As with most things that people don’t completely understand, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is slowly losing its appeal after the “Oh look! Shiny!” phase has worn off. Though the premiere brought in about 7.1 million people to check the show out, now the ratings are in a steady decline, getting consistently lower with each and every week.
Last week saw 2.8 million viewers, a definite reduction from the premiere, and now this week – AKA Episode 5 – only attracted 2.6 million people. And while that’s not bad, it’s probably not as good as Marvel and ABC was expecting considering the massive popularity of super hero flicks at this time. Given that Marvel wants to add four more shows to their excursion into the television world, however, these numbers may spell a little bit of trouble.
So what’s the problem? Why don’t people enjoy the show as much as Marvel would like them to?
A lot of people have a lot of theories on that one, but I’m gonna put my two cents in, because I happen to like the show and Overlord Luke of Nerdbastards.com lets me write pretty much anything I want.
<begin rant… NOW>
If I had to take a stab at it, I’d say the biggest issue is that people came into this thinking they’d see a show where normal folks fight super baddies. Even more than that, I’m guessing that plenty of people figured that super-powered heroes would be showing up all over the place to help the team. Viewers weren’t tuning in to see the main cast, they came in wanting to watch supers brawl, complete with big explosions and cool FX. Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a show that pits regular (albeit exceptional) humans against things that they shouldn’t be capable of dealing with. It’s like a procedural show but without all the boring crap that gets recycled through every one of those copycat projects. When you judge it by whether it holds up against movies with hundred-million-dollar budgets, you’re doing it wrong.
Not to mention that this is Joss Whedon’s project, so you have to brace yourself for some long-term plotlines, many of which won’t be unveiled until half-way through the season or even further along. Whedon likes to slow-cook his series and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is definitely being made with that recipe in mind.
Me, I’ve enjoyed every episode and, aside from a few hiccups here and there, see the show getting better and better each week. At first I was skeptical that Clark Gregg could pull off being the leader of the group, given his rather mediocre acting during the first few episodes, but he’s been improving as well. And while the cast may not be filled with stellar actors and actresses, you can see the improvement as they begin to slide into the skin of their characters.
The final judgment will come when the first two-parter shows up, when Whedon and his crew finally have a movie-length time frame to work with to tell one story. At that point, we shall see what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is made of. People may continue to drop off in the meanwhile, but when you stop to think about the fact that reality shows are some of the most popular things on TV right now, you can understand that not everyone wants to have to use their brain while being entertained.
And if you made it this far, you deserve a virtual piece of apple pie. Enjoy!
Thanks to screenrant for the update on the newsy part of this.