Saturday, September 19, 2015

TV on DVD Review: Marvel's Agent Carter - Season 1



Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Action, 40’s feel, great characters and story
Cons: Men never do listen to Agent Carter, even long after they should have
The Bottom Line:
Minor character
Steps into spotlight and shines
Addicting season




Agent Carter Finds Danger in Post World War II New York

I must admit I wasn’t aware I wanted to know more about Agent Carter.  I mean, I liked the character in the first Captain America movie, but I just assumed that would be all I would learn about her.  But when ABC announced they would run an 8 episode limited series about the character during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s winter hiatus, I figured I’d tune in and see what I thought.  Like many others, I got hooked on season 1.

The year in 1946, and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) has found her life in New York City come to a screeching halt.  With the men now back from the war, she is reduced to getting lunch and drinks even though she is still working for a covert organization, the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve).  She is longing for a reason to get back in the field and prove what she can still do.

She gets that chance when Howard Stark (regular guest star Dominic Cooper) is accused of selling weapons to the Russians.  Knowing her friend couldn’t possibly be the traitor the media and government are saying he is, she begins to look at the evidence off the books.  She gets further involved when Stark asks for her help, teaming her up with his butler Jarvis (James D’Arcy).  But the conspiracy behind the frame has far reaching consequences with connections to a deadly plot in New York City.  Can Agent Carter uncover it in time?

Everything about this show is completely hypnotizing directly from the start.  It has the look and feel of a big budget period action piece.  The sets and costumes are perfect for evoking 1946.  It even mutes the colors just a bit, which helps with the period feel.

Likewise, the show never forgets its action/superhero roots.  Okay, so the superhero portion is kept to a minimum outside occasional flashbacks to the first Captain America movie, but there are some well-done action scenes over the course of the season.  No, they aren’t big budget movie huge, but they work well for a weekly TV show.

Since the show knew it only had 8 episodes before it even started, the story was created with a definite beginning, middle, and end.  The result is no filler and plenty of twists and drama.  Everything is wrapped up by the end, and I was left very satisfied.

Likewise, the characters are great.  We get a few guest stars we already know from the movies, but the majority of the characters are brand new.  We come to care for them by the end.  And I love how they developed Peggy.  The acting on this show was top notch from beginning to end.

However, I do have a major complaint with the show – how the men treated Peggy for the entire season.  Yes, I get that she would have been marginalized, and I was fine with that as a plot device early on.  As the season went along, she kept being marginalized even when she would tell them what was going to happen, it would happen, and then the men would ignore her the next time she found something.  At that point, it felt more like a plot devise to build tension instead of period realism.  Surely one of the men would be smart enough to start taking Agent Carter and what she said seriously.

The great news for fans of the show is that it will be back during the winter break again in January of 2016, this time with 10 episodes.  I will be back for every second.  If you missed the goodness that was Agent Carter season 1, get this set today and fix that oversight.

Season 1 Episodes:
1. Now is Not the End
2. Bridge and Tunnel
3. Time and Tide
4. The Blitzkrieg Button
5. The Iron Ceiling
6. A Sin to Err
7. SNAFU
8. Valediction

2 comments:

  1. I really liked this and was very excited to see it got the green light for next winter too!

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    Replies
    1. And we get 10 episodes this winter, too! I'm really looking forward to it.

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