Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is so hyped, it’s worth stopping for a moment and considering something: It’s a show us nerds never thought we’d see. This isn’t just a TV show based (loosely) on a comic book; it’s something bigger, stranger… and there’s a bit more on the line than you might think.
First of all, stop and consider the success that got us here. If you’d told anybody at the comics shop ten years ago that a Batman movie would be up for Oscars and that The Avengers would be a mega-sequel to a bunch of great Marvel movies, you would have been laughed out of the place. Now, we’re at the point where ABC’s centerpiece is a show about an agency that mostly serves to produce mooks for Captain America to command in the comics.
True, to some degree, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. fits pretty handily into the whole “acronyms solving crime” dynamic that the major broadcast networks love so much; it’s very much a procedural show, and the main characters aren’t from the comics, bar a few cameos here and there. It just happens to be a procedural show where they try to find people who can fling you into the sun, and it has the budget to actually show it.
And it’s also a fictional anchor to develop a film universe. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has its advantages and drawbacks, but this show is seemingly built to be the glue that helps hold the movies together, the after-credits cookie writ large. For all the talk about ‘cross-media advantages’ from marketing executives, nothing like this has really been attempted.
That means there’s risk, here. It may not be Iron Man money, but Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not going to be cheap to make in the short or long term. And some are worried that Coulson’s return will ding something the movies have worked to build. And that’s a concern; if the explanation they have isn’t strong enough, the show might suffer.
But the fact that it’s being allowed to run at all is kind of amazing. So, next week, while I’m watching, I’m going to take a moment to remember that I’m seeing something I never would have thought possible. Now, it just has to be good.
I want more like this!
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