'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Is About To Become The Show Everyone Wanted It To Be
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Avengers!
Merrill Barr explains:
It seems after months of internet hate, the (highly rated) ABC series is about to become the show people have wanted it to be since the beginning. A show that does the comic book thing. A show that says it lives in a world, the world in this case being the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But it couldn’t have gotten here overnight, because had it been this show out of the gate, it would have failed catastrophically.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a show that needed to be built away from the gimmick of the MCU connected world. As Joss Whedon perfectly put it during development “we couldn’t have a show that said ‘Iron Man was just here, but he left right before you showed up’.” Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. needed to take time being its own thing. Living by its own rules. Now that it has, Marvel’s finally ready to unleash the beast that is the most daring attempt at trans-media ever made by a major studio.
Now that the core viewership has been identified, Marvel can build the show with in-series limited events. In this case, the event being something billed as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Uprising. Similar to the way comic books operate on limited-event crossovers to create the idea of a full blown world, now that its characters have been solidified, Marvel Studios can have some fun with its pet project. Based on the tease at the end, it would seem the grand plan is to tie Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. into the events of the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier. How deeply those ties go is currently unknown, but since one of the big deals is the inclusion of Thor: The Dark World‘s Jaimie Alexander as her character Lady Sif in an episode, perhaps things are about to take off the way people have hoped the series would.
The idea that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. could have pulled this off from the beginning is a fantasy. Had the series come out of the gate with nothing but major universe tie-ins, the series would have tanked before episode two because it would have said to the viewing public “we’re only going for hardcore fans of the MCU right now.” Playing to hardcore fans is fun, but rarely does it yield financial benefit. Every film leading up to the The Avengers never grossed much more than $600 million worldwide. Good numbers, but not the record shatters numbers of The Avengers. Marvel’s nothing if not the king of the waiting game. They knew world-building comes first and games come second.