Once upon a time any productions set in the latter eras, like 30’s, 40’s or 5o’s, weren’t my cup of tea. Why I don’t know. But with this Agent Carter, Season One: Episodes 1 & 2, I become more of a fan. Works out nicely since Marvel decides to take the 1940’s by storm.
Agent Carter, Season One: Episodes 1 & 2
Working in a world dominated by men isn’t ideal. Still, Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) isn’t about to let her juvenile coworkers and the male-run office set her back. She does twice as much as any man she works with and she does it all without a second thought. Right before the war ended, Peggy lost someone dear to her and as a result, she’s built up a wall. No one gets close to her because of this – when people do, they die. Connected to the events that took war hero Steve Rogers life, is the supposed betrayal of billionaire American inventor, Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper). Stark is rumored and reported to have betrayed his country by selling secrets.
After ducking out on hearings and escaping prosecution, Howard is one of the most-hunted men by the government. He recruits Peggy in secret, asking her to commit treason to clear him. Happy to see a familiar face, she agrees and he leaves behind his trusty butler Jarvis (James D’Arcy) while he escapes the country. As the two begin pulling apart puzzle pieces, it leads them into a dangerous game.
Picking up the pieces right after the events of Captain America’s demise (from the first film), this miniseries is as heartbreaking as it is exciting. In the 2-hour premiere, the script doesn’t take Peggy for granted and allows her to grieve. It’s a nice transition from when we last saw this character. What’s so brilliant about this character, the writing and the world itself is how it connects to the bigger universes of Marvel (much of which cumulates in The Avengers). It certainly stands on its own, but is also more entertaining if you know how said worlds play out. Even though I’ve seen most if not all of the Marvel productions (big and small screen), some of the references go over me, yet there’s plenty I do appreciate. Nods to Iron Man’s origins are present in Cooper’s Stark and also to Tony’s Jarvis in D’Arcy’s pristine, by-the-book butler. (This Jarvis character… I basically heart him.) Then there are the memories and very present albeit missing Steve Rogers.
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It’s because of her past that there is a kind of fragility to this titular character. That being said, this is actually what enabled her to be strong. Never fear those of you who detest weak heroines. There is none of that to be found here. Anyone who has no tolerance for a character that is less than kick-butt tough won’t be disappointed. For those of us who just love a good period drama, there is plenty of delights to go around. Prior to this premiere, I saw somewhere that this much-hyped series might disappoint because it’d come in less spectacular due to its small-screen status. I beg to differ. I see no sign of lacking sets or effects suffering due to any sort of restricted budget. The entire production was smashing! From the sets to the gadgets and costumes, it sparkles.
Really, the costumes deserve mention, but suffice to say, everything about them puts the viewer in mind of an era in which everything changes. The banter and quips was beyond brilliant and of course, Hayley Atwell shines in this role. Seeing a mix of American and British talent is a standout quality and whether or not we see more of Agent Carter (beyond these episodes), this is something anyone who likes British productions will enjoy. Also starring in the two hours is Lyndsey Fonseca and Chad Michael Murray.
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If there is something to complain about, it’s growing attached to some of the cast only to notice they’re not billed for the 8-episode run. (Yes, I did become fond of several in this pilot, which by the way, isn’t nearly long enough.) For example, little as he’s in it, I like Daniel (Enver Gjokaj ) and cannot help but feel he has a story to tell. Then I see Jarvis isn’t to be in all upcoming installments. No matter what, I hope more of these characters continue to play prominent roles in Peggy’s life.
Anyone who likes the Marvel universes is liable to fan-girl like crazy over this one. It’s the first female-driven production to come from their world and what a splash it makes. Last night, my Twitter timeline lit up with quips of its awesome-ness. Agent Carter is a memorable television experience. It sets up sinister happenings and leaves us hoping Peggy will always outwit those surrounding her. What’s great is the wide range of appeal the show promises. Those of us who adore Marvel’s creations are sure to be happy with this small-screen addition. Then there is plenty of interest for anyone new to the fandom or someone who isn’t particularly into the superhero fad. Agent Carter has lots of atmospheric quality and will pique fans of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries or any British mystery series. Beyond that, all I have to say is: go and watch this!
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