Has there ever been a bigger disappointment on TV than Agents of SHIELD? On paper it look like a slam dunk, but when Joss Whedon’s involvement was negligible, and Disney decided to equip it with a budget and look that seemed more like an extended episode of The Suite Life — Helicarrier than the top shows on nighttime TV, people began to grumble.
I’ve only watched a few episodes myself, but I begin to snore. As I stated from the start, Clark Gregg is great but he is NOT a leading man, and the rest of the cast aside from Ming Ma Wen is Disney Channel level, especially those English kids who seem to have been included to play the “companion” role and trick Doctor Who fans into thinking the show was fun.
Yes, yes I know that the show has some admirers. As one father of a seven-year-old girl told me “She loves the show!” and that’s who Disney was making it for: kids. But of late they’ve realized they’re tarnishing the Marvel TV brand with this sitting duck and have been doing more to tie it in with the movie-verse and add a few other Marvel-esque touches.
And now, enter Bill Paxton as Agent John Garrett. It is statistically shown that the addition of Bill Paxton to a TV cast results in more ass being kicked and his “at least” four episode run should do just that. “We wanted to bring in a rough-and-tumble former cohort of Agent Coulson with a little bit of attitude and cigar-smoking swagger,” executive producer Jed Whedon told TV Guide.
Executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen added that he will enter the show in a “surprising” way and “He is the type who wants to stay out in the field no matter how high-level he gets.”
Translation: It is “surprising” that producers realized they had to invest in an actual TV star to get the show back on track.
The Paxton character sounds like he’ll be adding a lot of firepower to the show. “When Garrett got his promotion to Level 7, he refused to sit behind a desk and doesn’t like the formalities of S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s going to help Coulson solve some mysteries and is not afraid to rig an explosive or two.”
Garrett is a comics character who was created by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz in their classic Elektra: Assassin. THe comics Garrett is part cyborg after SHIELD has to patch him up when he’s injured, so you can see where this is going, and it looks like we may have to tune in the Agents of SHIELD again!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.