Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t quite the runaway success that Marvel Studios/ABC might’ve envisioned (it’s neither a critical smash nor a ratings monster), but the comic book-inspired TV series is nonetheless a standout in the crowd of new shows that’ve premiered on the airwaves in Fall 2013.
The third episode, titled “The Asset” (read our review), is generally regarded to be an improvement on the previous episode “0-8-4″, which failed to inspire much confidence in the show’s longevity (following after the original Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot’s mixed reception). Moreover, “The Asset” brought in around 7.7. million viewers when it aired this past Tuesday, which is only an 8% drop from the turnout for “0-8-4″; by comparison, the latter took a sizable dive in viewership from the pilot, dropping around 34%.
This ought to come as comforting news for longtime Whedon fans, who have grown accustomed to his shows either being too short-lived (Firefly) or always left on the chopping block, ready to be cancelled at the drop of a hat (Dollhouse). Moreover, the viewers who are still onboard with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but feel it needs more time to develop and evolve – before they can throw their full support behind the Marvel show – have more reason to believe that’s possible now.
Indeed, we here at Screen Rant have already outlined how to improve Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a whole, but there are a few episodes left until the showrunners can start to either a) implement feedback from the masses, b) ignore the viewer/TV critic complaints and proceed as planned, or c) (most likely) use some hybrid of the two approaches.
The series could arguably stand to benefit the most by following the example set by past Whedon shows. That would involve focusing on the most compelling players – in order to strengthen the character ensemble altogether – and exploring some meaningful over-arching story material. Not to mention, a little more diversity in multiple respects would be nice. (Clark Gregg’s charisma as Agent Phil Coulson and post-credit scenes will only tide viewers over for so long, before they become worn-out gimmicks.)
Fortunately, there are preliminary signs that the people running thing behind the scenes on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are thinking along those same lines. Without spoiling anything for those who need to catch up, the latest episode hinted at some more interesting developments on the horizon (in terms of both the storyline and individual character development).
More importantly, on a fundamental (re: philosophical) level, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is admirable for its optimistic worldview and how it aims to treat the problems and dilemmas faced by ordinary people with respect (even in a world of superheroes). A show like that is worth supporting, even thought it has yet to find a clear voice or uphold the worthy standard to which it’s aspiring. Fortunately, we now know it has a whole season to hit its stride and become something great.
Are you happy to hear that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been picked up for a full season?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesdays @ 8 p.m. EST on ABC.