Agents of SHIELD Is Not Only The Most Fun Show On TV, It May Also Be The Best

Saying that something is "the best" at something is the ultimate exercise in futility. It's impossible to compare things things that are so completely different. This is explains how a dumb movie can win best picture and how a brilliant television show can get cancelled. The argument can be made, however, that Marvel's Agents of SHIELD has become the best show on television.

Now don't get me wrong, the show is far from brilliant. Like the Marvel movies themselves, the television show doesn't exactly require a lot of brain power (though you are highly rewarded if you do apply a certain amount of concentration). The show had a rocky start with issues of plot and character development that came off as trite and cliche. Those familiar with the show's team-building, bad guy-fighting formula thanks to previous Joss Whedon television such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, however, knew that it would be worth it. But even at it's most mundane moments in the first half of the first season, I never really understood the excessive criticism of the show. At its worst, it was still a fun tie-in to the movies. It filled in some of the gaps and gave you a better appreciation for this universe to geek out over. Now the show has grown from just being that fun tie-in to what is at least Marvel's third greatest creation after Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The AvengersUnlike the Thor films or even Iron Man, Agents of SHIELD isn't bogged down by superhero tropes and the inability to escape the same narrative formula in every episode.



What's great about having a pre-established and expanding cinematic universe is that it provides the show with the benefit of an ever-changing outline. Since LOST, a lot of people have this preconceived notion that a show should be completely mapped out beforehand. That's stupid. Any creative medium, but especially television writing, is never spelled out perfectly beforehand. It's a process. This process causes writers to think of creative solutions to problems that they would otherwise never even dream of. SHIELD is so much better because of the events of The Winter Soldier. Many shows have become better after a character left the series or returned after cancellation. And I'm sure that future movies, even Guardians of the Galaxy, will throw a narrative wrench into the series that Jed Whedon and his team will have to work their way out of. With the show picked up for a second season, and Agent Carter going to series as well, I look forward to how Marvel fills in the gaps with their stories and makes a more interesting universe, even if we're still only talking about a goofy comic book universe.

Compared to the rest of the things on television, it's nice to watch a show that isn't about a brooding middle-aged white man. Breaking Bad, Hannibal, House of Cards, Mad Men, True Detective, they're all great and I'm not saying that SHIELD is as great an achievement or deserving of more accolades than these shows. With the exception of when Breaking Bad was on, however, I can't think of a show I look forward to more than Agents of SHIELD each week. Clark Gregg is perhaps the most likable guy in the business, Ming Na kicks ass, Bill Paxton, this season's "big bad," is amazing and hilarious, and they even turned the boring/generic viewpoint character, Ward, into a villain. What show does that?! These reasons alone, not to mention the continuing connection to the films and its own growing narrative that has allowed it to stand on its own two feet, are reasons enough to watch the damn show. With the series ending it's first season this week, I hope most viewers who quit after the first three episodes catch up soon because if the first season is any indication, there's a lot more places to go.

So what make could make Marvel's Agent's of SHIELD the best show on television? It comes down to one simple thing: IT'S FUN. I enjoy watching it. I don't think I can say the same when watching Hannibal.

Hail Hydra.

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