Alright, alright "Obelisk," but I think that this does underline a major problem with Marvel's flagship show has with enticing viewers.
Say what you will about the Flash and Arrow series, but while they may not be "epic" television on the same level that something like Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Mad Men or Breaking Bad aspire to, they are still fairly entertaining. Yes, its "popcorn" fare. But they know what they are, and what they are trying to do. Their first focus is to entertain, and they do so quite admirably. Yes, there are times when they do try to reach for the stars. But this doesn't come off as a misguided belief in their own abilities, but more of an attempt to really push the limit and make the best product available.
Agents of SHILED??? Yeah, not so much. The problem with this is that while shows like Arrow, Flash and Gotham strive to be their own thing, Agents of SHIELD just seems like an extended advertisement for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They don't feel important, because we know- at some level- nothing they do will impact the films. The films are the ones that are going to set the standard, and so why even bother watching the show? It's just going to change with the next Marvel movie, like it did with the last Captain America film. And instead of setting up their own storylines, they are merely reacting to the ones set up by the Marvel Movies or setting up storylines for future Marvel Movies. Yet nothing they will do will be essential to see those films, because the studios probably will want the average viewer to be able to watch the movies without being lost. I doubt anything established on Agents of SHIELD will be essential when going into the Inhumans film when it hits two or three years down the line.
And, most importantly, the shows like Flash and Arrow are ABOUT the Flash and Green Arrow. Sure, Gotham may have the same problems. But Gordon's arc can be done independently of Batman's, and instead the show is about his story, his journey. He is the central focus. With Flash and Arrow, I'm more interested in the stories about the guy with super speed, or the urban vigilante. Not their support teams. Agents of SHIELD feels more like the adventures of the supporting cast of the DC shows than a compelling group of independent heroes. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with characters like Diggle, Kaitlin, Cisco, Felicity (comparisons to Carlie Cooper notwithstanding) or on the Marvel side with Coulson or Melinda May, they kind of come second fiddle to the more compelling characters like Flash, Arrow or the other Marvel Cinematic heroes.
In the end, while Agents of SHIELD is sitting on the sidelines trying to prove while they are also important, shows like Flash, Arrow and Gotham are important in and of themselves, without having to rely on a larger movie to bolster interest in their series. And, sure, DC may not have had a winner with Constantine, but given that they've still got three series on TV compared to Marvel's one that is still struggling, I'd say that they are doing a fairly good job at the time.