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'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Mid-Season Check-Up

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Dec 16, 2013 | 10:00am EST

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As a stalwart Whedon fan, I've stood loyally by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While I remain optimistic that it will soar to the heights of Buffy and Firefly, it's hard to ignore the ringing disappointment this show has been to most people (critics and otherwise) thus far.

What are the main complaints leveled at the show? Lack of a driving force, underdeveloped characters, and a deficit of the trademark Whedon sense of humor. After some decidedly mediocre offerings, the show has steadily improved – many view "F.Z.Z.T." as the show's turning point. "F.Z.Z.T." gave us much-needed character development for the FitzSimmons dynamic duo, and it was the first really character-driven episode. "The Hub" continued to flesh out relationships by pairing the agents up into odd couples (Ward and Fitz, and Skye and Simmons), "The Well" gave back story for Agent Ward (perhaps the worst offender on the milquetoast character front), "Repairs" explained to us why Agent May is so damn stoic, and the most recent episode, "The Bridge" finally began to untangle the ongoing mysteries (Couson's resurrection, Centipede, and Skye's parentage) of the season.

While on the uptick, it still has its issues: Ward is still boring, and Skye, always pushed on us as the heart of the show, is still annoying.  Personally, I'd prefer a show that revolved around Coulson and adorably chipper Simmons (though I may be in the minority there). It's no Buffy (or even Dollhouse, for that matter), but I still maintain hope that the show will find its footing. Let's just hope it does so in time to get renewed for a second season.

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