If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am… not the greatest when it comes to reviewing stuff I’ve read/watched/listened to. You may even remember that I posted about this problem last spring! One of the things I mentioned wanting to review was Agent Carter, but did I end up reviewing it last spring? Nooooo. I kind of… forgot.
By the time I remembered, season two was only a few months away, so I decided to save my review for the date of the season two premiere! (EEP. I’M SO EXCITED!) I did this partially because I thought that might motivate at least a few of you to start watching the show, and partially because… well, I have a weird habit of ALWAYS needing to have something fresh in my mind if I’m to review it. This isn’t a problem when I write reviews of, say, the books I just read, but for some reason I rarely make time to write reviews immediately after finishing something. I ended up rewatching the entire first season a few weeks ago because I was sure I’d forget some things. UGH. I NEED TO WORK ON NOT DOING THIS.
In the meantime, here is a review of my favoritest, FAVORITEST show ever. I’m trying to catch up on my reviews, and this is a good start. So, yay! First review of the year! Let’s get started.
Agent Carter aired last winter and is eight episodes long. (The new season will have ten episodes, though! REJOICE.) It is currently my favorite show, and has been since I started watching it, for a number of reasons.
To begin with, I already loved Captain America: The First Avenger. LOVED it. I know a lot of people thought it was cheesy or boring or whatever, but I love it. Cap is my favorite superhero! And WWII is a fascinating time in which to set stories simply because there was so much going on, and this war was on a scale that we’d never seen before.
….aaaaaand I also adored Peggy Carter. I could probably write an entire post about how I developed a crush on her – as well as several other characters from different stories – and was basically like WHOAAAA SLOW DOWN THERE IT’S NOT LIKE I’M GAY OR ANYTHING? RIGHT? RIGHT?!
Well, we all know how that turned out. As I’ve told my friends many times before, Peggy Carter is one of the reasons I am “gayer than originally intended.”
So it was, as you can guess, a joy to get to watch an entire show about her. She’s one of my favorite characters from either Marvel Comics or the MCU, and basically I’m just really happy that she exists.
There are SO many wonderful heroines to be found in Marvel Comics, but the MCU doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to these things. Marvel Studios has NEVER made a movie with a female superhero as the lead, although there are plenty who deserve it: Natasha Romanov, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Kate Bishop, America Chavez… the list stretches on.
We didn’t even have a TV show with a female lead until early 2015 – and it was, as you’ve already guessed, Agent Carter. We now have two, actually – Jessica Jones was released this past fall – but the MCU could certainly be better. I mean, we’re going to have HOW many movies about Spider-Man by 2017?! Please. Give me a break.
Agent Carter was meant to test the waters and see how well a solo story about a heroine would fare, and in this regard I think it more than exceeded expectations. It’s just plain FUN to watch Peggy, to see how she is still greatly impacted by her time with Captain America and yet doesn’t define herself as merely Cap’s love interest.
It’s fascinating to watch the fight scenes, for instance, and realize just how much SHE influenced STEVE. I can’t seem to find the post right now, but someone made a great observation about how she doesn’t fight like Captain America – he fights like her because she taught him how to fight! He doesn’t fight using brute force because she taught him to fight before he took the Super-Soldier Serum, using techniques that work better for smaller people (such as women), and he continues to fight that way even in more modern times such as those shown in The Winter Soldier.
There are soooo many other ties to the rest of the MCU, as well. If you’re trying to figure out which one of Marvel’s four TV shows to watch first, I think this would be a great choice simply because it is SO relevant to the rest of that fictional universe. If you want to know why things are the way they are in the MCU – why certain events are happening in the present-day timeline, or why a particular character acts the way they do – then you need to watch Agent Carter.
It’s all here: Tony Stark’s dad, the early Black Widow program, the forerunner of SHIELD. And, of course, plenty of allusions to Captain America. (I hope someone makes a reference to the Winter Soldier in season two!)
This is, perhaps not surprisingly, one of the reasons I love The First Avenger so much, because it explains so much about the rest of the story universe. (I mean, for heaven’s sake, there’s a reference to Thor, of all characters, at the very beginning of that movie.) THIS IS SO RELEVANT, YOU GUYS. Does Captain America: Civil War ring any bells? Captain America and a Stark?
Although not the kind who must always be in Winterfell, unfortunately.
I’ve already rambled on for 900-odd words, and I’m still not even close to being done! Let’s see. What else did I like?
I’m particularly fond of the friendship between Peggy and Stark’s butler, Edwin Jarvis. They are just SO FUNNY together. Jarvis panics and Peggy rolls her eyes at him and they snark back and forth at one another and I just… it’s great.
(Also? Out of all of the characters in the MCU, Jarvis is the one who reminds me the most of my dad. The scene where Jarvis says he can’t come help Peggy because he needs to get dinner on the table, and the scene where he says his next project involves organizing the spice rack? LITERALLY MY DAD.)
I loooooove the design! I love looking at the costumes and makeup and sets and props of all sorts of movies and TV shows, although fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction are my favorite genres for this kind of thing. And forties fashion is just so cool anyway! I WAS GONNA TELL YOU WHAT MY FAVORITE DRESS FROM THE SHOW IS BUT I CAN’T BECAUSE I’M JUST THAT GAY FOR PEGGY CARTER. I LIKE ALL OF THEM TBH. I’M TOO GAY TO FUNCTION. Also, they included plenty of music from that era (as well as, I think, some pieces made to sound as though they were written in the forties?), so that was cool.
…well, there’s just one more thing I want to talk about. (Actually, I could talk about this show for literally hours if you let me, but I don’t want to bore you so I’ll stop shortly.) IT’S MY FAVORITE PART OF THE SHOW. I’m sure many of you can probably guess what it is, because I’ve prattled on about it so many times before in my conversations with you, but: I JUST REALLY REALLY LOVE PEGGY & ANGIE. I SHIP IT. It’s my favorite pairing of all time and I just… agh. THEY ARE SO CUTE.
Where do I even start? There are soooo many lines that sound an awful lot like flirting. (Angie’s just all like YOU HAVE NICE LEGS, PEGGY and meanwhile I’m over here like THAT’S NOT VERY HETEROSEXUAL OF YOU, ANGIE.) They stare at each other’s lips a lot.
Sappy music plays during scenes when they’re together. (And multiple fans have pointed out that there would be no question as to the legitimacy of their attraction to one another if Peggy were a guy, because she and Angie act out the exact same roles that we’ve seen ten thousand times before in any superhero movie with an F/M couple, where the hero tries to keep their identity a secret but ends up getting hurt and confessing everything to their girlfriend/wife/crush.)
They MOVE IN TOGETHER. (FYI, this is historically known as a Boston marriage and no one can convince me that these two aren’t in one.)
BASICALLY I RELATE TO ANGIE A LOT BECAUSE I TOO AM SMALL AND REALLY, REALLY GAY FOR PEGGY CARTER. Among other reasons.
I headcanon Peggy Carter as bisexual, as I do with quite a few other characters from the same time period: Howard Stark, Bucky Barnes, and – of course – Steve Rogers himself. (I headcanon Angie as a lesbian, though, for reasons that are too numerous to detail in this post and should probably be given their own post at a later date.)
It would mean so much to have a canonically LGBTQ+ superhero in the MCU (especially one from the forties!), because there’s currently a severe dearth of of them. We finally have a queer couple (on Jessica Jones) and the first queer character appeared on Agents of SHIELD last year, but… gah.
I’m glad Agent Carter had the first same-gender kiss in the MCU last year – no spoilers, but it wasn’t between Peggy and Angie, much to the chagrin of this tiny gay nerd – but still. We could do better. Why did this only happen in 2015? I’m desperately hoping that we’ll get confirmation of bi!Peggy sometime in season two, but at the same time I’m trying not to get my hopes up.
All in all, Agent Carter is a really enjoyable show with, I think, something for everyone: Action, humor, suspense, feminism, friendship, references to the rest of the MCU, hella gay ships to ship, and more. I look forward to seeing what season two will bring, and I encourage each and every one of you reading this post to watch at least the first episode and see if you like it too!
P.S. I intend to review season two as well although it will be, like this one, cumulative and not episode by episode. I’ll try to be a bit more punctual this time, though…
Also, I just now realized that since my Wonder Woman Unleashed class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while Agent Carter airs on Tuesday nights, there will be a number of days when they coincide, and I can watch a new episode after I finish my homework for that class. OMG. I AM SO READY FOR THIS AWESOMENESS.