Last year, I wrote a piece explaining why I felt that Agent Carter was worth your time. Now this year, given the less than stellar ratings that the second season premiered to, I’ve decided to revisit that piece. So, consider this “Why Agent Carter is worth your Time: Take Two.”
When it was first announced that Peggy Carter would be leading her own series on ABC, fans were ecstatic. This was a character that managed to become a fan-favorite after Captain America: The First Avenger and the Agent Carter one shot, but was still rather mysterious, having not been fully explored as a character. And early ratings, while not as great as the initial ratings for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., seemed to indicate that there was an interest in exploring this character more by fans. Yet, as the first season went on, ratings continued to decline and it seemed as though we’d be lucky to see a second season. And now that we’re in the second season? It has quickly become apparent that we’ll be lucky to see ABC hold onto the series for a third season. And that would be a terrible thing.
See, Agent Carter isn’t Jessica Jones, which was finally granted a second season earlier this month. It isn’t as loved by both fans and critics like the latter series. These are two totally different shows, featuring entirely different themes, and yet, they are both important to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At a time when we’re fighting for more female-led properties in the comic book genre, we currently have two fantastic offerings from Marvel – while both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the potential spin-off,Marvel’s Most Wanted, would also fall into this category, I’m going off of properties named after the headlining heroine. These two shows offer us two wonderful, fully realized characters that are different enough from one another to allow for both series to deliver something special.
While Agent Carter saw Peggy dealing with the loss of Steve throughout the first season, the second season has managed to deliver a lighter, more exciting show that welcomes the oddities from the comics. (Zero matter being one of those.) Much like has been the case with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a show that has managed to redesign itself with each new season, Agent Carter has easily slipped into the change of scenery and story-lines in its second outing. As someone who enjoyed the first season, I have no problem admitting that the changes they’ve made to the series have only helped to make it a better show.
And yet, not enough people are watching. Sure, Peggy Carter may not be a superhero in the classic sense, and yes, she doesn’t have super powers. But that doesn’t make her any less of an intriguing character. Peggy Carter, who has made an appearance in nearly every Marvel Cinematic Universe film since 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Guardians being the exception.), has become a rather big part of the MCU. So, shouldn’t more people be interested in Peggy’s adventures?
The biggest argument when Agent Carter initially debuted to “okay” ratings – which, as previously stated, were higher than S.H.I.E.L.D. at the time – many assumed it hadn’t premiered higher due to many being skeptical after Marvel’s first television venture. And as the series continued to lose viewers, it was argued that there just wasn’t anything keeping fans interested in turning back in. And now that the second season is here, and the show has returned with even lower ratings than it had for the season one finale? People seem eager to write the show off. And that seems ridiculous considering what Agent Carter is.
It’s a show with a strong female lead willing to kick anyone’s ass that needs it, sure. But it’s also a series about a female character showing flaws, showing weakness, and yet still coming out tough as nails through it all. She falls down, but she always gets back up. (Something she definitely shares with Jessica Jones.) This is a series that, is not only run by female showrunners, but is also Marvel’s first female-led television project, which is something I’ve touched on in my original piece.
Okay, maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal to some people, but to female fans of the MCU? It is. One thing the MCU has done right is write female characters that are flawed – they’re not only kickass women. They’re tough, yes, and I love that about that, but they don’t forget to showcase the humanity of the characters either, and this is what Agent Carter does best. We see various shades of Peggy Carter throughout the show. We see her at her worst, and we see her at her best. She is flawed, but she is strong. While she’s an important character within the MCU (she has become a much bigger part since Captain America: The Winter Soldier as she has since appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has been confirmed to appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and is rumored to be in Ant-Man), I feel she’s an even more important character to female fans of the MCU because she’s someone they can look up to – she isn’t a superhero in the typical sense, but to the female fans, she is.
Sure, Agent Carter may not be for everyone, but it sure as hell deserves a chance from MCU fans. And it sure as hell deserves a third season, to allow both Atwell and the showrunners to delve deeper into this character that originally began as a love interest in Captain America: The First Avenger, but has since been continuously brought back because of how intriguing of a character she is.
If you’re not already, be sure to tune into Agent Carter Tuesdays on ABC. Not caught up with the first two episodes? You can either catch them on On Demand, or on ABC’s website. Need to catch-up with the first season? You can purchase a digital copy through Amazon or iTunes, whereas the DVD and Blu-Ray are exclusive to Amazon.