Agent Carter Picked up to Series at ABC: Why You Should Care
By: Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)
This time every year, networks announce their new shows. Last week, it was revealed that among the new series coming soon to ABC is Agent Carter, based on the one-shot included on the Iron Man 3 DVD and starring Hayley Atwell. Though it was confirmed the show won’t premiere until mid-season, that doesn’t mean we can’t start getting excited about it already.
Like Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD before it, Agent Carter will be a risk in this ever-changing television landscape. It will delve further into already-existing material and act as an origin story all while being led by a female. In case you missed the official description, here is it straight from ABC:
“Marvel’s Agent Carter,” starring “Captain America’s” Hayley Atwell follows the story of Peggy Carter. It’s 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers. Inspired by the feature films “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” along with the short “Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter.” “Marvel’s Agent Carter” stars Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter. Executive producers are Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters, Steve McFeely & Christopher Marcus, and Jeph Loeb.
Not to overstate things, but it sounds pretty awesome. Here are a few reasons to be eager for this sure-to-be hit series:
Girl Power, Part 1
As you can see from above, Agent Carter will be executive produced by two women. That’s almost unheard of in today’s world of networks and shows being run by old men in suits. And what a novel concept – a show about a woman being run by two women! Fazekas and Butters will be able to lead the show in an authentic direction through personal experience – who better to empathize with a woman than other women?
With their role as executive producers, it proves Marvel and ABC believe in women. Though Fazekas and Butters won’t be the first female showrunners on the network, they will be the ones with the highest profile with the most to lose if Agent Carter doesn’t do well. Anything Marvel does is scrutinized (this entire season of Agents of SHIELD, anyone?), but I think Fazekas and Butters will prove more than capable of creating a successful show.
Girl Power, Part 2
As Agent Carter, Hayley Atwell will not only portray a character who is a strong, smart, and kick-butt female, but one with the potential for a cult following, not unlike Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Atwell has already proven she can hold her own in a man’s world with Captain America: The First Avenger. In it, she was part of an ensemble that included Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, and Stanley Tucci, but other than Cap himself, she made the most emotional impact. We got a glimpse of her life after Steve with the Agent Carter one-shot in which she did not let her life be defined by her loss; rather, she moved on to become a more-than-capable agent who beat up bad guys and helped found SHIELD. As Peggy, Hayley Atwell has shown she has the chops to be the first female lead in a Marvel project and hopefully this move starts a trend in the female comic character adaptation department.
Clearly a lot happened between the creation of SHIELD in the 1940s and today. With Agent Carter, Marvel will be able to explore those stories further. Because the show won’t need to be tied to anything going in the present world of SHIELD, the writers and creators will have mostly free reign regarding plot and character development. The Agent Carter short was the tip of the iceberg (Is it too soon for ice references? Sorry, Cap.) in what can be shown of her development and SHIELD’s. If a one-shot can make that much impact, imagine what a whole series can bring to the table.
As cool as it will be having Peggy as the lead, the show would not be complete without a supporting cast. There are rumors Howard Stark will show up in the flesh (and not just be a voice on the phone a la Charlie’s Angels), plus with the official description stating she will learn to navigate her love life and the knowledge from Captain America: The Winter Soldier that she goes on to marry one of the Howling Commandos, it’s a safe bet they may make appearances as well. How fun it will be to learn more about the people that influenced Steve Rogers to become the man he is today!
It’s Marvel. ‘Nuff Said.
Marvel is arguably the biggest studio on the planet right now. They even have movies planned through 2028! Though their first foray into television with Agents of SHIELD was not a blockbuster right out of the gate like their movies are, the show got better and better each week, culminating with Tuesday’s crazypants season finale. Ratings have improved every week since the show’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in episode, which proves that when the show is done right, the fans will respond. With Agent Carter, Marvel is taking another risk with another television show, but with as much support as the show already has from the Internet (especially from those who have seen the Agent Carter one-shot), it may be an even bigger draw than Agents of SHIELD. However, the parallels between the two shows will make them a cohesive unit: Agent Carter will be about the founding and early days of SHIELD, while Agents of SHIELD will be about the present day and rebuilding the organization from the ground up.
Marvel’s creation of another television show may seem like a gamble at first, but I think it’s one that will ultimately pay off. With a strong lead in Atwell and the potential for blank spots in SHIELD’s history to be filled, all while being overseen by two women, this show can’t come to TV soon enough.