Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Avengers TV follow-up is violent but thrilling fare.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 21 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 90 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Series reminds us that no one goes it alone. Teamwork prevails and usually tips the balance in favor of the team of heroes. Similarly, though each team member boasts different talents, it's the combination of all of them that makes the agents so powerful. There's also a theme of responsibility in the story, with multiple variations of the classic Marvel line, "With great power comes great responsibility." To that note, the heroes are expected to serve the public. Less quantifiable skills like intelligence are valued as much as strength and courage.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Being heroes doesn't necessarily mean that these characters are perfect. Many have uncertain pasts, which are revealed in pieces to viewers. They don't always get along, nor do some take orders well, but they're can set aside their differences in the interest of public safety. Despite being the "good guys," the heroes often rely on violence to take down their enemies. Strong female roles exist within the team.

Violence

Lots of explosive violence (the type that brings down city buildings and causes injuries like cuts and scrapes), though given the scope of the mayhem, the blood and gore is kept to a minimum, particularly in earlier seasons -- in later seasons, characters are shot, burned, or otherwise injured or killed. Guns and other weapons are in play; in earlier seasons most of the damage is suffered by inanimate objects like walls and desks rather than people; starting with season 4, people are hit. Hand-to-hand fighting can be intense and leave victims with injuries. Some characters have supernatural abilities they can wield at will. Characters are often in peril, and some die. Scary looking injuries may be shown at length; dead bodies with bloody injuries or burns are also visible. Villains hatch schemes that can result in deaths or damages; fortunately, these plans are usually foiled just in time. 

Sex

Some innuendo and banter between characters, and women often wear tight outfits that accentuate their curves. Sexual relationships between characters are discussed, but nothing graphic is shown. Some kissing/making out/removal of clothes (down to underwear).

Language

Occasional use of words including "bastard," "bitch," "damn," "frickin'," and "oh my God" (as an exclamation).

Consumerism

The series is the continuation of the box office hit The Avengers, but most of the characters have changed to fit the small screen.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some drinking, typically social. All by adult characters.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a primetime follow-up to the popular movie The Avengers, so it's bound to be a draw for anyone who enjoyed the film. That said, none of the movie's highest-profile cast members return for this series, so it's not difficult to jump into the action without having seen the film. Violence is indicative of the cop dramas it's modeled after, so you'll see explosions, fires, beatings, and the use of guns and other weapons, and some people are injured in the crossfire. Strong language is a minor concern ("frickin'" and "bitch" are repeat offenders), and there's some playful sexual banter between male and female characters. On the upside, teamwork and social responsibility are recurring themes, and there are three strong, competent female agents in the mix. In later seasons, some heroic figures prove themselves to be fallible and duplicitous; others start out as heroes and become villains. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 and 16-year-old Written byLizziesays June 18, 2014

Great show, but know your kid...

My 10-year-old son and I just finished binge watching this show, and we love it. It's fun and action-filled, with some great opportunities to talk about l... Continue reading
Adult Written byJMWoodham December 30, 2014

Marvel's Agents of Shield - A great movie spinoff, but not for young kids.

To start off, apparently this site didn't review much material, because though the site does not account for many objectionable actions, they are contained... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byLoveChicagoPD March 27, 2016

AMAZING!!! Great family show for teens and up! I love it!

This is a great show! I am 16 years old, and started watching it when I was about 14. I was hooked from the first episode I saw! I do not agree with some of the... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 8, 2015

Thrilling action series...is great, but extremely violent

This season was released for Tweens but it's not always appropriate for younger viewers. By the end of the second season this show has become extremely vi... Continue reading

What's the story?

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. opens with the promotion of black ops expert Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) to the highest level within a secretive government agency, S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division). Originally headed by Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) (and later, overseen by complicated/ambitous S.H.I.E.L.D. director Jeffrey Mace, played by Jason O'Hara), whose fate hung in the balance at the conclusion of The Avengers, the agency is tasked with protecting the public from otherworldly threats of all shapes and sizes. Ward joins the brilliant scientific team of agents Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), expert pilot Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), and computer hacker extraordinaire Skye (Chloe Bennett) to form the S.H.I.E.L.D. team. The world may be under threat from villainous groups like Hydra, but S.H.I.E.L.D. and its new team of supernatural-power-enhanced Secret Warriors are ready to take on that threat -- by any means necessary. 

Is it any good?

This series is a thrilling ride that won't disappoint. It's no easy task to follow on the heels of a blockbuster like The Avengers, much less to do so in small-screen format and without all of your headliners. Even with Joss Whedon again in the director's chair, this isn't going to be an Avengers 2. Gregg's return as Agent Coulson bridges the gap to some degree, but for the most part, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is an entirely new story based on a new set of characters. Though this might disappoint some fans, it does help distinguish between a movie-length format and this cop drama-style series encompassing the team of agents rather than their individual standouts.

But if you're open to these changes, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s rapid-fire, often comical dialogue and action sequences that stretch the confines of the small screen are indicative of Whedon's past successes. What's more, the series format allows for even more enticing evolution of various story arcs, whose mysteries -– including the truth behind Agent Coulson's miraculous recovery –- promise to span multiple episodes. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s relationship to The Avengers. Is it meant to be a sequel? If not, why have any similarities at all? Does it do well to distinguish itself from the movie?

  • What is this story's message about heroes? To what degree do real-life heroes exist in your community? What does it take to be one?

  • How does this show's violence compare to that of other primetime offerings? What is the new standard for this type of content? Are we becoming more tolerant of realistic sequences like the ones in this series? Does this have any effect on how we view real-life violence?

  • How do the characters in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. demonstrate courage and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

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