Does the ‘Captain America 2′ Trailer Prove ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Has Failed?

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 13th, 2013 at 4:15 pm,

agents of shield coulson sad 570x294 Does the Captain America 2 Trailer Prove Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Has Failed?

For the past five weeks, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  has been attempting to make the transition from fledgling series into an earnest entry in Marvel’s ever-growing universe. But with the release of the spectacular Captain America: The Winter Solider trailer – while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is taking a week off -  one must begin to wonder if Marvel has accidentally put the coffin nail in their struggling television counter-part with but a mere trailer reveal.

Let’s get it out of the way now: The Captain America: The Winter Solider trailer – all 2:27 minutes of it – is a better episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. than all the aired episodes of the series combined. Of course, when it comes to watching minutes of a $150+ million production, there’s no way a television show budget can even compare. Not one bit.

This, however, is not what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. should be worried about.

agents of shield coulson 2 570x294 Does the Captain America 2 Trailer Prove Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Has Failed?Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Throughout the Captain America: The Winter Solider trailer, viewers are finally able to see more of the inner-workings of Marvel’s secret agency which, from the point of view of the television series, has largely consisted of cramped office spaces, a generic computer lab and parking so scarce that Coulson has to park his sports car, Lola, in a plane. On the other hand, the S.H.I.E.L.D. depicted in the trailer is an impressive, awe-inspiring organization whose resources are on full display. Putting the theatrical  vs. TV budgets debate aside, what the newly-released Cap 2 trailer unfortunately does is call into question the purpose of the Aos TV series – even more than audiences already have.

517986061 c 620 439 Does the Captain America 2 Trailer Prove Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Has Failed?

What we have so far is this: Agent Coulson – (formerly) S.H.I.E.L.D.’s top agent – is killed, brought back to life (somehow) and is “stuck” with a cast of misfits who don’t really do all that much and aren’t all that successful. In the 5 episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that have aired, there have been multiple accounts of inside information being leaked out, 2 supervillains created, 1 new girl leading an “important” mission, and 0 mysteries revealed during those never-ending plane rides. It seems, in part, that Coulson may have been given the most boring division of S.H.I.E.L.D. there is.

With a rag-tag group consisting of the silent one (Melinda May), the generic one (Grant Ward), the new one (Skye) and two “geeks” who are likely too talkative to make it onboard the Helicarrier, Coulson has been traveling the globe for seemingly no reason or purpose. Nothing, as of yet, has really come from any of the missions that they’ve been sent on, and Coulson is still making over-the-top references about how something is a bit off.

captain america 2 agents of shield 570x294 Does the Captain America 2 Trailer Prove Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Has Failed?Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Then comes the Captain America: The Winter Solider trailer, and S.H.I.E.L.D. is shown as the powerful organization that it is – not just by its impressive arsenal of planes, vehicles and a Helicarrier, but by its intense dedication to the protection of the planet. This is what one can simply intuit from the trailer; no mysteries or over-the-top musical accompaniments are needed. Everyone and everything has a purpose, and there isn’t a single person running around wondering what they’re supposed to be doing, or making references to how important a specific mission is. If something is important, audiences – especially in today’s age – will know.

In short, what the Cap 2 trailer lacks in time to fully develop its characters and their story, it makes up with CGI and effects. Don’t know how impressive S.H.I.E.L.D. is? Watch the gigantic Helicarrier crash in to the earth. As a television show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cannot keep up in that way – and it isn’t, thankfully. What Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. should be doing is taking the extended time provided – its version of a $150+ million budget – and tell intimate tales worth telling, or that are at least interesting, while actually making us feel like we are embedded in an actual top espionage agency dedicated to protecting the planet.

agents of shield plane 570x294 Does the Captain America 2 Trailer Prove Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Has Failed?Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Right now, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a series with no soul or purpose, and there’s no number of supervillain origins that will change that. It’s a television show that exists because it need$ to. Instead of stretching the small cast and limited budget to the max with production tricks, viewers are met with unnecessary, over-reaching tales that make it absolutely obvious that you’re watching a superhero(-esque) series on a budget, on ABC at 8pm. But even if S.H.I.E.L.D. makes the necessary tweaks to finally earn its early season renewal, can it survive the upcoming onslaught of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?


NEXT PAGE: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. & Marvel’s Future Plans


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  1. Simply put…Movie version of shield is Christopher Nolan dark & serious tone, while the TV version of shield is Joss Weldon light& forced punch line after forced punch line tone.

  2. How do you make a super high level, super covert, highly trained & organized agency of the level of shield into a comedy with a rag tag band of misfits on missions??? Poorly thought out concept & delivery of the brand.

  3. Person of Interest is a MUCH better superheroesque show, because everyone who watches it knows it’s actually a superhero show in disguise ;)

    • Best show on network television by far.

  4. Need I remind the author that, as they’ve established, the show is only five episodes in?

    • And shows have usually established whether they’re good or not by episode 5 and AoS has clearly established itself as a not very good or interesting show.

      Will you be saying the “give it time” comment midway through season 2 when it’s still failing to do anything of note?

      • Exactly. And like I’ve been saying, there are plenty of recent shows (Breaking Bad, Hannibal, The Walking Dead, Sherlock) that didn’t need to get five episodes in to be good.

        • And there are plenty of shows that do….Cheers, Friends, Everyone Loves Raymond, ER and Seinfeld.

          Its called “every book should not be judged by its cover”.

          Firefly did not find its audience until after its cancellation and then it managed to get itself a major motion picture.

          The original Star Trek barely made 3 seasons and that was only after letter writing campaign and then managed to spawn a legacy many years later after its final cancellation.

      • True, but to be fair, the episodes airing now were all in the can before the series premiered and they really had a grasp on what they’re doing, Jeph Loeb’s assertions to the contrary, otherwise. They have yet to air episodes that may (or may not) make corrections on the show based on feedback and response. So, it’s possible the show could change quite a bit in the next few episodes.

        • Let’s hope so.

      • I already think AOS is good for the most part. Also, I don’t think it’s stranding still. There’s definitely enough intrigue to keep me interested and I’ve been pretty impressed with the action so far. The centipede and rising tide stuff is interesting to me and I like the cast. My wife isn’t enjoying it at all and she’s a hardcore whedonite.

        I really hope it finds it’s stride and makes everyone eat humble pie.

      • Straw man argument. I cannot stand straw man arguments.

    • This is prime time TV though; and the net execs and critics are less forgiving. you go slow like dollhouse and the net execs will axe your show before you get to the good part!

  5. There are already 2 Agents of Shield shows on called Blacklist and Person OF Interest

  6. The last time I checked my(any) remote had a channel button. You don’t have to watch AOS, I’m not after three MEH episodes. I’m leaving it for Whedon/Marvel/Disney fan boys. Arrow owns AOS.

    • “Arrow owns AoS”

      You deserve a +100.

      Seriously, Arrow has done in 3 episodes what AoS has failed to do in 5. Given us interesting characters, an interesting series of plots and some pretty spectacular scenes with massive plot twists you never saw coming.

      AoS gave us….um…..well, Skye and Fitz are attractive women at least, that’s the only thing this show has going for it.

      • Pretty much, I have a lot of problems with Arrow but I still enjoy the show as I like the characters a lot. I also find it’s one of the rare occasions where flashback scenes are done right and keep my interest up.

        I can’t say a single thing about AoS that I actually enjoy, the show lacks character, depth and any meaningful connection with the MCU movies.

      • I think Arrow has set the bar on how good comic book shows can be. It’s almost like it’s the cookie cutter. you could put Daredevil in place of Arrow, call it Murdock and make it be about him being a blind lawyer and his struggles with being daredevil. Have the Kingpin be the big main baddie in first season, throw in a little Elektra and Bullseye and there you go.
        Heroes for Hire another great concept that could be done with limited budget. List goes on and on for what TV budgets can do.

    • Agreed! Each week, I wait in anticipation for the next Arrow episode, whereas with AoS I barely remember it’s on. I think that much of it is that Arrow has likable characters that have entertaining interactions with each other. I’m constantly getting annoyed with the characters on AoS. I still like Coulson, but Ming Na Wen isn’t believable for a second as May. Every time she opens her mouth, I can’t help but shake my head while she makes that stupid angry-at-the-world face. The rest of the characters just act like a bunch of teenagers.

    • The first half of the first season of Arrow was awful. The show might be better now (im not watching because the lead guy is horrible). It might be “good” now, but those first several eps were ROUGH. Im not saying AoS will get better, but id give a half season run before closing the lid on it.

      • This is true, and the showrunners will admit to it. While there were good elements to the series in the first few episodes, Episode 9 was the first legitimately good episode of the early run of the season. Then, it wasn’t until Episode 13 or 14 when they completely turned a corner and became a far stronger series. This season, though, is significantly better in just about every way.

        • i find myself genuinely surprised at the CW for this show. I wrote it off in season 1, caught it on Hulu then couldnt stop watching. Kudos if they can find a way to build the DC universe out of it.

  7. “It seems, in part, that Coulson may have been given the most boring division of S.H.I.E.L.D. there is.”
    That’s because Coulson IS the most boring character & Actor in the Marvel Universe.
    “obvious that you’re watching a superhero(-esque) series on a budget, on ABC at 8pm. ”
    Because you are. What do you expect? It’s just a little Marvel Filler.A Taste between every 3 or 4 year Epics. Take a look at the Boredom factor of every X-men movie to date. (Haven’t seen Wolverine,but it actually looks like a Movie). And now you got a Teaser of the Snore fest Mashup coming up.
    You are projecting impossible expectations onto a Weekly TV show. To get it right as you would like ,they needed to do it on a Cable channel. But actually ,the whole idea is not good enough for Cable.

  8. Before you all write AOS off completely, and in light of the Captain America trailer, consider the following things about SHIELD and Coulson so far:

    SHIELD is a pretty new organization in the Marvel Universe. In Iron Man, it is a brand new entity. This makes it 6 years old. Why wouldn’t they be recruting new, young talent?

    Do you think it’s a coincidence that Coulson-who helped recruit the freaking Avengers-is leading a team that just HAPPENS to stumble upon superhuman after superhuman? Or that nobody else in SHIELD is aware of these individuals/organizations?

    Clearly, something has been done to Coulson. References are made in almost every episode to how he has changed. It seems pretty clear to me that SHIELD is prepping him for something, under the guise of charging him with leading a few young agents to investigate this superhuman activity.

    I think there’s a bigger game being played by the higher-ups in SHIELD, and it will be gradually revealed as the season progresses.

    • If only they’d make it less of a chore to watch the show so we can get through enough episodes to find out if that’s true.

    • A test for Coulson, that’s what I figured. As far as the Cap. Amer.: Winter Soldier Trailer affecting the show I’m thinking it doesn’t because, I believe, A O S is based before Thor: Dark World. Everything we see in Winter Soldier could be the end result of Thor’s previous battle on Earth (that’s how it looks in the trailer anyway). Regardless the cinematic universe has definitely closed in on the shows options. I wonder how they’re going to keep this show running into season 2. The only way I can see them gaining any breathing room is to set the show well before Thor 2, however this could be disasterous by losing the audience. Who wants to live in the past when the future is more interesting? Perhaps a swan song is in order. “Agent Coulson, cue the fat lady please.”

      • I think the producers missed a golden opportunity with this show. When I first heard about the show’s concept I had hoped it was to be based well before the first Ironman film. Alas it wasn’t to be. The connections they could have made to Stark Industries, Dr. Banner, Shield’s growing pains… Put a fork in me, I’m done.

    • Actually that is not true…didn’t Agent Carter get placed in charge of Shield in her mini back during WWII? The current rebooted incarnation of Shield might be new…but I think that is part of the storyline in CAP 2 about the origina and second generation of the orgs and I think where Robert Redford comes into the story if I understood it correctly?

      • It was definitely a new organization in Iron Man:

        Agent Phil Coulson: I’m Agent Phil Coulson with the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.
        Virginia ‘Pepper’ Potts: That’s quite a mouthful.
        Agent Phil Coulson: I know. We’re working on it.

        • in iron man 2 nick fury told tony that his father was one of the founders of shield, something along those lines.

          • the organization itself is pretty old, the acronym S.H.I.E.L.D. is the only thing new in IM

        • I think that conversation was more for the audience than for what has been established in the MCU now. (Retconning sure seems to help that, too.)

      • You’re partly correct. SHIELD, as it is, was, in fact, created in the same time as Iron Man. However, SHIELD did exist in WWII, but under a different name with a different prerogative. Carter was part of the evolution of the SSR program that created Cap. They realized, after the events of CA:TFA, that there were “alien” forces and new science/magic at work in the world. Thus, what Carter was involved in was the embryo stage of what, much later, became SHIELD.

        • Exactly. And why wouldn’t they recruit new talent for a fresh-faced organization? I don’t find it that far-fetched, especially since I contend that this is partly a ruse by SHIELD to prepare Coulson for something in the future.

        • Carter was the first agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., as the SSR is renamed — seemingly in honor of Steve Rogers — in the ’40s as the ‘Agent Carter’ one-shot establishes. She, Tommy Lee Jones’ character, and Howard Stark are the first heads of the newly formed S.H.I.E.L.D.

    • well i don’t think you paid attentention when you watch iron man caus shield has been there for many years howard stark was a founding member of shield so it has been there for way more than 6 years.

  9. There is still hope for the show to truly shine. I will be watching episodes 6 – 7 because, based on information I have found online, they seem to be a raise-the-stakes two part’er. If they cannot win me with that, then I guess the show is just not for me.

  10. I think Marvel will explain this as saying that since Coulson has his own independent SHIELD team, everything that happens with SHIELD in Cap 2 will not affect Coulson’s team mainly because they are out on their own.

  11. Wow, this site sure has a hate on for this show. How many articles do we need on how much AOS sucks. I think we get the message.

    • Seems to me more likely that the people at SR are disappointed with the show after having the same high hopes the rest of us did that it would feature a non-powered team of spies uncovering the aftermath of super-powered people emerging into the world and solving mysteries along the way that tie into the universe the movies have built.

      Instead we just have “generic group traveling the globe but not really amounting to much in the long run”.

    • I agree Tyr25. SR are really beating this thing to death.

    • I totally agree. I understand that the show is disappointing for some and it certainly isn’t up there with the best TV has to offer. However, I have loved all 5 episodes and enjoy the show for what it is, and hour long taste of the MCU in between our waits for the features.

  12. To add to what I said above, I don’t think these people seem out of place on SHIELD. Where were all the badass SHIELD Agents when Hawkeye and his team attacked the helicarrier in the Avengers? Not ONE of them stepped up to help Fury, Hill, and the Avengers save the helicarrier. I think the AOS agents would have fit in quite nicely, and hidden with the rest of them.

  13. 10 years ago, AoS would have been great. Shows like Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Spartacus, Sons of Anarchy etc has raised the bar for television insanely high. Also being linked to a movie franchise that many love increases viewers expectations as well.

    Also I think people want to see superheroes, so many of us grew up reading comicbooks. Shows like Heroes, Misfits, Arrow, Smallville, Tomorrow People are/did quite well. I even enjoyed watching No Ordinary Family. Birds of Prey, not so much. AoS is equivalent to watching a show on Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog.

    • I think you nailed it.

      Many audiences these days are too savvy and aren’t afraid to admit when they don’t like something while those still defending the show seem to have their head in a cloud of denial because they’re still in the kind of mindset that 10 years ago would’ve been perfectly acceptable (and gave utter crap like Firefly, Angel, Buffy and Charmed a big following).

      If this is what happens with a Marvel TV show then what impression is AOS giving us when it comes to future Star Wars shows?

      • thanks for bringing star wars live show up !!
        Its a nightmare since lucas left ! Say what ever you want about Lukas but the good thing about him was he did not care about many things just about doing his thing ! People would buy it was Lukasfilms !!

        Star wars live underground would have been mature and serious its Disney ! God…

  14. The face alteration in the header photo wasn’t necessary and sets a bad precedent. I think you should fix it, but that’s just me.

    • Second this thought….

  15. I cant believe anyone is still watching this turdfest. It hasnt got cancelled yet!! Thats a surprise. The show sucks face it.

    • I know I’m not.

      AOS elicited only apathy from me but I saw this past monday’s episode of Arrow and rewound then marked out like a crazy geek when Ra’s al Ghul was named by a character. Gave me goosebumps and major excitement.

      THAT is how you write a comic book show.

  16. AoS is in the unique position of being overly ambitious but not able to pay off those ambitions based on its own internal timetable due to correlating directly with the feature films. They cant reveal some huge secret that will be played out on the big screen 8 months from now. Nor can they reveal all this hidden secrecy within SHIELD because, again, CA2 will deal with that directly.

    Also … what episodes that have already aired are the ones that were shot back to back before the pilot aired or feedback was given by the critics / fans. I believe once they burn those off and get to new originally produced episodes, the show will start to pick up steam.

    But yeah, its needs to find an identity. And quick!!! The characters need backstory, not hints at stuff they may or may not have done. Melinda May seems the most boring of all so far. Yes she kicks ass and takes no names, she mostly just scowls and broods. DO SOMETHING!!

    Skye is actually intriguing as a character. Loyalty shifts. Hidden agendas. Will she? / wont she? with Agent Bland. And they can keep finding situations to put her in bras, panties, tight workout wear, or leather as long as the show goes on!! HOTTIE!!

  17. my god SR, this is some serious tv bashing going on here. i just read the article but not the comments yet, but i have to say, attacking this show for what MAY or may NOT happen in season 3…not even half-way thru the 1st yet, is just ludicrous. AOS is a small [tiny] part of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a whole. do you not get that. we don’t yet know the importance yet, because it’s not been revealed. wether it’s by design, or flawed writing [we all know which side SR stands on obviously] we don’t yet know. i think we WILL know at some point. i think about half-way between T:TDW and CA:TWS release dates. just my theory.

    …season 3…smh…

    • sorry about the redundancies. that’s what i get for not proofreading.

  18. first agents of shield its a fail I like marvel but the show looks like its going down if they want the ratings up they need to try introducing some big marvel heroes like spiderman or the avengers she hulk x men blade the punisher or something they need superheroes like cws arrow is doin good with out superpowers marvel needs power

  19. I think that AoS would be more interesting if it was set in the post world war 2 era where Agent Carter and Howard Stark created SHIELD. This would allow the show to stand apart from the current MCU films.

    • if it would be on HBO it would be !

  20. The thing I do not understand is how S.H.I.E.L.D. is considered such a major part of the film series when they were just background noise for the main characters. Nick Fury aside the agency just seemed to be the equivalent of any generic government agency in these types of movies. Coulson was just a straight-man used for exposition with the main characters. Thinking a supporting character and secondary plot device could carry a show was ambitious at best, and not being able to get a good formula together so far has made some people apathetic to the show at best.

    This show has a second season to find it’s legs, but they have to make the characters and investigations more interesting. As it stands it seems like some people are watching this show hoping for other characters from either the comics or the movies to show up because the ones they are showcasing are not clicking. The issue with a show like this is not people hating on it, because those who watch it and criticize it are at least still paying attention to it. The problem is when people just forget about it when a new, shiny show comes on and provides a better distraction.

    • Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and then Captain America were all S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, so it wasn’t exactly a small part of the films.

      • It was still a background plot point, those characters can still stand on their own. Just having new, random characters placed in the S.H.I.E.L.D. settings has not had the same impact as the already recognizable characters. The overall set-up for the show may be lacking because of the fact that the S.H.I.E.L.D. concept is not enough to make generic characters more interesting.

  21. Yes, Agents of SHIELD sucks, but all this article proves is how much Screen Rant is over thinking this, AND OVER SELLING IT. WE GET IT, YOU DON’T LIKE AGENTS OF SHIELD. NO NEED FOR TWENTY DIFFERENT ARTICLES TELLING US THAT.

  22. In my opinion, what Agents of Shield should have been is not an episodic superhero crime drama, but rather a crime drama more like shows such as the Killing or Homelandwith a bit of superhero-ness. Not neccesarily one huge arc but maybe multiple cases at the same time throughout the seaosn which ends up all being connected. Also missing from Shield are the minor characters from the movies such as Senator Stern etc or just new high-up people in the government who could be given reccuring characters. The problem is we dont get to see any of the politics of shield: the problems the organization as a whole runs into, but rather just a bunch of mildly irritating people solving less than awe-inspiring cases. Maybe Shield could have been almost shut down due to spying on civilians. Maybe Shield could clash with a similar spying agency. I dont know, but so far everything SHield has done just seems quite irrelevant

  23. Its not the budget, the show is dull and the characters (except for Coulson) are uninteresting. Simple as that.

  24. I don’t mind AOS and don’t mind Agent Ward. Besides him and Coulson, the rest are pretty anti-climatic. If I were Marvel, I would launch Heroes For Hire and Moon Knight through AOS very soon to try and rescue ratings.

  25. Its just a bit vanilla really… Its Buffy with super heroes, only with less happening each episode. Its passable entertainment but I doubt I’ll be shelling out for the complete season box set if it gets that far going by the current episodes.. Plus Avengers 2 if its written in the same vein will likely be just as vanilla if Whedon is at the helm for much longer.

  26. I’ve enjoyed AoS so far. I’ve missed 2 episodes & watched them OD. So for me not to watch it on the night is a big thing. It just hasn’t grabbed me like I thought it would. I don’t think we can really judge it until the end of its season. Mainly because these things usually take time to get going, also because the cast don’t seem have hit their groove yet. The humour is good but it seems to gloss over the fact that nothing is happening. I think the show is being too tentative with its audience and needs to push its own boundaries. Which lets face AoS should have lots of scope to do. Maybe the MCU is holding it back because it can’t stray to far into it without giving too much away of what ever film is coming out? I don’t think the Winter Soldier has destroyed the idea of AoS, but it might be the template for them to lead with next season? I guess we’ll just have to wait & see.

  27. I am enjoying the show even though I agree that it needs a lot of changing.

    I understand that people dislike the show and stuff, but SR is there REALLY necessary to make an article about how much this show sucks every week? Answer: there really isn’t. AT ALL.

  28. You guys are just fan boys expressing your opinion. This is not a news site. Got it.

    • “Fanboy” – meaningless stock internet insult #593.

  29. It’s not great, but it’s entertaining. I like it…don’t love, but it has the potential to get better, especially if they tie it in well with the movies.
    I’m thinking AOS is set after Thor2 and Before CAP2.
    You notice that Coulson has repeatedly said “No” when someone would mention alerting HQ. He wants to stay under the radar…he knows something sketchy is going on within Shield. I’m assuming that means Fury thinks things are sketchy too so he set Coulson off on his own.
    CAP2 is going to deal with a traitor on the inside of Shield…and that’s going to be a big Shield busting deal…Once Thor comes out we’ll have a better idea, but I think CAP2 will really tell us where it lies in the timeline and if I’m right then CAP2 will then be referenced in AOS about the mole/rat/traitor and Shield being a bit in shambles…

    I think that would be cool, if they tied those storylines together…it works…it’s not too intertwined but it’s consistent…

    As for Coulson, I dunno…implant Eye girl obviously could tell he was different…maybe she could see some tech in him…

    I doubt it, but…Coulson is Vision! …meh, probably not though…