I’m often asked what I’m currently watching and which shows are my favorites. Last TV season I’d mention Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but it was new and like most freshman dramas it needed sometime to find it’s footing. However, sometime around the thirteenth episode of the first season (T.R.A.C.K.S.) I found myself hooked and more frequently imploring people to give it a shot.
Fast forward to the current Fall TV season and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is without a doubt one of the first shows I mention on my ‘I love it and you must watch it’ list. For me, it’s become the show I have to watch live, the show I listen to podcasts about, and the show I spend way too much time hunting down spoilers even though I know Marvel doesn’t let anything leak unless they want it to.
Their corporate synergy claws have got me and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. One of the reasons I love television is because the medium lends itself to long-form storytelling and right now Marvel has that going for it. I can’t think of another franchise or entity that has such an intricate plan in the works and since #ItsAllConnected, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a bit unlike anything else on TV. Plus, the show has embraced it’s own serialized story lines, “so bonus there”.
And the writers aren’t afraid to shake up the status quo either. It’s one thing to tell an overarching story, it’s another for the events to actually matter. There’s been no magic reset button on this show, and for that you’ve gotta give their creative team some serious props. They knew pretty early on that the very organization the show was about would be decimated down the line. And then there was the thing with Ward and Fitz and Simmons and the ocean (I’m trying to be purposefully vague as to avoid spoilers) and now we get to watch Coulson and the rest of his team move on from the events of season one. And in my opinion that’s all made for some captivating story lines. Plus, everyone loves an underdog.
But it’s not just the plot that keeps me tuning in week after week, it’s the characters. In what’s probably the most Whedonesque element of the series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has some pretty kick-ass characters, male and female. There’s a balance and equality that permeates through the team – whether it be muscle or brains, those skills aren’t gender specific.
Unlike many other TV shows that take place in a world with superheroes, there’s no damsel in distress among our SHIELD team. May, Bobbi, Skye, and Simmons are all fully realized characters who are intelligent, tough, brave, and independent in their own ways. The show’s wardrobe department also deserves a shout-out because they get to be feminine, while also wearing clothes.
And it probably goes without saying that I’m pretty invested in the well being of Coulson, Fitz, Trip, Hunter, and Mac too. Ward on the other hand… well I’m still feeling a bit betrayed.
If you’re still looking for more reasons to love Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I could go on, but I’m going to pull a LeVar Burton a la Reading Rainbow here and just recommend that you check it out for yourself. New episodes air Tuesdays at 9pm on ABC.