How Will Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Change Things Up in 2014?

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 7th, 2014 at 8:54 pm,

Marvel Agents of SHIELD Changes Needed How Will Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Change Things Up in 2014?

When it was revealed that Joss Whedon had not only signed on to write and direct The Avengers sequel (Age of Ultron) and help guide Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but would develop a live-action TV series set in same universe, it was the safest of all bets that the show’s pilot would be picked up. And it did with the help of Marvel branding and the return of fan-favorite Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) from the dead to lead its cast.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered strong on the ratings front but has remained on a mostly downwards slope with a few upswings for key episodes ever since. The midseason finale however, despite being marketed strongly, was the season’s lowest viewed episode yet. So what will ABC and Marvel do to turn things around when Agent Coulson and co. return in January?

When Whedon and writers Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon discussed the show at the outset it was described as a series about the “ordinary” people behind-the-scenes helping keep safe a world now host to super-powered beings and aliens. It would “weave in and out of the films” as Joss told us at Comic-Con but wouldn’t rely on characters from the movies or comics. But are the unknown S.H.I.E.L.D. agents created just for the series enough to sustain a Marvel show – against major hype and expectations – that’s meant to share the same space as the films? Not anymore.

They tried but despite their best efforts, the viewers are dropping off and the reaction to most episodes has been mixed at best – read some reader reactions in the comments here and follow along on Twitter after each episode for examples. TV Guide and The Huffington Post even labeled the series as the season’s “biggest disappointment” – and that’s the type of publicity the Marvel brand cannot accept going forward into Phase Two of the film franchise, and against steep upcoming competition.

Agents of SHIELD Cast1 How Will Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Change Things Up in 2014?

Whether it’s the characters, storytelling, lack of superheroes and characters from Marvel Comics, or the tone of the show, we can expect some changes as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. heads into its most crucial period early next year. The midseason finale ended with a cliffhanger that left many of its key characters in awkward spots (read: an opportunity to change the team chemistry). With two new regulars joining the cast, the creatives have a chance to start fresh in January, should they choose. There’s also a lot riding on the show to help setup some of the background for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.


Page 2: More “Marvel” Tone, More Characters & Cameos Coming


Captain America: The Winter Soldier releases on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: CBRHuffington Post (2), TV Guide

Header art by Dammit-Clint.

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  1. I want them to add mockingbird to Coulsen’s team and I learned that Sif will be in the 15th episode.

  2. The show is, simply put, not good. Coulson is awesome but he’s the only thing about the show that consistently works. The rest of the SHIELD agents are totally forgettable. The dialogue often feels like it’s trying too hard to be “Whedon-esque”. Nothing happens for weeks on end until there is a movie to promote, and then it’s like the show suddenly remembers it takes place in the Marvel Universe. Otherwise there’s little tie-in and the bit that does take place feels tacked on and inorganic.

    As it stands I only watch the episodes with a movie tie-in or if a review says there’s some worthwhile revelation or tie-in. It seems very much like Marvel doesn’t want to contribute, incorporate or cast ANY characters in the show just in case they might use them in the MCU moving forward. This attitude has really given me pause about the shows Marvel has commited to Netflix. If it’s more of the same I wouldn’t bother.

  3. i agree with Talon, some like that would tie in better to the movies.
    Maybe Jessica Drew as an agent of shield,
    Might be good if they used AIM and Hydra more.

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  5. The show wasn’t very strong, in my opinion, until after the tie in with Captain America 2. Now that they’ve incorporated the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D and introduced HYDRA, it’s a lot more exciting. It does seem like they’ve sort of dropped most of the plot line from before the mid season break, though. Perhaps it’s just because there are other issues at hand, but we still want to know what’s special about Coulson.

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  7. Admittedly, MAOS got off to a rocky start, and didn’t really improve much over time; but they have gotten better as the season started running into the Winter Soldier release, and the events in it.

    The comments that not enough supers appear, even in cameos, is valid. As it has been, MAOS has just been CSI in a modded C-17, only not as good. Season two may be a killer, with SHIELD being both defunct, and considered a quasi-terrorist organization. Even agents need to eat, and The Bus doesn’t run on solar energy, or make spare parts out of thin air; and I certainly don’t see this group as being the new core group to re-build SHIELD around.