What is up with that? From the beginning, something about S.H.I.E.L.D. has rubbed pop critics the wrong way. Even before I had the series DVR'd, I heard the murmurs:
"UK scientists Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) barely even qualify as characters." Source: The HitFix
"Are there any compelling characters? This is the big one, and may ultimately be irreparable without ditching the bulk of the cast and starting over." Source: The HitFix
"The series was constructed with the relatively low ambition of Not Being Terrible... And the SHIELD pilot overachieved like crazy." Source: PopWatch/Entertainment Weekly
"SHIELD is…well, mulch. It’s a show about characters who go everywhere and seem to have limitless resources, but their actual purpose isn’t particularly defined." Source: PopWatch/Entertainment Weekly
I'll be the first to agree with the naysayers that SHIELD is not in the same league with, say, "The Walking Dead" or "Game of Thrones". Be that as it may, I find it stylish and adventuresome. It's fun and nicely flavored with a clearly intended touch of camp and good-natured self-awareness. SHIELD brings to the small(er) screens in our living rooms the same wink-and-nudge action as the theatre blockbusters.
The overall team chemistry between the characters, from Phil Coulson to Fitz and Simmons, works great. And, unlike some critics, I like a series that takes its time developing characters. Series developers that have no faith in viewers' attention spans fall into a particular Pet Peeve category of mine, anyway.
I also disagree with critics about the special effects. They're among the best you'll find on the made-for-tv shows. Right on par, in my opinion, with the likes of "Game of Thrones" and far above what is offered to us by "Once Upon a Time" or "Grimm". And, hey, I like those shows, too!
In acting, effects and plotting quality, it's equal to Next Generation (which I thoroughly enjoyed). Oh My Dog, how I hear you gasping out there! Yes. I said it and I'm sticking to it.
SHIELD is obviously intended to be fun and flighty, an adventuresome romp. So relax, haters! Give that hyper-vigilance a rest. Grab a favorite beverage, kick back and enjoy the easy ride. You just might find yourself watching with a small, Agent Coulson-esque smile on your lips.