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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it, it gets good
After a dodgy first few weeks this eventually won me over. It kind of spins out of the events of Avengers Assemble - a mysteriously resurrected Phil Coulson puts together a crack team of young, good looking agents to take on various missions. How Phil is still with us after dying during The Avengers battle in New York is one of the main plot threads moving forward so...
Published 6 months ago by Richard Morton

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the second half
I'm not going to pretend Agents of Shield didn't have any teething problems. The show was unfortunate to have the Joss Whedon sticker put on it because it meant that people would compare it to Buffy, Dollhouse and just about any other show he made. But the simple fact is AoS is not a Joss Whedon show, it's a Marvel show. Unfortunately the universe is which the show is...
Published 5 months ago by MattDoesReviews


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick with it, it gets good, 17 Nov. 2014
By 
Richard Morton (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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After a dodgy first few weeks this eventually won me over. It kind of spins out of the events of Avengers Assemble - a mysteriously resurrected Phil Coulson puts together a crack team of young, good looking agents to take on various missions. How Phil is still with us after dying during The Avengers battle in New York is one of the main plot threads moving forward so stick with it.

The big boys don't appear of course but are often name checked and Nick Fury and Maria Hill make small but important contributions. There's a tie in of sorts to Thor : The Dark World which is fun bit disposable. Later, events from Captain America : The Winter Soldier spiral into events here which works better, giving some real thrust to the later stages of the season.

It all starts like a bit of a Heroes/Fringe mash up with pretty self contained character of the week type stories. It's ok at this stage and never less than watchable but at the same time not massively inspiring. Things really pick up speed from about episode 8 or 9 onwards. Various bigger story arcs start coming together and some interesting villains are introduced and slowly developed.

There's plenty of twists and double crosses to keep you on your toes, most work, some don't. One particular later season episode features one of the most eye rolling "twists" but then ends the episode with a further shock that really hits home and opens up plenty of story opportunities. There's a fair amount of resolution by the end of the season which is refreshing and various seeds are laid for further seasons.

In other observations - there's a healthy dose of humour throughout, the actings generally pretty good, the budget appears to be of a decent size so it all looks the part. Overall, a series that definitely gets better if you stick with it long enough and Season 2 has the opportunity to build on this solid foundation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It will reward your early patience, 20 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I actually started watching this on TV, and wasn't exactly blown away by the first few episodes. They had their bright spots, but I found it surprisingly predictable (even clicheed) for a piece of work that Joss Whedon was involved in. Then I was away for a couple of weeks and forgot to record the episodes I missed, so didn't bother trying to catch up when I returned. A few weeks later I heard fantastic reviews from 3 or 4 different friends, so waited until the first season came out of Blu-ray and gave it another try. This was definitely the right decision! You find yourself becoming more and more drawn into the show as the episodes progress, and as the main plot line develops it takes the show in directions that are anything but clicheed. I was impatient to start the next episode as soon as the end credits began to roll each time. Give it your time, and you won't be disappointed.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not The Avengers, 2 Jun. 2014
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This isnt going to have the likes of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America or The Hulk in every episode, this is about SHIELD, the secret agents lead by Agent Coulson from the Marvel movies last seen in Avengers Assemble getting killed by villain Loki and now mysteriously ressurrected as they investigate superpowered people and objects and other mysterious characters in the Marvel Universe. Yes there are references to the films and even the comics for the die hard Marvel fans with guest appearances from Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smoulders as Maria Hill and tie in episodes to Thor The Dark World and Captain America Winter Soldier but these are mostly brand new never seen before characters though obscure characters from the Marvel comics do appear later. The series starts off well, slows down in the middle then picks up again for a thrilling finale. Will be interesting to see where the series goes next as well as the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kickass show filled with superhero and alien action!, 7 April 2014
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For a start, even for those who have never watched a Marvel film in their lives, the series is easy enough to understand. Plotlines follow on from the movie Avengers Assemble, straight into this series, but things are explained briefly anyway. It follows Agent Phil Coulson and his team at S.H.I.E.L.D, who, under the guide of Agent Nick Fury, aim to protect earth from the dangers of superhero and alien invasion.
Whilst the series does start off a little slow, and sometimes the episodes can be watched out of order, by halfway through I was completely addicted; one night I even watched 5 in a row! I've been watching it online and have about 7 episodes to go until the finale, and Holy c**p!! As it goes on there are more twists and turns, there are Asgardian warriors visiting earth, unknown alien viruses threatening civilisation, and advanced technology unlike the team have ever seen before.
The last part of the season (from around episode 14 onwards) is incredible, each episode delivering plenty of "OH MY GOD" moments, for many different reasons.
My favourite character is Agent Melinda May - she completely kicks ass!
I adore this show, and desperately hope it gets renewed for a second season.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Marvel Spin Off Series, 10 Feb. 2015
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 1 (DVD).

Product Info.
Format: PAL
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish
Region: 2
Sound Mix: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Number of discs: 6
Classification: 12
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Number Of Episodes: 22
Running Time 45 Minutes Per Episode

Special Features.

- Journey Into S.D.C.C. - Hop on the bus & share the thrill of a lifetime as the series makes its first ever appearance at San Diego Comic-Con, where the cast is welcomed with open arms by a sea of enthusiastic fans.
- Marvel Studios: Assembling A Universe TV Special
- Five Behind-The-Scenes Field Reports - Get exclusive access to the show's classified sets for the making of some of your favorite episodes:
The Malibu Jump
The Bridge
Asgardian Bar Fight
Classified
Cello Duet
- VFX Breakdowns - Explore the layers of effects in sequences with split-frame comparisons to the final version.
- Audio Commentaries with Filmmakers & Cast
- Gag Reel
- Deleted Scenes

Cast.
Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
Chloe Bennet as Daisy "Skye" Johnson
Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
Nick Blood as Lance Hunter

Trivia.
1)Clark Gregg reprises his role as Phil Coulson, Although Phil Coulson was killed off in "The Avengers", Nick Fury used Coulson's death to motivate The Avengers after Coulson had appeared to had been killed by Loki, he was later revived from the dead on Fury's orders, How? You'll have to watch to find out.
2)S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement & Logistics Division.
3)Coulson's flying car, "Lola". Is the same car Howard Stark used as a demo in his expo in Captain America: The First Avenger.
4)During pre-production, the character of Agent Melina May was originally named 'Althea Rice'.
5)Keep a look out for a few surprise cameos from various Marvel movies.

What's The Story.
The first season sees mysteriously resurrected S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson putting together a small team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to handle strange new cases.

The team soon become embroiled in investigating Project Centipede & their leader, "The Clairvoyant" who seems to be very interested in Agent Coulson's recent resurrection.

Just who is "The Clairvoyant"? & what is his sinister master plan that may have possible connections to S.H.I.E.L.D.S past?; what dark secret lies behind Skye's puzzling origins & most importantly of all, who can be trusted?

Timelord Thoughts.
I'll be the first one to raise my hand & admit that I was less than entertained with this show's beginings to the point were I actually stopped watching the show after episode 4 as I couldn't grasp where the writer's were taking this show as I found the plots lacklustre & didn't relate to any of the shows main characters barring Agent Coulson as the rest of the characters came across as quite bland.

How wrong was I, thanks to my cousin's prompting me to give this show a second chance I decided to give in & rewatch this show & I am glad that I did as after a lacklustre few episode's, 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' builds up to be a tightly paced gripping series that features movie quality action sequences, high production values that are put on screen & contains plenty of unique twists & turns with quite a few shocks & surprises along the way.

Each week, the characters are slowly developed & refined as we start getting to know a little more about them & there previous backgrounds & the show starts to produce great chemistry between the leads, the writing improves dramatically & the pace becomes tighter while the quick witted dialogue adds a touch of humour to balance out the darker elements of the show that's quintessential Joss Whedon.

For me the shows two standout performances go to Clark Gregg who is simply brilliant as Phil Coulson as Gregg brings charm & charisma to the role & wears his heart on his sleeve who is willing to risk all for the members of his team, while Ming-Na Wen kicks ass as Melinda May & would certainly give Black Widow a run for her money in a one on one fight as not only is Na-Wen brutally ass kicking as Melinda May but brings a understated isolation to her character & makes for a intriguing mystery as to why May appears to be so emotionless & detached & yet somehow makes the character very likeable which is a difficult task to perform but Na-Wen pulls it off with great aplomb.

Other characters include computer hacker Daisy "Skye" Johnson played by Chloe Bennet who starts off quite brash & feisty but later we discover the character's loyalty & a mysterious backstory which possibly be fleshed out in season 2, Brett Dalton brings a edgy charm & energy to his action man character of Agent: Grant Ward, while Iain De Caestecker & Elizabeth Henstridge round off the shows main cast bring a great chemistry to the "will they won't they" scientific double act the slightly arrogant but likeable Leo Fitz & the nerdy genius Jemma Simmons.

Overall, 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' didn't have the greatest of starts but stick with it & you'll be rewarded with some great episodes that deliver action, adventure, thrills, plot twists & shocks plus the odd cameo from previous Marvel movie characters as this first season builds up to a epic finale were nothing after will ever be quite the same again.

If you want an action packed thrills then Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a great entertaining companion piece to the recent Avengers movie & solid well written spin off series that's capable of standing on it's own two feet & hold it's own merits that delivers top quality entertainment & leaves us wanting more.

Timelord Rating.
8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Marvel Sci-Fi, 16 Jan. 2015
By 
MLA (Jakarta, Indonesia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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Agents of SHIELD is a fun slightly sci-fi TV series set in the Marvel universe. It brings the SHIELD organisation to the screen over 22 episodes based around a small group of SHIELD agents led by the eminently likeable Agent Coulson. At first blush it appears that this show is more gloss than substance but it is not. It is a clever and extremely well-written tale that builds interest in the various characters and their motivations to give the fast-paced conclusion so much more impact.

Agents of SHIELD inherits a fascinating legacy, combining various inputs in such ingenious ways. Those viewing it purely from the perspective of liking the Avengers will possibly have missed most of the point. This is SHIELD from the Marvel universe so there is indeed cross-over into Marvel's cinematic world. Surprisingly though, that is far from the strongest point. An episode involving two Asgardians is easily the weakest of the 22 screened while the cross-over into territory from Winter Soldier assumes the viewer would be interested in Captain America whereas it is these SHIELD agents who are far more interesting.

Much more engaging is the clear influence of television past. The first episode has clear parallels to Heroes with the existence of people with extraordinary abilities living ordinary lives among everyday folk. Clever in-jokes also reference the the Twilight Zone, X Files, and most obviously Men in Black.

The formation of a good looking young team around the less young Agent Coulson played by Clark Gregg yields a great, knowing line about mid-life crisis. The whole first episode is packed with high quality comedy. Episode 1 is much funnier than most comedies and is packed with great in-joke, geek humour, and cultural reference. That first episode is so sparkling with wit that there is barely one scene played purely straight.

The show does dip a little after that great start, it is not funny again until the final half dozen episodes. There's a reason for those episodes being much funnier - Bill Paxton who plays Agent Garrett. The guy just has magnificent comedy timing. He is so funny, every moment he has on screen is brilliant.

Paxton is the only on-screen presence more amusing than lead man Clark Gregg. Agent Coulson is the glue. He holds all of this show together. That's a great piece of character because his entire raison d'etre during cameos in Marvel films has been to tie various themes together. Doing so while also being the lead character in his own right here offers layers of characterisation a film typically cannot achieve. It really helps that Gregg is just so damn likeable. He's given occasionally funny lines but mostly it is the look he has. There's something about Clark Gregg that just screams non-threatening. He is perfectly cast as the guy who sees the good in others but occasionally has to take the tough decision. The writing team has put together a great leader. Agent Coulson is quite probably the best manager/leader ever shown on television. He has qualities that would genuinely make his team want to work for him. So often leadership in US television is shown by shouting or being rude. In Agents of SHIELD there exists a leader of a much higher quality.

Coulson's team takes a little longer to warm to. It is largely a young, good looking bunch which on face value as it were makes for a more difficult group to like. Most difficult of all to like is computer hacker and socialist Skye played by Chloe Bennet. Her character is the brash, me-first teenager and she plays it well. Bennet is a believable annoying teen even though she's in her early 20s and looks older than that. Skye's purpose as a character is to provide the counter perspective to that provided from the Shadowy Government Agency. In doing so she also questions most other things meaning it is through her that the explanation from other characters to the viewer is delivered. Perhaps she has to be annoying to allow the others to pass messages to the viewer but Bennet's somewhat erratic real-life persona seems to make it believably her rather than the character. Bennet is also supposed to be attractive - she passes that test just about except for the scene where her unfortunately shaped body is exposed direct to camera for far too long for anyone to be comfortable with it.

The difficulty with Skye's character is that the others treat her so sympathetically. They go out of their way to fight for her, seeing something in her that is not as obvious through the screen.

The one character who does not fall for Skye's charms is Melinda May played by the dazzling Ming-Na Wen. May is the polar opposite of Skye. She is a more mature woman, someone with life experience to draw upon. The 51 year old Ming-Na is superb throughout. Her early, glaring incarnation is relatively limited. For quite a while it seems as though Agent May is a minor character in the series, especially compared to the younger cast members. Perhaps it is no surprise that Agents of Shield becomes dramatic and brilliant just when May comes out of her shell.

Ming-Na is a great athlete. She is such a believable fighter, easily the most impressive physical performer on display. This is largely because she is so light-footed. It feels totally realistic when she takes on men who look much stronger than her because she is fast and agile. The choreography works perfectly for her, never once looking like dance and always making her seem combat-ready.

As a sultry older member of the cast, she presents a very different image to anyone else other than Agent Coulson. She is not a fresh-faced and naive newcomer. The relationship she has with one other cast member screams of her knowing exactly what she wants, and that it is nothing more romantic than that. Ming-Na is easily the most appealing member of the cast for the male segment of the audience comprised of something other than teenage boys.

The variety of acting styles on display helps build May's character. She is the only member of the team who clearly lets her actions speak louder than her words. Ming-Na is a gifted enough actor to need only the merest of facial expressions to convey meaning, a subtlety none of the other cast offer.

The interaction between May and the other characters is part of what makes this show so much better than superficial appearance suggests. The chemistry between May and Coulson is spot-on. The pair have a relationship based on understanding their profession so well it does not need to be spelled out - a great counter-balance to the other members of the team.

The youngest part of the team is FitzSimmons. The British pair are good fun. Simmons is an English Rose, she does not have too much to work with during this season so there is not a huge amount of depth. What makes her character work is the banter with Fitz. The two of them bicker and brilliantly choose to end sentences at the same time with different phrases. So great to hear two people on television consistently talking as if they were not on television. A great piece of writing.

Fitz is a fascinating character. Played by Iain De Caestecker, he is a great example of nerd culture moving beyond arrogance to confidence. Fitz is a classic nerd - an engineer who loves to tinker with things, a bit of difficulty expressing his underlying feelings, too small to really see action. Yet Fitz is part of the rough and tumble of the group. He announces his presence by cracking action hero Ward on the back in playful manner. Fitz goes on to prove himself adept during operations as well as heroically brave.

For all Fitz stretches the nerd character to new heights, by far the best part of him is the banter. Fitz is consistently funny. Iain De Caestecker has great timing, his jibes hitting the mark throughout. Fitz is an excellent part of the team.

The team is rounded out by action hero Ward played by Brett Dalton. Ward is supposed to be a one man army. It was brave to cast Dalton in the Ward role. While Dalton is tall he is not exactly big. Despite being of athletic build, Dalton does not really move with much grace. There are plenty of warrior villains throughout the season who look easily capable of despatching Ward. It also doesn't help that at first Ward looks a bit gormless.

Remarkably all those weaknesses in the Ward character evaporate in the second half of the season. As events develop, Ward becomes much more interesting as well as much more believable. It is almost as though the plot development frees up Dalton to become a character he is much more capable with, adding charm and a bit of macho stubble to add the charisma that was lacking to start with. Like the series itself, Ward develops over time to become retrospectively fascinating.

A 22 episode season needs to have a good range of villains to keep the good guys entertained. There are a couple of amazing villain characters. The warrior villain archetype is filled superbly by Deathlok. Played by J. August Richards, Deathlok is a villain capable of generating incredible empathy. He is a great fighter because of the cybernetic implants combined with the natural height and dexterity of Richards. He is not muscle-bound but looks the part expertly. The pathos Deathlok generates is incredible thanks to the humanity of his situation and the parental instincts he embodies. Deathlok repeatedly makes the wrong choice, leading him inevitably down the darker path, but he does so for understandable reasons.

The brainy villain archetype is a breathtaking piece of acting by Ruth Negga. Her character, Raina, is almost hypnotic. It is the slightly twitchy head movements she employs that make her so captivating. Similar movements are part of trance-inducing rituals among some cultures of West Africa and Haiti. While almost everyone else is stock still, their movements calm and calculated, Raina tilts her head in atypical ways that do not always match the rhythm of the words she is saying. It is an incredible physical performance that transforms an interesting character played by a pretty woman into someone the audience needs to know much more about.

Raina's other trademark is floral dress. She is the only person in the show to generate character through her costuming. Ordinarily a sci-fi run by a comic company could be expected to be all about costume but it the floral dress is really the only stand-out piece of fabric on display.

The most beautiful piece of fabric appears in the worst episode of the season. The episode covers a couple of warrior women from Asgard battling in a low population town somewhere in the American South West. The costume worn by Lorelei is so beautiful. Unfortunately she turns into a boring biker chick after a couple of scenes. The transformation from Goddess to barely standing out from the scenery is remarkable and just goes to show how important costume can be.

The episode is poor because it just seems out of place. Agents of SHIELD Is a quality show in its own right. Bringing in unimportant people from the Thor line just doesn't work. Cross-over can be fun but frankly SHIELD is vastly superior to Thor. Equally, cross-over to Captain America: Winter Soldier seems like an attempt to achieve buy-rate for that film by having it referenced in this superior product.

The only part of the cross-over that really adds a lot of value is Avengers. After all, Agent Coulson died. The implications for the plotline here are great. Project TAHITI is excellent, bringing a slightly X Files style touch of paranoia to the proceedings. The payoff does not quite fit the build-up but it is still a really enjoyable ride.

Having long arcs covering interesting parts of the tale makes for excellent television. What is Project TAHITI? What is in that secret SHIELD file on Skye? Who is The Clairvoyant? Building these points into the episodes alongside a show that generates its cast over time works really well. It is brave considering part of the audience is presumably those who feast on the shorter attention span of Marvel feature films. Of course, what this show does well is replicate more the comic feel. Comic storylines are much more thoroughly developed, fitting better with television than with the generally fairly average films (other than Avengers and the Iron Man series) the Marvel universe has produced.

Visually, it is clear that SHIELD has a big budget. It looks gorgeous. The effects are generally excellent with just the occasional exception. The locations are quite good. Explosions and action sequences play out expansively.

SHIELD does make the occasional glaring error. The most egregious is casting the island of Malta as some kind of off-shore haven where major international agreements do not have effect. There are so many of those havens in the world that picking an island that isn't one of them makes no sense, especially if filming isn't actually in Malta anyway. The US does occasionally forget that Malta is in the European Union - the episode supposedly set on Malta is another reminder that Europe is still relatively unknown in American circles.

It is also jarring to hear one of the Asgard characters refer to Coulson as Son of Coul. While there could arguably be some merit in referencing the name in that format given its possible link to the great Irish folk hero Finn Mac Cumhaill, having a Norse character say it is annoying given Coulson is a name in the format that the Norse and their Germanic brethren brought to the world. Again it suggests a lack of awareness of things non-American.

The American parts of SHIELD work extremely well. An episode including a right to information hacker is an excellent deconstruction of the Wikileaks mythology. The role of the US in Latin America comes right to the fore in an episode set in Peru. The ease with which the US finds internal scapegoats is brilliantly played out in the final few episodes.

There are a couple of episodes in the early going that could perhaps have been skipped over. The first episode is incredible and vibrant but the show spends quite a while on character development after that. It was the right choice. The final sequences work because of the investment in those characters. Agents of SHIELD is a character-based ensemble so getting to know everyone matters.

Of course, there's also Samuel L. Jackson very occasionally and he's cool.

The DVD comes with a few extras. They're ok. The extras include a recap of the cast and crew going to ComicCon in San Diego as well as a few five minute behind the scenes chats. The chats are worthwhile because they show how great Clark Gregg is and what a wonderful human being he seems to be. There's not a whole lot else worth seeing. A gag reel includes one or two laughs.

The show itself is excellent US television. It is not the show it appears to be on surface level during the early going. It is a sci-fi with an ensemble of characters the audience can care about. It is led by the brilliant Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson but also includes a range of other great performances as well as at least three characters outside the team who are memorable enough to stand out. Well worth it for those who like sci-fi including those of us who are not all that bothered about some of the films the series crosses-over into.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Coulson and Co., 11 Jan. 2015
By 
EA Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been on fire for the last decade -- it's had one box-office megahit after another, climaxing with the glorious "Avengers."

So it's not very surprising that it would get at least one TV show, based on the most popular character who wasn't in the comics -- Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg. "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete First Season" starts out on a relatively mediocre note, before blossoming into a harrowing, dark story arc in the final third -- which sees everything that has been set up being blown apart.

It turns out that despite having been impaled in "The Avengers," Phil Coulson is very much alive and has made a full physical recovery... although he doesn't remember how. He's assembling a team to investigate bizarre superhuman events across the world, including the haunted super-agent May (Ming-Na Wen), the generically handsome Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) and cheery nerds Fitz and Simmons (Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge).

Their first mission is to investigate a mysterious man with superhuman strength, who is also being approached by Skye (Chloe Bennet) who is part of a hacktivist anti-SHIELD group. Before long, Coulson and Co. discover that the superhuman strength comes from a serum, produced by a mysterious cabal run by the Clairvoyant. They also reluctantly add Skye to their group, because Coulson believes she could be an asset to SHIELD.

The odd little team investigates lost HYDRA tech, gravity inventions, an alien virus, the aftermath of an Asgardian battle on Earth, a "ghostly" attacker, more hacktivists, an Asgardian seductress, an ice machine, and the lingering mystery of what happened to Coulson. For the first two-thirds of the season, it's... okay. It's not as mind-blowingly good as the movies, and at times it felt like "SHIELD deals with the crisis of the week."

Then... "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" happened.

And suddenly the entire dynamic of the show changes. SHIELD is gone. HYDRA has erupted from its corpse. Coulson and the team are on the run, with no reliable backup and no one they can trust, especially since the government has now declared them terrorists. Furthermore, we soon discover that there is a traitor in their midst, which threatens to destroy whatever is left of SHIELD.

The first two-thirds of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete First Season" feels like a promising but not terribly engaging show, which lightly ties itself into the Marvel movies. Admittedly the Clairvoyant and Project Centipede arc is pretty intriguing at times, with explosive cybernetic eyes and a pseudo-supersoldier serum that makes people explode. But Coulson's team doesn't seem to make any actual progress toward defeating them.

But the final third of the season makes it all worth it -- a tight, dark, action-packed arc where all bets are off, and people who SEEMED totally trustworthy turn out to be cold-blooded traitors. And the Generic Evil Organization is revealed to be... well, a much older and more terrible enemy. Even better: this seems set to continue.

Joss Whedon serves as creator and executive producer for this series, and it has some of his signature mixture of shockingly dark content (how Coulson was resurrected) and quirky humor ("Don't touch Lola"). There's also a small amount of overlap with the Marvel movies, including guest appearances by Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Jaimie Alexander as Sif, as well as references to HYDRA, the super-soldier serum, and the events of "The Avengers" and "Thor: The Dark World."

This series also allows Clark Gregg to really expand on the character of Coulson. While in the movies he's a capable, mildly cheery agent, his quest to discover why and how he's still alive -- and the terrible possible consequences -- allows Gregg to take Coulson to a darker, grimmer place. He still upholds SHIELD and the ideals that made him sign on, but he's not quite as blindly loyal.

Wen balances him nicely as a one-woman butt-kicking machine who is tormented by some of her darker actions, and whose friendship with Coulson is contaminated by doubt; Caestecker and Henstridge are a nice nerd duo who also provide mild comic relief. Bennett's Skye is the character who sticks out, though -- while the idea of a hacktivist against SHIELD is interesting, her inclusion on the team feels like a shallow attempt to appeal to younger TV viewers.

While it starts off feeling rather generic, "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Complete First Season" explodes into brilliance in its last third -- just ride out the rest of the season, and pick up the clues that will make sense by the end. Definitely worth watching for fans of the Marvel movies.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Super Heroes it ain't, but who needs em!, 9 Aug. 2014
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At times it feels small scale and shot in 1 studio in downtown somewhere. But the cameos just keep popping up, the tie-ins to the Hollywood blockbusters are in a holding pattern ready to drop by and add gravitas.
The attention to plot devices and personalities is pretty top spec though. They really play well off each other.
'Yeah, we're going to have to kill the fish-tank'. Just one of the LoL moments I experienced.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the second half, 14 Dec. 2014
I'm not going to pretend Agents of Shield didn't have any teething problems. The show was unfortunate to have the Joss Whedon sticker put on it because it meant that people would compare it to Buffy, Dollhouse and just about any other show he made. But the simple fact is AoS is not a Joss Whedon show, it's a Marvel show. Unfortunately the universe is which the show is based, brings the show down.

The tag line of this review is "Worth it for the second half" because around half way through the season, we discover something huge about Shield and the quality of the episodes goes through the roof. But AoS isn't even ground zero of this revelation, it comes straight off of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. My problem with this tie in is that the show was basically just floating about killing time until that big reveal. AoS started in September 2013, Winter Soldier came out in March 2014, that means the show had to limp about for roughly 6 months which led to a decline in viewers and lukewarm reviews.

I think the show would have done better if the show had started in a mid-season slot then lead into Winter Soldier to avoid those mixed feeling form the earlier episodes.

Overall, it's worth it if you're a Marvel completionist but if you're looking to get into the show, I'd start with Season 2.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Blu Ray digi book., 22 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Marvel's agents of shield doesn't disappoint it starts off slow to establish the characters but once it gets going it goes at break neck pace truely amazing what Joss Wheedon and co have achieved considering the show had to adapt on the fly to encompass events that happened in Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But like Wheedon's previous tv shows Buffy and Angel and the regrettably short Firefly where M.A.O.S really shines is the excellent cast well fleshed out characters that have their strengths but also their weaknesses, the sets are amazing and the visual fx are very good Marvel has never looked better. And with guest spots from character's from the movies here's looking forward to season 2 which so far hasn't disappointed either.
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Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
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