With networks weighing their options on what shows to keep and what shows to get rid of for the upcoming Fall 2016 line-up, a lot of shows are on the chopping block for not bringing in reviews like anticipated.
Many comic book shows like Arrow, The Flash, and Agents of SHIELD have already been renewed by their respective networks. However, it is the shows that are endearing to many that are in jeopardy of being cut from the tv listings.
One stand out series is that of Agent Carter, an ABC primetime drama based on the Marvel character Peggy Carter and her misadventures of being a pioneering woman in the espionage trade. Starring MCU alum Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The First Avenger) as the feisty Brit, the audience sees another side of Agent Carter that previously wasn’t seen in the first Captain America movie.
Unfortunately, the season two ratings for Agent Carter have only averaged a little over 2.5 million viewers each week – down 50% from season one – and the future for Peggy is looking quite bleak.
But why are the ratings so low on a show that has just about everything a great comic-book show needs and desires? Is the interest just not in that type of period drama? Downton Abbey just wrapped its sixth and final season, and throughout its life it was pretty successful. What makes Peggy Carter’s story different and doesn’t attract the viewers it deserves?
I’m not exactly sure why, but I do know that Agent Carter is one of the best series on television, and it should be watched.
Jen’s Six Reasons Agent Carter is the Best Show that No One’s Watching!
- There’s nothing else like it on television currently.
Not only is it a comic book adaptation of a Marvel favorite heroine, it is a historical espionage drama set in the 1940s with a strong female lead. Now, that may not sound like every person’s cup of tea, but the plots of the first two seasons of Agent Carter are engaging mysteries that capture the viewers from episode one and make them actually want to view the rest of the season.
And unlike those television series with a different mystery or bad guy every episode, Agent Carter is a mini-series that focuses on solving several aspects of one mystery.
- It’s a show about the founding of SHIELD.
If you’ve read any of my past Most Anticipated and Best Of posts, you will remember that most of the things I find simply awesome are related to SHIELD in some form or another. Agents of SHIELD? You know it. Captain America? He’s the inspiration. Peggy Carter? I want to be her when I grow up. So, naturally, finding out more about the founding of SHIELD from the SSR days is of great interest to me.
Seeing the transformation from SSR in Captain America: The First Avenger to the modern day – albeit broken – SHIELD is somewhat of a novelty that many franchises don’t venture towards. That alone is a solid reason for watching this show.
- No offense to Black Widow, but… Agent Carter is a female superhero done right.
Not only is Agent Carter a television show with strong female lead, it is also Marvel’s first female-led comic adaptation of any kind. But it’s not because Peggy is Marvel’s first female lead that draws in the viewers, it’s because Peggy is smart, capable, and refuses to allow office sexism get her down. She has no super powers other than her mind, but it’s her absolute normality that appeals to fans of both genders.
DC briefly had a series with female leads with Birds of Prey that aired on the CW that flopped. And the 2005 movie Elektra left a lot of heads shaking in dismay at the portrayal of women in comics. However, it is with Peggy that Marvel is leading the way with female-led entries into their Cinematic Universe. (Jessica Jones became the second female-led series, and the solo Captain Marvel film due out in 2018 will be the third.)
- It’s Vital to the flow of the Marvel timeline.
Where the plots of Agents of SHIELD have to tiptoe and work around around the release of multiple series and movies as it focuses on the present day SHIELD, Agent Carter doesn’t have to tiptoe around any in the modern Marvel timeline. Having been the continuation of Agent Margaret “Peggy” Carter’s story from Captain America: The First Avenger, it doesn’t intersect with the current and ongoing, plots, and can, therefore, be allowed a freedom that the other MCU shows don’t have. The writers can, as Peggy herself so eloquently puts it, “do as Peggy says.”
Now, if Peggy lived during modern day, she’d have to follow protocol of the other series and movies; however, taking place in the 1940s, there’s a certain freedom where the writers can give Peggy any adventure, and it won’t interfere with upcoming movies.
- The Cast!
Not only does Marvel alum Hayley Atwell play the lovable Peggy Carter, but she is joined with Marvel alum Dominic Cooper as he reprises his role from Captain America: The First Avenger as Howard Stark. They are joined by James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis and Enver Gjokaj as Agent Daniel Sousa, and together the group solves crimes that could very easily implicate Howard Stark of treason. (Hmm… Who does that sound like in the modern MCU?)
Chad Michael Murray’s Agent Jack Thompson is the perfect antagonist to Atwell’s Peggy; no matter how many times his character tells Peggy that she cannot do something, she proves that – not only can she do it – she can do it better than anyone else can.
- It (and Peggy) doesn’t pull any punches.
Seldom to period shows tackle issues true to that day and time – Downton Abbey being an obvious exception – but the writers of Agent Carter not only look at the issues women faced during the 1940s, but they have Peggy blatantly disregard every standard women were held against during that time. It is this background that puts Peggy Carter into familiar hero-affirming territory: an underdog who climbed out of a tragic history and who is forced to live a double life.
Agent Carter also boasts both writers and directors from four MCU movies, and Whedon-verse alums, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, are the showrunners of the series and are only leading Peggy, Jarvis, and Sousa to the top.
(Side note: Fazekas is currently the main writer for the newest Captain Marvel comic series, and it’s absolutely amazing!)
So, there you have it, Monsters, my top six reasons Agent Carter needs to be renewed by ABC. if you’re already a fan, please be sure you let the network know by tweeting @ABCNetwork to #RenewAgentCarter. Not a fan, or have a suggestion for another point to renew? Leave a comment below!