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Agent Carter, Episodes One and Two (2014)


Agent Carter

Once upon a time any productions set in the latter eras – like 30’s, 40’s or 5o’s, weren’t my cup of tea. Why I don’t know. Ever since a certain BBC production found a way to charm my TV sensibilities, I’ve been a diehard fan. Works out nicely since Marvel decided to take the 1940’s by storm.  

Working in a world dominated by men isn’t ideal. Still, Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) isn’t about to let her juvenile coworkers and the male-run office set her back. She does twice as much as any man she works with and she does it all without a second thought. Right before the war ended, Peggy lost someone dear to her and as a result, she’s built up a wall. No one gets close to her because of this – when people do, they die. Connected to the events that took war hero Steve Rogers life is the supposed betrayal of billionaire American inventor, Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper). Stark is rumored and reported to have betrayed his country by selling secrets.

Agent Carter

After ducking out on hearings and escaping prosecution, Howard is one of the most-hunted men by the government. He recruits Peggy in secret, asking her to commit treason to clear him. Happy to see a familiar face, she agrees and he leaves behind his trusty butler Jarvis (James D’Arcy) while he escapes the country. As the two begin pulling apart puzzle pieces, it leads them into a dangerous game.  

Picking up the pieces nearly right after the events of the demise of Captain America (from the first film), this miniseries of a TV show is as heartbreaking as it is exciting. In the 2-hour premiere (comprised of the first two episode), the script doesn’t take Peggy for granted and allows her quiet moments in which we see her grieve the loss of Steve. It’s a nice transition from when we last saw this character until now. What’s so brilliant about this character, the writing and the world itself is how the inner-workings are so connected to the bigger universes of Marvel (much of which is cumulated in The Avengers). It certainly stands on its own, but is also all the more entertaining if you know how said worlds play out. Even though I’ve seen most if not all of the Marvel productions (big and small screen), some of the references may have gone over me, yet there are plenty I did appreciate. Nods to Iron Man’s origins are present in Cooper’s Stark and also to Tony’s Jarvis in D’Arcy’s pristine, by-the-book butler. (This Jarvis character... I basically heart him.) Then there are the memories and very present albeit missing Steve Rogers.  
 
Agent Carter

It’s because of her past that there is a kind of fragility to this titular character. That being said, this is actually what enabled her to be strong. Never fear those of you who detest weak heroines. There is none of that to be found here. Anyone who has no tolerance for a character that is less than kick-butt tough won’t be disappointed and for those of us who just love a good period drama, there is plenty of delights to go around. Prior to this premiere, I saw somewhere that this much-hyped series might disappoint because it’d come in less spectacular due to its small-screen status. I beg to differ. I saw no sign of lacking sets or effects suffering due to any sort of restricted budget. The entire production was smashing! From the sets to the gadgets and costumes, it sparkled. Really, the costumes deserve dedicated page time, but suffice to say, everything about them was helpful in putting the viewer in mind of an era in which everything changed. The banter and quips was beyond brilliant and of course, Hayley Atewell shines in this role. Seeing a mix of American and British talent seems to be a standout quality and whether or not we see more of Agent Carter (beyond the ordered episodes), this is a collection anyone who likes British productions will want to watch. Also starring in the two hours is Lyndsey Fonseca and Chad Michael Murray.

If there is something to complain about, it’d be growing attached to some of the cast members and noticing they’re not all billed for the 8-episode run ABC has planned. (Yes, I did become fond of several in the mere two-hours it premiered in, which by the way, wasn’t nearly long enough.) For example, little as he was in it, I liked Daniel (Enver Gjokaj ) and cannot help but feel he has a story to tell. Then I noticed Jarvis isn’t featured in all upcoming installments. That being said, sometimes information isn’t updated whether it’s to keep up guessing or lack of knowledge from the people “in the know,” I don’t know. Either way, I hope more of these characters continue to play prominent roles in Peggy’s life.

Anyone who likes the Marvel universes is liable to fan-girl like crazy over this one. It’s the first female-driven production to come from their world and what a splash it makes. Last night, my Twitter timeline was lit up with quips of its awesome-ness and I cannot say as I blame fellow fans. Agent Carter is a memorable television experience. It sets up sinister happenings and leaves us hoping Peggy will always outwit those surrounding her. What’s great is the wide range of appeal the show promises. Those of us who adore Marvel’s creations are sure to be happy with this small-screen addition. Then there is plenty of interest for anyone who is new to the fandom or someone who isn’t particularly fond of the superhero fad. Agent Carter has lots of atmospheric quality and will pique fans of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries or any British mystery series. Beyond that, all I have to say is: go and watch this!
 
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Rissi
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28 comments:

  1. Awesome review! I absolutely adored everything about this two hour premiere! It was all I hoped for and more! Can't wait for more episodes! It'll be heart-breaking if Jarvis isn't in all of them, his character was amazing!

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    1. I'm thinking that is just a way to keep us on our toes or the sites just haven't updated yet. I cannot believe Jarvis won't be in the entire run... if he's not, that'll be sad because yes, he is an awesome character! One of the best. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Abbi; glad you liked it too. I'm in full agreement. This was better than we could have imagined. :)

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  2. My dad and I watched it together last night. He was a bit underwhelmed (but it was also late for him, too--he's usually in bed by nine :P ). But I LOVED it; I'm not a huge Marvel fan, but I loved The Avengers, and I love kick-butt heroines and spies. I will definitely try to keep up with AGENT CARTER...and I also loved Jarvis, and Daniel. I'm hoping Peggy takes Daniel into her confidence eventually...

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    1. Ah, bummer! Sorry your dad didn't care for this one. But, I'm glad you did! That's what's great about this addition to the Marvel universe, it's for nearly anyone. Those of us who love Marvel will enjoy this. Those of us who adore costume drama will appreciate the sets, costumes, etc. So long as Daniel is good, I'm all for Peggy trusting him. He seems like he has quite a story to tell....! :)

      Glad you visiting, Rebeka. Hope things are well with you.

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  3. Sounds like I missed an epic premiere! Is she the same woman from Captain America by the way? She looks so much like her it's crazy!

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    1. Yes, this is the same character and actor from Captain America. Hope you'll enjoy this pilot if/when you have a chance to see it, Laura! It IS good. Especially if you like Marvel. :)

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  4. I was on the fence about Agent Carter, but your review makes it sound good. Also, I had no idea Enver Gjokaj was in it--I absolutely love him! I had a fangirl freak out moment when he popped up on the screen in The Avengers, and he was basically just an extra. So if he has a real role in Agent Carter, then I'm all in. Will have to try to catch up this weekend!

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    1. ...and I LOVED Enver's character, Becky. Here's hoping he plays a larger role and stays good. In these Marvel worlds, it can be risky. :)

      If you decide to watch it, I sure hope you enjoy! And if you would, let me know what you think. :)

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    2. I watched both episodes last night. I think I liked the first a bit better than the second, but both were very good. I loved Jarvis and Daniel (he seems so sweet, so I'll be crushed if he ends up a bad guy), and Chad Michael Murray makes a very good smug chauvinist! I'll definitely keep tuning in. Also, the IMDb page has been updated, listing Jarvis and Daniel in 7 of 8 episodes. So that seems promising :-)

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    3. Woohoo! I'm thrilled that there is more of Jarvis and Daniel in more episodes...! Thanks for sharing. :)

      I really am liking Chad in his role too. There wasn't a weak bunch in the premiere or I didn't think so. As for Jarvis and Daniel... well, of course I adore both of them. Like you, I feel like we have to be "on guard" with every character because ugh... Marvel has crushed us before. Here's hoping Daniel is good!

      Glad you mostly enjoyed it, Becky. :)

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  5. I really want to see this now! I love movies with Marvel, mysteries, and a 40's setting. Great review! :)

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    1. Always fangirl over anything Marvel, or that's my life. ;) The 40's setting is so awesome especially for those of us who enjoy a costume drama and this one steps away from the superhero element so that anyone not as fond of that should enjoy this. :) Thanks for reading! Enjoy...

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  6. Nice review Rissi! I enjoyed (and plan to continue enjoying) this one too. :) I saw the same thing that some characters aren't listed for the rest of the series, and I hope it's not true! I liked Sousa too, and Jarvis practically makes the show! What would Peggy be without someone to bounce off of after all? I will be very sad if he's not by her side in every single episode. So I'm a little worried, but still looking forward to Tuesday! :)

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    1. Hi, Sarah. Thanks for reading and commenting. Love getting everyone's thoughts on this one.

      I'm really crossing my fingers that these characters will continue to play a role in the series. Peggy needs to let people in and of course, Jarvis is awesome! The whole cast really is. It seems like they've all stepped out of the time period the show is set in! Hope you continue to like it. :)

      ...your blog (review) is on my list of Internet places to visit. :)

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  7. Yay! I've been looking forward to this one! I kept forgetting when it was starting so I need to go find it and then watch it. So, so glad you liked it! :D

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    1. I did indeed LOVE It, Tressa. But then I'd have been surprised had it disappointed. It's got two great elements: Marvel and costume drama awesome-ness! :)

      Ps; the first episode was free on Amazon/iTunes... not sure if it still is...

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  8. I really enjoyed this!! Carter has always been a favorite from the first Captain America. So glad to see that she's popular! I'm also really excited to see where Marvel takes her. :)

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    1. Me too, Rosie. It started off very well and I'm hoping it keeps that momentum for future growth. Marvel is pretty epic... and it's exciting to watch all of these. :)

      Thanks for visiting! Hope you're doing well. :)

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  9. Loved reading your thoughts on this one and totally agree--this mini-series is fantastic. Haha, I also love what you said about Jarvis. *high five* I adore Peggy, and seeing Lyndsey Fonseca and Chad Michael Murray guest starring made my fangirl heart sing. Perfect post, Rissi! :)

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    1. It IS indeed. The combining of worlds (Marvel and historical) was made for each other. Or something. ;) I'm delighted with the premiere though haven't watched this week's episode - I'm still smiling from the 2-hour show. Either way, I'm sure it was splendid. Seeing Chad was wonderful! I just remember him from a favorite girly rom-com A Cinderella Story. I quite liked him in that. Oh and Jarvis... *happy sigh* I do adore him!

      Thanks for reading, Bekah. Always enjoy your thoughts. :)

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  10. Just three episodes in and it shows such great promise! I'm definitely looking forward to more. Jarvis is a dear and I secretly ship Daniel Sousa with Agent Carter...but I guess we're about to have a lot more surprises in the future. I can't wait! :)

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    1. Yay! Super glad you like this one so far. I'm still happy with that pilot as I've not gone back to watch more. Yet. Daniel is awesome and of course, Jarvis is just... well awesome. I'm curious to know if he is married or what that is all about. As for Daniel, I so hope he's good and Peggy begins to trust him (if she hasn't already). Happy watching. :)

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    2. Then I shan't be say more so as not to spoil it for you. :)

      Same here about Daniel. I hope he's good too. :)

      Enjoy!

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    3. Spoil anytime you like, Alyssa. I'm a spoiler fan-girl. ;)

      Thanks! I certainly plan to!

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  11. Great review! I'm a big fan of the Avengers and have been watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from the beginning. I was so happy that they put in this little mini-series to hold us over until S.H.I.E.L.D. came back! I hope you've been able to watch the rest of the series, Rissi. It doesn't dissapoint! :)

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    1. I am a big fan of the Marvel/Avengers world, so anything set in them is a must for me. I'm still working my way through S.H.I.E.L.D., season one (but love it) and haven't finished this one yet. I'm waiting to see if there's a DVD release (because I'll *need* to add this one to my collection), but if not, I may break down and buy the downloads. Because it looks AWESOME. :)

      Thanks for reading, Rachel.

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  12. I really, really want to see this....... I know someone (whose opinion on movies I trust completely) who said it was amazing so I'm sold on it already.

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    1. That's great, Raquel! From the pilot alone, I don't doubt that opinion in the least. It is amazing. :)

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