So Who Just Watched Agent Carter?

I just finished the premiere, and I thought it was pretty good. Not especially mindblowing television, but it moved along at a good pace, had some surprisingly brutal fistfights (seriously, that fight intercut with the Captain America radio show was awesome), and some great acting from Hailey Atwell and the guy who played Jarvis.

Also, Howard Stark stole Indiana Jones's boat.

Anyways, what did you think? Did you like the plot about Leviathan and the missing Stark weapons tech? How about the production values? They certainly made it feel like the 40s.

show seemed good, then again I am one of the people who more or less liked the first season of AoS. However the trailer for Ant Man... first time I wasn't pumped and needing to see the movie immediately after a Marvel Trailer. Also we already know who the bad guy is seeing as Vanko was fired by stark and deported which was the basis for pretty much the entire Iron Man 2 movie.

I fell asleep halfway into the first episode.

I wish I was kidding. I was enjoying it, at least somewhat, but I was too tired. "Only a brief minute of rest" turned into 30 minutes. I'll catch it sometime. Like I said, I was kind of enjoying it.

I DVR'd it. I'll see it today or tomorrow, and I sure hope it's good, for several reasons. I like the concept and the character, so I hope they do her justice. And let's face it, an action show on a major network with a FEMALE main character is a woeful rarity, so here's hoping it takes off fast and teaches people something about marketability.

It was pretty okay. Hayley Atwell and the actor who plays Jarvis (running late, can't go looking up names right now) have good chemistry, and I personally was impressed by the number of voices Ms. Atwell has at her disposal for playing other roles. She also has a pretty good control over mannerisms; when she pretends to be the health inspector, her body language is entirely different from when she's playing Agent Carter. The amount of superscience on display is a little annoying, though (crap is being invented in the 1940s that even Iron Man wouldn't stand a chance against), but my biggest disappointment is with the ham-fisted attempts at feminism.

Understand that I say this as a feminist and as someone who is routinely accused of being an SJW, someone whom you'd think would appreciate this kind of thing: I think the show handled it very badly. The problematic radio program is tolerable at illustrating the problem, though about as subtle as a grand piano being dropped on a hungry coyote; where it really loses me is Agent Carter's choice near the end of the episode to get respect by physically attacking someone. Yeah, yeah, I know it's kind of established that's how she handles it (it's what she did in Captain America: the First Avenger, after all), but it strikes me as a revenge fantasy being confused for feminism. It also strikes me as someone misunderstanding the term "strong, female character," thinking that for a character to be strong, she actually has to beat people up.

That's just me and one of my hangups, though. All in all, it's fine, and even if the show nosedives, I'll still probably watch it to the end just to see what other tricks Ms. Atwell pulls out of her acting bag.

I caught the second episode. It was pretty good, especially for television. The story was decent(I missed the first episode so was a bit lost at first), production value was good, and I like Carter and Jarvis. Much better than the start of AoS. I'll be tuning in for the rest of the series.

JimB:
It was pretty okay. Hayley Atwell and the actor who plays Jarvis (running late, can't go looking up names right now) have good chemistry, and I personally was impressed by the number of voices Ms. Atwell has at her disposal for playing other roles. She also has a pretty good control over mannerisms; when she pretends to be the health inspector, her body language is entirely different from when she's playing Agent Carter. The amount of superscience on display is a little annoying, though (crap is being invented in the 1940s that even Iron Man wouldn't stand a chance against), but my biggest disappointment is with the ham-fisted attempts at feminism.

Understand that I say this as a feminist and as someone who is routinely accused of being an SJW, someone whom you'd think would appreciate this kind of thing: I think the show handled it very badly. The problematic radio program is tolerable at illustrating the problem, though about as subtle as a grand piano being dropped on a hungry coyote; where it really loses me is Agent Carter's choice near the end of the episode to get respect by physically attacking someone. Yeah, yeah, I know it's kind of established that's how she handles it (it's what she did in Captain America: the First Avenger, after all), but it strikes me as a revenge fantasy being confused for feminism. It also strikes me as someone misunderstanding the term "strong, female character," thinking that for a character to be strong, she actually has to beat people up.

That's just me and one of my hangups, though. All in all, it's fine, and even if the show nosedives, I'll still probably watch it to the end just to see what other tricks Ms. Atwell pulls out of her acting bag.

You hit both things I was going to say square on the head. Atwell showed a surprising range and quality (I don't remember her being that good in First Avenger or that short they made), and and the sheer hamfisted nature of the "feminism" on the show almost made me stop watching. The bit in the club gave me hope that they were using the femme fatale trope correctly (and I really hope they do, because it's been too long since there was a good pulpy spy show), but it was all over the place before and after. I haven't seen Mad Men, but I've heard good things about their portrayal of overt institutionalized sexism, so maybe Agent Carter's writers could sit down with those people and learn a thing or two.

And since nobody else said it, I will: Her disguise at the club, va-va-voom!

JimB:
SNIP

This is honestly one of the reasons why I often don't like movies/tv shows/video games with a female action hero. Instead of just having her be the hero, it seems to feel this need to constantly hammer us over the head with "SHE'S A WOMAN AND SHE JUST BEAT UP THESE GUYS WHO THOUGHT SHE WAS WEAK!! DID YOU GUYS SEE THAT!?!?"

A movie that I thought did it right (though it was by no means a good movie) was "Haywire" starring Gina Carano. Carano kicks ass in the movie, but it doesn't feel the need to constantly remind us that she's this tough woman. She's just someone doing her job.

I didn't have any real problem with it, but I also never went out of my way to see it or to find out more about it before it aired. I think my biggest complaint would be that I am not a big fan of the Stark's Vault Technology and especially the "big bad invention" they are chasing across the episode, for it would be an future tech weapon right now let alone in that time frame.

I was thinking it was going to be more like what we saw at the beginning of the second season of Agents when Agent Carter was going across Europe gathering Hydra items, but it looks like that is where the show is going to end.

It was fine. I liked it better than AoS. I doubt I will continue to watch it tho. I love the MCU but I love it because of the superheroes, I don't really want to watch a show set in the same univers but with no superheroes. Still I hope veryone else continues to enjoy it.

Ihateregistering1:

JimB:
SNIP

This is honestly one of the reasons why I often don't like movies/tv shows/video games with a female action hero. Instead of just having her be the hero, it seems to feel this need to constantly hammer us over the head with "SHE'S A WOMAN AND SHE JUST BEAT UP THESE GUYS WHO THOUGHT SHE WAS WEAK!! DID YOU GUYS SEE THAT!?!?"

Maybe it's just me, but ham-fisted seems to be the only way Marvel knows how to do characterization. Hmm, maybe that's why I can't stand their movies.

it was ok.. but it wasn't as good as shows like Gotham, Flash and Arrow are.. DC has always dominated TV shows while marvel's had mixed results... in this case it was ok, but kind of boring at times.. it just didn't keep my attention the way Flash or Arrow or Gotham dose.. maybe it's because outside of her once appurtenance in the first Captain America movie(and her short role in the sequel), i had no idea who peggy carter was.. and didn't care really.... i was more interested in Monday's new episode of Gotham with Poison Ivy and Selina story running along side the story of Gordon working at Arkham with Leslie Tompkins...

Glad to see someone brought up the "feminism" angle before me. I actually like this kind of humor where he supposed "no talent" someone shows up their supposed "superiors", but 2 eps in and it already feels forced, repetitive and overused. It's not that the points aren't valid or inappropriate for the period, but it has the subtlety of the Hulk giving me strong senses of ovecompensation that just reduces Carter into a propaganda piece.

I don't see the problem with a show taking place in the late 40s taking a more melodramatic approach to feminism. It's almost like a lighthearted film noir, if that even makes the least bit of sense. In any case, I don't think the show is trying to make any kind of statement of feminism(unless it's "you can be more than a secretary" in which case Marvel missed the boat by a few decades); this is pure entertainment, with possibly a bit of power fantasy thrown in. Not unreasonable for show based in a comic universe.

It was good. Atwell is pretty great and she does a lot to sell the character.

I get a lot of the complains people have with the portrait of feminism, though. It feels forced and overused... Everywhere she goes, all the women she encounters are there to point out they are far more competent and decent than their male counterparts, who are chauvinistic, disrespectful and incompetent to a fault. I get that it is appropriate for the character and the setting, but this had the subtlety of a blackxploitation film handle of racism.

I am going to give it a fair chance, because I only saw one chapter and really enjoyed some of the characters (particularly Carter and Jarvis). I also get that many pilots and premieres are often plagued with these kind of oversimplifications to introduce the characters and setting early on, but I hope the whole "look at how hyper-competent she is, and how everyone underestimates women" schtick gets toned down a bit, because it could get really old, really fast.

Scars Unseen:
I don't see the problem with a show taking place in the late 40s taking a more melodramatic approach to feminism. It's almost like a lighthearted film noir, if that even makes the least bit of sense. In any case, I don't think the show is trying to make any kind of statement of feminism(unless it's "you can be more than a secretary" in which case Marvel missed the boat by a few decades); this is pure entertainment, with possibly a bit of power fantasy thrown in. Not unreasonable for show based in a comic universe.

This, mostly. Yes, the "har har, they thought she was a clueless fe-male and she both outsmarted them AND beat them up!" thing is pretty on the nose, but to me it seemed less like they were aiming for serious social commentary and more like they were doing a pulpy action power fantasy for women - which is great, frankly; there's no reason pulpy action power fantasies should be limited to satisfying the male-geek-that-got-picked-on audience or the borderline-midlife-crisis-having-dad audience, who are the traditional viewership.

I quite enjoyed it; not quite up to the level of post-Winter Soldier Agents of SHIELD, but slightly better than pre-Winter Solider AoS(which I didn't think was as bad as some folk seem to).

Honestly the thing that took me out of it most were the other SSR agents; I get that sexism was actually a thing, and I get that it's a theme in the show, but there's a point when it moves beyond "doesn't think much of dames" and becomes "these people are too fucking stupid to breathe and blink at the same time".

Huh... The only thing I really liked about Agent Carter so far is Carter, herself, and her interactions with Jarvis... Other than that, though it was just okay... I will say, though, that the dialogue exchange between the dude cuffed to the chair and the two other dudes in the car made me laugh harder than I thought I would...

I was looking forward to this after the disappointment of Agents of SHIELD, but sadly it seems to have fallen into the same hole with a heavy tone and characters I struggle to care about. There's something oddly funny in how DC manage to keep things relatively light and entertaining on the TV side, but do dark, moody and boring in the cinema while Marvel keep doing the opposite.

Agents of Shield 1950s edition... interesting so far, but even with all the 'pre-cameos' of Dr. Vanko, Howard, Jarvis, and new blood like Daniel Sousa, I worry that focusing so much on one character in lieu of a team of six/seven may wear thin quickly. Like Guardians of the Galaxy which I also watched recently, it feels almost like too much use of period music to create setting, though the radio dramas in the second half were a riot. I've never heard of a group called Leviathan in Marvel, only DC.

Looks like it's going to be a long trip from the SSR to Shield. Hopefully the journey will be just as interesting.

Ark of the Covetor:

Honestly the thing that took me out of it most were the other SSR agents; I get that sexism was actually a thing, and I get that it's a theme in the show, but there's a point when it moves beyond "doesn't think much of dames" and becomes "these people are too fucking stupid to breathe and blink at the same time".

Actually, that didn't turn out as bad as I thought it would after watching the Marvel One Shot. Other than the one guy, none of them are presented as stupid so much as condescending(which is somewhat understandable considering the prejudices of the time: they assume that Agent Carter got the job due to her relationship with Cpt America). In fact, the one time that she took a shot a one of her fellow agents' literacy, he responded by demonstrating that he was multilingual(which is kind of a big deal in the US). So for the most part, her co-workers' largest flaw is that they underestimate Carter and don't give her a chance, not that they aren't generally intelligent.

There's also the fact that Carter needs to be superior to her fellow agents in order for her to be the legendary Agent Carter that Simmons gushes about in AoS. So she's going to be the one with all the best action scenes, making the big discoveries, and making the right calls. This may make the others seem less intelligent in comparison, but it's kind of necessitated by the fact that she's the protagonist, and by dint of this being a mini-series, not a full length multi-season drama.

Scars Unseen:

Ark of the Covetor:

Honestly the thing that took me out of it most were the other SSR agents; I get that sexism was actually a thing, and I get that it's a theme in the show, but there's a point when it moves beyond "doesn't think much of dames" and becomes "these people are too fucking stupid to breathe and blink at the same time".

Actually, that didn't turn out as bad as I thought it would after watching the Marvel One Shot. Other than the one guy, none of them are presented as stupid so much as condescending(which is somewhat understandable considering the prejudices of the time: they assume that Agent Carter got the job due to her relationship with Cpt America). In fact, the one time that she took a shot a one of her fellow agents' literacy, he responded by demonstrating that he was multilingual(which is kind of a big deal in the US). So for the most part, her co-workers' largest flaw is that they underestimate Carter and don't give her a chance, not that they aren't generally intelligent.

There's also the fact that Carter needs to be superior to her fellow agents in order for her to be the legendary Agent Carter that Simmons gushes about in AoS. So she's going to be the one with all the best action scenes, making the big discoveries, and making the right calls. This may make the others seem less intelligent in comparison, but it's kind of necessitated by the fact that she's the protagonist, and by dint of this being a mini-series, not a full length multi-season drama.

I suppose it really is just that I grew up in the modern day with a Marxist-Feminist single mum, hah. Seeing that level of, as you say, condescension and dismissal when we're talking about a war hero who fought with an elite unit, which they surely must know the facts about because they're part of the same organisation and have a room full of files detailing them, is just too bizarre. It's difficult to change mental gears enough to accept that these can be intelligent people if they're so totally incapable of grasping the reality right in front of their faces.

Ark of the Covetor:

Scars Unseen:

Ark of the Covetor:

Honestly the thing that took me out of it most were the other SSR agents; I get that sexism was actually a thing, and I get that it's a theme in the show, but there's a point when it moves beyond "doesn't think much of dames" and becomes "these people are too fucking stupid to breathe and blink at the same time".

Actually, that didn't turn out as bad as I thought it would after watching the Marvel One Shot. Other than the one guy, none of them are presented as stupid so much as condescending(which is somewhat understandable considering the prejudices of the time: they assume that Agent Carter got the job due to her relationship with Cpt America). In fact, the one time that she took a shot a one of her fellow agents' literacy, he responded by demonstrating that he was multilingual(which is kind of a big deal in the US). So for the most part, her co-workers' largest flaw is that they underestimate Carter and don't give her a chance, not that they aren't generally intelligent.

There's also the fact that Carter needs to be superior to her fellow agents in order for her to be the legendary Agent Carter that Simmons gushes about in AoS. So she's going to be the one with all the best action scenes, making the big discoveries, and making the right calls. This may make the others seem less intelligent in comparison, but it's kind of necessitated by the fact that she's the protagonist, and by dint of this being a mini-series, not a full length multi-season drama.

I suppose it really is just that I grew up in the modern day with a Marxist-Feminist single mum, hah. Seeing that level of, as you say, condescension and dismissal when we're talking about a war hero who fought with an elite unit, which they surely must know the facts about because they're part of the same organisation and have a room full of files detailing them, is just too bizarre. It's difficult to change mental gears enough to accept that these can be intelligent people if they're so totally incapable of grasping the reality right in front of their faces.

But that's most people in any age. Very few people are willing to acknowledge uncomfortable truths, particularly when such acknowledgement would then necessitate that you act on it or change yourself in ways you would prefer not to. Why do so few people save and invest? Why does US Congress dismiss every piece of evidence that the scientific community submits about Global Climate Change? Why do people stay in unhealthy relationships? Why do we waste resources on war when that same money turned toward collective gain would be more beneficial in the long run? Why do we eat unhealthy food? I can keep going.

When you value something or believe something, you want to hold on to it. You don't want anyone to threaten it. And that's what's happening in this show. Imagine you work for a company, and you've been climbing the ranks for years, putting in hard work, long hours, and making sacrifices in your personal life for the good of the company. Now suddenly, the CEO puts his nephew in at the division manager spot you've been working your way up to. Now, it's entirely possible that this guy is well educated, and has put in just as much work toward getting where he is as you have. But the first thought that is going to pass through most people's minds is that he got the job because of his relation to the CEO, and that you would have made a much better choice based on merit and experience. That's kind of where we are in Agent Carter, only with a lot of casual and not so casual sexism that would not have seemed out of the ordinary in the "boys club" that such a workplace would have been back then.

I don't think the show works.. yet.
The most interesting character is the butler, I think he stole the show somewhat, only being Carter is doing what she had done in the movie without much change.
She's gone through a great loss her place in the world is completely gone, but she jumps into action girl.. anyone would have a hard time doing that.

That said i doubt her rehab would work any better, But i would've liked to have seen some flashbacks of her just after losing Cap.

Sexism ; as i say below i didn't like it.. but you wouldn't believe it still exists today just look at tv and movies most 'women' are token love interests with no character besides "she looks pretty"
The sexism got on my nerves; I know it was really bad back then but its almost too much as she struggles to find her place surrounded by knobs and only has the butler, i would've liked to have seen some more supporting actors from the howling commando's onto my next point.

The howling commando's!!!
The after captain America story.. they could've setup a short movie of just them and carter rocking it, And i really do hope they'll use some of this material as the show goes on as flashbacks.
Peggy Carter is a solid character and i think she is a good choice.
I am worried that this could stay a medicore show hopefully we have the good writers shield have, and characters get introduced quickly and i'd like to see her "female friends" in that place she stays be pulled into the world of spying and perhaps some of the first shield agents.
I just hope they mix up the skin colour (I would word it another way like race, but it is only skin colour and nothing else.)

I doubt we'd be able to have a young Natasha but perhaps the people who trained her can make problems.

Question, think they'll do the "First" nick fury? or change the character to suit the currents "father" better?

 

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