Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight on ABC promising some epic developments in regards to Deathlok, blue aliens, the identity of the Clairvoyant and other bread crumbs dropped throughout the series so far. There’s also the more pressing matter of the fact that the show hasn’t been picked-up yet for a second season yet, not an unusual situation for a Joss Whedon show, but a pretty bizarre predicament for the most heavily hyped new network show of the 2014/15 TV season. It’s pretty unlikely that S.H.I.E.L.D. won’t get a second season, circumstances at ABC are that dire, but a couple of the show’s key producers want you to know that they need a second season in order to make the show you want.
In conversation with Zap2it, series executive producers Jed Whedon and Jeph Loeb explained themselves: why it’s taken so long to get the show to an engaging place, why they’ve been slowly integrating bits of the Marvel Universe, and why fans should stick around to see what happens next.
To begin with, Loeb explained that starting tonight, the show will try and have more fun. The heavy lifting, introducing the cast and the concept, is done, and from this point on, it’s all about having a good time with this world they’ve created.
“One of the big challenges of our show is, when we came out of the gate, the only person that anybody knew was Coulson. So we wanted to get them to know and fall in love with Ward and Skye and everybody else in our show, FitzSimmons and the lovely Melinda May. Now it’s time to have fun, and that’s why we’ve had Lady Sif come by, Jaimie Alexander was so great. You know we just announced that Patton Oswalt is joining us as Eric. My friend from ‘Heroes,’ Adrian Pasdar, coming on as Col. Glenn Talbot. When Bill Paxton came in. It’s just been a lot of fun. It was always our intention to do that, we just needed to sort of get to a certain place.”
As for the show itself, Whedon says that he and the others had a “big learning curve” when it came to finding S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s voice, and it took a while to get everyone “on the same page.” He says stay tuned because all those seeds they’ve been planting throughout the season are about to pay off.
“Any new show has a big learning curve, just in terms of making sure everybody’s making the same show. Every different department, every actor, every director, the music, the costumes — just making sure we’re all sort of heading in the same direction, because getting everyone on the same page, even though we knew the show we wanted to make, just finding the tone, that always takes a little while.
As we progressed — and we started a little more standalone, planting seeds — and then we started bringing it together. Seeing how the audience has responded to that is, for us, very rewarding, and I think it makes us not afraid to lean into the Marvel side of it. And the mythology and the serialized elements are really paying off. We’re glad to see the reaction is that positive.”
I will admit that S.H.I.E.L.D. has seemed to have gotten itself together in the last stretch of episodes; it’s certainly closer, I think, to what fans wanted to see from a show called “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The cast seems more cohesive and those crumbs from the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been more compelling, and it will be interesting to see if the show gets any positive blowback when Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens later this week. Still, I can’t help but wonder how much slack we’re cutting it because it’s Whedon and Marvel. Regardless, a second season seems like a forgone conclusion, but we won’t know for certain till ABC either announces their fall schedule in May or picks up S.H.I.E.L.D. for an early renewal.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight on ABC. Nerd Bastards’ Brent Cook will have his recap sometime tomorrow.