I’ve known about Agent Carter for a while now, but sometimes I prefer to watch shows when all the episodes have aired, so I can watch without having to wait a week (or months, in case of mid-season breaks). The show centers around the life and secret missions of Peggy Carter, who first appeared as Steve Rogers’s love interest in Captain America: The First Avenger, and is based on the Agent Carter one shot that was produced a while ago. It’s absolutely not necessary to have seen any of the Marvel movies to watch this show, but I think the connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe definitely helps to enjoy the show.
Agent Carter is a mini series, which means only 8 episodes have been ordered for the first season. I say first season because I wouldn’t be surprised if there were another one. Mini series are as different from longer series as a short story is from a book, or a standalone from a trilogy. The plot has to be tighter, the exposition on point, and if there are a couple of hilarious one-liners to boot, they add to the story and feeling of the show. Even though I would LOVE to see more of Agent Carter, it’s kind of nice to have something that’s longer and more involved than a movie but shorter than a regular TV show season. Due to my addictive personality, I absolutely have to watch everything there is when I love something (see: The Hundred), and a mini series is perfect for some study breaks without it taking over my entire life.
Now to the actual show. I don’t know where Marvel gets its writers, but they should give everyone else a hint, because they’re clearly doing something right. I’m sure the huge budget also helps, but details. Agent Carter is action-packed, hilarious and involving. Peggy is a completely kickass heroine in the misogynistic world of the 1940s. She’s highly intelligent, but often has to hide that fact in order to keep her job and not raise suspicion. I don’t know how realistic high-heeled fights on top of moving trucks are, but she sure looks competent doing it. But we don’t only get to know her as Agent Carter; we also get to know her as a person, who is dealing with loss, guilt and trust issues. The personal element that’s missing from so many crime shows is apparent from episode one. Hayley Atwell’s delivery is always on point, and she manages to make the heroine likeable and relatable. Now I haven’t lived in the 40s, but the atmosphere the show creates is very believable and authentic.
I did have a couple of issues with Agent Carter. Peggy is a great heroine, but in the beginning I had a hard time to get myself to care about the other characters. I like her dynamic with Jarvis (and that was a nice nod to Iron Man, by the way) and Angie, but everyone at the SSR was completely interchangeable to me. You could have put anyone into that suit, and I wouldn’t have noticed. Yes, it does get a lot better later on, but it took a while. I would have LOVED for Angie to be in more episodes, because I really liked her. Despite all his flaws, I also liked Howard pretty much from the start. I found the show a little slow and dragging in the middle, and I didn’t really have that need to keep watching that I usually have with shows I enjoy. I do love to see Peggy kick ass, and everyone else has grown on me too, so I’m rooting for a second season.
Overall, this mini series is very high quality work, and I’d love to see more of it – both Agent Carter in specific and great mini series in general. Have you seen Agent Carter, or are you planning to watch it? Are there any other mini series you can recommend?