Readers of this blog know I can't resist a good pun. I have to say it was good to see J. August Richards, "Gunn", of Angel fame to lead off this show. I know I had seen him on "Arrow" but it wasn't the same since he played the nasty character of Mr. Blank. To see him here as a nominal good guy pulled at the old heart strings for the days of Buffy and Angel.
I know I'm digressing from the real point of the show but you can't have a Whedon reference without a Whedon discussion. It's hard to believe he still has his detractors. There may be a few more after this show is reviewed.
So, Agents of SHIELD made it's "August" debut and I found it light, funny, self aware (always important with me) and somewhat dramatic. Does the "Somewhat dramatic" count against this show? Skimming the internet today I know "Agents" had its critics. Not tough enough, too light, and so forth.
I think we have to remember this show airs at the eight o'clock hour. If you want a Game of Thrones level of violence you'd better stick to premium cable at a later hour. (For them that would be nine o'clock.)
I have to admit I was surprised by the light touch of this show. We are dealing with the superhero world. Things blow up, crash and disintegrate all the time. Not that I don't appreciate the humor of the show. There were plenty of laughs such as the "poop with knives sticking out of it" line and Agent Ward being stuck with truth serum and going on about beautiful women. Plus, there is no better straight man than Clark Gregg. His entrance with the light bulb was dryly funny. He's the straight man's straight man. So can we talk about the elephant in the room mystery about his resurrection?
Another thing I could appreciate about this show were the nods to the larger mythology of the Marvel universe. After all, there would be no Agents of SHIELD without the movies. The only hazard here is the expectation from the fans to see some of these heroes. It doesn't seem like that is going to happen to any great degree. We'll have to be happy with brief glimpses and clever nods to things like the Sony property of Spiderman when Richard's "Mike Peterson" climbed the wall (get it "Perterson as in Peter - Son, an off shoot of "Peter" Parker.) and Agent Ward throwing the plate like Captain America's shield during his fist fight in Paris.
So, all in all it wasn't a bad start. Ron Glass has a job again and that's always good. Perhaps the light touch and the eight o'clock hour has a lot to do with attracting the younger fans. That might seem cynical but you have to share your property with all ages if you want to attract business across all demographics. Something baseball has failed to learn but the smoking industry knows all too well. See the World Series starting after nine at night and the "Joe Camel" campaign.
Like my previously reviewed "Sleepy Hollow" both shows are in the probation stage. Too early to give up on but no too early to nitpick. Let's hope both shows mange to keep their early vision and hit one out of the park.
(Ugh, that was bad even for me.)