Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” an action/adventure, superhero-inspired drama that aired on ABC from 2015-2016.
What: Created for ABC by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and inspired by the 2011 film Captain America: The First Avenger, and the 2013 Marvel One-Shot short film of the same name, the series features the Marvel Comics character Peggy Carter, with Hayley Atwell reprising her role from the Captain America film series and One-Shot, as she must balance life as a secret agent with that of a single woman in 1940s America.
When: The show aired for two seasons from 2015 to 2016 on ABC.
Where: The show is set in New York City, New York, in 1946, in the first season and in Los Angeles, California, in 1947, in the second season.
Why: Listen to the podcast for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Marvel’s Agent Carter.
During the annual Fall TV Preview for the 2014-2015 season, CPU! Chief Kylie picked up this show for viewing. When I picked it up, I said:
I always wondered what happened to Peggy after Captain America was hurtled forward in time to be an Avenger. Finally, the answer will be revealed! I liked her character, and I want to know about the sixty plus years in between Captain America’s jaunts as protective patriot. Thank you, ABC, Marvel, Disney, for filling this void. I’m not even being sarcastic! Hence, the pick up.
How – as in How Was It?
The pilot/premiere rating scale:
***** – I HAVE TO WATCH EVERYTHING. HOLY SMOKES!
**** – Well, it certainly seems intriguing. I’m going to keep watching, but I see possible pitfalls in the premise.
*** – I will give it six episodes and see what happens. There are things I like, and things I don’t. We’ll see which “things” are allowed to flourish.
** – I will give it three episodes. Chances are, I’m mainly bored, but there is some intrigue or fascination that could hold it together. No matter how unlikely.
* – Pass on this one, guys. It’s a snoozer/not funny/not interesting/not my cup of tea… there are too many options to waste time on this one.
Marvel’s Agent Carter = 3.9, by average of the podcast panel.
The first season takes place in 1946, with Peggy Carter (Atwell) having to balance the routine office work she does for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) in New York City with secretly assisting Howard Stark, who finds himself framed for supplying deadly weapons to enemies of the United States. Carter is assisted by Stark’s butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), to find those responsible and dispose of the weapons. In the second season, Carter moves from New York City to Los Angeles to deal with the threats of the new Atomic Age by the Secret Empire in the aftermath of World War II, gaining new friends, a new home, and a potential new love interest.
A group of powerful CPU! regular panelists – all strong, kick-ass women with a penchant for Marvel heroines of a similar type – were ready to don red hats, blue smart suits, and Look Back at Marvel’s Agent Carter, which was unceremoniously canceled after two short seasons by ABC. Specifically, regular CPU! panelists Kristen, Selene, and Samantha gathered “Around the Water Cooler” to take a “First Look” while “Looking Back” (we’re complicated around here!) at the Captain America spin-off, from Peggy’s return to New York City from the war and the devastation of believing Steve Rogers to have died, to her encounter with zero matter and its destructive effects in LA. Though this program’s two seasons came and went somewhat quickly, depending upon one’s point of view, they clearly made an impression, which the panel wistfully dissects in the episode below.
This podcast was recorded in July 2017, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points in Agent Carter. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next Wednesday – another schedule change! – we’ll return to our Buffy-Verse Series around the Water Cooler when our panel Looks Back at the first two seasons of Angel, with admittedly, moderately lukewarm results. Stay tuned!
The panel recommends Agent Carter to all but particularly to women, as Peggy Carter is a strong, smart female lead who can take of herself and save the day when all else fails, all with a keen 1940s fashion sense. The panel proved particularly effusive about the visual presentation of this show, from art direction to costuming, from cinematography to visual direction (not necessarily including pacing and other aspects of the direction, which particularly faltered near the middle of each of the available seasons). Several of the panelists also see this program as easily reviewed and watched again, with only 18 high quality episodes to digest, marked notably by Atwell’s strong, charismatic performance as the titular character, guiding the proceedings. Agent Carter also keeps its tongue firmly in cheek, containing gratifying winks and nods to the Captain America films and other aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plus, the chemistry between Atwell and D’Arcy is highly enjoyable as the odd couple of unlikely spies that they become. Though each season is self-contained, the second season unfortunately ends with the briefest of teasers featuring a loss of a major character at the hand of a mysterious, unidentified figure, meaning the show ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger, unlikely to be resolved in the near future. The panel, therefore, qualifies its recommendation with caution, as the button cliffhanger left the panel with a lack of closure or easy satisfaction, which we expect would be a common reaction.
THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW
Canceled! Agent Carter was canceled after two seasons by ABC. What’s worse: it gets no streaming love! You are able to purchase the season separately on Amazon.com as a digital streaming copy or as DVD/Blu-Ray. There is no neat button ending on this series, so while the panel generally recommends the show as above, the panelists do so with caution, given the less than satisfactory cliffhanger ending attached to the final moments of the second season.