Ugh, 14 Reasons Why You Should Totally Give Up On 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' After Three Episodes
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Ugh, 14 Reasons Why You Should Totally Give Up On 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' After Three Episodes

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | October 10, 2013 | Comments ()


What’s With All The Pop Culture References?

They’re Obviously Trying So Hard To Be Witty. Ugh, Tiresome.

I Hate That Dumb Hacker Stuff

There’s Only One Good Character. The Old Guy. Yeah. He’s Great. But That’s Not Enough.

And Are Really Going To Do A Monster-Of-The-Week Thing? How Boring

I Can’t Stand That Superhero Crap

And All The Cutesy Nerd Stuff

That Lead Girl? Not A Great Actress

I Mean, We Get It, She’s Cute, But Come On

That One Character? With The Dark And Mysterious Past? Ugh They Just Brood And Looks Sullen All The Time.

And Those Two Geeks Will NOT Shut Up

I Cannot Stand Those Transparent, Exploitative Boob Shots

Some Moments Are Just Laugh Out Loud Stupid

I Just Don’t Get What People See In Those Whedon People

How Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer Ranks The New Fall TV Shows | Did Somebody Say Man Candy?: Kellan Lutz Introduces His Teaser To You.

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • JennBrant

    I know Ironman and Thor, etc aren't coming on there but I'm still peeved they don't make a damn cameo. Sort of like watching the Superfriends' less than stellar step-siblings, The Okay Acquaintances or something.

  • Jamie

    I'm like 80% sure your being facetious Joanna, but in this TV landscape you can never be too sure,

  • I think the point is sarcasm. Buffy did all the things SHIELD does. But we all love Buffy. So stop complaning, i think is the point?

  • $6950553

    I only watch for Coulson and super-cute Simmons. I have a weakness for pretty British actresses like her. But if it doesn't get better soon that might not be enough. The NCIS-procedural aspect is very disappointing.

    Edit: and yes I get that the point is sarcasm, that the article is saying good shows don't always start off well.

  • mb

    What? No, just no. I was a diehard Buffy fan, and then a Firefly fan, and even a Dollhouse fan (season 2 was actually REALLY good). But none of the complaints listed here are why I dislike S.H.I.E.L.D. It's just DULL, plain and simple. I'm not giving up yet, but it's getting harder for me to stay awake during the episodes...and that's not a problem I ever had with Whedon. Not even with Doublemeat Palace!

  • Scorptilicus

    Ah, Armin Shimmerman. I love you. If he guests on S.H.I.E.L.D. someday I will be very happy.

  • $6950553

    If they fire the lead 3 agents, hire a few good actors, promote the British girl Simmons to more screen time and focus on more thoughtful plots than NCIS type procedurals it could work. But I highly doubt they'll do any of that.

  • Kristopher R

    Through episode 3, I kept thinking the same thing: This feels like an episode from an old 80's show like "The A-Team." Each person had their specialty and it was a villain of the week and everything is okay by minute 57. The last teaser showed some promise, but...we'll see.

  • Foop

    You're getting too good at this. I'm in San Francisco, we should be friends.

  • I love you so much right now.

    Here's to you, Ms. Robinson.

  • ubermood

    The show is boring, just plain boring—a big bland sandwich of beige mediocrity. And as someone who doesn't make a living watching and writing about television, it's been a waste of time. Sure, it might get better—in a season or two, after they work out of Skye's boring-ass double-agent story arc (which is the fault of the writers, not the actress) and move past the non-existent sexual tension between her and what's-his-name. Bleh.

  • Ben

    Honestly one of the best things about this show I'm finding is it's the first super hero TV show that isn't like ashamed to be a super hero show.
    I mean arrow is fun but it's almost ashamed of what it is. They won't even call him Green Arrow because 'eww comic books, we're SERIOUS!' or fucking 10 seasons of a superman show without him wearing a cape.

    The live action stuff from DC of late has just been so damn self conscious. Like being based on a comic book is dirty, SHIELD isn't though. It's fully aware of what it is and is just having fun.

  • Christinamets

    Side note: Season 2 premiere of "Arrow" ends with him say he needs a new name, a "hero's name"... and then they zoomed in on the green-tipped arrow. He's going to go by the Green Arrow as soon as the next episode.

  • Ben

    oh rad, haven't watched the S2 premiere yet.

  • Christinamets

    Gah! >< I hope you didn't take that as a spoiler. I apologize!

  • Ben

    It's cool, got me off my arse to get around to watching it and it was a kicker of an episode.

  • Artemis

    I watched the pilot (I actually watched it twice, because I had trouble paying attention to it the first time around) and when the second episode had sat unwatched on my DVR for a week, I canceled the season pass and gave up. I agree Buffy started slow (though still *considerably* better than SHIELD) so I'm going to wait out the first season, and if people say it markedly improves then I'll binge watch before season 2.

  • jettcity

    This. Because of Netflix, Amazon, et al, I don't feel the need to waste valuable entertainment viewing/playing time on these mediocre early episodes if there is no future payoff. If the Internet convinces me this show has improved, has created a compelling world, and is a must see...binge time.

  • St

    Love Buffy, love Whedon but I gave up on SHIELD after first episode. It was bad, uninteresting and with horrible casting. Casting is the main problem. I can’t understand how, with all that hype and money, they could choose such boring and ordinary actors.

  • BobbFrapples

    I'll hang in there for a season or two, I owe Mr. Whedon that much. :)

  • BuffyloGal

    Are you people suggesting that Buffy was a monster-of-the-week show? Might I remind you that an ongoing story arc of characters, whose lives did not reset at the beginning of each new episode is part of why Buffy was such ground-breaking television? Very few other shows had this feature.

    Moreover, she is the classic pre-modern hero, forced into a calling she did not choose. She can ignore it, but millions will suffer. How often do you see Marvel heroes admitting how hard it is saving the world all of the time? BTVS is all about grappling with difference. How often did TV present regular characters who by the way just happen to be gay? Not crazy and shooting up the school, or committing horrible acts of torture, just another member of the team.

    Meanwhile we blunder through high school while examining the existential crises that can happen from divorce, a parent's death, and so on. Can't handle a show that deals with life, death, sin, evil, heroics, redemption, Kant, Hegel or Marx, all written by an atheist? Bored now.

  • Marc Greene

    I liked your article, Joanna. It must have taken a long ass time to find all of those pre-Interweb gifs. Thank you!

  • Helo


  • Xander

    I know I am in the minority but for me SMG was always the worst part of Buffy. There was just something really off putting about her. I could never really root for her. I also really hoping that they would kill her off forever and continue the show with Faith instead(which would have been quite funny considering the name of the show and all)

    Hell I would have accepted Kendra as well(although I understand that with her being black studios probably wouldn't have gone for her)

  • Sean

    No, you are not wrong. SMG is a terrible actor.

  • That is exactly what always kept me from getting into the show. Charisma vacuum.

  • Xander

    Oh there is plenty of Charisma and she looks so awesome in the first seasons :)

  • Nicely played. I like how you didn't go for the skeevy joke about Charisma behaving like a vacuum.

  • Tinkerville

    It honestly took me way too long to realize what this post was doing.

  • Nokoo

    It seems some people still don't realize.

  • The Replicant Brooke

    Me too. So don't feel so bad.

  • ArtsFatty

    A) Buffy is a show from our youth (Currently re-watching it, btw!), we've outgrown it.
    B) It's just like Buffy! Yeah... a show 10+ years old. Great.

    Either way, not good.

    Besides, the worst thing, that bugs me the most, is this: In all three episodes, they meet some advanced technology and it's "destroy that crap". I'm all for "atomic energy" moral dilemmas, but there isn't any doubt here, no debate.
    "Nope, it's dangerous. F**k scientific progress. We know all that we need to know about the universe. Advancements in technology died with my flying car, WHICH IS AWESOME BY THE WAY, but anything more, like a faster flying car or something - no, burn it in the sun."

    This is why we can't have nice sci-fi.

  • foolsage

    You mean like the gravitonium from this very episode, which Coulson made a big point of having fired into space put into storage? For that matter, are you suggesting that SHIELD ought to have kept and used the extremis/gamma-ray/supersoldier devices from the pilot episode? They literally killed people.

  • ArtsFatty

    Yes. Put into storage to never see the light of day. Why not study it? Analyze it? See how it works? Both gravitonium and extremis. Not shoot it up the arm on the spot, obviously, but see what can be learned from it.

  • Christinamets

    Did you not stay till 'post-credits'? Putting it into storage will end up being a bad idea, as Graviton is going to become a major villain in the show.

  • Anon

    The show is filled with all sorts of "advanced technology" that they not only do NOT destroy, but use like we do a toaster or TV remote control. I'm not sure your criticism holds much water.

  • ArtsFatty

    Yes, but how would they get to develop those technologies if their every first response was "burn this dangerous witchcraft"?

  • wonkeythemonkey

    Are you suggesting that a show from 10+ years ago cannot remain eminently watchable and impressive to this very day?

    Utter balderdash and poppycock! There is no reason to suppose that quality in television storytelling is a linear progression over time. For example, I'd take crap TV from the 1960's over crap TV from the 1970's any day.

  • ArtsFatty

    You're totally missing my point. If they are the same, why should I watch it? Like other people have said "So we should see Buffy instead"

    And for the record, in my opinion, Agents of SHIELD is a crappy show (so far) and more importantly not at all similar to Buffy.

  • Some Guy

    I just watched all 11 seasons of Cheers, and it was frickin awesome. Except for Shelly Long's wardrobe the first few seasons.

  • John W

    Yeah but....I've got nothing.

    ABC must have read your post because they just ordered a full season.

  • B84

    It took me 6 Buffy episodes to gin up any real fannish interest.
    And 4 Firefly episodes.
    And 3 Game of Thrones.
    And 6 American The Office eps.

    Only one Breaking Bad--exception that proves the rule.
    I'll give that adorable Phil Coulson 10.

  • BWeaves

    It took me until Jayne's Town to warm up to Firefly.

    I really think that Whedon should film 8 episodes and THROW THEM AWAY, and then start airing the series with episode #9.

  • IngridToday

    I'd add nearly the entire season of Mad Men. It had it's moments, but I don't give a shit about Don's life as a little kid. I was hooked in seasons two and onward.

  • wonkeythemonkey

    Ditto! Except for Breaking Bad, which did indeed have a breaking in (see what I did there?) period of a few episodes for me, and Firefly, which grabbed me from scene 1.

    Add in The Wire (4 episodes), and there's my list.

  • I know this is one o' them reverse psychology lists you're so fond of, but the joke's on you. I could never stand Buffy as a teenager and I still can't! It's the reason I didn't watch Firefly when it was on TV even though I liked the premise! I hated Buffy so much and the same guy created it! You've convinced me not to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

    Before the Buffy lovers pile on, yes I have tried watching it again as an adult. Yes I have watched past the first season, well into the third and several sporadic "classics" forced on me by a superfan.

    I will say that Dollhouse got much better after the first season (Firefly was the shit from minute one), though it was plagued by the dreadful acting that swamps many Whedon projects.

    ETA: It just occurred to me that Dollhouse and Firefly were not plagued by the incessant pop culture references, due to the nature of the dolls and the society that didn't exist yet. Interesting.

  • Berry

    About two weeks ago I finally convinced my husband that if we want to pass for cultured and fully educated adults, we have to watch Buffy. We've both seen the odd episode here and there, and have of course learned the basic gist trough internet fandom osmosis, but never really got into it.

    So far, we've only managed to force ourselves to watch the first five episodes of season 1, and even that has been painful. And we're people who inhale our shows. When we like something, we stay up past one in the morning watching "one more episode", knowing we have to be at work early the next day. But it's just not happening this time. Everything about it just feels forced and awkward, and tedious and slow. And Alyson Hannigan's acting is too terrible for words, bless her adorable little face.

    We're not giving up yet. Maybe it will get better. But right now, it just seems like a "you had to be there when it was all shiny and new" kind of show.

  • True story: I watched the first episode the night the series premiered (I was 12 or 13), because I loved the movie. I was so excited for a series, and so disappointed by what it turned out to be. The movie knew it was silly and dumb and campy and rolled around in it, the show thought it was serious and cool. Certainly not.

  • $6950553

    Same here. Loved the movie. Could not stand the series.

  • Berry

    And also c. I'm basically just waiting for that Spike character to show up, at this point. I've seen gifs that give me hope that he could be at least halfway interesting and entertaining.

    And also also, young David Boreanaz is hotter than the center of the sun, but based on the few scenes he's had so far, could not act his way out of a paper-bag, not even with the help of a big arrow pointing him towards exit.

  • Berry

    We'll probably keep watching it for a while yet, because a. everyone needs a hobby, and b. maybe it'll get better. Although if it starts taking itself even more seriously, we might have to check out.

    PS. Xander needs to die a thousand agonizing deaths.

  • Josh

    I have had a disinterest in this show, less because of the Mark of Whedon, and more because I have more or less lost interest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a person that did not like Buffy, this list also pointed did more to turn me off than interest me. To me, this whole Marvel movie thing started going downhill for me since Iron Man 2, which Thor was better, as well as Captain America, I just do not really care about the majority of the Marvel Universe, outside of X-Men, Iron Man, and Blade. To me, a show that focuses on the more obscure parts of that universe while incorporating the more annoying, to me anyway, facets of Whedon just falls far beneath my radar. However, I hope it does well, if only so that Clark Gregg and Ming-Na will have work. The rest of the cast can just get to ride. Granted though, if this show is to have any real importance to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even if it does bad, Disney will continue to fund it just to get the necessary plot point complete.

  • IngridToday

    I like Buffy because it's a lot of campy, pop culture, goodness.

    I like Firefly, but, I would have preferred someone else as a main character of Echo. Eliza Dusku didn't have the range.

  • I totally agree about Dushku. I think the second season was so much better than the first because the focus of the show pulled back from Echo and settled on the ensemble. Victor, Topher, and Adele were my favorites.

  • anon

    I thought you said "Firefly was shit from minute one". There was nearly an internet murder scene right here.

  • Funny how that sentence split. No, it is my everlasting anguish that I did not contribute to Firefly's ratings while it was airing (though I'd like to think I helped get Serenity the green light by buying every person I know copies of the series as gifts).

  • therock

    So the point your trying to make is that some shows have started off badly and gone on to great success?

    ...okay? So what? There are many other shows that have started off badly and stayed bad.

    Anyway, I'm still gonna have to say no to this show. I watched the first two episodes and I couldn't tell you anything about the characters, what happened or what the plot is. I remember a plane, something aboat an inflatable boat fixing a whole in a plane.... ugh, who cares?

  • wonkeythemonkey

    Your point is fair, but this is more than just a show that is starting off weak and may get better. This is a show from a specific creator that has a track record of making shows that start weak(isn) and end up AMAZING. Well, they don't really "end up" amazing so much as they "get amazing, then drop from that height in strange and upsetting ways."

    YMMV, of course. I personally thought that even Dollhouse was pretty great by the end, but I may be in the minority on that one. And if you've never liked Whedon's stuff, there's absolutely no reason to expect you'll like this show any better.

  • loo shag brolley

    This is the thing: Buffy and Firefly had me hooked within three episodes. Dollhouse, and now S.H.I.E.L.D. did not. I will however wait to see what color that third flower in the vase is. It's always so shiny.

  • stella

    Dollhouse was awesome by the end IMO.

  • IngridToday

    I liked the episodes that dealt with the dolllhouse or the characters... the stand alone episodes were hit or miss. The one where Echo was a mother was pretty terrible/boring.

  • stella

    I tend to block that one out.

  • Green Lantern

    Yes, I too was pretty "meh" on Dollhouse, and really liked it by the time the last episode was up.

  • IngridToday

    I honestly have no idea what the point of this list is. Buffy's first season is pretty weak. Maybe it's comparing it to that? Honestly it's very unclear.

  • JustOP

    That doesn't really mean that this show will be good. I'm a fan of some of Whedons work, but there is a marked difference in the quality of the introduction to this series, when compared to say, Firefly.

  • wonkeythemonkey

    Oh, no argument there. I'm not saying that this show MUST be good. I'm just explaining why I personally (and, I suspect, many others on this site) will be giving it more of a chance than I might have given the same show if it were produced by, say, Paul Haggis.

  • dagnabbit

    I guess this show is only awesome if you are a Whedon zealot or Marvel zombie. Together, you are an insatiable market segment willing to disregard quality and quite prime for the picking. Go DIsney.
    Meanwhile, Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity are kicking all kinds of ass right now over on Arrow.

  • anon

    I've really liked just about everything that Whedon has done, but I'm not a big fan of MAoS. It's just so boring right now.
    I skipped Arrow because of how awful everyone said it was... might have to give it a shot (ba dum puh) now.

  • Billybob

    Arrow is currently light-years better than Agents Of Shield, and I don't think anyone here would deny that (and also, Felicity Smoak is better than Skye in every possible way).

    Arrow's first few episodes, on the other hand... well, most people only kept watching for the shirtlessness. Seriously, go back and listen to the dialogue. Try not to laugh.

    And is there any reason we can't like both shows?

  • dagnabbit

    We totally can love both shows, I just think its weird that Pajiba is trying to be official SHIELD apologist.
    Yes, Arrow took a bit to get its stride. Yes, you have to live with the CW-yness of it (yet somehow less CW-y than the Models of SHIELD?)
    I gave SHIELD the same chance I gave Arrow last year, one show hooked me with intriguing elements (the island, Diggle, evil mom) and the other didn't (Skye as spy is interesting, but robot Coulson seems like a contrivance to justify the character's existence).

  • bbmcrae

    Because it will make angry fanboys angry to, you know, like different things?

  • TK

    All of this is true. I adore Arrow, as I've mentioned on this here site, but the early episodes are garbage.

    I'm far from sold on SHIELD, but I'm going to give it some time to hopefully hit its stride.

    Better example: Orphan Black did not start strong, but got better and ended AMAZING. SHIELD has enough potential to make sticking with it worthwhile.

  • JayWantsACat

    I guess I need to start watching Arrow.

  • I gave up after the first episode. So uninspired. So bland.

  • Bob Genghis Khan

    (in best Elaine Benes voice)
    How bout it SUCKS?

  • Billybob

    Agents of SHIELD has yet to have its Inca Mummy Girl/Reptile Boy double bill. It has also yet to have its School Hard*.

    With Disney/Marvel behind it, it will probably last long enough to have both.

    *Note: I'm a "Season Three > All" guy, but these three episodes mark startling side-by-side highs and lows.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    I'm particularly looking forward to the episode where the young agents all go out for beers and turn into alcoholic cave people.

  • Billybob

    I'm looking forward to the one where Agent Coulson has sex with Ward's mother. On the hood of a police car. Twice.

  • loo shag brolley

    Whoa, Agent May! You drive like a spaaazz!

  • larshine

    Beer foamy. WANT BEER!

  • RadiationDude

    "I Can’t Stand That Superhero Crap" ...then....why are you watching a show based in a superhero universe? i don't like teen don't watch teen melodramas. i don't make lists about why i hate Pretty Little Liars. I'm not exactly their target audience, so who gives a shit what my opinion is about Pretty Little Liars?

  • bbmcrae

    Did the whoosh knock down all your capital letters, too?

  • Illustrated for your convenience.

  • MisterUnderhill


  • Muhnah_Muhnah


  • There it is.

  • I've never watched a single episode of Buffy.

  • Pat Sponaugle

    This came just at the right time. My wife is luke-warm to cold on SHIELD, and we're rewatching season 1 Buffy with our daughter, so I can see if this gives her pause.

  • Anon

    I hated Buffy the character (and the actress, if I'm honest) but the supporting cast was just so great I couldn't help but enjoy the show. The monster-of-the-week thing wasn't so bad because that was part of its campy charm. Kind of like Doctor Who, I guess.
    With MAoS, I only like two of the characters, and they're so underused as to be criminal. There haven't been enough episodes to really get the feel of it yet, so I'm not giving up, but so far I'm not too impressed.

  • Point thoroughly made. I always appreciate making points through gifs. But holy Cap Ass was the last episode boring. Things need to pick up quickly.

  • Pat Sponaugle

    I disagree, respectfully. This is the kind of quasi Mission Impossible stuff that I wanted.

  • Green Lantern

    ...not sure if serious.

  • Blake

    I'm sure.

  • Quite.

    Irony filter firmly switched on ready for the cray...

  • AudioSuede

    This post is the best. That's all I have to say on that.

  • Fruity Fonzie

    reason 15: no marvel superheroes at all

  • Adam Borden

    There's apparently a list of characters Marvel has approved them to use. Mostly villains, but some heroes too... I'm sure they'll show up. There's even rumors of an RDJ cameo.

  • Aaron

    Episode 3 is an origin story for one of Marvel's established villains.

  • Adam Borden

    Yup! An incredibly powerful one! On a show about a team with no powers...

  • Which they've said since the very beginning this wasn't about Marvel Superheroes, but about the people thrust into this world.

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