ABC recently canceled Agent Carter and while I can’t say I’m surprised, I am certainly disappointed. The show has been well received by critics, but the ratings were down all season and personally, I attribute this to the sharp decline in the quality of writing between seasons one and two. The writers left out all the things that made this show so different and beloved, and a LOT of people simply stopped watching as a result.
Fans have started a petition for Netflix to pick up the show, and you can sign it here. The lead actress, Hayley Atwell, has expressed interest in continuing this show, and her schedule would allow for it, so I now have a little bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, one of my favorite shows in the whole wide world will be saved by Netflix. It’s still all very tentative right now, but other shows have done this and been successful in the past, so there’s a possibility that it may not be canceled after all.
But since we don’t know anything for sure yet, I’m going to assume the worst case scenario, which is that it is NOT picked up for a third season – because, if I’m being completely honesty, Marvel doesn’t seem particularly interested in its own show. They’ve never advertised it very much, for a start, which seems intentional. Like they didn’t want it to become too popular, so they could cancel it and then point to it as a “reason” why female-lead shows supposedly aren’t popular. Which is frustrating.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of reasons why I wish Agent Carter had been renewed for a third season.
1. There are very few female characters in the MCU
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is dominated by men, with very few female characters – and even fewer female leads. In fact, the MCU did not have a single female-lead show until LAST YEAR, when the first season of Agent Carter debuted. Jessica Jones followed in the fall of that year.
Without Agent Carter, Marvel has just one female-lead show and NO female-led movies. They’ve been under fire lately for a number of things – not including Black Widow as part of Avengers merchandise, not giving Black Widow her own movie, dragging their feet for not giving fans any news on the supposedly upcoming Captain Marvel movie, and more – and so I’m shaking my head in disbelief at the idea that they would cancel a show like this.
2. The show is more suitable to a wider audience than some of Marvel’s other shows
Agent Carter can be violent at times, but it is not as violent as Marvel’s other shows. This follows point #1 on my list for a reason, because I started thinking about the plot of their only other female-lead show. Jessica Jones is a VERY dark show.
If you’re a rape or abuse survivor and watching depictions of that triggers you, then this is not the show for you. If you’re a little girl who loves Marvel, this is not the show for you. If you just don’t like a lot of violence in the movies and television shows, this is not the show for you. I’ve struggled to finish watching Daredevil, whose characters and setting somewhat overlap with those of Jessica Jones, because it is so violent and I just can’t deal with that. I appreciate having other options, such as Agent Carter.
Honestly, I think what this all boils down to is having more diversity in terms of the types of stories we tell about diverse characters. (I hope that made sense?) Like, we have so many shows about men and we need more about women, but we also need more variety in terms of plots and whatnot. Currently, the only female-lead Marvel show is about rape, and while it’s important that we tell the stories of survivors, we need so many other female-lead stories as well.
We need as much variety as one can find right now in terms of stories about male superheroes. All stories are important to tell, but so often minorities – or perceived minorities, since there are actually more women than men – are forced to pick just one, instead of being able to see all kinds of people like them onscreen.
3. Peggy Carter is a MEGA fan favorite
She’s actually a rather minor character in the comics: Her role was expanded for the first Captain America movie and she proved to be a huge favorite among the audience. People LOVED her cameos in subsequent Marvel movies and it just doesn’t make sense to discontinue any portrayals of one of the franchise’s most beloved characters.
4. The show helps to explain the events currently taking place in the MCU
Whenever I’m trying to convince someone to start watching this show, I tell them, “If you watch only one of Marvel’s shows, it should be Agent Carter, because it sets up all the important background information that is key to the rest of the MCU.”
From Tony Stark’s dad and the early Black Widow program to the forerunner of SHIELD and plenty of references to Captain America, this show explains SO MUCH about the rest of the Marvel universe – and that was only in season one! Season two’s plot centered around zero matter, known as darkforce on Agents of SHIELD, and its main antagonist will become Madame Masque someday. Why is she important? Well, she has ties to Tony Stark…
5. Peggy Carter still needs to set up SHIELD
I just mentioned this, but it bears repeating because this is the reason that a lot of people started watching the show. Peggy Carter is the first director of SHIELD, and people want to see that onscreen. Finally. But will we ever have a chance to? I don’t know, but… what is Marvel without SHIELD?
6. Season two ended on a cliffhanger and we deserve to have it resolved
No spoilers, but I am now beginning to wish that the show hadn’t been renewed for a second season and had instead ended after season one. Cliffhangers are excellent if your show is guaranteed to be renewed but they’re just disappointing for fans if it’s not, because then no one knows what happened next. The final episode of season one more or less wrapped up all the loose ends of the plot, so ending the show there would’ve felt so much more natural.
I was so upset when I heard the news about this show being canceled. My IRL friends know this all too well – they had to listen to me rant about it for, like, half an hour. I ADORE this show and was desperately hoping that it would be renewed for at least one more season in order to tie up loose ends and fix some of the writing missteps from the second season.
I was also hoping that season three would establish Peggy Carter to be canonically bisexual – come on, Marvel, you have everything set up to do so and this would work perfectly with her previous characterization – and, let’s be real, Hayley Atwell in forties-era fashion makes me feel so gay and weak. Oh my god. Do you ever just see a pretty girl and forget to breathe? Because that is me when I watch Agent Carter.
But those are just a few reasons why I, personally, want this show to be renewed. The other reasons are held by far more fans and I hope that the writers of Agent Carter come to an agreement with Netflix soon, because we need this show. Marvel needs this show, even if they don’t always seem to realize it themselves.