While countless fans praise (and rightfully so) Marvel’s Netflix efforts, it appears that many either overlook or seemingly don’t care about their shows on ABC, and that’s a damn shame. Sure, Daredevil and Jessica Jones have proven to be able to go far darker than the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and in doing so, have made their mark in the world that Marvel has created over the past eight or so years. And I get that, I do. I think Daredevil and Jessica Jones are quite honestly the best comic book shows on television – and I’m sure both Luke Cage and Iron Fist will find themselves added to that category whenever they’re released. However, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter are also pretty important to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I’d even go as far as to say that they may actually be two of the better comic book shows on network television. (Sure, both have their faults, but they’re undeniably strong most of the time.) Which is why it’s sad to think we may have seen the last of Agent Carter with this past Tuesday’s season two finale, Hollywood Ending. Especially since it was anything but a Hollywood ending.
Over the course of its two seasons now, Agent Carter has done a wonderful job at showcasing Hayley Atwell’s skill, as well as James D’Arcy’s, who often stole the spotlight as Edwin Jarvis. And while the rapport between their characters was one of the best things featured on the show, the fact that it managed to offer up a fully realized female character who was not only able to kick ass, but also able to show vulnerability, was undeniably the biggest draw for fans. Sure, this was something we saw Jessica Jones excel at in its first season, and something that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has done a great job at with their four female leads (Daisy, May, Bobbi, and Jemma), but with Agent Carter, the show gave depth to a character that we only scratched the surface of in Captain America: The First Avenger. They allowed her to become something more than a bad ass. We got to know her, see who she was before S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America entered her life. We got to see her struggles, and how she became the character we all came to admire in The First Avenger. And although the second season is over, Peggy’s story is not.
From a business stance, I understand why ABC would want to cancel Agent Carter. It hasn’t been a great performer for the network in its second season, something that became apparent as ratings continued to decline with each new episode. However, as I’ve stated in a previous post regarding the ratings, if the network isn’t keen on keeping the show on their network, moving it over to Netflix would be the best option. When it comes to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, there is a clear difference between the two. While S.H.I.E.L.D. works well with the weekly format, managing to stretch out story-lines across an entire season, they still manage to tell interesting stories that work on a weekly basis. With Agent Carter, at least in season two, that hasn’t really been the case. This is a series that could benefit from binge viewing.
Unlike S.H.I.E.L.D., which gets a full season with twenty two episodes, Agent Carter only has ten episodes, this makes it so that they have to tell a tighter story across a fewer amount of episodes. In the second season, this was never more evident as the weekly format, as well as the doubling up on episodes that didn’t mesh well together, seemed to work against the show. When I suggested moving the show to Netflix in my most recent piece on the show, I was met with hesitation from readers thinking it wasn’t the best of choices for the series, however, after finally getting to take in the entirety of season two? I think moving it to Netflix is in fact the right decision. One of the things that I argued in that one shot was that, while ratings have been rather terrible for ABC, the series hadn’t yet made its debut on Netflix, where it more than likely would have brought in more viewers like its predecessor Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has done in the past. (If you’ll recall, the second season of S.H.I.E.L.D. was actually added to the streaming service about a month after it finished airing, giving fans plenty of time to catch up prior to the third season premiere last September.) So it’s hard to tell just how the show would perform should it move platforms, although it’s hard to imagine it wouldn’t see a rise in viewership in the move.
One thing that no one can argue is that ABC did very little promotion for the second season of Agent Carter. (Something that Variety also pointed out in this piece.) In fact, after the season two premiere aired to dismal ratings, the network seemed to ignore promotion altogether, instead relying on blogs and various other outlets to help spread the word, which is a shame, because looking at their line-up, Agent Carter was easily one of their stronger properties. However, should the show move to Netflix, this wouldn’t be an issue. One thing Netflix has proven over the past couple of years is that they know how to promote the hell out of a series as showcased with both Jessica Jones and Daredevil – two Marvel titles that have excelled on the streaming service. Allowing Agent Carter that same opportunity only seems fair. After all, giving Agent Carter a chance to not only finish out Peggy’s story, allowing fans to see the beginnings of S.H.I.E.L.D. as teased in the one shot that led to Agent Carter‘s existence in the first place, is something that fans not only deserve but need to see come to fruition.
Missed my previous posts regarding Agent Carter? You can read my features in defense of the show here and here, as well as my one shot providing a possible solution for a season three here. And as always, for all things Agent Carter be sure to follow along here.