• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 24, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 23, 2013
    100
    As with "The Avengers," Whedon's ear and sensibilities match the material perfectly.
  2. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    Sep 18, 2013
    91
    The setup is slow, but the show captures shadowy Coulson, sarcastic Grant (Brett Dalton), combat vet Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), whose superpower is Britishness. Bonus points for wry dialogue by co-creator Joss Whedon. [20/27 Sep 2013, p.144]
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Sep 23, 2013
    88
    All in all, it's a very promising start.
  4. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Sep 23, 2013
    88
    Even though the team's first assignment—involving an ordinary guy with strange new powers (J. August Richards)--is kind of average as adventures go, the actors seem to have found a snappy groove already.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 24, 2013
    83
    Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. looks to be the most fun you’ll find in an hour of prime time this fall.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Sep 26, 2013
    80
    There’s actually not a single weak link in the cast. The weakness of the premiere comes down to plotting. There’s a slightly melodramatic arc involving a commentary on the current economic state of the country.
  7. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Sep 24, 2013
    80
    The show is likely to score big ratings for its premiere, and early evidence indicates there's enough to keep people coming back.
  8. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Sep 24, 2013
    80
    Beyond the breezy dialogue, MAoS is terrific-looking and has action scenes that are above par for primetime. Not enough to wow you, but a fun date.
  9. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 24, 2013
    80
    The pilot does a deft job of managing expectations for a world we're used to seeing splashed on a larger screen.
  10. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Sep 24, 2013
    80
    Not only is Gregg a beloved actor playing a beloved character, Coulson is the perfect guide for Whedon's vision. He's a super-power-adjacent Everyman who may be able to make the television series just as good, in its own way, as the film franchise.
  11. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Sep 24, 2013
    80
    The pilot, which obviously had a big budget, looks almost as sleek as a movie. Creator Joss Whedon promises the show will work hard to stay on that level. It will live or die, however, on whether we want to keep watching its characters. Right up front, the answer is we do.
  12. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 22, 2013
    80
    A terrifically entertaining action-adventure hour that pays dividends for 'Avengers' fanboys/girls but isn't so insular that the uninitiated will be baffled.
  13. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Sep 20, 2013
    80
    Paired with the endearing self-awareness and cerebral nods to pop culture Whedon brings to his best projects, it’s the perfect setup for fall’s most promising new TV show.
  14. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Sep 11, 2013
    80
    Whedon’s trademark humor in the midst of action-adventure (per “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) saves the day as often as the very human, yet very gifted heroes. That protects the fantastical from becoming ridiculous.
  15. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Oct 4, 2013
    75
    Gregg has a deadpan ease that makes the engine purr. And his team is good-looking and stamped with just enough personality and humor: Without killing the fun, they ground the show. [14 Oct 2013, p.43]
  16. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Sep 24, 2013
    75
    There's action, wit and dry humor, and some entertaining if not dazzling special effects. Again accessibly, most episodes will be stand-alone, with an underlying mythology to ramp up the stakes.
  17. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Sep 24, 2013
    75
    Gregg’s resurrected Coulson so far is the much-needed glue, lending a familiar presence and sturdy countenance.
  18. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Sep 24, 2013
    75
    All told, it's a much more promising start to things than the first episode of "Dollhouse."
  19. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Sep 23, 2013
    75
    The show’s pricey-looking pilot caters to both comic book geeks and mainstream viewers with its witty writing and special effects.
  20. Reviewed by: Todd VanDerWerff
    Sep 23, 2013
    75
    For better or worse, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the best network drama pilot of the fall, but that’s mainly because so many of the other network drama pilots don’t even seem to be trying. There’s good stuff in S.H.I.E.L.D.; there are also things that feel curiously muted and cautious.
  21. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 22, 2013
    75
    Just enough geeky insider stuff to keep the fan-boys from grousing too much, but an even bigger portion of well-written action, drama, humor and intricate plot details to hook viewers who gave up comic books before Steve Canyon was grounded.
  22. 70
    Gregg's the best thing in the pilot.... the pilot definitely has its moments.
  23. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Sep 24, 2013
    70
    The first episode is zippy, slick-looking, and Whedonistically funny. It also seems much more limited in its ambitions than Whedon’s past TV shows; it seems to be set up largely as a procedural in which the agents defuse various threats of the week.
  24. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Sep 24, 2013
    70
    If the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot is a bit of a slow-burner, not so much a "wow" as a "hmmmm" as it assembles its team of head-turning secret agents--they're the heroes behind the superheroes, operating in the shadows as the more famous good guys reap the headlines--the potential is sky's-the-limit huge for this clever action romp.
  25. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Sep 24, 2013
    70
    Everything works and the actors range from fine to good--although the fast-talking chatter between De Caestecker and Henstridge gets old quickly--but it doesn’t exactly crackle with excitement. It’s fun, but a little flat in spots.
  26. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 20, 2013
    70
    While the cast is fine, some of the banter they exchange (courtesy of Whedon, who also directed the pilot, brother Jed and Maurissa Tancharoen) occasionally feels a little precious and clunky.
  27. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Sep 20, 2013
    70
    The pilot is one of those good-not-great propositions that many pilots are, particularly those trying to establish a complex world.
  28. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 13, 2013
    67
    If you haven’t been reading Marvel Comics lately... then the show can feel somewhat exclusionary and, frankly, a little too cornball and cutesy about its own geekiness.
  29. Reviewed by: Alee Karim
    Sep 26, 2013
    65
    This may not be the strongest first showing, but if it finds its rhythm soon, playing off of its existing strengths and shedding its weaknesses, this will be a compelling hour.
  30. Reviewed by: Marisa LaScala
    Sep 24, 2013
    60
    The team assembled in the first episode is less a team and more a loose collection of brooding loners.... [Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is] an oasis amid all this peevishness.
  31. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Sep 23, 2013
    60
    Mr. Gregg hits the same appealing note of wry authority that he struck in “The Avengers” (it’s not yet clear whether he has any others), and the newcomer Brett Dalton shows some charm as a Bond-style operative. Joss Whedon, meanwhile, has fun with the show’s obligatory jabs of self-awareness.... The first week’s adventure feels perfunctory, though, even given the constraint of introducing characters and back story, and most of the team members are still strictly two-dimensional.
  32. Reviewed by: Dan Greenfield
    Oct 3, 2013
    50
    The show has a sound concept.... But the script, by Joss, Jed and Tancharoen, with Joss directing, is a mite too pleased with itself.
  33. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Sep 24, 2013
    40
    The shame is that a series about a band of heroes trying to hunt down more potential heroes could be the perfect antidote to TV’s own overly dark cliché: the anti-hero. But instead it resists the call, too self-serious to be really goofy, and yet too fan-boyish to rescue even one hour of television from mediocrity.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 518 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 143
  2. Negative: 53 out of 143
  1. Sep 28, 2013
    2
    Watching T Avengers and then watching this is like one day eating lobster and then the next day eating a 99p microwaveable fish pie. Completely let down by its Hammy dialogue and un-engaging characters. Hard to believe this was made by Joss Whedon. What a disappointment. Full Review »
  2. Oct 3, 2013
    3
    The writing reminds me of a disney show. Every is bickering like teenagers. The show is just silly and all the characters are unoriginal. It's not a good show. Full Review »
  3. Sep 26, 2013
    1
    I had high hopes for this show, but I was honestly let down. It is truly and ABC not a Marvel production, at least that's how it feels. This first episode was very lackluster, and so cheesy I almost expected everyone to break out into song. The filmography felt very dated, and the script more contrived then what I've come to expect from the experienced J.W. It played out like an early episode of Buffy. I was honestly hoping for something more attuned to recent Marvel/Hollywood aesthetics but what I got was a cheesy hodgepodge of forcing a stereotypical bunch of c level actors into a contrived setting. The flying car at the end is what really made me roll my eyes. This show isn't even grounded in the same universe that Marvel is(which is pretty fantastical.) My suspense of disbelief withered within the first two minutes, much like the most recent efforts of shows like "the cape" and "hero's" I don't see this show lasting very many seasons. My advice, cut your loses now. Most people positively reviewing this show are fan-boys with high-hopes. Joss isn't untouchable, and fortunately for this show it's to high budget to continue past one season. End this charade before it ruins the franchise that Marvel/Disney have bet their marbles on. Full Review »