No series arrived this season with more hype, and more disappointment, than Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. The show seemed destined to seamlessly expand Marvel’s bigscreen dominance to television, but as I wrote at The Daily Beast,
Instead, for much of its dreary first season, S.H.I.E.L.D. was a pretender, saddled with cut-rate CGI, one-dimensional characters (and in some cases, half-dimensional actors) and most damning of all, devoid of anything even remotely resembling fun. Yet in true comic book fashion, just when it seemed that all hope was lost, in the past month the show—against all odds—finally found its way. Now, Tuesday night’s feisty, rewarding season finale has me doing something I never would have thought possible: counting the days until next season.
I delve into the show’s many problems this seasons, and how the big twist from April’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier has finally helped Agents of SHIELD became the thrilling show it was always supposed to be.
One day after making my Quartz debut, I’m back with this look at the new ABC series Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, which has the daunting task of trying to save Disney’s slumping ABC. As I wrote,
ABC hopes that S.H.I.E.L.D. will rescue the beleaguered network from its ratings doldrums—for the past two seasons, it’s been last place in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic among the four broadcast networks—and give it a legitimate chance to finally expand beyond the network’s female-skewing programming like Scandal, Revenge and Grey’s Anatomy.
I was also able to share some insight from star Clark Gregg and executive producer Jeph Loeb that I had picked up at TCA summer press tour. ABC and Marvel have a tough road ahead of them, but I wouldn’t bet against the company that racked up $1.51 billion worldwide with The Avengers.
At Parade, I talked to Clark Gregg about rising from the dead — well, at least his alter ego, Agent Phil Coulson, did — to star in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. He told me that he’s still amazed at his good fortune:
I look around at the first couple of episodes we’ve done, whether it’s the flying Corvette or the amazing plane… ABC and Marvel are giving me the world’s greatest midlife crisis, and I don’t even have to pay for it!
At TCA summer press tour in July/August, I spent a lot of time speaking to the stars of fall’s most anticipated series — including several of my favorite freshman shows, like The Blacklist, Masters of Sex and Brooklyn Nine-Nine — for this Parade roundup of Fall’s Top 10 New Shows. Look for more extended Q&As with each star in the weeks ahead.