Tuesday 8:00 PM on ABC (Returning Fall 2014)
One statement “Characters Welcome” has been the tagline for the USA network for a number of years and for a real reason. If you find two or more characters that have good chemistry and that we the audience invest in and have them do their thing week in and week out year after year- people will buy in. White Collar and Burn Notice are two particularly excellent examples of a show taking a simple one line premise (master thief assists FBI in catching his counterparts and a burned spy tries to rebuild his life) and turning it into a long running, thriving series because of the characters themselves.

I think that the expectation going into Agents of SHIELD was that the tone and action would be a direct mirror of the movie series on which the television series would be based. Essentially it would be a fun, lighthearted, action based show that wasn’t especially deep or dramatic (which it doesn’t need to be). I would say that so far that has more or less been exactly what the show has been. However, it definitely feels like something is missing and the most obvious answer is the characters themselves have been very poorly established. I can’t point to a single character on the show so far (besides Coulson – and that is primarily because of the movie appearances) that I am invested in or particularly care about…..yet. And I use the “yet” there because I still have hope that down the line we will be given good reason to care.

Agents of SHIELD desperately needs to take note of how effective The Tomorrow People has been in spending time establishing complex backstories for three major characters in the same number of episodes that have aired of Agents of SHIELD. In The Tomorrow People during normal procedural episodes we have spent at least 20 minutes learning extensive backstories about Stephen, John, and Cara that have made me actually interested in characters that I initially thought might be pretty boring. Agents actually sort of tried this last time with Skye, but even then I didn’t really connect with that story (and that may just be me, I know). Melinda May is stoic and her total character development is summed up by “I want to be back in the field”. Ward is a bit of a perfectionist who had a bad childhood and that is literally all we know about him – and he is extremely bland. Fitz and Simmons have had zero character development – we know literally nothing about them. So again I ask what reason have we been given to care about these characters so far?

Are you particularly invested in any particular character so far?



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