This seems like an odd admission to make in the preface to a review of its seventh episode, but I’m not really sure what Agent Carter is intended to be.
When I first started watching, I took it for a fun little action series to fill the gap between the two Captain America films. Since then, though, it has turned into a different beast entirely. Darker, more serious, more weighty in its place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I suppose that’s what Marvel do best. They’ve taken superhero films, typically the lowest common denominator, and woven them into a mega-franchise to match the complexity of its comics (Well, almost… -Ed)
There’s something bothering me about Agent Carter. I think it’s the accents.
The story, the acting, even the soundtrack has — so far — been everything that I’d want from a Marvel series set in the 1940s. But the accents are winding me up something awful.
Two of the lead characters are British, and are played by British actors. And yet somehow their accents still feel like forced Hollywood stereotypes. It’s an established fact that as far as the Yanks are concerned the only British accents are posh and cockney, which is one reason both why Game of Thrones so revolutionary and why I dearly hope that Constantine is saved from oblivion.
Hayley Atwell and James Darcy do both seem to be forcing the posh-factor a little, and it has been suggested to me that it’s period-related rather than being Brits in a US show — a suggestion which would mean that regional accents only came into existence around the 1960s. Which, as a northern lad, I find condescending.
It’s a minor niggle, I guess, but it’s like watching it with the audio out of sync. I’ll try to review the show, rather than the accents…
It might just be me, but so far Agent Carter hasn’t managed to feel properly Marvel-y yet.
It’s had the interweb of references, jokes, and we even got a Stan Lee cameo last week, which is close enough to proof positive. But so far it has lacked the feel of being a small piece of a far bigger picture.
I like the characters. I like the premise. I really like the freedom that the setting allows the story to develop. If it can nail this last part, then it will have earned its place in the tapestry.
Which isn’t to say it’s necessarily good. That hinges on something else entirely.
I have no idea why US TV shows insist on taking random weeks off. The “mid-season break” is bizarre enough, but I can see no reason why Agent Carter was not broadcast last week.
Well, perhaps absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
And Marvel’s newest TV show is back this week, so I guess we can pick up where we left off, in 1950s America racing to beat proto-Hydra to various Stark-flavoured McGuffins.
The first three episodes have felt on the verge of breaking into something bigger and better, story-wise, but still held back rather than advanced by the trappings of its setting and its heritage in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I am only just getting into Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, having missed the boat when it started. I’m informed it gets better about midway through.
But Agent Carter is one that I am able to get into on the ground floor. So why the hell not, eh?
In the growing pantheon of Marvel Cinematic Universe films, Captain America: The First Avenger was probably my favourite until Guardians of the Galaxy came along. And Peggy Carter was a big part of that. So if Marvel want to give her a show, I’m on board with that.