Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Anybody Else Watch "Marvel's Agent Carter"?

Sure, if I was willing to bore you with my movie and TV habits of the past 18 months, I guess I'll do a post at some point regarding what television I've been watching.  This isn't that post.

I have tried Marvel's Agents of SHIELD on three... no.  Four separate occasions and have been unable to finish an episode, including the pilot.  Nothing about that show does anything for me, so it's been with - at best - a cautiously optimistic eye that I've been watching the development of Agent Carter.  Every once in a while in making a movie you capture lightning in a bottle, and certainly Haley Atwell's performance as Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger seemed to be one of those occasions.   The part was well written, and Atwell did enough that not only is she one of the most memorable supporting characters in Marvel's expanded cinematic universe full of intergalactic gods and futuristic technology, Marvel Studios decided they could build a whole show around just Agent Carter.  So, Haley Atwell should feel pretty good about herself at the moment.





Look, I really, really liked/ loved the show.  But Jamie was sitting three feet from me, and she was beaming the same way I do when Cap throws his mighty shield, The Falcon zips around on his wings or Rocket Raccoon pretty much does anything.  And I understand why.  As much as I like Gamora or Black Widow or Pepper Potts and think they're good characters, they're in a supporting role for Star Lord, Iron Man, etc...   Tonight, Jamie got her own Marvel hero.

Agent Carter kicked ass on my TV for two hours, not just as a superspy, but dealing with the role women were asked to play in post-war America as men returned and expected women to fall into those supporting roles with a smile on their face - and that's powerful, relatable stuff for an audience that doesn't get to see that experience on the screen often enough.  I had sort of figured Marvel would white wash that a bit in the name of expediency and getting Carter out there with a pistol and a case to crack, but, instead, it's integral to the story and key to Agent Carter's character arc.  So, hey, well done, Marvel.

Production design on this show was terrific, and perfect for the tone they were going for (I am boggled at how much this cost ABC/ Disney/ Marvel), but I'm old enough to still be amazed to see the "no expenses spared" on a show about a comic book character.  And the direction was serious enough, but I appreciated that the show had a well-timed sense of humor.  Integration into the MCU and introducing Marvel components that make sense was seamless (even if they really, really spoiled the first Cap movie*).

So, anyway, 6 more weeks left of the show, and I'm sure it won't be that hard to catch the premier two episodes online or elsewhere if you missed the pilot.


*here's my comments on the first Captain America movie, by the way

4 comments:

RHPT said...

You might find this article interesting:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2015/01/agent_carter_review_abc_superhero_show_is_boring_and_mostly_about_men.html

Ryan Steans said...

RHPT, are we going to start again with the "you wrote A. This person wrote Not A. Spend an hour on this." writing assignments again?

New rule for you (and this just applies to RHPT) - I'm not responding to links to clickbait articles, articles that happen to not share my opinion or the realm of post-hipster sadness that is Slate. You are only allowed to leave links in the context of you expressing your own thoughts or opinions.

mcsteans said...

Great review, Ryan. This show is so much fun, and I fully admit to the stupid look on my face while watching. I had no doubt Hayley Atwell would kill it, but wondered what kind of material they would give her to work with. To my delight, it was tight and exciting with great characters. It also looks fantastic, and I agree with you that it must have cost a fortune. I hope this type of series will become more common - fewer episodes allow for better focus in storytelling.

RHPT, what did YOU think of the show?

Jake Shore said...

Ugh. I'm glad someone share my distaste for the kind of crap that passes for "commentary" at Slate ("post-hipster sadness," ha-ha!).

I've had several people whose taste I mostly trust tell me how great Marvel Agents of Shield, but I not convinced yet. Only caught a few moments of Agent Carter, but it just doesn't look my like my brand of whisky. But if Summer digs it, I'm in.

And I agree with Jamie, fewer episodes = better.