Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Want to Ride Captain America Movie’s Coattails
April 8, 2014

It’s no surprise that Captain America: The Winter Soldier had a dynamite opening weekend, setting a new box office record for April with a $96+ million take. Internationally, it’s also doing well, taking in more already than the first Captain America made overseas in total. The sequel is expected to far surpass the original overall.

Thus, it’s also no surprise that the struggling Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing its best to grab some of that success and interest. Marvel sent out a press release yesterday that said:

Nothing will ever be the same for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. following the jaw dropping events of the blockbuster film Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, now in theaters! In the series’ latest episode “Turn, Turn, Turn,” airing Tuesday, April 8th at 8|7c on the ABC Network, Coulson and his team come face–to-face with the Clairvoyant and must deal with the greatest threat of all … one that will hit closer to home more than they’ve ever imagined.

with the following video clip:

I’m still confused on what this actually means. They talk about how the TV show and film both deal with S.H.I.E.L.D., but didn’t we know that already? Promotion of this kind actually makes me LESS likely to watch the show, since I haven’t had a chance to see the movie yet and I’m now vaguely concerned that I’ll either have something spoiled for me, or I’ll miss something because I won’t know the reference. Of course, it’s probably nothing, just attempted cross-marketing to raise the show’s viewership. And it’s probably a fair assumption on their part that plenty of people did see the movie already, given the ticket sales. I seem to have heard that Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson wasn’t even in the movie, which strikes me as a poor choice, since he’s been the glue of the cinematic Marvel universe so far.

10 Responses  
James Schee writes:  

Yeah I saw th movie over the weekend and there’s a bi SHIELD related spoiler, so if the show is following up on it then best to avoid it until you see movie.

Johanna writes:  

Oh, good to have that confirmed, thanks. I didn’t see last week’s SHIELD episode because of travel, so depending on when I get a chance to see the movie, I may end up 3 or 4 episodes behind. At which point, I guess I should figure out whether I still care enough to catch up.

James Schee writes:  

I’ve started watching Shield again because I liked Cap 2 so much. I’m only 3 episodes in and it is ok. But I actually found the SHIELD agents in the movie more compelling and interesting, at least so far.

Jer writes:  

If you want to avoid the spoilers, you’re probably going to have to avoid not just SHIELD but any article on any news site that talks about Agents of SHIELD in the aftermath of Captain America 2. Or any online discussion of Captain America 2 at all. Or possibly just any online article period. I saw the movie Friday night and it’s a good thing I did because the major plot points were all spoiled in an unrelated review of a different movie that I read the next day.

Jer writes:  

I actually found the SHIELD agents in the movie more compelling and interesting, at least so far.

The only character on the show (apart of Coulson) that I’ve really liked from the beginning is Melinda May. The rest of them feel like such lost opportunities. Skye unfortunately suffers from Wesley Crusher Syndrome – you’d think by 2013 they’d learn to avoid that. Fitz and Simmons were just too cute in the beginning, but I’ve warmed up to at least Simmons who seems to have some hidden depth to her (Fitz is still a bit too … I dunno. Something.) And Ward was the character that in the first episode I marked out as “the guy who will get killed off in a ‘surprise twist’ by the end of the first season to generate emotional beats for the rest of the team”. And his characterization really hasn’t gotten any more interesting since.

Ali T. Kokmen writes:  

Myself, I’ve caught most of the episodes of AGENTS OF SHIELD, but haven’t made it the movies to see WINTER SOLDIER (or, for that matter, THOR: DARK WORLD.) I watched the recent episode and followed it just fine, so IMO, there isn’t really much of a you-have-to-watch-this-before-you-watch-that factor here. It really did feel genuinely like there was a big deal event in this shared universe, and in the TV show, you’re watching those characters deal with that event while, presumably, in the movie those characters were also dealing with that event. Honesty, I can’t think of another example of a shared TV/movie universe that as ambitiously and successfully used the potential of shared universe storytelling. (For instance, the contemporaneous Star Trek: TNG movies and DS9 TV series barely influenced one another in more than the most basic of ways.)

(It also didn’t hurt that this episode of SHIELD finally delivered some of the best character moments–of more than just the “shocking twist!” kind–that it’s ever mustered in the show’s brief, uneven history.)

I think it’s a natural reaction to say, “Oh, making the connection between this TV show and those movies more explicit is a transparent marketing gimmick.” And I do think that many of us comic fans have been burned out by poorly executed expansive crossover events, and so might have a natural skepticism for such things. But as far as this SHIELD/Captain America moment stands right now, I’m trying hard to retain that sense of awe that a shared universe is supposed to deliver–as well as a level of appreciation that the creators well executed a bit of storytelling more ambitious than anything else I can recall.

Ralf Haring writes:  

Yeah, don’t watch this week’s SHIELD episode unless you want the Cap movie spoiled.

I was fairly disappointed with the series early on, but gave it another shot a few months later. It does get better, but there is a certain Whedon sparkle missing. The dialogue isn’t quite as crisp and memorable. I wouldn’t say the show is stellar, but it’s watchable. The characters … I agree with Jer’s assessment.

In the early episodes of the show, it’s made clear that SHIELD wants everyone outside of SHIELD to consider Coulson dead. If they ever change that, I’d imagine it would be in a future Avengers movie with Whedon doing it.

Johanna writes:  

Jer, some writers are just jerks. Blowing spoilers in a different review? Thoughtless. I agree, great character analysis.

Ali, I love the way you always share such a positive viewpoint.

Good Week for Comic-Inspired TV News: Agent Carter, Gotham, Constantine, More » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] an early full-season pickup, the storytelling and ratings have both been disappointing. With the recent tie-in to new blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier, though, the show seems to have gained new […]

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