I’ve been watching Agents of Shield since the first episode, and like a lot of other folks who have been watching, I had been disappointed for the first half of the season. From the beginning of the series, I had been wanting this show to be good, and while there were occasional moments when it seemed that things might come together, overall the show was an unfocused ‘monster of the week’ exercise with uninteresting main characters, boring villains and no discernible overall story arc.
The premise behind Henchmen for Hire is very similar to what I expected from Agents of Shield – I expected it to be a look into a superhero universe from the perspective of some non-superpowered humans. I think some of the lessons I learned from when I started the comic are probably lessons that the ‘Shield’ writers learned as well. I found out very quickly that even though the main story is about normal humans, it’s their interactions and response to the super beings that drives the narrative. Even when the super-beings aren’t on stage, the audience needs to be aware of them. The world should feel different, even when the cast on the screen is merely mortal.
It may just be that Agents of Shield was sort of spinning it’s wheels until the Captain America movie could hit the theaters and provide the dramatic threads that have pulled the TV show together. The last four episodes have been great. If the show was just biding it’s time until the movie release, then shame on the producers for putting out a subpar product before then. If I hadn’t wanted so badly for the show to succeed, I would have abandoned it long before the big payoff.
So now Agents of Shield is finally the show I’d been waiting for. I don’t know if I will buy the DVD when it comes out (yes, I still buy DVDs) just because I don’t think I would ever want to revisit the first half of the season. I suppose if nothing else, it can serve as an example of what not to do as a storyteller….