Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been a lot of things for fans over the last few months, one of those things decidedly “frustrating.” And the show is still on the bubble as it waits to start a new run of episodes on, believe it or not, April 1st. But will the show be renewed, and more importantly, should it?
Will It Be Renewed?
Really, at this point, that shouldn’t be a question. A TV series spun off one of the biggest interconnected film franchises in entertainment history should have been, right from the start, a slam-dunk. But it hasn’t been.
The show has a fairly distinct downward trend in the ratings. In of itself, that’s not enough to get Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. cancelled; it’s still doing fairly well for ABC. If Once Upon A Time, which gets lower ratings and has a similar budget, is considered a safe bet for renewal, it’s unlikely ABC’s going to crash the Bus.
Should It Be Renewed?
Good question. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. undeniably has a fan base, but the show has struggled, constantly, to juggle its cast and make us care about them. We spent most of the first half of the series calling Agent Ward Space Mutiny names until they finally gave the guy something to do. Turns out, Brett Dalton can act!
Honestly, there’s a timidity, in both the writer’s room and the larger Disney apparatus, that’s creating problems. It’s fairly clear that there was a retool behind the scenes fairly early on, aimed at improving the back half of the season. Yeah, Patton Oswalt is stunt casting, but we’ll take it, as we said. Similarly, rolling out Sif, Hulkbusters, and Deathlok are all blatant appeals to our nerdery… but as that’s what we were showing up for in the first place, it’d be disingenuous to complain.
That said, most ideas for making the show more watchable for those who abandoned it mostly involve burning it to the ground. A popular idea on some message boards is, er, killing off at least one or two cast members, with May, Skye, and Ward being the most popular nominees. Some just want the show to start fresh completely, with Coulson going it alone.
And there’s also the question of Marvel’s other TV series. Disney has to be aware that interest in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. will sink like a rock once they start offering us actual superheroes that can do things instead of talk at each other on Netflix.
We think the show deserves a second season, but to be honest, it needs to either give the show the b-listers and second stringers it needs, or it needs to start delivering on the concept of cleaning up the fallout of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The show’s strongest episodes have centered on how alien technology and superheroics affect day-to-day life, and the more of that we see in season two, the better the show will be for it.