Review: Agent Carter

Yes, I really meant it. I know I’m not a film-geek, but this week with school and writing I was fluttering around finding shows for background noise, and this popped up recommended, so I tried it. Boy, was that a mistake. Fortunately, there are only two of the shows on Hulu currently.

Look, I shut off cable back in 2009. We have Netflix, which I usually use for background noise while I’m writing, and the free Hulu is nice, and I have Amazon Prime video. So really, that’s like having a whole video rental store in my pocket whenever I want it. I grew up without TV, so not having it isn’t really a problem, and it’s nice that I can watch what I want, when I want it. This usually translates to not really watching anything. The last movie the First Reader and I sat and watched together was His Girl Friday, which was so much fun. It had been years since I’d last seen it. Before that? Well, we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy in the theater, which was good campy fun.

So I put on Agent Carter for background noise this week. I promptly lost two hours of working time, as I watched through all that was available. Sure, there are issues with it. The whole feminist agenda crammed sideways on top of the story is transparent, ugly, and honestly, could have been done better if the writers really thought it was necessary. But the characters, other than the thuggish male agents whose only purpose is to bumble around causing problems (really? this was not the best written part, and I know they could have done better…) are a riot. Jarvis is wonderful, the waitress in the café is fun, and the villains are not complete idiots. The pacing is… well, it reminds me more of some of the BBC shows I enjoy, than American TV. I’ve seen complaints that Agent Carter is slow, and that would be why. But it allows for delicious little dialogues, like the fork incident.

Since this was good, I tried out Agents of SHIELD. Which is fine, as background noise. I’ll watch/listen to it for that. Unlike Carter, it didn’t make me feel like I needed to watch it, I could follow along and do other things, too. Which is usually what a TV show does for me. I don’t recall many things that have allowed me to immerse in them. I can read a book, and watch a show, and when asked, summarize the plot of both the book and the show. TV just isn’t enough to keep my brain happy by itself. Even with Agent Carter, because there are commercials on Hulu, I was doing other things at the same time.

And this is why I am not a film geek. Books do it for me. But this week, I didn’t have the time to immerse myself in a book. I’ve been working on Martian Aria, which has a lot of promise, and hopefully this coming week with the beginning of classes won’t keep me from reading. Although I still have 20K to write on Dragon Noir. Which I’d better go do now.


13 thoughts on “Review: Agent Carter

  1. AoS is becomes much better with time. MUCH better. Not sure how far along you are, but the second season rocks, even though it is still not as good as Agent Carter is so far.


    • I’m not sure where I am either – maybe three shows in? – because I set Netflix on autoplay so I don’t have to turn around and press the button if I’m absorbed in my work (I have two computers on my desk, at right angles to one another, work on one, play music/tv on the other). I will keep going with it, it’s less annoying than other options and I do like Agent Coulson.


    • Pretty much all Joss Weadon series ate like that. They just need to give them a chance to get past the first season. “The first batch of pancakes are to clean the griddle” as my Dad used to say. (Actually, they were fine).


      • Not sure how involved JW acutally is in AoS. But, yeah, it is pretty common for genre shows in general to need some time before really getting in the swing of things, I think mostly because they tend to need more time for world building in the beginning. The interesting thing with AoS is that many episodes which initially looked like pointless filler actually established things which became important later on.


          • I would say that it is pretty much like a comic book series, with multiple story arcs which intervine from time to time. It is a little bit like “The Sixth Sense” in is that the first episodes are full of hints which more or less everyone missed until the truth was thrown into our face by the end of the first season…and that is all I will say about that. Wouldn’t want to ruin it for you. There are some painfully bad and useless episodes in the first batch, and it initially seemed to be pretty much like a run-of-the-mill show in which you can predict everything which will happen from a mile away, but then suddenly it turned out that the show is really, really good in subverting expectations – once it got rolling, naturally.


              • I’m not a comic book reader either, but I think that it fits the whole thing better than a novel, which does have a planned ending and works towards a proper goal (well, unless it is a fantasy serie written by a certain writer who just can’t get to the point……). The comic book analogy seems to fit better because they are all more or less part of the same continuity (or set in an alternate universe of said universe), but they all have their own storylines, too, which sometimes overlap, and reach a milestone.
                Either way, AoS is one of those shows for which it pays off to stay tuned. And it is really interesting to rewatch the first season when you know what will happen at the end of it.


        • Well, his brother and his brother’s wife are also producers on the show. (they all worked together on Dr. Horrible too). But the buildup of an arsenal of Chekov’s Guns is one of his trademarks.


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