The critical response to Marvel's Agent Carter was enough to convince the network to pick it up for a second season. It almost didn't happen though: viewership was low, the season was only eight episodes long, and it was stuck in an unpopular time slot. Oh yeah: it was also a female-driven action drama based on the Captain America films.
And we all know girls don't like comics, right?
If you STILL haven't seen it. Well, you're probably in the majority. But that's really no excuse. This show was a hidden gem this year, and you'll definitely want to know what's going on when season 2 arrives next year.
She's the boss
Look at Peggy. She's dominating the shot because her perspective is the one that matters. Agent Carter is the hero of her own story, and she doesn't let you forget it. Even in stories abiut women, isn't it rare for female characters to be the focus like this? Agent Carter makes Peggy the central focus of the story. The other characters are important, they have their own arcs and they support her, but she is what drives the story. It belongs to her.
Have I mentioned yet that Peggy kicks butt? This scene is just one of many featuring Peggy as a stoic and brutal fighter. She improvises, using common household items to fend off the assasin. Don't you wish you could fight like that? If you need a good action drama in your life, pick this one. At the brink of the Red Scare, Peggy and her coworkers at the SSR have plenty of antagonists to fend off. It means there's high stakes, and more awesome scenes like this one!
Speaking of her coworkers, Agent Carter features an amazing cast of characters. From Agent Sousa, the determined veteran, to Angie, the aspiring actress who is cleverer than she gives herself credit for. Marvel fans will recognize Howard Stark- but they'll be delighted by Jarvis. That's right, there was a person who inspired Tony Stark's much-beloved A.I. And if you watched One Tree Hill when you were younger, you'll probably enjoy seeing Chad Michael Murray playing a huge jerk.
She's not afraid to call out sexism
The characters and the cinematography are great, but what makes Agent Carter so compelling is its willigness to tackle sexism. While Mad Men has done a lovely job of demonstrating what sexism looked like, it didn't always try to dismantle it. If you've been the victim of misogyny, you don't need to be told what it looks like. Aside from being condescending, it's kind of boring! Peggy gets it, but she doesn't accept it. I'm sure I wasn't the only one cheering every time Peggy tore down one of her coworkers for treating her like a secretary. She is proud of her skills and proud to be a woman, and she doesn't suffer quietly. Don't we need more heroines like that?