Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Ian De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge
September 24, 2013 – May 13, 2014
Summary for Moms:
Following the events of The Avengers, SHIELD is struggling to maintain order in a post-alien invasion world. Enter Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) a man who supposedly died during the Battle of New York. Coulson is put in charge of assembling a team to investigate people with superhuman powers and any related threats. Coulson recruits Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons ( Ian De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge). Their first mission: find and contain Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) – a superhuman who is also being pursued by a hacktivist named Skye (Chloe Bennet). This leads the team down a conspiracy-laced road where nothing and no one is what it seems.
Since I started this blog Agents of SHIELD has been one of the most – if not the most – requested entries. Honestly, I had sort of dropped off the SHIELD wagon around season 4 (which I’ve been told was a mistake), and hadn’t given the first few series much thought after the fact. My mom had also been reluctant to watch it, and sitting through 22 nearly hour-long episodes is a huge time commitment, so, naturally, I had put it off.
That proved to be a mistake. Having run out of things to watch before The Punisher Season 2 aired (more on that in the next post), we decided to attempt to make our way through Agents of SHIELD. Her initial reactions were lukewarm, dismissing the show as “half James Bond.” Which, initially, it kind of is.
As the first episode continued, she started to get more and more into the story, drawn in by multiple characters, and J. August Richards’ Mike Peterson, who she hoped would join the team, as he only “wants to be a good person.” She was also interested in how Coulson was still alive, as she vaguely remembered his death from The Avengers but and needed some prompting.
But she was hooked by the end of the first episode. How could I tell? Well, she remembered all the characters names – which surprised the hell out of me. There were no ‘that guy’s or ‘that lady’s. She was on a conversational basis with Coulson, Skye, FitzSimmons, Ward and May. And that really speaks to SHIELD’s biggest strength as a show: its characterizations.
Over the next 21 episodes, which could be hit or miss, those characters brought us back to the show again and again. They feel like a close knit family/working unit that are easy to care about. At several points, my mom was fearful for the characters’ lives and didn’t want them to die. Which, in turn, really helps sell the twist that knocks everyone for a loop.
After the pacing lull that has been harped on repeatedly by anyone mentioning Agents of SHIELD Season 1 (my mom particularly noted how it was “dragging”), we’re finally hit with the Winter Soldier Hydra reveal, and Grant Ward’s betrayal, which left my mom absolutely stunned and speechless. She loved it. Ward, not so much, though. It got to the point that, every time he, or Bill Paxton’s Agent Garrett was on screen, my mom would be visibly angry at them.
Agents of SHIELD’s first season proved to be a runaway hit with my mom. After episodes, her most common exclamations were as follows:
- “Very interesting!”
- “This is crazy!”
- “This is really good!”
- “I like this show very much!”
- “You can’t trust anyone!”
It’s safe to say that Season 1 is a great piece of character-based storytelling. Even though it suffers from a lag in plot developments in the middle, the character relationships are really what make it shine. And the lull is much less apparent when binging it on Netflix. And at the end of the season, my mom turned to me and said, “When we started, I didn’t know it would be this good.” So I’m going to give Agents of SHIELD Season 1 a Mom Rating of:
Mom Rating (Out of Five):
- My mom liked that there was “not too much blood”, which made it “fun!”
- She really admired Coulson’s great leadership skills and how “he really supports his staff”.
- The one episode I thought she’d have trouble following (T.R.A.C.K.S., due to the time jumping) she actually caught on to pretty quick. That was actually a really great episode.
- This season really kept her on her toes with a lot of good, fun twists where you’re not sure who you can trust. The multi-faceted standoff in The End of The Beginning kept her on the edge of her seat.
- Gonna sneak another promo for my book in here, because why not.