A full length trailer for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was just released yesterday. If the teaser that was released two days before that wasn’t enough, there’s plenty in the full trailer. While it’s clear this show will have a more modest budget, it seems to be accomplishing a whole lot and making the most out of every penny. There’s no doubt that this show will be every bit effects laden as its budget will allow, but it’ll be the dialogue and story lines that I think will set it apart. Considering that this will be a Joss Whedon show, I have no doubt that he’ll be able to overcome these restraints. He’s done it so many times already, it’s only now that people have come to realize what he can accomplish when people put faith in him.
It wasn’t too long ago that the original show title S.H.I.E.L.D. was rebranded in its current form. There were some that suspected it was exactly that, a rebranding to emphasize Marvel. Others felt that perhaps they didn’t want the show to be confused with the Michael Chiklis show from back in the day. Whatever the real reason, it’s actually quite fitting and perhaps intentional that it was changed to what it is. If there’s anything Joss Whedon is good at, it’s snarky dialogue and the ability to form strong relationships between his characters. He loves character studies and it shows. While there will be bad guys and villains to fight for sure, I believe at its core this show will be about the agents, and how they interact with each other. It just makes sense from every angle that you look at it.
Monetarily, there’s just not going to be the kind of resources to create huge blowout scenes. Those are best saved for the films anyway. That’s not to say that it’ll be lacking in cool visuals — virtually impossible in fact since this is a superhero show after all. And who knows, maybe they have more money than I know or will be able to stretch it better than I think.
Logistically, it just makes sense to have more practical effects like explosions and firearms or awesomely choreographed fight sequences. This would coincide with the fact that the team of agents, themselves, are human (as far as we know). The CW show Arrow has done a fantastic job of doing exactly this and the ratings the show receives would seem to agree. You just get a lot more mileage out of it than a cheesy visual effect thrown in for the spectacle of it. I trust and hope that they’ll be more judicious about it than that.
And from the perspective of the story, there’s only so much you can draw from by writing episodic us versus them arcs. The characters will have to stand on their own, and with each other, if this show hopes to succeed. Luckily, Whedon is no stranger at building motley crews. Just take a peek at any of his earlier projects — Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse. The Avengers was the apex of what that skill could ultimately produce. While filming The Avengers, Whedon was once quoted as saying that his take on all these superheroes coming together was that they are a dysfunctional family in the truest sense of the word — people who are forced to be together that should NOT be together. I think this new team being assembled will share a similar feel.
As always, I’m putting my faith in Joss to get the job done. He’s already proven it time and time again, the only difference now is that studio and network brass are actually paying attention to what his audiences have always known. Maybe this time they’ll let him get it right. It’s been awhile since he’s been shown a kindness like that on TV at least.
Watch the shiny trailer below and start getting excited for Fall. Oh, and did I forget to mention that the trailer confirms Agent Coulson survived The Avengers? Boom city.