[box] We watched the Marvel’s Agent Carter premiere episode and were dying to talk about it. Us Nerds on Earth writers will often banter back and forth via email, giving our first thoughts about the latest comic TV show we’re watching. We’ll share it here, with the hope that amidst our back-and-forth you end up getting a good review of the episode, even if the style is slightly off center.
I just finished watching the premiere episode of Marvel’s Agent Carter on Hulu. Holy mackerel, it’s the cat’s meow, daddio!
OK, right of the top, I apologize for shoe horning that 1940’s slang into the above sentence, but considering it’s a period piece, I couldn’t resist. I also will likely do it again, as I found a whole list of 1940’s slang.
I REALLY love what Marvel has done with this show! The opening that used scenes from the first Captain America movie was a swell move. It immediately tied Agent Carter to the greater Marvel Universe, but on the other hand, no one is going to think this show is anything like what Marvel has previously done. It’s fresh, original, and breaks the formula Marvel is using with the contemporary 616, yet it still feels very Marvelesque.
I’m now going to hit you with a flurry of bullet points, cause there is a lot about this show I’d love to hear your thoughts on:
- Hayley Atwell is the bee’s knees. That dame is one stacked broad. Did you see the gams on that doll? (Seriously, this 1940’s slang list has a million of them.)
- Related to the above bullet post, I LOVE how Agent Carter challenges the casual (and overt) sexism that she had to overcome as a 1940’s woman. Her boss’ response to her to “Take a lady day. Go shopping.” epitomized this. To use a period piece to critique contemporary culture is great, and kudos for Marvel for making that statement. The irony is that comic art is part of the problem in how our culture view females, so we aren’t yet where we need to be. But think God we’re not where we used to be.
- The show has a great Alias feel. Disguises, action, espionage, gadgets… All of it – fun.
- Howard Stark doesn’t have the same charm of Tony Stark, but he’s not bad. But even better is Jarvis. I loved his banter and his growing role in the action.
- The reveal was Leviathan. I’m not saying I told you so, but I did type it when I posted that many of the storylines of Agents of SHIELD are pulled from Marvel’s Secreet Warriors run (our review), which has a contemporary look at Leviathan. I’ll be shocked –SHOCKED!– if Leviathan doesn’t now bubble up in Agents of SHIELD (and the upcoming Ant Man movie), because if Marvel has shown us anything over the past 5 years, it’s that they are the masters at creating subtle ties across their TV and movie properties.
I’m going to stop because I want to hear what you thought of the premiere. I loved it, and I’m going to watch the 2nd episode as I await your email reply.
Let’s flap our lips! I cannot tell you how much I loved this first episode and we agree on so many things.
- The Captain America tie-in was done well and not too pushy or over the top. You clearly get they were a thing, she lost him and life has been hard since. It truly sets the table well for the connection to the Marvel Universe.
- I like that it is set in the 1940s and I hope they keep this 1940s feel. (Truthfully, I was worried that we would get some kind of anachronistic Marvel show set in the 1940s with a hip-hop soundtrack.) From costumes to set designs to music flares, it was just really well done and set in place.
- Hayley Atwell is amazing. Great actress, strong in moments when she needs to be but you see the other side of her as well. She went from pushing that guy out the window to weeping for her friend; I bought every part of it.
- They could not give me too many old school spy gadgets. I just think they are awesome!
- Howard Stark is “meh” to me. But I do think they smartly did his arc in a way where we see him every 5 episodes or so while the rest of the time we just assume he is out chasing women and weapons. (Which I want to be my new autobiography title.)
- You called the Leviathan thing. What is going to be interesting is how far do they push that connection. Is it going to go all the way to the storyline conclusion in the books?
- The commentary piece set in the 1940s but about to today, especially when Clan Whedon involved is going to be amazing.
Things I would throw back at you:
- Remember the Gotham Office Supply Fight Club? I want to enter Agent Carter and her stapler in that bad boy and make a killing.
- Jarvis is great! James D’Arcy is going to have a great portrayal in front of him. In part, Carter needs a sidekick. And he is perfect proper British man who will never, ever turn into the rescuer of the damsel in distress.
- Intriguing characters moving forward. I love the acting of Enver Gjokaj and I think his wounded vet character of Daniel Sousa could be a great sidekick for Carter as well. And I want to see more of the waitress and Carter interactions. Good scenes, especially the last one where Carter got to do to that chauvanist pig what she wishes she could do some of the men in her office.
So, what do you think about the creepy Leviathian? Will they all have no voiceboxes? That does creep me out, I’m afraid.
What other connections will we see? We know SHIELD Agent Tripp had a grandfather who was a Howling Commando and tech specialist. Will he pop up? Will a young Nick Fury show up? And who winds up being the mom to Iron Man? Very little written or done on that that I know of and it is a story they have the chance to tell here! (Maybe? for the first time?)
Back to you,
Glad we both enjoyed the premiere episode. Related, I like that the series will only run for 8 episodes. It makes for a tight story with no fluff.
Had you not liked the episode I was ready to give you a knuckle sandwich using Agent Carter’s fighting skills. I never saw the short, but from what I understand, at the close Howard Stark asks Carter to head SHIELD. Clearly, the TV show must be a prequel to the short, and we can think forward to see how her skill in hand-to-hand (among other things) made her a great choice to lead.
I’ll close with supporting characters. Jarvis is such an interesting one in the comics, and I’m so pleased with how he was portrayed early. His call to close the episode was interesting. Clearly there is another mystery left to be solved! I must admit that I didn’t Enver Gjokaj when you told me and I had to look him up. I now realize I lost a nerd point with you. Finally, I’m pretty sure the waitress was one of the blondes who were shown on a boat with Stark, but I could’ve been seeing things. Still, I doubt her story is a red herring. Expect a twist to come soon.
That’s all from me. I’ll let you give us a few closing words on this episode, as I’m ready to talk about the 2nd episode already!
8 episodes is a great choice. Remember season one of SHIELD where they stalled out. Some of that was having to wait for the Hydra drop in Winter Soldier. But some of it was just stalled out story telling. They should have a great arc and leave us wanting more. Which is what we need and want!
No worry on the Gjokaj nerd point. He is clearly a Whedon clan favorite, with his best work happening in Dollhouse. When he showed up, I knew there was more to his story.
That phone call was interesting. It should be nice to see how it plays out in the coming episodes.
On to episode two, which thankfully, we don’t have to wait on. Glad they dropped 2 at once.
There you have it. Agreement that the premiere episode of Agent Carter was a blast. We give it 7 and a half out of 8 Nerds.