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With the success of Joss Whedon’s Avengers feature, anticipation for this series was at an all time high. It was easily the most anticipated new show of the fall 2013 season. Whedon was able to skillfully instill in The Avengers his now signature sense of humor and style, which made the film something that even Marvel illiterates could enjoy. You didn’t have to be a fan or be knowledgeable about the many superheroes and characters in the universe to enjoy what was on screen. But the network television translation of the Marvel universe hasn’t enjoyed the same success its cinematic counterpart has experienced. I suspect that being a fan of the Marvel comics and the films keeps some people watching. Because of a loyalty or nostalgic love of the franchise. But for those of us who aren’t necessarily drawn to that type of world, its just another crime procedural with a twist. Hey, once in a while Samuel L. Jackson will do a cameo; maybe Robert Downey Jr. could throw them a bone.While doing respectable ratings, it could be called a commercial success, the series is lacking in quality. What made those movies work so well (apart from the iconic characters) was that the stories were grand, high-stakes dilemmas that needed to be solved in a specific time frame, like Manhattan’s potential destruction from freaky scary space aliens. The series suffers from ridiculously low stakes, sure the world cannot be in the brink of destruction week after week, but some kind of exigency in its narrative would be nice. The show hasn’t built up its characters enough that they can carry a show on pure personality. That’s yet another thing missing from the series, well rounded characters that we could relate to and grow to care about. The series is relatively young and new, so personalities are still being formed and established. However, ten episodes are enough to establish characters and backstory, at least interesting character dynamics that could carry weaker storylines. Where are the superheroes? I know that we shouldn’t expect Captain America or Iron Man to stroll through every once in a while, but the show could take advantage of the vast inventory of Marvel comics and heroes to introduce some lesser known heroes and have some fun. People love themselves some superheroes, S.H.I.E.L.D is lacking in that department. There is nothing horribly, offensively wrong with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but it is drowning in its own mediocrity and it is not delivering in the high-stakes drama audiences were obviously expecting, making it one of the year’s biggest letdowns. Dexter Oh, Dexter. (Season 8 spoilers below) We so wanted to love the series finale, but you really made it hard for us to find anything positive to say about that ending. This is without a doubt the biggest television letdown of the year. There is no question that Dexter was declining in quality through the years, it never really lived up to the glory days of the first two seasons, but I don’t think anybody could have foretold the utter badness of its conclusion. What makes it sting even more is that, the eighth season started out with a promising set of episodes. The introduction of Charlotte Rampling as the enigmatic psychiatrist Dr. Vogel, Debra finally finding out about Dexter’s dark secret, and as always a new and intriguing murder case. It seemed all was fine in Dexterland, the previous season had been an undeniable improvement from the dreck that preceded it, and season eight was following its footsteps. But somewhere along it all just fell apart and the writers promptly drove the series to the ground. Superfluous storylines took away time from the people we actually cared about. Who cares about Masuka and his kid? Or Jamie and Quinn’s relationship. Or Quinn. Do we really buy that Quinn could be up for a lieutenant position? And why did Deb hook back up with him? Really? Why were these ridiculous storylines taking time away from Deb and Dexter, the focal relationship and the most entertaining part of the show? Also, the idea that Dexter was developing a sense of humanity as the series went on is an idea so foreign to the show’s beginnings that it was sure to alienate some viewers. People fell in love with the emotionless killer, who, because he had people that cared for him, developed a moral code unlike any other serial killer. It was increasingly frustrating for the writers to waste our time in such a way. It was fun to watch him navigate the world with his unique point of view and see him adapt to the world around him. The Dexter of the final season became such a guilt-ridden, tortured soul that it was tedious to watch. The decline of the show doesn’t fall upon the final season alone, but it certainly hit the nail on the coffin and delivered the final, painful blow to all Dexter fans. He’s a lumberjack?! The ridiculously over-the-top coda to the disaster that was the eighth season had Dexter take Debra’s recently deceased body on his boat to the eye of a hurricane. We believe that he is committing suicide, which I guess is alright, (I mean, did we really expect a happy ending from this show?) but no. Dexter somehow manages to escape that death trap and makes his way to Washington (I can’t remember?) and is living there as a lonely lumberjack. What? It is laughably bad; in fact that entire episode is full of eye-roll inducing moments, bad storytelling and forced emotion. What a mess. Honorable mentions Community: Who would have thought that Community without Dan Harmon would suck? Everybody did, and they were right. Though the NBC comedy delivered some amusing episodes in its latest season, none of them could really capture the quality of the Harmon era. But fans didn’t have to suffer for too long, Harmon is back for the show’s fifth season premiering on January. The Following: Kevin Bacon’s foray to television had many abuzz with excitement, but what we got was another over the top serial killer drama full of hokey writing and exploitative scenarios. Clichés on top of clichés were the rave, an Edgar Allan Poe inspired killer, original. The Michael J. Fox Show: Another show with a big name lead that did not deliver. Michael J. Fox’s return to network television was another big deal this season; too bad his new show is just another generic family sitcom.