Saturday, January 10, 2015
All Hail Agent Carter!
I found it impossible to watch ABC's recent addition to the Marvel Universe, 'Agent Carter', and not compare it to its network companion show, 'Agents of Shield'. The link provided shows that I am not alone in this assessment. "Agents of Shield' is a show that I would dearly love to stop watching, but alas, my wife likes it, and thereby is the source of my quandary. I try not to complain while we're suffering through another episode (oh precious baby Jesus the acting and writing is soooooooo bad!) because I am goddamn thoughtful that way. But, even she noticed while watching 'Agent Carter' that here is a show worthy of her attention and time, not some half-assed knock-off meant to tie-in to the blockbuster movie franchises and maybe get decent ratings and drift along with the current, bobbing above the low bar set by broadcast television. I have a real fear that if I trash it too much here that the next time I have to suffer through an episode I'll be plagued by pangs of guilt, and it doesn't deserve that. Not from me, not from anyone.
Instead, I'll focus on what 'Agent Carter' gets right. First off, the casting is pitch perfect. Hayley Atwell crawls into Peggy Carter's skin and every word, every action is set on a slow burn until the action explodes. It's riveting. And then there is all of that period circa 1940s overt and covert sexism, which the writers wisely use to their advantage instead of trying to pretend that this wasn't the norm. Sadly it was, and if it makes a lot of the men look like jerks, that's because on this score, a lot of them were. Much of the writing has that snappy 1940s Hollywood feel to it as well. Clever banter back and forth, sometimes at a rapid pace, peppered with double entendres, it's a pleasure to behold. This show is definitely a keeper!