Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Looking Ahead to Season 2

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Looking Ahead to Season 2

After a so-so season 1, here's what season 2 needs to succeed.

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I never noticed the "cheapness" Bob keeps mentioning; maybe my standards are low, but I never felt like the series was obviously skimping to it's detriment.

Also, congratulations to Bob and the editor; I didn't notice a single spelling or grammar error.

MovieBob:
They need to bring at least one of these to some kind of conclusion, so the show can have something resembling a solid basis. That's not to say either of them have to stop developing as characters, but one or both of them need to turn a corner and start a new arc. Mysteries within mysteries are all well and good, but if you stretch it out too long people get annoyed.

This can not be overstated enough. I feel like the last thing anyone wants for this show right now is to be a crappier Lost but with Marvel branding. Remember back when Hollywood knew TV shows could survive simply off of having interesting characters, without requiring the watchers to second guess everything for no reason? As cool as the Garrett reveal was, even then they 'had to go deeper'.

There's such thing as fast character development, but then there's throwing so many curve balls just to be cool and then immediately telling the viewer no time to think about it, now time for something completely different!

Sounds about right. They've probably done this already in some form, but it would be good to give the producers a list of Marvel characters that Marvel swears won't show up in a movie so they can develop them exclusively on the show, for the show alone. New background elements for Trip and Simmons would be most welcome. You don't spend years working in SHIELD without encountering some things or people you'd prefer not to talk about.

Speaking of characters, I'm not normally that invested in relationships, but recent developments have me rooting for Skye to gradually take May as a surrogate mother figure who also trains her in combat now that they've overcome a mutual animosity through being united in their hatred for one man.

Good summary. I'd add a few things:

Take itself a bit more seriously. As much as I like the humor in the show at times, I felt the best episodes were the ones that had more drama to them. It also means the humor when it does appear has more impact when you haven't spent the episode watching whedon awkwardness.

Less obvious signposting. Show needs to learn the art of subtlety. It often feels jarring to have some blatant 'clue of the week' slipped into the dialogue.

Oh and please set aside some extra budget to give Deathlok a makeover. He looked a little to much like a bad cosplay of himself this season. And let him move around more fluidly. He's a cyborg, not Frankenstein's monster.

Going to disagree with you a lot on some of this analysis Bob...

MovieBob:
PICK A TONE et.al.

Nope. I think they got this right over all. Not to be the guy who will direct attention back to Buffy as a pre-built answer to reference, but having a similar flexible tone works fine... and in the Marvel universe, you kind of need that.
Even in comic books, the funny ones are not always funny, the serious ones go sideways for a full funny sometimes, the "science" guy faces magic, etc... "Picking" a tone sets a limitation they don't need and would fail them in the long run.
And you know what, human interaction doesn't always "gel" and I'm happy to see those awkward moments not fit firmly all the time because that is more realistic.

MovieBob:
STOP OVERPROMISING et.al.

This I can not hold them responsible for. I never got less than I expected from the series because I actively limited how much input I was getting from media sources before they aired. That said, a lot of media outlets that I did see after the fact OVERSOLD the previews. If all I did was watch the "next time on Agent's of SHIELD" promo directly after an episode, I would not have any expectation built up beyond their ability or intention to deliver.
But when every blogger and genre-news aggregator amplifies those promotions, injecting theory, hearsay, and other bits of content in order to build their readership, following, etc... then it's out of the hands of the show and in the hands of the audience to be critical of what information they are getting outside the context of the presented show and official news releases.
To some degree, while I am a fan of yours {Moviebob} and find you compelling and interesting to read and watch on a regular basis, you are absolutely part of that "problem." It's an issue of shared responsibility now. Of the over-excited reporters not to make more of something than is there, of the fans reading interstitial content about the show to be critical of the source, etc... (Note: I'm not wagging a finger at you for what you do, I'm simply stating an observation as it relates to a claim that "they" are at fault for something that those in your profession are doing.)
Saying that Marvel somehow "tricked" anyone is unfair and inaccurate. Some of the initial things said before the show ever aired were that we should NOT expect walk-on's from any Avengers, that the show would be focused on the people affected by a world where superheroes now exist, and we can expect the mystery of why and how Coulson is alive to come out.
That's what we got. AND MORE.

MovieBob:
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

From a comic book aesthetic, I think they did what they needed to with their interiors.
But they truly did go from hill to dale across the planet... desert, mountain, international cities, ocean, country towns, trains, waterfront estates, etc...
What do you want from them exactly? Subterranea, Wakanda, Madripoor, the MOON? Chances are over time we'd get to these types of places with the appropriate setting to boot... but when the story calls for it. (Like when we find out that Stan Lee is [has been] the Watcher for instance...)

MovieBob:
DO MORE MARVEL STUFF

Hand, Garret, Blackout, Roxxon, Hall, Sif, DEATHLOK! etc...
Sorry, but I think pacing is more important than dumping masses of Marvel Easter eggs at the audience out of context. Over time we will see that pick up naturally because the foundation has been laid out... but they had to do that first. Now they have. Anticipation for what they can do next feels better than impatience that they have not done something specific yet. They DO only get 20-25 hours of time per season so we can only expect so much.
Given what I called out above as the responsibility of media and fans, I'd advise both to manage their expectations better.

Look, I'm not saying Marvel can do no wrong. Plot-holes were pretty severe in the Lorelli episode, for instance.
In the overall, the show has been rewarding and if you are going to advise anything about the future of the show, why omit the obvious: DON'T BRING WARD BACK! No one looking forward to season two is looking forward to it to find out what is going to happen to him.
3:)

Wait how could adding Rom the Spaceknight not make the series more awesome? I fail to comprehend. I mean giving the fact that it is trying to channel an 80's action show, it needs a character who's entire range of sound effects come from an old 80's sound chip.

I feel like a lot of Season 2's direction is going to depend entirely on how Guardians of the Galaxy plays out and how well it's received.

Season 1 laid the groundwork for alien shenanigans to play a decent sized role as the MCU hurdles towards it's inevitable face off with Thanos and I can't help but wonder if in rebuilding SHIELD we won't see some early groundwork laid out for the Sentient World Observation and Response Department (S.W.O.R.D...Sword and Shield...GET IT?!)

If they choose to go that route, I have to imagine it'll be a secondary story in favor of their Villain of the Week adventures as they track down the escaped Super villains from The Vault and of course tracking down Hydra cells and most likely uncovering the plot that will inevitably lead into Baron Strucker's appearance in Avengers 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

While most of that list I could take or leave depending on the course. I will agree that they can't afford to spend another season farting around with Skye's past and Coulson's resurrection. That stuff needs to be addressed and dealt with sooner than later. I like a good mystery as much as the next guy, but you don't want the mystery to overstay its welcome.
(Lookin' at you X-files.)

More than likely at least part of the season will deal with Skye's situation, since we saw Rayna go to Skye's father. Also, I'm not entirely sure that they are done with Coulson's issues with the drug, since he recreated Garrett's map(?).

I think the biggest problem season one had was that they knew they had to wait for a specific date to get a specific episode aired because of being tied into the second Captain America movie. Now assuming they don't have that issue again or even if they do, perhaps they learned how to better compensate on introducing elements on a better schedule. They knew Centipede was Hydra, but by introducing it so early as the main arc for the season their hands were tied until Captain America released. Maybe now they can get a better handle on that and have mini arcs in between or something.

Thunderous Cacophony:
I never noticed the "cheapness" Bob keeps mentioning; maybe my standards are low, but I never felt like the series was obviously skimping to it's detriment.

I was thinking the same thing. It really only stood out once for me - when Fitz and Simmons were in the phone booth looking out at the air strip in Cuba. And that was more a CGI thing than an actual location issue. For the most part, the locations that were supposed to be more out-of-the-normal looked out-of-the-normal, but they also spent a lot of time in relatively normal areas of the continental US, so the "trailer park in California" thing didn't look out of place enough for it to register for me.

Diddy_Mao:
Season 1 laid the groundwork for alien shenanigans to play a decent sized role as the MCU hurdles towards it's inevitable face off with Thanos and I can't help but wonder if in rebuilding SHIELD we won't see some early groundwork laid out for the Sentient World Observation and Response Department (S.W.O.R.D...Sword and Shield...GET IT?!)

I'm pretty sure I remember someone in one of these threads going back and looking at the logos on the uniforms of the Guest House soldiers: apparently they were SWORD logos, meaning the Guest House was a SWORD base. Which actually makes quite a bit of sense, considering the probably-an-alien they had on lockdown there. I'm guessing SWORD will be revealed as already existing in season 2, with the Guest House being officially revealed as one of their bases, rather than showing its beginnings. At least, if Guardians of the Galaxy does well enough for Agents to stick with the aliens plotline, anyway.

 

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