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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – How Would You Bring Back Viewers?


We’ve got two more weeks before we get new episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so I thought we could take a step back and see how the show is fairing.

The first half of the season, while enjoyable, has progressed very slowly. That said, we have definitely gotten some payoff since it returned from the hiatus. The two episodes we’ve seen since the break have stepped up to the plate in a big way. The characters are finally finding their identities, both as individuals and as a team, and story connections are being made in way that is both satisfying and leads to more intriguing possibilities.

Since its return, I have gone from watching the show because I love Agent Coulson and the MCU to watching the show because I love the show.

I wonder, though, if they had picked up the pace sooner, would they have lost all of the viewers that they have. The numbers still clearly show that AoS is a success, but they also show almost consistent decline since the pilot.

It’s clear, now, that they were using the first half of the season to set up for the second half, but I’m not sure that was the best strategy.

So, how should the show win back it’s lost viewers? Bringing in special guests like Stan Lee and Jaime Alexander is a good start. Also, a lot of fans have been asking for more characters from the comics and AoS seems to be delivering that too. Bill Paxton’s role as John Garrett and the revelation that Mike Peterson will become Deathlok are doing wonders to appease the fanboys.

These are all well and good, but they won’t bring back the viewers in the long term unless the stories continue to be good. You can add as many characters as you want, but if nobody cares about them, nobody will pay attention to them.

What do you think? How would you bring back viewers?

8 thoughts on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – How Would You Bring Back Viewers?”

  1. I’m a Superhero Guy…..they work so hard to build this marvel universe they need to connect AOS with it more.

    Watch DC Comics ARROW for instance tons of little “Easter eggs” that Consistantly link it to the rest of the DC universe.

    Marvel has a catalog of thousands of characters….Why do they make up new ones? what i’m saying is why make a new villain or hero when you can pluck one (even an obscure one) out of the Marvel universe and have the fan boys tuning in every week to see what little reference happends next…..I am glad to see dethlok is coming not my favorite but its something

    1. I totally agree that there needs to be more Easter Eggs and actual characters from the Marvel Universe. Have SHIELD work with a hero who is already going after the main villain. Maybe even kill off that said hero after an appearance or two to show how bad the villain is. What also needs to be done is give us a villain – in full costume. Yes, it may come across as cheesy but it IS a comic book’s universe. Costumes also help us associate that these characters are bigger than life and not just another evil corporate jerk in a suit.
      On a personal note, one little thing that I would like to request is to have Fitz & Simmons slow down their speech patterns. Their accents are a little hard to follow – especially when they get excited and speak really fast.

      1. I’m curious as to what kind of Easter Eggs you want to see. Almost every episode references the Avengers somehow and they’ve even referenced things like Dollhouse and the 616.
        I can understand their hesitation to introduce characters from the comics. Once they’ve introduced them into the MCU, even on the small screen, there’s no going back.
        As an aside, I actually like when Fitz-Simmons becomes unintelligible in their excitement. It adds to their characters.

  2. I think it may be too late. People have short attention spans, and the negative criticism from fans and writers has been pretty strong. There’s no buzz about the show, and I’m not sure a few guest stars will help. They really need something huge to make a difference. It may take killing off characters and even getting a big guest from the Avengers main crew. Even so, I don’t see the ratings getting much higher.

  3. Its Easy. Start over.

    I know it sounds like a “mean” answer but hear me out. The show has many many problems, but the three that are most glaring are the characters, actors and the lack of tension.

    1) Characters: These characters lack any depth both individually and as a team. When you take away their faces and break it down to skill sets and you’ll laugh at the redundancy of this team.

    Leadership – Mae, Ward, Coulson
    Field Agents/Muscle – Mae, Ward
    Tech – Skye, Fits, Simmons
    Medical – Simmons (who is squeamish about surgery?!?)

    SHIELD is supposed to be a global organization yet they send unskilled lab agents into field work and are training a questionable civilian while on missions? Even if we’re going to make excuses for Skye and her “importance”, she is a huge liability and constantly putting her at risk is ridiculous.

    2) Actors: Here’s the thing about Joss Whedon shows. The actors are more important than the script. Not every episode of Buffy, Angel or Firefly were home runs, but because of the amazing casting then a dud episode was still completely enjoyable. (This is especially true with Dollhouse which wasn’t great but the supporting cast was absolutely amazing and fun).

    SHIELD is a show where the casting just seems off. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the actors (mostly) but they just don’t seem to be able to transcend a bad script. And on this show, that is a requirement.

    And more specifically, Skye is completely miscast. Skye should be someone who has fought the system for years and lost which is why she reluctantly joins SHIELD. So casting a 20yr old Chloe Bennet is ridiculous. My feeling has always been that Skye should have been Amy Acker. She’s an underrated actress that thrives on playing mysterious and quirky characters. Putting a qualified actress in the role of Skye would have made this show infinitely more interesting but as it is then Skye is pretty annoying and Chloe Bennet doesnt have the skills to be the center of this show.

    3) Lack of Tension: AoS lacks any stakes. I hate to be one of those people that compare AoS to Arrow, but… have you seen Arrow? That is a show where anyone can die and the tension runs so high that nobody on staff should buy a house just yet because next week might be their last. And then there’s SHIELD.

    Coulson gets captured? Skye disobeys orders? Simmons gets infected? Ward gets surrounded by baddies? Mike gets blown’d up? We know how this show works and NOTHING is going to happen to anyone because this show just doesnt take risks.

    So, back to my original answer to the question of how to bring back viewers? START OVER. It sounds like a silly answer, but when you consider that this show is supposed to be about “Agents of SHIELD” then this show should operate more like the Mission:Impossible TV show. Coulson is probably the only one that an audience “needs” to see every week so have the supporting cast rotate depending on the mission. It will make the show more “fresh” and introduce the missing tension that makes this show so dull.

  4. Well, I’d have thought this would be an obvious answer but let’s start with actually airing the show!!! I’m disgusted across the board with the concept of the mid-season hiatus from all the shows and networks, and it’s all the worse for a struggling show! And to come back with 2 episodes, then take a few more weeks off goes beyond the ridiculous.
    And, as we become more accustomed to binge watching shows in streaming, it will continue to become more unacceptable. I can’t wait for the new Marvel shows coming to Netflix for exactly that reason.

    I also agree that there should be a lot more Easter eggs, at the very least. Take Avengers, for example. So many references for the fans! Tony Stark mentioning L.M.D.s blew my mind (not to mention being my now-torpedoed pet theory for Coulson’s exaggerated demise).
    That. That would have been an enormous MCU flag stuck in AoS. And that’s what we need. Hill’s appearance in the pilot was good. But we haven’t seen her since. She was established as Coulson’s boss, so where has she been? Fury was a great surprise that obviously can’t happen very often, but the occasional Hill appearance would at the very least give us a slightly more tangible connection to the MCU.
    My greatest hope, though I’m fully prepared for disappointment, is that there will be a significant story connection to Cap 2. The Thor tie-in was great, and I’m glad we’ll be seeing more, but… This is Agents of SHIELD. Cap will be working for SHIELD. The trailers have made it clear that Shield’s honesty and integrity well be called into question. Oh, wait, isn’t that becoming a core theme in AoS? I know the team has other assignments on their plate, but if there’s not some serious interplay between these storylines, then I question just how seriously the powers that be consider AoS a part of the MCU.
    And that’s what will help this show – solidifying it’s place in the greater story. In the comics, there are all kinds of side stories that aren’t part of the main story – i.e., Ultimates vs. 616. I don’t actually know the numbers on this (though I’d love for someone to throw them in), but which storyline sells more books?
    If ABC/Marvel/Disney wants more eyeballs on this show, they should make it more integral to the MCU, not just play at it.

    Oh, and they need a story where a kid finds an alien amulet that lets him switch bodies interdimensionally with an Android with an awesome helmet and stuff. That’ll fix everything… ;-)
    Make mine Marvel.

  5. I tried watching the show early on and i found that i was forcing myself to sit there and watch. The problem was that it was too cheesy.
    Smallville and Arrow both had a darker feel to their shows…and easter eggs were a big part of both shows.

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