Peggy Carter's Back (And Throwing Punches) in Agent Carter

Peggy Carter's Back (And Throwing Punches) in Agent Carter

After stealing the show in Captain America: The First Avenger, Peggy Carter is back.

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This is an interesting dichotomy. I'm not much of a comics guy. I like the movies. I enjoy the banter of my friends "inside" the comics world. But I've never read a comic book beyond Watchmen (look, when something shows up on enough "Best Literature" lists, you shut up, sit down, stow your genre objections, and read the thrice-damned thing).

Accordingly, I've tried, at friends' urging to watch the various shows out there. Gotham? Meh. Too much unintentional mood whiplash, and the actors having to overpower a weak script. Also, too much Batman (thematic and foreshadowing) in a show sold as "not Batman". Arrow? Hilarious soap opera, when it's not supposed to be. Agents? I tried, badly, to like this. I got three episodes in and stopped bothering. My friends say it's gotten way better, but I'll wait for Netflix.

This, though? This had me, right off the bat. I got done watching it, and I was salivating for more.

And I'm generally not impressed by shows with "a message". This one just happened to be so hilariously woven into the characters and scenes (cross-cutting from the fights to the radio play, contrasting the image of Carter to her reality), that it becomes integral to the story. Not only is this (so far) a good example of whiz-bang showmanship, but it's also a great example of how to deliver a heavy-handed message while not making the message alien to the material.

Nice work, to all involved, and I'll be watching again.

Just going to repeat what I put in another thread:

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, repetitive 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 (or one half of the two hours pilot) 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.

*blinks after reading previous post*

Er, anyway..

I actually found Agent Carter to be rather boring. It just felt like 20 minutes of plot rolled out into 2 hours with the rest filled in with inane pointless nonsense. I didn't hate it, I just wasn't really entertained by it.

I think I'm in the camp that likes the second episode better than the first. It seems more lighthearted and lends itself more to the setting.
Love the setting, love the music, love the real Jarvis!

If I had a complaint, it's that the fight scenes don't seem to be as enticing. That's not to say the choreography itself is bad, quite the contrary, but the editing resorts constantly to quick shots that I can't enjoy what's going on.

Looking forward to seeing how it ties to the MCU.

Lvl 64 Klutz:
*blinks after reading previous post*

I know, right? He's...he's joking, right? Tell me he's joking...I just can't...

Anyway, I loved this show. I was a little worried about watching it because I thought it would be too much about "Try to find Captain America!" but boy did they kick that in the head. Loved the touch of throwing in actual scenes from the movie.

I'm with Bob on being a bit stunned with just how in-your-face the sexism was. I think it was so shocking to me because I would never dream of treating a woman, or any decent human being, that way. But then I remembered that that was how society was back then. Still, it was rather shocking.
But I think it helped the show too. I knew right away that Carter (I'm sorry, I just can't call her Peggy) was going to use that invisible thing to her advantage, and she did. It was refreshing to see a nice female lead that isn't focused on finding a man or flirting or anything along those lines.

Love Jarvis. I think he might end up being my favorite character in this whole show.

The only thing I'm worried about is Leviathan turning out to be the foundation of HYDRA, in which case I'm going to be very disappointed that they couldn't come up with something better.

I'm glad they chose to show episodes one and two together. If they had only shown the first one, I'm pretty sure I would have just said "Huh. Well, maybe Marvel isn't all that good at making TV shows" and left it at that.

I will say it was pretty funny when they had the fight scene intermixing with the dialogue and sound effects from the Captain America radio show. Jarvis was an awesome character, and whoever the dude walking around with the crutch is, he seems pretty cool. But that was the exception, almost everything else was watching Agent Carter walk around and talk for 40 minutes, have the aforementioned cool sequences for about 15 minutes of the episode.

Hopefully they iron out the kinks, because it has a lot of potential, even if we already know how it ends (SHIELD getting founded and so on).

Sniper Team 4:

Lvl 64 Klutz:
*blinks after reading previous post*

I know, right? He's...he's joking, right? Tell me he's joking...I just can't...

Of course you're going to get 1 or 2 MRA shitheads pipe up on anything even tangentially related to feminism, although this one is a little more repulsive than the average as he seems to be anti-gay rights and anti-affirmative action as well. As if progressivism is responsible for all the downfalls of our modern society.

The only thing I'm worried about is Leviathan turning out to be the foundation of HYDRA, in which case I'm going to be very disappointed that they couldn't come up with something better.

This might be slightly spoilery, so I'll tag it:

Nice seeing something with a relevant presentation of feminism, rather than the third wave nonsense we deal with nowadays. It was a little heavy handed, but when you're establishing characters, setting, and theme, It's to be expected.

I was quite thrilled to see Jarvis pop up in this, and I hadn't noticed that there was any possible connection to whiplash (Ironman 2 wasn't the best Marvel film...), but that could be interesting, done properly.)

Lvl 64 Klutz:
*blinks after reading previous post*

Er, anyway..

I actually found Agent Carter to be rather boring. It just felt like 20 minutes of plot rolled out into 2 hours with the rest filled in with inane pointless nonsense. I didn't hate it, I just wasn't really entertained by it.

I was bored as well, and that made all the bad stuff VERY grating:
-Hayley Atwell; Carter is set up as a Feminist (?) icon/champion. IRL got tons of plastic surgery (teeth, big breastsize increase etc.). Also, I just hate her "English personality"; super stereotypical.

-"for a moment there it feels like we're building to a reveal of Carter as another Inhuman - this one with the special power to attract misogynists like a magnet.".

Tell me about it, jeez! And are we supposed to think Stark, Jarvis and the guy from Dollhouse are awesome, just because they appreciate women? Not heavy handed at all!

-Edwin Jarvis (James D'Arcy); every time he appeared or spoke I kept seeing the words "Discount Benedict Cumberbatch" flashing through my head. Stereotypical up the butt...

So in short; tons of clichés and cheap tension/mystery shots with the above fail to live up to my very high hopes for this.
I now dread having to watch the rest of this drek as it may tie into AGENTS...
Maybe I'll just read Bob's column, but he is so insanely infatuated with this so far... bah!

Well, I think they need to force the feminism to distract you away from the fact that the program she is ultimatly creating, s.h.i.e.l.d., is a Hydra infested, nuke-happy group of braindonors who think building massive air-warships and poking the tesseract are good ideas.
You go girl.

Miss last night's two-hour premiere? It's definitely worth watching. You can catch it online

Or, if you watched it in Canada, you HAD to rewatch it online if you wanted to actually see the ending, because CTV cut off the last few minutes...

I liked the overall tone, the pacing was good, and I'm glad Marvel Studios is putting their full weight behind the CGI, it was a HUGE improvement over AoS Season 1.

Does it stretch the whole misogyny theme a bit much? A bit, but then anyone who thinks that this didn't happen in the years after the war is living in a nostalgic bubble. And it serves to set the theme, that Peggy is succeeding *in spite* of when society thinks. Women got "put back in their place", which is why there was such backlash to form the feminist movement. Without that glimpse of equality being snatched away, there would be a lot less driving force to restore it. Pink slips might as well have said "fired because we're no longer short of men".

I suspect they'll tone it down a bit, we've firmly established that there are jerks out there, and she works with clueless guys, but a few of them are slowly starting to realize she's smarter than they assumed. Watch one or two of them come around before she is revealed as having outsmarted them all.

And it's not all "man-hating", look at her interactions with the landlady. Who was judging whether she was "a proper lady", and was obviously pleased that Peggy announced she was only working at the phone company "until she found a suitable husband". Because that was the prevailing attitude. Women took "respectable" jobs to placehold until they got their degree in "Mrs." Cripes, my mother-in-law (who grew up during the war) spent decades pissed at her sister-in-law for not "settling down" and continuing to teach at school. Didn't feel it was "proper".

So she was fighting the system. Not just a few pompous asses she runs into (the milk truck supervisor is fighting her not because she's a woman, but because she's the embodiment of red tape).

Now, on to Leviathan.

I wonder if it is public knowledge that Captain America 'died' during the war. It can't be that long after the war ended if soldiers are still returning from overseas. And the radio show is still going on, but nobody was saying anything about it being a shame he died, or anything like that. Which makes me wonder if we might see a version of 'Captain America, Commie Smasher' in a follow up series to this one. It does look like they are angling Russians to be the 'bad guys' and someone for the proto-SHIELD to fight the cold war against. It would be interesting I think to have Peggy excited to realize that 'Captain America' is alive, only to quickly realize this isn't the Steve she knows.

jabrwock:

Miss last night's two-hour premiere? It's definitely worth watching. You can catch it online

Or, if you watched it in Canada, you HAD to rewatch it online if you wanted to actually see the ending, because CTV cut off the last few minutes...

Did they actually? I watched it on CTV and it didn't seem like I'd missed anything. Could you describe the cut scene for me?

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.

I like the concept and generally enjoyed the show, but the sexism issue is a bit of a problem. Not unrealistic for the time period, but has a level of subtle I associate with Mary Sue fanfiction. 6 more episodes will get painful if it keeps up such a heavy "I'm so awesome, look at how I succeed amid so sooooooo much going against me because of inferior mean assholes" tone. I actually like this humor in small doses, but too much makes Carter feel less like a real character ina real world, than a one dimensional prop in a propaganda piece.

What did my "past" self said about the two-parter?

FPLOON:
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...

Pretty much what I would have said, "past" me... Regardless, I'm going to keep watching it to see where it goes and stuff...

I love this series. It did a great job capturing the era. While maintaining a comic book, pulpy feel. I was disappointed that Bradley Whitford from the Agent Carter One Shot wasn't in the series.

I wasn't surprised that MovieBob had his SJW underwear in a bunch about the depiction of sexism in the series. I am surprised that other people were shocked by it. Seriously, real sexism isn't "OMG!!! That videogame character haz boobiez!!!" It's a casual dismissal of another person solely based on their gender. I thought the show handle the issue rather matter-of-factly. Actually, in the end, Jarvis was telling Peggy that it's OK to be an independent woman and still rely on other people, even men. One postscript I want to add: I am not surprised that Bob overlooked the scene where a guy white knight for Peggy only to get told by her, "That did not help me. Please don't do it again."

I can't wait for next week to see her save the world from more of Stark's "Bad Babies."

Lvl 64 Klutz:
*blinks after reading previous post*

Er, anyway..

I actually found Agent Carter to be rather boring. It just felt like 20 minutes of plot rolled out into 2 hours with the rest filled in with inane pointless nonsense. I didn't hate it, I just wasn't really entertained by it.

I too found I boring. I live agents of shield and I li I liked the Agent Carter one shot. But this show was boring.

Also the Ant-Man traider was boring as well.

I enjoyed it, much more than I did Agents of Shield at the start, and probably now as well. Although, for a show sending a message of empowerment of women, they certainly knew how to show off Peggy's physique. Maybe that's just me being filthy.

It reminds me a bit of the Captain America films. The first one was a decent action flick, but really stood out due to its 1940's aesthetic, whereas the second one, being set in the present, was much more generic and suffered for it. All in my opinion, of course.

Soviet Heavy:

jabrwock:

Miss last night's two-hour premiere? It's definitely worth watching. You can catch it online

Or, if you watched it in Canada, you HAD to rewatch it online if you wanted to actually see the ending, because CTV cut off the last few minutes...

Did they actually? I watched it on CTV and it didn't seem like I'd missed anything. Could you describe the cut scene for me?

Right near the end, didn't even fade to black or show credits, just jump-cut over to the intro to "Persons of Interest". It was right as the guy in the OSS warehouse was bending down to pick up

It's a minor thing, they only missed a few seconds of the show, and the 20 seconds of credits, but considering how much they were hyping it in commercials, you'd think they'd take better care of the shows they're trying to drive eyeballs to...

Ok, so not last few minutes, but last portion of the show. Usually they do the whole talking over the credits, but this time they just cut straight over, like the commercial timer was asleep at the wheel...

Pikeperch:
I enjoyed it, much more than I did Agents of Shield at the start, and probably now as well. Although, for a show sending a message of empowerment of women, they certainly knew how to show off Peggy's physique. Maybe that's just me being filthy.

Sign of the times. Look at most of the women around her. Everything was designed to show off the hourglass look. Almost all the guys are in suits. It was a thing. Even the working class men wore ties.

Does she take full advantage of that to keep the guys off-kilter? Yeah. Nothing like a bit of misdirection.

Doesn't mean she can't wear it, there's a difference between being sexy and being an object. She has personality, strengths, and can turn every head in the room while beating the piss out of every bad guy in it. So she's not just eye candy.

jabrwock:

Soviet Heavy:

jabrwock:
Or, if you watched it in Canada, you HAD to rewatch it online if you wanted to actually see the ending, because CTV cut off the last few minutes...

Did they actually? I watched it on CTV and it didn't seem like I'd missed anything. Could you describe the cut scene for me?

Right near the end, didn't even fade to black or show credits, just jump-cut over to the intro to "Persons of Interest". It was right as the guy in the OSS warehouse was bending down to pick up

It's a minor thing, they only missed a few seconds of the show, and the 20 seconds of credits, but considering how much they were hyping it in commercials, you'd think they'd take better care of the shows they're trying to drive eyeballs to...

Ok, so not last few minutes, but last portion of the show. Usually they do the whole talking over the credits, but this time they just cut straight over, like the commercial timer was asleep at the wheel...

No, I saw that on the show. Strange, maybe they cut it on your CTV channel. I was watching on CTV Ottawa.

Soviet Heavy:

jabrwock:
*snip*
Ok, so not last few minutes, but last portion of the show. Usually they do the whole talking over the credits, but this time they just cut straight over, like the commercial timer was asleep at the wheel...

No, I saw that on the show. Strange, maybe they cut it on your CTV channel. I was watching on CTV Ottawa.

I think I was on CTV Toronto, in between movie trailers it was the same commercial about reporting on Toronto metro problems.

jabrwock:

Pikeperch:
I enjoyed it, much more than I did Agents of Shield at the start, and probably now as well. Although, for a show sending a message of empowerment of women, they certainly knew how to show off Peggy's physique. Maybe that's just me being filthy.

Sign of the times. Look at most of the women around her. Everything was designed to show off the hourglass look. Almost all the guys are in suits. It was a thing. Even the working class men wore ties.

Does she take full advantage of that to keep the guys off-kilter? Yeah. Nothing like a bit of misdirection.

Doesn't mean she can't wear it, there's a difference between being sexy and being an object. She has personality, strengths, and can turn every head in the room while beating the piss out of every bad guy in it. So she's not just eye candy.

Point taken, although I was thinking more in terms of how the camera was positioned. I think it was mostly the scene where she opened the safe that stuck out to me.
That said, I didn't get the same impression from the second episode at all.

Everything about this show delights me. Seriously, Bubbles in a suit, minor characters are believable and easy to relate to (Angie from the automat, especially.) and the action scenes are fun. Also, I like the upbeat, jazzy music. Peggy is a wonderful lead character who is capable, fascinating, and flawed. She is incredibly arrogant, and it doesn't always help her out. But it's not something that she has to constantly get taken down for, either. I think the show succeeds in presenting the challenges she faces, both as an agent and as a woman, without losing its momentum, or becoming dry or boring.

Personally, I'm pleased. All my shows are on break, so this is a nice treat.

This show was fantastic. Humor, great characters, a fresh setting, good music and a female (!) lead. I've been waiting for that last bit forever. This show totally shamed Agents of shield and was actually ABOUT something.

I thoroughly enjoyed the double, but I'm afraid the show might be pressed to keep up the quality. Time will tell, but I'll be watching this one with interest :)

 

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