more insightful than that, and for what it’s worth (if anything at all) your point was made without having to go there

          • Matias Gagliardone

            Actually is not easy to overlook the offensive names you put, I really try to take you seriously and I was thinking hard about what you were saying until I read AoShit in my opinion it undermines what you are saying and it makes it look like you are a child calling people names because you are angry

          • SAMURAI36

            That of course is your prerogative. But you’re acting like I called YOU or someone you know, a name. Whether you believe it or not, that says more about you, than it does me.

          • Matias Gagliardone

            I mean you do make some good points sometimes but then they are shadowed by the times you simply hate because it’s a Marvel property, it is difficult to take you objectively that way

          • SAMURAI36

            I never once said I “hate because it’s a Marvel property”. Please don’t put words in my mouth. This just sounds like you’re looking for any reason/excuse not to take what I say seriously.

          • Jon Negroni

            Why are the show’s ratings low? In my opinion, part of it is because most people can’t get past the first four episodes, which are lackluster. Despite getting great reviews over the years and being well-liked by its fans, the general public has no interest in a case of the week show involving superhero movies unless they’re really into those movies. The weird thing is that at times, I really do believe the show is good enough on its own to be enjoyed by non-MCU fans, but it’s too inconsistent to gain and maintain a big audience.

            These aren’t the only reasons, I’m sure, but they’re the most long-lasting problems the show has had.

            Yes, whether or not the show is good is “subjective.” Which is why I bothered to write this. I laid out some honest observations about what’s good and bad about the show so that the Heroic Hollywood community could weigh in and decide for themselves. And so far, that’s pretty much worked to good effect because even die hard fans are thinking critically about this show, which is awesome. And the fact that you don’t enjoy the show for these reasons and more also hold weight.

            As for the numbers, I get where you’re coming from, but the reason I don’t think they’re as relevant is because of how many great shows have come and gone despite low ratings. Firefly is a shining example of this. I agree it plays a part in explaining how the show might have limited appeal (that’s a decent argument), but it doesn’t say much about the show’s quality overall because the ratings haven’t really dropped all that much over the years or in an extraordinary way. The show has held on to its small audience, for what it’s worth, and deservedly so in my opinion.

          • SAMURAI36

            Why are the show’s ratings low? In my opinion, part of it is because most people can’t get past the first four episodes, which are lackluster. Despite getting great reviews over the years and being well-liked by its fans, the general public has no interest in a case of the week show involving superhero movies unless they’re really into those movies. The weird thing is that at times, I really do believe the show is good enough on its own to be enjoyed by non-MCU fans, but it’s too inconsistent to gain and maintain a big audience.

            You make great points, but I don’t think we should underestimate people’s preconceived notions of what AoShit was supposed to be from the onset. Even Clark Gregg himself got mad at the fans, calling them “haters” for not liking the show, because they were expecting something totally different from what they got.

            http://comicbook.com/blog/2014/01/30/clark-gregg-says-fans-who-gave-up-on-agents-of-s-h-i-e-l-d-are-losers/

            (EDIT: He actually called them “losers”, pardon my misquote)

            This show spilled out of the MCU. The main character (Gregg/Coulson) came from the films. SHIELD came from the films. The people who showed up for the movies in droves were disappointed in what they got from the show, both in quality & quantity (pigeon-holed storylines, lazer-tag costumes, z-list characters, etc)

            Are people wrong for having that expectation? Is that not a fair one to have?

            These aren’t the only reasons, I’m sure, but they’re the most long-lasting problems the show has had.

            Agreed.

            Yes, whether or not the show is good is “subjective.” Which is why I bothered to write this. I laid out some honest observations about what’s good and bad about the show so that the Heroic Hollywood community could weigh in and decide for themselves. And so far, that’s pretty much worked to good effect because even die hard fans are thinking critically about this show, which is awesome. And the fact that you don’t enjoy the show for these reasons and more also hold weight.

            Very true. I’d also like to add, that there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance attached to this stuff, & this article/discussion goes in a great & far way to dispel at least some of that.

            As for the numbers, I get where you’re coming from, but the reason I don’t think they’re as relevant is because of how many great shows have come and gone despite low ratings. Firefly is a shining example of this.

            I concede to this. Constantine is, IMO, another great example. To the point that a huge petition was created to bring the show back. However, I think most people agree that most shows cannot survive on the 10pm timeslot. Which is why I know that ABC putting AoShit at that timeslot is the show’s final death knell.

            I agree it plays a part in explaining how the show might have limited appeal (that’s a decent argument), but it doesn’t say much about the show’s quality overall because the ratings haven’t really dropped all that much over the years or in an extraordinary way. The show has held on to its small audience, for what it’s worth, and deservedly so in my opinion.

            Which is why I say that it begins to paint a picture, not tell the entire story. But another tell tale of the show’s lack of success, is that it was on an almost perfect primetime slot (Tues, 9pm), & on a major network.

            There’s no reason that such a show, with the backing of a majorly, WILDLY successful franchise, is doing equal to, or less than shows that are on smaller, paid networks (CW, AMC), with no connections to any larger franchise.

            Nobody disputes the fact that TWD is lauded as perhaps THE best CBTV show currently on the air. And most people hold the Flash as one of the best superhero TV shows. However, outside of the Marvel diehards, AoShit isn’t even the general conversation. ost people forego AoShit, & speak about Marvel Netflix.

            Also, I have to disagree with you latter statement. AoShit’s opening season premier ratings have always been higher.
            http://tvseriesfinale.com/tv-show/marvels-agents-of-shield-season-three-ratings-38242/
            This season’s premier is the lowest it’s been, since the very beginning of season 1 (precluding the DVR numbers).
            And, I continue to say that the show has survived in spite of itself. As I mentioned, ABC has cancelled shows with better ratings in the recent past, even while AoShit was still on the air. This leads me to believe, as I’ve also stated before, that ABC wants their own homegrown CBTV show, to compete with other shows from other franchises.
            That is, until recently, at least. I’m beginning to think ABC doesn’t really care about it (or even other Marvel shows) that much at this point.

          • Axxell

            I wouldn’t listen to anything he has to say. He has the most sad vitriolic hatred for Marvel I’ve seen on the internet.

  • The One Above All

    In my opinion is one of the best TV shows about heroes, the problem is with Marvel Studios does not believe in the show’s potential and does not help to get better. Marvel Studios doing it, let your sad fans with this attitude

    • Matias Gagliardone

      I agree, personally I like it more than arrow and the flash lately. I mean I loved flash season 1 and arrow up to season 2 but they just got worse while AoS got better each season IMO

  • NinjinSteve

    I gave this show a chance for 2 and a half seasons. The reason it isn’t good does not have anything to do with movie cross overs. That’s a ridiculous over simplification, that has nothing to do with storytelling. It isn’t good is because it’s a poorly written mess that really has no idea what direction it wants to go. It also does not have the budget it requires for its own premise. Period. It’s network tv. The days of shows like the X-files are over. Why do you think Disney is so hesitant to do a live action Star Wars series on ABC? Because the model just doesn’t work. It will look cheap and taint the brand.

    • Jon Negroni

      I never said that a lack of movie crossovers means the show isn’t good, so no oversimplification. This was a long, elaborate case that weighs the good and bad of the show against each other for viewers to decide on their own if they think the show is any good.

  • madmanrm

    It feels like they’re just winging it sometimes, but i’m still a sucker for these marvel shows ?

    • SAMURAI36

      And my point is proven.

      • madmanrm

        Kudos to you for being right ?
        It’s obvious that marvel is milking it with AoS and even though they are a bit far from a marvel-netflix like quality, i’m sure they will still try to push to make a great content to keep up since they have lots of other properties to choose from that can still make sense in the “shared universe”. I think with their contractual limitations and by starting as a reactionary by design type of show, they will only stay to be a decent-at-best extension of the movies but that can’t all be a bad thing. I do appreciate their current efforts of trying to bring the best on-screen ghost rider that we’ve seen so far.

  • It’s VERY good, in fact my favourite TV show from the first episode. That said, it doesn’t live up to the expectations of people who look at it through a juvenile lens that expects either 1) production values (read: Expensive Special Effects Shots) equal to movies that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, or 2) crossovers every week or two with other franchises. Also expensive, by the way.

    Instead, it is what it is. Established in the first minute of the first episode is a critical fact: it’s a show about how extraordinary people who are nonetheless devoid of any super powers can contribute in a universe that contains super-villains and cosmic threats. I was probably the only S.H.I.E.L.D. fan who was disappointed when Skye became an inhuman, because it took away that element. While it may be heroic for Superman to stand up to Lex Luthor, or Iron Man to Obadiah Stone, how much more so for someone who is vulnerable and prone to dying from the next blow? (one of the things that lends appeal to heroes like Batman or The Daredevil, by the way) AoS is good due to excellent writing, acting, and character development. Things that seem foreign to some of its more popular competition.

    If you want flashy crap, where the ‘story’ such as it is is just a thin thread tying one special effect to the next, watch “The Flash.” Bad writing, terrible acting, but SUPER POWERS from the git-go, and a terrible romantic subplot between Barry and Iris. Whatever. I stopped watching after the first season, and frankly am sorry that I gave it that much of a chance. A total waste of time.

    ABOUT ME: I just turned 65, and was a comic books fan in the ’60s and early ’70s – about up to the time when I had my first serious girlfriend and started spending money that had been allocated to comics on dating and condoms. My opinions are not likely to coincide with people who are still virgins, living with their mothers, and buying acne medications in bulk.