Agent Carter: One Tough Dame


ABC’s new TV show Agent Carter premiered January 6th. The show is a spinoff of the Captain America movie franchise and stars Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter. It takes place after World War II and Captain America’s “death.” The war has ended and, although she was a valuable agent during the war, Peggy has been downsized to a glorified secretary. The series starts as Peggy is contacted by Howard Stark. Stark has been framed and he begs Peggy for her help.

I was worried about this show when they announced it. It seemed like it was too soon after the launch of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which has not gotten phenomenal ratings. And Agent Carter was a riskier story. With a character like Agent Carter the producers run the risk of concentrating so much on her “I can do anything as well as the men” storyline and not actually developing a personality for Peggy. I was pleasantly surprised that they have been able to tread this line well. Peggy is presented as knowing that she will be underestimated and does not fight back directly. She simply does her job and then leaves. Instead of spending time whining about the poor treatment she receives she gets the job done.

The show actually makes fun of this whole situation. Peggy is constantly being forced to listen to a radio show about Captain America’s adventures. It features a woman named Betty Carver who is always being captured and waiting for Captain America. There is one particularly great scene that mixes Peggy fighting with someone in an alleyway while Betty Carver vocalizes how glad she is that she has a “big strong man” to save her.

Speaking of fighting, the fight scene choreography is awesome. She has a fight style that is believable and fascinating to watch. The actress does all her own stunts which makes it that much better. The side characters  are, thankfully, given attention. There are a few very interesting minor characters like Edward Jarvis and Peggy’s roommate. Unlike some shows that create many characters and then don’t ever touch them again, these characters are very important to plot. The costuming is also nothing to scoff at.

My one complaint would be the crazy gadgets. All was going well and then Peggy pulled out knockout lipstick. It took some of the seriousness out of the situation. It  took me out of the scene.